Monthly Archives :

September 2015

A Trip Down Memory Lane…

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A trip down memory lane…

Some may recall that last year the Fringe Team finally got the keys to their new pad, the Ventnor Exchange. This was all very exciting last year, but last year Ventnor Exchange was a mere shell of what it is now.

It’s surprising what a bit of re-wiring, gutting, shuffling, a lick of paint and twelve months can do for a venue. They’ve even painted the front of the shop for you lovely ladies and gentlemen (by no way anything to do with the masses of people pleading them to do so).

What about the interior?

Well you’ll have to come and judge that for yourself but I assure you there will be neither fallen plaster nor a magnolia wall in sight (exclude the hallway: come on, they’re trying). You will however find the largest collection of new release vinyl available to purchase on the Island along with the widest selection of craft beers to darken Ventnor’s shores.

My personal recommendation would be their espresso martini, delicious and made with an Island roast no less. If you’re not a fan of alcoholic euphoria I would still suggest the coffee, an award winning level of hot drink from the Isle of Wight…

‘This isn’t just coffee this is Isle of Wight coffee.’  


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So, Ventnor Fringe is now in full swing. It’s Saturday, people. Mush!
We’re all going maaaaad and I’ve only been here for 18 hours.

I sincerely hope you have plenty of plans for today, there is a veritable feast of programming for you all to absorb, in the lovely Ventnor sunshine no less!
There’s Macbeth (6pm, Holy Trinity Church), the Illuminated Carnival Parade (9pm, in
town) and, to round the evening o , the Blind Mole’s Ball with Boogie Belgique (10.15pm, The Vaults) just a tiny part of what will be going on today.

What’s been your favourite bits so far? Late nights at the Observatory? Catching some bands at the Free Fringe at Parkside in the sunshine? Or what about sloshing your beverage of choice all over yourself to a particularly hearty rendition of Toto’s Africa at the live karaoke with the late night sessions in the Crab and Lobster? Who are we kidding – everything is a highlight.

You’re in a bubble here in Ventnor. A wonderful artistic, musical and beautiful bubble here at the bottom of the Isle of Wight. Let every little bit of it soak in. Let it wash over you like a ne, ne wine.

But we mustn’t get complacent in our paradise…the sands of time are against us. You’ve got today and tomorrow and then it’s all over for another year!

#suchdeep #manymeaningful 


By Ben Hansen-Hicks

Hand Chat

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Heated discussion     in the Moroccan Tent. Yesterday, Jack Whitewood hosted the annual Fringe Forum with fellow core team member, Becky Boucherat and Art’s Council representative, Nick Green. While last year broached into the possibilities for future Fringes, this year the hot topic was the possibility of gentrification and second homes in Ventnor causing stagnation in the town. Jack believes that gentrification and the problem of second-home buyers are two different subjects and that the development of Ventnor on such a large scale is highly unlikely.

    Today’s Forum briefly touched on the subject of the International Festival and whether it had been created to make artists compete for superior playing spots. Jack maintains that the International Festival was designed as separate unit for artists that are less-likely to apply to the Fringe. Though some believe that if this is the case, the International Festival shouldn’t have had such a large slot in the program which sparked up a controversial debate.

    The theme moved onto the hope that the Fringe may encourage young people with varying skills to settle in Ventnor to help sustain its creative community. This was a general consensus from the audience, with many spectators claiming that they had grown up in Ventnor. Athough they’d moved away and made their careers elsewhere, most would like to bring what they’ve learnt back to their home town.

    All this chat in just under an hour while displaying the most spectacular show of hand animation (see Fringe Forum photos on Facebook for visual reference) that the Fringe Forum has ever seen. 


By Catriona Macaulay


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Help Me, Agony Can’t!

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My boyfriend’s really into music and wants to go touring with his band but I want to go touring with my Puppet Theatre Group, what shall I do?

It’s a tricky decision, I feel your pain.

A music career in this day and age is, undoubtedly, profitable at this current time. If you were to go on tour with your boyfriend you could live the modern rock and roll lifestyle of drugs, pugs and sausage rolls. The tour could take you to popular music venues in areas like Hackney or Shoreditch. But more than likely you’ll end up breaking up with your boyfriend and asking for more advice from an Agony Aunt.

However a life of marionettes sounds interesting. No one would string you along per se and you would be in complete control. Before you know it you’ll be on Britain’s Got Talent wowing the judges with your individual act and maybe, just maybe, the Royal Variety show.

Either way you’ll be living the dream. My advice would be following the road that makes you most happy, not one that will make you money. And remember, a puppet is for life, not just for Christmas.

