Features

Good News

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Ventnor Fringe is all systems go, here is everything you need to know about how this year’s festival will take place.

Like everyone we’ve been eagerly awaiting the Government’s latest announcement and while the decision to delay the lifting of final restrictions is disappointing, we’re working hard to ensure that Ventnor Fringe will return next month.

Restrictions on events and venues are now due to be lifted on 19th July, just in time for the festival, which will take place from Friday 23rd July – Sunday 1st August.

We’re optimistic that this will be the case, but as we’ve all learnt over the past 18 months nothing is certain and we need to make sure we’re prepared for any eventuality. With that in mind we’re made a few changes to this year’s event:

Standby Tickets
Once a performance has sold more than it’s socially distanced capacity ‘standby tickets’ will become available. There are tickets that will be valid if Government restrictions are eased before the festival. However, if restrictions are extended and social distancing has to be kept at the current recommended levels, these tickets will be fully refunded.

Digital Programme
We’ve made the difficult decision not to produce a printed brochure this year. Rules on restrictions are not likely to be confirmed until 12th July and we don’t want to produce a programme with inaccurate information. Instead, we’ll be producing ‘Venue Timetables’ which you’ll be able to download from our website and print at home, or pick up copies from Ventnor Exchange.

Event Alterations
To accommodate the possibility of social distancing we’ve had to make alterations to a small number of events already on sale. This has included moving some acts to larger venues, or adding additional performances. All ticket holders affected will be contacted directly by our team.

Free Fringe
Although some events will be announced sooner, we’ll be revealing the full line up for the Free Fringe after the Government announcement on 12th July.

Thank you to everyone for all of your patience and support in these challenging times, we’re going to do everything we can to bring live performance back to the Isle of Wight and can’t wait to see you this summer!

4 Top Picks For All The Family

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Keeping all of the children, parents and grandparents entertained can be a challenge, so we’ve taken a look though the programme to pick 4 shows that we think will keep every generation captivated.

From pirates to acrobats, musketeers to puppets these are shows that will make you laugh and cheer as we celebrate the return of live performances!

1.)  Treasure Island

Long John Silver and his crew of salty old sea dogs are weighing anchor at Ventnor Botanic Garden with the pirate classic, Treasure Island. Quantum Theatre’s performances are always popular at the Fringe and this year will no doubt be the same. Packed full of action, drama, sword fights and sea shanties this is an open air theatre show that worth setting sail for! Book Tickets

Where? Ventnor Botanic Garden

When? Wednesday 28th July, 6pm

 

2.)  The Three Musketeers

Sharpen your swords, lace up your boots, and stick a great big feather in your hat! Magicians and performers Morgan&West present a fun for all the family retelling of Alexadre Dumas ‘The Three Musketeers’ and we can’t wait! Can the dashing Musketeers retrieve the Queen’s prize diamonds? Will the nefarious Cardinal Richelieu get away with his dastardly scheme? Is it an enormous mistake to wear such elaborate costumes at the height of British summer? Morgan & West have performed all over the UK as and on TV in Penn & Teller: Fools Us, The Slammer and The Next Great Magician. Book Tickets

Where? The Magpie, Parkside

When? Saturday 31st July & Sunday 1st August,  3pm

3.)  The Greatest Showpeople!

Back in 2019 Parkside become the home of a beautiful new black and white Big Top called The Magpie. It hosted some brilliant shows but there was a notable lack of circus for a circus tent! Well, no more, as Newcastle’s finest Let’s Circus bring The Greatest Showpeople! to Ventnor Fringe. Expect acrobatics, trapeze, comedy and juggling in this family friendly extravaganza. There is more capacity for this one, but tickets are selling fast and it looks likely to be one of this year’s best sellers.  Book Tickets

Where? The Magpie, Parkside

When? Wednesday 28th July 3pm + 7pm, Thursday 29th + Friday 30th July 7pm

4.)  The Puppet Van Presents The Lost Colour

Join Malcolm Brushell, a professional painter and amateur alchemist, on his quest to find the pinky-est pink paint on the planet! Through cracking rocks, mashing every conceivable vegetable, and even bottling and fermenting his own cow’s wee, he has created every colour imaginable, except this one.

