The Ventnor International Festival has been in the works for a number of months now, so no; it wasn’t in retaliation to Brexit. There are many uncertainties after the events of June 23rd, but Fringers can be safe in the knowledge that whatever happens with Article 50, it will make little difference to the Ventnor Fringe. The team are more determined than ever to maintain partnerships overseas, all be it Europe, the USA or anywhere else in the world.
One of the biggest features of the International Fringe will be the ‘Portrait of a Town’ exhibition. The origins of the piece go back to French street artist, JR and his project ‘Inside Out’. This was a huge venture that captured portraits of local people in towns across the world. I suppose you could say that Ventnor is adding to JR’s collection.
Julian Winslow and Alice Armfield have spent weeks taking and editing the photographs and having already seen a number of the final snaps, I can confirm that they are flattering yet maintain a real and raw photographic spin.
“It’s been a brilliant way to meet new people and give us the chance to talk to those whose faces we recognise day to day around the town – and what an amazing collection of faces we have!” – Jack Whitewood.
The piece will be two hundred A1 photographs of various Ventnor characters plastered across the floor of the Plaza, in a very Mary Poppins’ Bert-the- street-screever style. You can watch this masterpiece set-up from 12pm on the seafront today. Photographs will be plastered to the floor with a mixture of sugar, warm water and corn flour. So eco-warriors please don’t worry, it’s all biodegradable.
This International Festival has its very first poet in residence in the form of familiar face; Toby Thompson. Toby has been returning to Ventnor Fringe most years since his debut in 2011. In 2013 and 2014 Toby came back for our Library Lock In; performing alongside names such as Dizraeli, JJ Bola, Akala, Kate Tempest and Reeps One. You can catch a snippet of Toby in The Parkside today @ 2pm.
Last but by no means least, the premier of Berlioz: Glydebourne (Film) in the Ventnor Arts Club at 6pm. For those not familiar with the operetta, it’s a unique account of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing by Laurent Pelly
By Catriona Macaulay