Monthly Archives :

June 2016

An Interview with Comedian, Rob Dumbrell

150 150 Ventnor Fringe

When did you start performing as a comedian?

“About 10 years ago. I’d always loved comedy, when I was younger I used to record the audio from The Young Ones and Blackadder and Fawlty Towers and I’d listen to them at night. I loved them so much. There was always a part of me that wanted to do stand up but just never knew how to go about it. One day I was walking past The Comedian in Brighton and they were advertising a workshop and I figured if I don’t do it now I never will. And I haven’t looked back since.”

Where has been your favourite place to perform?

“The Comedian in Brighton is an amazing venue, I’ve done a couple of gigs in Ventnor and always had fun and always enjoyed it. I’m really looking forward to doing my hour-long show there. I closed a night at what used to be the old bank.”

Back when the the bank was a bit of a husk, right? (This was when the bank had been ripped out and was between being a bank and The Arts Club.)

“Yeah, I think I made a joke about it being a comedy night before it was a hostage situation. 

    It depends on so much, it’s not just about the venues but it’s about the people. I’ve had some gigs in big venues and I’ve hated it and then I’ve done great gigs in small pubs. I did a gig to two people in a pub in Canterbury – and to be honest it was one of the nicest gigs I’ve ever done.”

What has inspired your latest set?

“This is my first hour show that I’m doing. I’ve left it quite long to do an hour show but it wasn’t until last year that I started getting jealous of people doing hour shows, but I kind of figured it was about time to put together my show. My set changed pretty much each week, I talk about things that have happened to me, so basically I have a comedic diary of everything that’s happened to me over the last five years. 

    Five years ago my marriage ended, I was diagnosed with depression so I had to start doing things about it to make things better. So the hour show is basically about a fresh start.

    I moved into a caravan, which probably doesn’t sound like the best start to make. It kind of opened a lot of doors, but that’s basically what the show it about. And along the way I’ve learnt the meaning of life.”


Rob didn’t tell me the meaning of life, but told me that I’d find out at his show this Thursday at 8.30pm in The Long Room in The Winter Gardens. 


150 150 Ventnor Fringe

How far does Ventnor’s sphere of influence go you ask? Well funnily enough, our little town has ended up a long way over the pond, 3511 miles over the pond to be precise. Mrs. S. Bartram Richards, the wife of the secretary-treasurer of the Camden and Atlantic Land Company, suggested the name Ventnor for an area in New Jersey, United States of America. The name ‘Ventnor City’ was chosen in 1889 and remains to this day. The city’s first meeting was held on April 20, 1903, in the Carisbrooke Inn, another name that might sound familiar to a lot of you.

Lonely Hearts Club Wednesday

150 150 Ventnor Fringe

“I’m hot just like the oven and I need some lovin’”.


Today’s fine piece of flapjack is Miss H, and boy, she’s been cooling on the rack for far too long.

    Miss H would describe herself as sweet, nutty and perfect with a cup of tea. She is looking for the Lady Grey to compliment her macaroons. If you are the Sue to her Mel then please email your best scone recipe to, or just bring cake to the press room at The Ventnor Exchange. Let’s make sure Miss H has someone just as delicious as her to watch the new season of Bake Off with.

    Darlings, let’s make sure her cake isn’t left out in the rain.


Yours, Miss Reid. xxx 

For the Child Within

150 150 Ventnor Fringe

As the sun fades, the moon rises and you think all is quiet until the twinkling of a music box tantalises the sleeping toys to life.

Feast your eyes on a fantastical family friendly show, The Toymaker’s Dream at The Assembly Hall 18:00 tonight.

Toys from across the ages are bought to life in a live and kicking show by the IOW’s very own LVB Dance.

The professional dance troupe boast locking, popping, classic ballet and contemporary dance in their repertoire and their set even features flips, tricks and contortion. The show is sure to rekindle your childhood memories and the endless hours of adventure you enjoyed with your closest and dearest cuddly bear or ever amazing nimble action figure.

There are even some Marvel superheroes too to protect against those creepy porcelain dolls and their scary lolling heads. But be sure to be sprightly and don’t be inert, or the toys may steal you away into the depths of their toy box! 

By Jordan Royl

Island City Music

150 150 Ventnor Fringe

Sounding somewhere between the streets of Verona and an ambient forest, Island City Music present an interesting mix.

One that should be heard and felt; I mean that in that sense of the bubbling sensation you get when the bow strikes the strings of the violin, or softly sweeps it and the music takes you.

To all those hatin’ classical scoffs, for me, this is the very point of music and all its varying notes.

I have always been a sucker for strings and that classical melody that sweeps me away. I am sure that those who scoff at classical and prefer the thrashing of a guitar will be struck with the simplicity of a twiddling melody that will haunt and inhibit them too.

This band have successfully created, with their ingenious playing, a modern twist to some very classically constructed songs. Which are not constrained or mundane; they instead present an electric experimental mix that pricks your ears.

Island City Music will be playing at 2pm on Saturday in the Central Car Park if you missed them.

By Jordan Royl  


Lonely Hearts Column

150 150 Ventnor Fringe
  • Female
  • Early 30s
  • Generously bespectacled
  • 5’2″
  • Gemini 

Seeks male between the ages of 24 ½  and 39 ¾ years.

Must have a love of bubonic plague documentaries, knitwear and sandwiches.

Shakespearian actors NEED APPLY NOW.

To reply, please visit the artist registration window at Ventnor Exchange and declare your love in the form of haiku. 

Ventnor International

150 150 Ventnor Fringe


“Folk or hip hop? I don’t know, but Dizraeli makes me realise how wonderful it is to hear real English – fluent, witty and arresting”. – The Times Saturday Review

“Touching, funny stories of riots, atheism and Englishness… Dizraeli embodies 21st Century folk.” – The Independent

He has won the BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam and the UK Slam Championships. He has toured the world. He is here. In Ventnor. 

I literally have nothing else to say – be there.


Equal Blood Project –

 Parkside gets political. Visiting journalist and activist Ben Hansen-Hicks will be giving a talk on his project and encouraging you to engage through discussion, questions and postcards. For more information read Caty’s interview on the back page. 


Sound of The Bees –

The grand finale! The last hurrah! The 80’s, John Hughes style, jump in the air, fist punch, freeze frame of VFringe16! We’ve got local lads done good, Mercury Prize nominated band The Bees spinning a perfect soundtrack to your last night. Soul, jazz, funk, afro-beat, dub, ska… put your dancing shoes on. You’ll need them. Make sure you grab a ticket immediately as this evening always sells out FAST! So come and join the Ventnor Fringe crew for a boogie and a bop at the Observatory, we’ll be the one’s looking euphorically deranged.


By Laura Clare Reid