The Lost Colour is the first custom designed show from The Puppet Van, a show entirely performed on the roof of a van which sounds brilliantly suited to Ventnor Fringe.  An energy fuelled physical show full of clowning, puppets, and paint, aimed at younger children but we think this one is charming enough to keep the whole family entertained. The show has its roots in the history of pigment making and follows a loveable independent artist up against a huge corporate pigment making conglomerate. Book Tickets

Where? Parkside

When? Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th July 11am & 3pm

Discover Everything At Ventnor Fringe

Take a look at the full programme of events taking part at this year’s Ventnor Fringe. More shows are being added every day!

5 Best Selling Shows at Ventnor Fringe…So far!

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It’s June, which means the countdown to Ventnor Fringe has begun! With less than 8 weeks to go we take a look at the hottest tickets in town so far.

With the full programme of shows expected to be on sale by 21st June, there are undoubtedly still gems to be discovered, but with a wide range of events now announced we thought it was time for us to take a look at those shows selling fastest, which you might not want to leave too long to book up for.

1.)  Flo & Joan

Off the back of a countrywide tour, musical comedy duo and sisters Flo & Joan are heading to Ventnor Fringe for the first time to test an hour of new material. You might have seen them in a certain building societies TV ads but it was watching folk ballad inspired  ‘Lady In the Woods’ that got us hooked – “And she produced milk like you’ve never seen” Book Tickets

Where? The Magpie, Parkside

When? Friday 23rd July, 7pm

 

2.)  Joe Black: Decopunk

Isn’t it about time drag made an appearance at the Fringe? It seems like you lot agree as these tickets are flying out like death drops – sickening! At the time of writing there are just 48 tickets left! Infamous cabaret misfit and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’s miscreant Joe Black invites you to indulge in a gloriously raucous gin soaked musical cabaret extravanganza. It’s going to be fabulous. Book Tickets

Where? The Magpie, Parkside

When? Friday 23rd July, 9pm

3.)  The Greatest Showpeople!

Back in 2019 Parkside become the home of a beautiful new black and white Big Top called The Magpie. It hosted some brilliant shows but there was a notable lack of circus for a circus tent! Well, no more, as Newcastle’s finest Let’s Circus bring The Greatest Showpeople! to Ventnor Fringe. Expect acrobatics, trapeze, comedy and juggling in this family friendly extravaganza. There is more capacity for this one, but tickets are selling fast and it looks likely to be one of this year’s best sellers.  Book Tickets

Where? The Magpie, Parkside

When? Wednesday 28th July 3pm + 7pm, Thursday 29th + Friday 30th July 7pm

4.)  Impromptu Shakespeare

Back by popular demand, Impromptu Shakespeare are veterans of the Fringe circuit, having performed six critically acclaimed runs at Edinburgh and now back for a second time at Ventnor. Bursting with love, poetry, comedy, tragedy, mistaken identity and everything in between, the company brings you an entirely new and unique ‘Shakespeare’ play inspired by audience suggestions to delight Shakespeare nerds and newbies alike. Both performances for this are booking up fast.  Book Tickets

Where? The Magpie, Parkside

When? Thursday 29th + Friday 30th July 3pm

5.)  Gengahr

One of the first shows we announced back in 2020 before the plague hit, indie stalwarts Gengahr are heading to Ventnor Fringe to play their much anticipated live show, and we can’t wait! The band released their third album ‘Sanctuary’ last year which features a more expansive and ambitious sound than ever before. Produced by Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman, it will appeal to fans his work as well as Alt-J, Django Django and Glass Animals. Book Tickets

Where? Harbourside

When? Friday 30th July, 7pm

Discover Everything At Ventnor Fringe

Take a look at the full programme of events taking part at this year’s Ventnor Fringe. More shows are being added every day!

