Fringe Review


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Fresh local fish, hand cut chunky chips, and what is that I hear you say… CRAB ON CHIPS? 

Ventnor Haven Fishery have been proudly serving their local fish and chips for over 5 years now. Their summer special Crab on Chips rapidly becoming somewhat of a ‘national dish’ for our little Island. Let me guess… You may be thinking “why in the world crab on chips?”. It couldn’t be more simple – Fresh Ventnor crab meat, hand picked from the shell, on top of a portion of  those ‘soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside’ double cooked chips, and there you have it – it’s a taste sensation sweeping the southern coast. 

Ventnor Haven also offer a diverse range of local fish to top your chunky chips, some of which include your classic cod, plaice, whiting or ribs of skate. Try the breaded mackerel it’s been recommended to you by head fisherman and Co-founder of the Ventnor Haven, Geoff Blake, as “the perfect summer fish”. 

Open from 12pm – 7.30pm Daily, the fried fish shop is conveniently located opposite The Observatory on Ventnor sea front. So whilst soaking up some of that fabulous live music, grab yoursleves some good old fashioned fish and chips from the freshest place in town.

“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






Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.

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Admittedly I am not what you call an avid theatre goer. For those theatre buffs that are quick to scruinise I say nay and be silent!

Only having a brief knowledge of Richard II’s persecution, I was wholeheartedly consumed by this play. Scena Mundi, BRAVO! The first half starts with some quite tense and somewhat aggressive scenes showing the dissolution of King Richard II’s crown. Though despair is a prominent tone for King Richard toward the end of the first half something even more terrible but upholding unravels in the second half.

I think the coronation of this show is definitely part two.

The mutiny unravelling in the beginning comes to light as Henry Bolingbroke and the King’s former followers plot against the throne and take his crown. By the end of part one I was drunk with worry for what were to happen, though I knew the outcome was inevitably death (come on, it is Shakespeare).

But who would die?  The second half shares some of the wittier remarks we have grown to love from Shakespeare. Despite the content of it being somewhat more shocking, the build of relationship within the communion and King Richard’s soliloquy is breath affirming.

This show will immerse you as a loyal or perhaps more to the point un-loyal subject to King Richard II’s court.

“God save the king” and no loyal subject to call amen.

I must admit I had to bite my tongue otherwise I was would most certainly have been alongside Richard II in his fall from grace. 

Free Fringe- Tuesday 11th August 2015

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The Ventnor Fringe officially starts today, which means it’s time to head on over to the Woodland Bar for the festival launch and welcome talk at 6pm this evening! There are a host of free events tonight at the Woodland Bar and The Observatory, as well as buskers located around the town during the day.

Following on from the welcome talk is local singer-songwriter (and the Review Paper’s very own fashionista) Poppy Cook with her first of four performances throughout the week. Her sweet acoustic sounds are enough to make anyone’s heart melt and is sure to have the audience in the palm of her hand tonight at 8pm. Closing the evening at 9pm in the Woodland Bar is Winter Springs, who will be performing songs from their debut EP ‘Summer Is Coming’. Hailing from Leeds, the band inspired by Bon Iver are looking forward to bringing their show to the Isle of Wight!

Opening proceedings in The Observatory at 6pm is Jazzabella, followed by German singer-songwriter Finke Bootsmann, with the first of two performances throughout the course of the week. Rounding off the evening in The Observatory is folk/blues artist Jack Pout who is performing on the back of a nomination at the BBC Folk Awards. His inspirations derive from music of the 70s, particularly artists such as The Faces, Captain Beefheart and John Martyn.

It’s safe to say that you won’t be stuck for anything to do today! So go on out there, you might even discover your new favourite artist… and the best thing is, it’s all free!

Honey! I’m home!

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Hullo my darlings! How’s every little thing? Can you believe it has been only one year since I last saw you, I know I can’t, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun (or lack thereof)! We’ve got a mighty fine line up for you to get your teeth into this year and can’t wait for you to take a good old wholesome bite.

