Monthly Archives :

April 2016


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Headlining the Lounge Around Town event today is none other than Liverpudlian lo-fi rockers Hooton Tennis Club. They will be bringing their sound spectacular to what is set to be a fantastic event. 

Owing their name to a fortune cookie, the band have had frequent mentions in NME, Mojo and DIY amongst many others. The band also enjoyed a stomping set at the legendary Glastonbury Festival earlier this year playing to a packed out William’s Green tent. Talking about their performance at Glastonbury, NME reckon, “This time next year they’ll be powering through songs from their debut album on the John Peel stage”.

This debut album they speak of, Highest Point In Cliff Town, is set for release on 28th August, so you can be sure to hear tracks from this and maybe even a few sneaky previews! 

Citing the likes of Supergrass, The Beach Boys and The Black Lips as their influences, you can expect a truly rocking set from the four-piece. Mojo described them as, “Stuffed with American indie familiarities, but they support a distict British eccentricity that’ll undoubtedly launch them into the masses”.

This looks set to be a perfect end to what has been a truly perfect Fringe. Don’t miss out. 

Hooton Tennis Club will ber performing at 8:45pm in the Woodland Bar tonight.

No Tea, No Shade

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There’s a strong theatre game at this year’s Fringe.  Alongside more established companies, there are a number of newer ventures showcasing their work. I sat down for a chat with Lewis and Amelia from Phystheatre whose new show, Shady Margaret and Her Wardrobe Malfunctions, will be debuting this week.

So, is this your first time at the Fringe?

This isn’t the first time performing at Fringe, but this is the first show we’ve created and shown.

Where has the show come from?

It’s a development of Lewis’ previous work that started out all over the place, and now distilled into a ‘proper cabaret act’.

What can the audience expect? 

Variety. There’s elements of all sorts of things, it’s nice to show such a wide variety of things – Dancing, spoken word,  singing, comedy. There are elements of normal burlesque, but deeper stories coming through the individual pieces. We wanted to make a show that entertains but makes an audience think.

Why should I come and see it? 

Because it’s brilliant!

    The company are obviously very proud of what they’ve done, and so they should be– creating a brand new show is no easy task and I for one am really looking forward to seeing the result of their creative minds.

    Or, if you’re after something more traditional, perhaps an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Tempest might entice you. Hopefully Prospero won’t have an effect on the local climate!

    Also, returning to the Fringe this year are Bonchurch Theatre Group with their recent sell out production Faltering Steps by local play write John Goodwin. Recently described as ‘A triumph…gripping, thought provoking work’ it’s going to be a great show. Whichever you choose (why not all three?), grab your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Shady Margaret: Tues/Wed – 9pm @ Victoria Street Studio The Tempest: Tuesday, 7pm @ The Botanic Gardens Faltering Steps: Tues/Thurs – 8pm @ Pier Street Playhouse.


By Matt Hitt

Poppy’s Top Picks

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  • “Vintage, Retro & Craft Fair” @ The Winter Garndens – Fri 14th / Sat 15th – 10am – 4pm – FREE FRINGE
  • “Lounge Around Town” @ Holy Trinity & The Woodland Bar – Sun 16th – Doors 12pm, Music 1pm – Tickets £12 
  • “Pride” Film screening @ St Wilfreds Church – Thurs 13th – 9pm – Tickets £5
  • “Seska and The Magic Beard” Kids Comedy Magic show @ The Scout Hut – Fri 14th / sat 15th – 2pm / 4pm – £5
  • “Fringe Forum” Creative Debate @ The Woodland Bar – Thurs 13th – 2.30pm – FREE FRINGE 


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I awoke from a dream to find Fringe a translucent reality.

The clock has been ticking and all has been relatively smooth in the run up this year’s Fringe. In the setup of previous years I’ve seen confusion that rivals that of Noel Fielding Luxury Comedy. But unlike the inner workings of a mad man, there is no confusion this year: the bars are going up and the sky is clear and we’ll have everything ready for you my dears.

However, these cool runnings do invariably mean that the skies are going to fall and the Kraken will awake from its slumber to engulf the entire seafront. Actually, the Kraken is already awake but much more interested in the Observatory bar: we should be fine as long as they don’t run out of rum.   

Colours spread wide among faces unknown and talents I’d only ever pictured in the most outlandishly amusing hallucinations.

It’s the time of year when the giant dream catchers, cacophony of patterns and Shakespeare outfits spread wide across the streets of Ventnor. Every empty building, street corner and bus shelter alive with acoustic resonances and every forgotten corner of the town becomes a hive of activity.

Uncover a woodland scarcely treaded, a landmark turned into bar and this year a prolific society opening its doors to the public for the first time in 150 years. It seems to fit the bill of an exciting week. There is a lot happening this year with almost 400 performers in over 20 different venues.

How could anyone keep track?

Don’t fret my pet, we’ve got it covered. We will be here every day to tell you where the fire is burning and who’s set it alight (hopefully not literally), where to eat the most flavoursome food, buy Ventnor’s beauteous bespoke clothes and who’s currently wearing them.