Bugger it, I’ll join you on your marionette quest. Ditch the boyfriend; I’ll be your girlfriend while we’re at it.

Hollie Gayes, Fringe Agony Aunt


Grab a Cuppa Joe

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Forget about the daily grind! What’s Sumatra with you!  Come to Jasper’s, have a hot cup of joe and wait for all this to blow over. 

    Were you all aware that the origin of the phrase ‘cup of joe’ comes from a certain Josephus Daniels, former American Secretary of Navy. In 1914 he banned all US ships from serving alcoholic beverages, understandably the sailors weren’t particularly happy with the new legislation and had to settle for the next strongest thing they could get their hands on – coffee. As a middle finger to old Joe the name caught on and has been used ever since.

    We are happy to once again welcome Jasper’s Artisan Coffee and their old French Citroen H Van Josephine to our festival.

    The coffees are roasted by Peter and the cakes are made by Lucy, working together in unison to provide you with that perfect little pick me up, rain or shine. Using speciality grade green beans, they are roasted in a Toper to bring out the unique flavour profiles one would expect from such high quality, ethically sourced beans.

    Their signature coffee is the Buxom Espresso Blend which won a 2015 Great Taste Award. This is a blend of Brazilian, Sumatran, Colombian and Indian beans roasted to bring out their natural sweetness. It was described by the Great Taste judges as having “a great silky mouthfeel and a well balanced acidity. A light espresso that delivers distinct caramel, almost maple syrup type tones and well rounded finish”.

    Jasper’s will be around for the entirety of Fringe so come down to the Observatory to pick yourself up a cup and a cake.

By Tom Paston-Cooper


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Undecided Art Collective

So it seems the early starts and long nights have turned our media team’s gentle musings into full blown hysteria here in the Ventnor Exchange. As such, we have been seeking refuge in the Undecided Art Collective.

It is thoroughly recommended that persons go to this gallery and relax on the exceedingly comfy dream bed.

The dream exhibition is centred round an art installation called Dream Line. For those that aren’t aware, Dream Line is a phone number that people call to report their dreams the moment they wake. Connected to the other end of the line is an answer phone that stores the many inner workings of people’s minds. These have been stored up over the last year and some modified with distorted voices and musical accompaniment for people to listen to in the bed.

This makes the experience of lying on this white cot-like divan soothing. This is unless you hear the dream about body mutilation, then it becomes quite nightmarish but the reactions are jolly good fun!

Better yet, for you lucky ladies and gents they have a dream interpreter today. Make sure you’ve documented those dreams wisely or the analysis you receive may be as detrimental to your day as a Cosmo Horoscope.  

The Undecided Art Collective are showcasing their work at Café No. 34 from 10am until 4pm today and tomorrow. 

“Only In Ventnor…”

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Well hello there, it’s Poppy Janella your fashion guru. Today I’ll be giving you a run down of odd garments you would only find in Ventnor. So all you Mainlanders and visiting Ventnorians, listen up – This could make or break your dress code for the week….

  • Wellies when no rain is apparent.
  • Pyjamas worn as every day clothes 
  • Odd Earings upon each ear
  • A rather large Quiff
  • VELVET. there will be much velvet
  • A Cravat 
  • Terrifyingly bright colour combiniations. 
  • General lack of clothing due to our confusion with this ‘summer’ that happened one time… 
  • No socks allowed






The Review Show 2015: Saturday (Two Blondes and a Harp / Shakespeare Rattle and Roll / Mhairi)

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It’s the penultimate day of the Fringe Festival and in the Exchange this morning Lowri-Ann Richards and Glenda Clywd have popped in to talk about their show ‘Two Blondes and a Harp’, Martin Dimery tells us about the inspiration and reception of his show ‘Shakespeare Rattle and Roll’ and the Ventnor Fringe’s own Mhairi Macauley gives us the details of Lounge Around Town tomorrow.

Click here to listen on Mixcloud.

Lonely Hearts Club Friday

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To quote Tears For Fears, “everybody wants to rule the world”, a very apt lyric for our Friday’s lonely heart, Mr G. 

    This ginger blur of a King Pinger wants to rule the world. And your heart. Behind those impeccable 90’s inspired curtains is a gentlemen who is looking for a vintage vinyl queen to share a grungey pint with. If you enjoy sweaty gigs, a strong print on a shirt and men who are all about personal gain, come on down! You can find Mr G lurking in the shadows of the vaults, bopping his head and looking sharp.

    Email us at the usual address, or be on the lookout for 1995 in human form.

“Come on, I’m talking to you, come on”

Darlings, it’s been a pleasure as ever.


Yours, Miss Reid.x x x