It was Friday night when it finally dawned on me that the Fringe was a mere few days away, a sort of fleeting realisation and pulse of fear having not begun to contemplate what exactly I plan on writing (as you can most probably tell). So this is it, take it or leave it. You have my 95ish% undivided attention for one whole week (here’s the best part) FREE OF CHARGE. Yep that’s right, you heard it here first folks.

If you were with us last year you’ll know exactly how much bloody fun we had. There were laughs, tears, thrills and spills, you name it and we most probably had it. HOLD UP. Check this, this year’s fringe promises to be better and braver than ever before. We’re talking next gen entertainment all up in yo grill.

And maybe, just maybe, if we come together as one, we can make this the greatest celebration of culture the world has ever seen. You’re going to need to trust me on this one.

Mankind — that word should have new meaning for all of us tomorrow. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Tomorrow, we celebrate our Independence Day!

Hang on a minute… 

Fringe’s Fashionista

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Happy Monday V-Fringers! We are now less than 24 hours away from kick starting a week of creative madness that is Ventnor Fringe.

My name’s Poppy Janella, local singer-songwriter and fringe fashionista. I’ll be spending my week performing over the four fabulous stages, as well as scouting out the best dressed fringers’ for our daily paper and website. So there really are no excuses – it’s time to grab your glad rags, throw on your summer hat or even rock your nanna’s jumper – you never know,  you may make the front page!

If this sounds like your cuppa’ tea, then take note of my MUST SEE event of the week – “The Vintage, Retro and Craft Fair.” Whether you’re into the rockabilly 50’s, high waists of the 60’s or a big old 70’s platforms, then the craft fair’s old school fashion show is an event not to be missed. Sporting garments from Ventnor’s very own “Oh so vintage…” if you fall in love with something on the catwalk, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your hands on it afterwards. 

Just to top it off, the Vintage, Retro and Craft Fair is also a FREE FRINGE event, so whilst on your morning stroll, pop down to the Winter Gardens from 10am – 4pm (fashion show at 11am.) – Fri 14th / Sat 15th and soak up those vintage vibes.

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 

Blinded by Moles

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The most auspicious of all events is the Blind Mole’s Ball.  It seems that this wildly unexpected event has drawn so much attention that it is nearly sold out. While you read this the last ticket may be handed over the counter to its final unknowing contestant.

To say the least I am beside myself with frustration that I am most likely to be confined to the office on this most propitious of events. Those who choose to tread water and indulge themselves in this evening of historic cult following will define this as an experience that should not have been missed.

The evening will commence with a Poirot style investigation and proceed to become a mixture of American sorority phasing and English theatre.

If this ominous description weren’t enough to tempt the wondering mind… the heavens have transmitted the message of this historic meet and are said to shower the skies with a blanket of shooting asteroids on this night. 

I really can’t say more than that.

My possible tip would be to stay calm and wear flat shoes and if you see a mole, approach with caution. 


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Some may be aware that we have a new employee manning the box office desk this year. If you’ve been keeping well-informed you’ll have seen him on our Instagram and Facebook. Oh yes, it’s Dave the Pelican.

Dave the Pelican came to us from… we assume North America due to his species origin, although his accent is open to interpretation. Dave could be from anywhere, after all the eight surviving Pelican species have a sporadic global distribution, generally latitudinal from the tropics to temperate zones.

He is said to have come to us to pursue his passion for marine wildlife, but has somehow found himself working as our office clerk. His qualifications in water wildlife are up for speculation as whatever aquatic creatures he has chosen to research have subsequently disappeared after his examination. ‘Marine biologist’ may be off the cards for this light feathered water bird.

Caution: Dave has been known to refuse the pound sterling and request fish. Please don’t start bringing fish into Ventnor Exchange. Dave is on a diet. 


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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.