CHAMPS has sold out! Now what?

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CHAMPS live show at Harbourside has sold out! Where you to slow to get a ticket? Fear not, here are some fantastic alternatives you don’t want to miss

 

1.) Post Animal @ Harbourside

Harbourside Bar, Ventnor Esplanade

If the idea of a great gig on the Harbour sounded appealing, check out POST ANIMAL playing the night before.

Overflowing with riffs and reckless abandon, Post Animal is a psych rock five-piece from the tightly knit Chicago music scene.

After initially drawing comparisons to Tame Impala, the band have gone on to develop their own distinct sound that we think is a perfect fit for Ventnor, and we’re thrilled to be alongside cities like Berlin, Paris, Manchester and Glasgow in their first European tour.

Fri 26th July / 19:00hrs / Tickets: £10 / 16+ 

BOOK NOW

 

This venue has step free access. It is a standing gig but space for wheelchairs can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. An accessible toilet is available next to the venue using a radar key.

 

2.) Barney Artist @ Harbourside

Harbourside Bar, Ventnor Esplanade

Another great gig on the Harbour will be Loyle Carner’s ‘One to Watch’ the energetic, enthusiastic and explosive performer BARNEY ARTIST 

The 26-year-old east Londoner fuses 90s era boom bap hip-hop with jazz for a refreshing sound harkening back to legends such as A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots, and taking influence from prolific UK artists including Kano and Ghostpoet.

His debut album HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS explores a number of deeply personal topics, and features a stellar line up of names including TOM MISCH, JORDAN RAKEI, ALFA MIST, EMMAVIE, DORNIK and GEORGE THE POET

Thurs 25th July / 19:00hrs / Tickets: £10 / 16+ 

BOOK NOW

 

This venue has step free access. It is a standing gig but space for wheelchairs can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. An accessible toilet is available next to the venue using a radar key.

 

3.) Lamplighters 

Comedy & Cabaret Tent, Parkside

Need something else to do on Saturday night? How about a wild card with a trip up to the Comedy & Cabaret Tent for LAMPLIGHTERS 

A one-man interactive spy story that’s part game, part interactive theatre, part improv comedy, Neil Connolly plays a Spymaster and the audience his spy network. villains to thwart and secrets to be stolen. But he can’t do it alone.

Lamplighters is a (silly) but loving parody of John le Carre’s Cold War masterpieces. A trip behind the Iron Curtain has never been so fun.

 

Sat 27th + Sun 28th July / 18:30hrs / Tickets: £10 / Conc. £8 / All Ages 

BOOK NOW

 

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. An accessible toilet is available at this venue.

Watch: 10 Years of the Ventnor Fringe

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To mark the tenth anniversary of Ventnor Fringe, we’re pleased to release this short film about the festival. Originally formed by a group of teenagers keen to do something special in the place they grew up in, the event has gradually grown to become a unique part of the areas identity.

 

The film was produced by Glass House Productions, another young start up from the Island, with additional archive footage from Luke Bridgeman and photographs by Ventnor based photographer, Julian Winslow.

Turn up the sound and click on the full screen icon to see the film in full size.

 

 

 

Late Night Shows at the Ventnor Fringe

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Late Night Shows at the Ventnor Fringe

 

When the sun goes down the fun is only just beginning at the Ventnor Fringe. As well as numerous ‘pop up’ spaces to explore, like Hygeia House’s Gin Bar, or Harbourside with DJ’s spinning everything from Northern Soul to Brazilian Beats, the theatres and venues of the Fringe keep on going with late night slots filled with comedy, song and plain madness!

Here’s 5 suggestions for top late night shows at the Fringe you don’t want to miss!

