Staying on the fringe

THE inaugural Newcastle Fringe Festival has something for everyone, with a wide variety of comedy and musical acts, plus dance, circus, theatre and children’s shows.

A total of 30 events will be staged at five venues in the Newcastle CBD over the 10 days of the festival from January 28 to February 6 and there’s an interesting mix of artists involved.

The comedy shows include Steve “Sandman” Abbott, who began his humorous acts as a student at Newcastle University, with a show called Steve and the Birds of Sandman, in which he tells how bird-watching helped ease a difficult time in his life; American comedian Nikolas Strubbe using masks, puppetry and physical comedy as he plays a circus performer in The Incredible Feelzo; and young Newcastle stand-up comedian Chris Butler, who appeared in the Sydney Comedy Fringe last year. As well, there will be a couple of open mic sessions that will give audience members the chance to try their skills at stand-up comedy.

The Newcastle Fringe Festival has been put together by Branxton performer, writer and composer Phillip Aughey, whose show, The Exchange, a comedy about two oldtimers talking in an Australian country pub, was part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014.

Aughey was able to see a lot of other shows at the festival and was so impressed by the variety and appreciative audience reactions that he decided to put together a Newcastle Fringe for this year.Aughey was invited to take another show to the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe, and that one-man show, Chopin’s Last Tour, which looks through piano works at the role music played in the Polish composer’s life and relationships, will be part of the Newcastle Fringe.

People will also get a chance to see another praised Newcastle musical show, The Speakeasy, an amusing look through jazz songs at the United States liquor sale prohibition period in the 1920s and ‘30s. Staged by the Smokin’ Chops jazz quintet, it won last year’s CONDA Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.

Fringe festival works are invariably around an hour long, with a fewrunning up to two hours. The five venues – the Civic Playhouse, the Royal Exchange, the Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle Leagues Club, and Christchurch Cathedral – are intimate, with 75 to 205 seats. And the ticket prices for the events range from $10 to $35, with most set at $25.

A list of the festival’s shows follows. For more information and bookings, go to the festival’s website, newcastlefringe老域名出售备案老域名.

Civic PlayhouseWouldMan Strikes a Pose, children’s show with puppets – Jan 28 to 31, 5pm.Steve and the Birds of Sandman, comedy with Stephen Abbott – Jan 28 to 31, 7.30pm.The Incredible Feelzo, comedy by Nikolas Strubbe – Jan 28 to Feb 6, 9pm.Zingara, belly dance show – Jan 30 and Feb 6, 2.30pm.Chopin’s Last Tour, by Phillip Aughey – Feb 1 to 6, 7.30pm.The Speakeasy, by David Baker – Feb 5 and 6, 5pm.Royal ExchangeUp the Nerdsville Track, road trip comedy– Jan 28 to Feb 1, 6pm.The Stage Where We Met,by Alex Travers – Jan 28 to Feb 1, 7.30pm.Three Little Gigs, comedy– Jan 29 to 30, 9pm.Welcome to the Family, comedy– Jan 30, 4pm.Story Time with Lord Pencil, musical comedy – Feb 2 to 6, 7.30pm.Sound Human, comedy cabaret – Feb 2 to 6, 9pm.Nerds & Music, comedy – Feb 5, 6pm.Too Few to Mention– Feb 6, 6pm.Unorthodox Church of GrooveMind over Mind over Matter, circus and cabaret – Jan 28 to Feb 1, 8pm.The Michael Sykes Comedy Liability, comedy– Jan 28 and 30, 9pm.Committed for Mediocrity,by Gavin Lind – Jan 29, 6.30pm.The Speakeasy – Jan 30 and 31, 4.30pm.Adam Jacobs in Anything Like Me, stand-up comedy – Jan 30, 6.30pm.Alan Brady, stand-up and improve comedy – Feb 2 to 6, 7.30pm.The Unlikely Pairing of Liam and Stephen– Feb 4, 6.30pm.Rabbit’s Folly, children’s show with masks and puppetry– Feb 5, 4.30pm; Feb 6, 1.30pm and 4.30pm.Krystal Meth and Cirque de Hey Hey, drag queen comedy– Feb 5 and 6, 6pm.Newcastle Leagues ClubConfessions of a Good Catholic Boy, comedy by Jarrod Moore – Jan 28 to 30, 7pm.Hot Wheels, comedy by Sam Maloney – Jan 28 to 30, 8.30pm.Chris Butler, stand-up comedy – Feb 5, 8.30pm.Open Mic – Feb 5, 10pm, Feb 6, 9.30pm.Kara Zmatiq, drag queen cabaret – Feb 6, 6pm.Christchurch CathedralHuckleberry, jazz, blues and ragtime songs – Jan 28 to Feb 1, 7.30pm.Intimate Haunts, songs from Richilieu’s new CDs – Feb 3 and 4, 8.30pm.Artemis Cocoon, musical – Feb 5 and 6, 7.30pm. RETURN: The Speakeasy, an amusing look through jazz songs at the United States liquor sale prohibition period in the 1920s and ‘30s will be playing at the Civic Playhouse and the Royal Exchange.

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