Additionally if you have any questions for the Fringe Review drop us a message via twitter, Instagram, Facebook or email

We will endeavour to answer your queries with as much sobriety as is humanly possible from the media team.  

FREE THE FRINGE- Friday 14th August

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Howdy, Fringe folks! As another day of the Fringe dawns, another batch of fantastic entertainment awaits you in Ventnor!

It’s first worth starting with the Ventnor Exchange itself, where revellers will be treated to a special musical performance at 7pm tonight. This performance comes in the form of Leeds folk/pop outfit Winter Springs after two successful performances on Tuesday.

The Woodland Bar is also open for another day of fantastic events. There continues to be yoga and bushcraft workshops in the morning and early afternoon, but they will be followed by family friendly poems by David A. Ballard and a hula-hoops workshop with Tilly Twist. The live music in the Woodland Bar kicks off at 4pm with sets from Wagga Wagga and Island rock band, BullyBones. They will be followed by acoustic sets from Rob Henry, Laura Clare Reid and Cherry Taylor. Closing the evening will be yet another set by the fantastic Winter Springs to ease you into the weekend.

The Observatory is following suit as another venue offering fantastic entertainment for all. Kicking off events at 1pm is North & South, followed by an acoustic set by Cherry Taylor (before her set in the Woodland Bar) and Harriet Back with Company B, performing classic swing hits from the 1940’s. The evening events comprise of JC & The Catfish, Will & Si and a closing set from the Electro Love DJs. 

And if that’s not enough for you, there will be buskers located all around town and be sure to look out for the odd pop-up gig as well! 

So long! Fair well! Ventnor Fringe, good night!

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Another year gone and another week of amazing acts, however today is sadly the last day of the Fringe. I know, right? Shameful. But this is the time we can sit back with a brew and reflect on the amazing acts that joined us this year.

Once again, we’ve been spoilt for choice with theatre, dance, comedy and music, with some amazing acts performing at the Woodland Bar – something I thoroughly look forward to every year. One of my personal favourites this year was Richard II performed at Trinity Church by a group of fabulous Shakespearian actors. The performance was set horizontally through the audience to create an immersive show and followed the tragic tale of Richard II’s disposale of power, excellently executed by the actor that plays him and his subjects. Laura Reid and the Observatory; or as us locals like to call it, The Poo Palace.

One of the year’s best events is the library lock-in, a nice of spoken word, poetry and booze. Each year Fringe is able to bring some excellent acts to the table and each year it gets better and better. Game, set and match.

V Fringe has gone swimmingly this year, wouldn’t you agree? Aside from our atrocious British weather we’ve been having we have managed to battle the elements and put on a damn good show, each year bigger and better. I’ve seen more street performances than you can poke a stick at, which gives Ventnor back its carnival atmosphere.

So fair well for this year. We hope you have enjoyed yourself at lounge around town.

The Legend of the Fringe

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Have you heard the legendary tale that shrouds the Fringe and of the antediluvian gods of Ventnor? No, I thought not.

Well legend has it that thousands of years ago there was a small community that lived where Ventnor now stands, ‘Ventnoria’ it was called. The hills we see now were much taller back then, with one main peak known as Mt. Ventnoria.

At the height of summer, the ancient villagers would throw a festival of arts and music at the fringe of the mountain to appease the gods that lived at the top of Mt. Ventnoria.

In return, the gods would see them through the winter and ensure good hauls of fish. A Roman traveller believed he saw the Goddess Hygeia on Mt. Ventnoria during this ancient fringe.

What happened I hear you ask? No one knows; perhaps they got washed away in a great storm or perhaps they forgot to fringe!

But this is a mere folk tale, a myth. There’s no truth to it…

Is there?

By Evan Wragg

The Review Show: Thursday

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Miri talks to Hazel and Katharine from Gaudy Bunting at the Exchange this morning ahead of their second show at Ventnor’s Pier Street Playhouse. The pair talk about The ‘How to Never Forget Anything Ever Again’ Show, the inspiration behind it and being women in theatre.

Click the link below to listen:


The Review Show 2015: Thursday (Gaudy Bunting) by The Ventnor Fringe on Mixcloud


An Introduction to Free Fringe

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So let me get this straight… I don’t have to pay a thing? Sounds too good to be true? Well I’ve got news for ya, it ain’t!

Once again we are thrilled to welcome back Free Fringe, a part of our festival that replenishes all those cravings for culture at the competitive price of absolutely nothing. From live music to street art and kids workshops to galleries, there’s a little bit of everything for you to sink your teeth into on a daily basis.

We are also very excited to announce the very first Free Fringe Showcase! An eclectic selection of this year’s Free Fringe musicians shall be performing at the Parkside Bar on Friday at 6.30pm. Hosted by the brilliant BBC Folk Award nominated Jack Pout, this promises to be a smashing evening.

Tickets are only £4 and every penny shall be going straight to the performers! There’s always a lot going on around the festival so be sure to pick up a Free Fringe programme for more details.