1.) Puppet Pub Quiz

The Magpie (Parkside) Park Avenue, PO38 1LB

BOOK NOW

A traditional pub quiz – with a twist. Your hosts for the evenings are all puppets! Back by popular demand following sell out performances at the Ventnor Fringe in 2017 these well intentioned but mischievous puppets are reunited for one night only to host a brand new Puppet Pub Quiz!

 
Test your general knowledge and be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes, in a surreal night of comedy and madness. A word of warning, puppets can cheat!

Tues 23rd July / 21:15hrs / Tickets: £6 / 16+

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A disabled toilet will be available at this venue.

2.) Elsie Diamond:The Sensible Undresser

The Magpie (Parkside) Park Avenue, PO38 1LB

BOOK NOW

International burlesque star Elsie Diamond is ready to let you know the truth about the so-called glamorous world of cabaret. A comic, naughty and honest piece told through song and striptease.

Taking place in the beautiful new Magpie Tent in Ventnor Park, expect extraordinary costumes and vocals in this much praised show.

Weds 24th July / 21:15hrs / Tickets: £10 / Conc. £9  / Fringe Friends 2for1 /  18+

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A disabled toilet will be available at this venue.

 

3.) The Astonishing Singing Fish

Comedy & Cabaret Tent (Parkside) Park Avenue, PO38 1LB

BOOK NOW

It’s a rocky road for a singing goldfish who wants to play the lead in Les Miserables. Along with his hapless scientist friend he will warm your heart with his dulcet baritone voice in this new musical comedy. You gotta see it to believe it. Combining a mixture of catchy songs, silly jokes and a healthy dose of sight gags, the human & fish duo will have to figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of show business. And as expected, nothing goes to plan. Enjoy the madness!

Flying Dutchman Theatre where a big hit in the early days of the Ventnor Fringe with a musical about the mystery of a missing guinea pig still talked about today. After a 6 year absence we can’t wait to welcome them back!

Weds 24th July & Friday 26th July / 22:00hrs / Tickets: £12 / Conc. £10  / Group Discounts / Fringe Friends 2for1 / All Ages

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A disabled toilet will be available at this venue.

 

4.) Chris Stokes: We Don’t Need Roads

Comedy & Cabaret Tent (Parkside) Park Avenue, PO38 1LB

BOOK NOW

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018, Just The Tonic, Phil McIntyre Entertainment

Award-winning comedian and storyteller Chris Stokes brings his latest solo show to Ventnor Fringe, tackling subjects from the shape of time and the theory of eternalism to childhood birthdays and calling your nan the worst word imaginable. Juxtaposing hi- and lo-brow, Chris’ latest solo show is his best yet.

Fresh from touring as support for the likes of Milton Jones & Jason Manford he’s the perfect act for late night laugh.

 

Thurs  25th July / 22:00hrs / Tickets: £8 / Fringe Friends 2for1 / 16+

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A disabled toilet will be available at this venue.

5.) Eddie Summers – School of Burglary

Comedy & Cabaret Tent (Parkside) Park Avenue, PO38 1LB

BOOK NOW

Relentlessly energetic Eddie leads us through the physical demands of cutting alarm systems, dealing with dangerous dogs and blowing bank safes… but he’s terrible at it! Prop/stand-up/absurdist burglary as taught by an idiot.

A rising star on the alternative scene and a big a cult hit at the Ventnor Fringe for many years now, Eddie Summers is back, direct from a hit run at the Brighton Fringe.

Sat 27th July / 22:00hrs / Tickets: £10 /  Conc. £8 / Fringe Friends 2for1 / 18+

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A disabled toilet will be available at this venue.

 

5 Shows Most Likely To Sell Out First!

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5 Shows Most Likely To Sell Out First!

 

With nearly all of the 90+ different shows at this year’s Ventnor Fringe now on sale, alongside masses of free events too, it can be hard to decide to what to see. In the lead up to the Fringe we’ll be posting regular articles with information, ideas, interviews and updates to help you find the perfect events for you and make the most of the festival.

First up, we take a look at the shows we think are most likely to sell out first…

1.) Love, Loss and Head Lice 

Hygeia House (Downtown) 64 High Street, PO38 1LT

On the opening night of the Fringe, two veterans of the Festival host their first show as a duo in the form of ‘Love, Loss and Head Lice’. Billed as a macabre yet light-hearted show in which Doolally and Reid, two women in their 30s, obsessively pick over the highs, the lows and the dreary middles of modern love, told through the medium of spoken word and song. With a big local following, we know it’s guaranteed to be popular.

Taking place in one of our new venues, this old pub in the centre of town will be transformed into a hub of creativity and re-born as Hygeia House, named after Ventnor’s emblem, the Greek goddess of good health. Hosting a gin bar, gallery and intimate theatre with 4 shows a day, it’s a microcosm of the Fringe itself!

Tues 23rd July / 21:00hrs / Tickets: £6 / 18+ 

BOOK NOW

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. Unfortunately, as a ‘pop up’ venue, there is no disabled toilet at this venue. 

 

2.) Gráinne Maguire: Guys, It’s Problematic 

Comedy & Cabaret Tent (Parkside) Park Avenue, PO38 1LB

Award-winning comedian Gráinne Maguire bring a sparkling, exhilarating and life-affirming show about why we should all be Team Titanic. A writer on 8 Out of 10 Cats and The Last Leg, she has had sold out shows at Ventnor Exchange, but this is her first performance at Ventnor Fringe. Advance ticket sales are already strong and this looks likely to be one of the first stand up shows to sell out this year.

Weds 24th July / 20:30hrs / Tickets: £10 / Conc. £8 / Friends 2for1 / 16+ 

BOOK NOW

This venue has step free access. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A disabled toilet will be available at this venue.

 

3.) Poetry, Autism and Me 

The Book Bus (Downtown) Church Street, PO38 1SW

In this frank and blisteringly honest debut, Island native P.W. Gates combines a candid discussion into what it’s like to be an autistic writer in the 21st century with a collection of her poetry.

Performed in the beautiful ‘Book Bus’ events in this intimate space sell out quickly as capacity is very limited. However, if you miss out you can visit during the daytimes for free when it is open from 10:00hrs – 18:00hrs

Weds 24th & Thurs 25th July / 18:30hrs / Tickets: £3 / 16+ 

BOOK NOW

This is an old fashioned vehicle with two steps to gain access and which a wheelchair would not be able to fit into. There are rails and people on hand to help those who can make the two steps. A disabled toilet is located in St. Catheirne’s Church, next to The Book Bus. 

 

4.) Drunk Women Solving Crime

Ventnor Arts Club (Downtown) 13 High Street, PO38 1RZ

One of the most talked about new comedy podcasts of the last year comes to Ventnor on the back of its sell out London residency. Drunk Women Solving Crime is a true crime podcast with a twist…of lime. Each episode sees the boozed-up panel of writer/comedian hosts Catie Wilkins, Taylor Glenn and Ventnor local Hannah George, welcome a top guest to test out their drunk detective skills and solve true crime cases.

Tickets for this event are flying out and it could well be the first sold out show of the Fringe – be quick!

Sat 27th July / 17:00hrs & 19:00hrs / Tickets: £10 / 16+ 

BOOK NOW

There is one step at the entrance into this venue. Front row seats or wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767 or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. However please note that there is a flight of steps to the toilets in this venue. 

 

5.) CHAMPS @ Harbourside

Harbourside Bar (Harbourside) Ventnor Esplanade, PO38 1JR

Fresh from signing a new record deal with BMG, brothers Mike and David Champion, aka CHAMPS, are flying high with new music and album No3 in the pipeline. We welcome them back to the Ventnor Fringe for a now rare hometown show that is guaranteed to be sold out in advance of the Festival so be quick if you want to get into this one!

Sat 27th July / 19:00hrs / Tickets: £10 / 16+ 

BOOK NOW

This venue has step free access. This is a standing gig but chairs/wheelchair space can be reserved by calling (01983) 716767  or booking in person at Ventnor Exchange. A public disabled toilet is located just opposite the venue. 

Impromptu Shakespeare and Top Stand Up For New Fringe Venues

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Ventnor Fringe has announced the first of a number of new venues for this year’s festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary from 23rd-28th July.
 
Ventnor Park/Parkside, to the west of the town centre, will have at its centre The Magpie, an intimate Big Top hosting theatre, comedy, family shows and circus with the first shows to go on sale including the acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe hit IMPROMPTU SHAKESPEARE. Featuring a cast of leading theatrical and comedic improvisers and bringing an entirely new and unique Shakespeare play inspired by audience suggestions with each performance.
 

 
Other highlights include PICK OF THE FRINGE with a showcase of some of the best new comedians performing from across the festival, hosted by two times Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee AHIR SHAH (Live at the Apollo, The Mash Report, BBC 2)
 
A dedicated Comedy & Cabaret Tent in the Park will also host Edinburgh Previews from fast rising comedians such as CHRIS STOKES (BBC 3, Dave, Radio 4, Milton Jones & Jason Manford support) GLENN MOORE (Mock the Week, Absolute Radio, Stand Up Central) GRÁINNE MAGUIRE(Dave’s UnSpun, BBC 1 This Week, Radio 4) and BILAL ZAFAR (Edinburgh Best Newcomer Nominee, Hackney Empire new act of the year, Channel 4, Sky Arts, MTV and BBC Radio 4) as well as the return of the PUPPET PUB QUIZ (a quiz night hosted by puppets!)
 

 
This year the Ventnor Fringe will feature more than 90 different shows across 10 unique venues plus numerous free acts, pop up shows and secret spaces.
 
Festival Co-Director Mhairi Macaulay said “Over 30 shows are now on sale with tickets already outselling this stage last year which is fantastic! Every performance will be on sale by the end of May and there really is something for everyone. After ten years it feels like there is a real momentum behind the Ventnor Fringe now”
 
For more information and tickets visit vfringe.co.uk #vfringe19
 

5 Minutes with… Chris Jones

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This year is Ventnor Fringe’s 10th Birthday and you may have started to spot some people with some special 10th edition badges which you can get hold of in the Ventnor Exchange. We had a chat with the designer behind them, Chris Jones.

 
Hi Chris, Tell us a little bit who about who you are and what you create?
 
Hi. I am an artist, photographer and designer living in the sunny town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. I would consider myself multi-disciplinary; I like my art to be weird, my photography to be dark, and my design to be bright, friendly and accessible. I work mostly in design these days as it pays the bills, but have had a good stint as a photo artist exhibiting on the Island and in London, as well as being published internationally. I consider Art to be in my blood and have been creating for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. Additionally (and no less importantly), I am a father to two boys and a husband to Island wedding photographer, Lucy Boynton.
 

You’ve designed some Ventnor Fringe 10th anniversary badges (Which are fantastic by the way) What do you think about the Ventnor Fringe? Do you think it’s been positive for the Island?

 
Thank you. They were fun to design! Ventnor Fringe was just beginning when I first moved to Ventnor, and I had just started to get involved with an art group called The Undecided Art Collective (The UAC). Aside from being incredibly accommodating to The UAC (providing exhibition spaces during Fringe week in the past), I think Ventnor Fringe is one of the most culturally vibrant events on the Island right now. I think it’s impact on Ventnor has completely transformed the town, and I look forward to seeing what the Fringe team has planned each year.
 

 
Your work spans both graphic design and photography, do you find any similarities in your process?
 
Yes and No. I think there are crossovers in processes – for example, working in photography helps improve composition. Working in design greatly enhances my understanding of colour, form and function. But I think the similarities end there. Photography has always been a conduit for the way I see myself and the world and the world through a lens is indeed a strange, delightful place. With design, I am more focussed on my client’s needs and approach it more as a form ofl problem solving. There is heart and soul in both, but coming from very different angles.
 
What are you working on at the moment? Is there anything we should keep an eye out for?
 
Professionally, I am currently very busy managing two website designs, as well as a re-branding for a well-known Islander. These are both secret projects for the time being, but all will be revealed! Personally, I continue to practice and refine my skills. Lucy and I have also been working on a photographic book entitled, ‘Clap Your Hands’. It’s a slightly psychedelic take on Bestival photographed over the span of three years. We took thousands of photos, and editing this down into a digestive format was a task in itself! I think many Islanders remember Bestival with a great deal of affection and fondness, and this series of photographs aims to capture exactly what it was that made it such a special event. What I really love about this project is the deliberately unexpected take on the subject where we focussed purely on environment and revelry rather than the main stage big acts. As such, It is very much a love letter to that time and place.
 
Where can we find your work?
 
I am currently working on a new website. For now, I am using Instagram to share my work; https://www.instagram.com/chemical_gdns/ for my photography and https://www.instagram.com/gdns_art_and_design/ for my design work. Give me a follow!
 
Photo by Lucy Boynton Photography.
 
You can buy Ventnor Fringe badges (Designed by Chris) from the Ventnor Exchange, and in doing so help in our big fundraising efforts for this year’s event.

Doris Dodo’s Elegy Emporium and Olbituary Office

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“Where trees grow is where we are hidden,

Ends are seen and endings are written”.

Will you find this year’s Secret Venue?

Proprietor of the Elegy Emporium and affiliated Olbituary Office, Doris Dodo stocks outstanding obituaries for her ill-fated birds. Run by the illusive Ms. Dodo and staffed by her collection of curious characters, visiting the office is always a memorable experience. Jilted at the altar, Doris Dodo has channeled her unrequited love into a collection of deceased birds WHO WILL NEVER LEAVE HER. Your very own personal obituaries are written and performed live by Ms Dodo and her Elegy Emporium creatures, who are always very sorry (and eager) to deliver the sad news of your final conclusion.

But who are these creatures? Let me introduce you…

Doris’s nefarious niece, Lyssa, has secretly stowed away with the Olbituary Office with the help of her nervous and slightly unstable brother, Bundy. She has infiltrated the office, but can she remain hidden or will the curse of her past resurface and give her away? What has Lyssa done to evoke the wrath of Miss. Dodo? And will her disguise fool Doris?

Psychoneurotic nephew and panicky apprentice of Doris, Bundy Applewhite was the page boy at her ill-fated wedding. He lives in eternal fear of Doris being disappointed in him, so please be kind to dear Bundy. With his loyalty torn between sibling and Mistress, will Bundy manage to keep Lyssa’s presence a secret? Will he ever please Doris? Probably not, but we will enjoy seeing him try.

Marjory Stewart-Peahen was rescued from a life of servitude and mockery when Doris found her performing at a tacky, low rate travelling sideshow. Now a valued member of Ms Dodo’s far more classy travelling show, Marjory expresses herself through the medium of dance, however, be warned. Ms Peahen captures souls for Doris and places them in her many deceased birds. So keep your soul cards close to your chest!

Guitar welding, cuban heeled, Mister Toots Wurlitzer, is one cool cat and if you manage to catch him at the Office, gee whiz, you are in for a treat.

The Ventnor Darlings will be making an appearance at the Office with a piano, musical adequacy and a healthy amount of gin. They aren’t quite sure how they managed to be booked for the Elegy Emporium, but hey, a gigs a gig.  

Warning – due to high levels of deceased egg-laying vertebrates, characterised by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings and the general preoccupation with all things morbid, the Olbituary Office is not suitable for younger members of our community.

The Emporium is open and ready to gift the details of your ultimate demise in the form of a handwritten poem on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 12.00  – 13.00 and 16.00 – 17.00. Sunday will be the final morbid hurrah at 12.00 – 13.00.

By Laura Clare Reid

 

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