Fringe Review

Hand in Hand

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I’ve often wondered where this biosphere ends and the gates of purgatory begin. It turns out it’s quite simply by walking into the media room, I jest. No, those who walk the astral planes would unquestionably be quieter with vastly improved sanity.

Venturing out of this husk of magnolia paint, blue tac and spread sheets can seem quite terrifying. Yesterday I sauntered through the Fringe and was accosted by a large hill, the Kraken, tales of ethereal dreams and three girls from the 1920s resurrected from the dead.

However, the Kraken served me drinks, the ethereal dreams turned to serine mumblings of better days and the wartime gals sang with such beautiful harmonics that my mind felt at ease once more.

So in the end all was well in the world and I had myself a lovely time.

Moving onto the evening, ah yes the Carnival, the deafening sounds of samba and marching bands still ringing in my ears. An array of flamboyant figures danced their way around the traffic-free streets on Ventnor. This year this 126 year old Carnival was joined by the Shakespearian actors of Scena Mundi and our Heretic Historians. Characters that seemed out of place walking the avenues just an hour before became part of the rich tapestry Ventnor has worked so hard to create.

Well done Ventnor.


Fashion of the Day

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Well, what a beautiful Wednesday we’ve had Fringers, the sun has prevailed and the grey dispersed for the day!

There were so many fabulous summer outfits at carnival, but my fringe frock actually went to sleek chique Helen Egleton.

Sporting an all black bohemian look with aztec silver to match, she was rocking Ventnor sea front. Low rise is the new high rise, and with ‘the height of summer’ upon us, it’s always okay to get flip flops on and that cheeky bit of midriff out.

Wednesday’s top tip is – keep it simple, keep it black, add some silver and a flip flop to match.


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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.

They’d Give Pitch Perfect a run for Their Money

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Winter Springs certainly wowed the woodlands on Tuesday night, with encore upon encore, the crowd would have happily had them play all night! The fabulous 6 piece band describe themselves as a “Harmony led, folk/pop, singer-songwriter collective” and have been compared to the likes of Bon Iver and Fleetfoxes. 

In an interview after the show I congratulated the group on their fabulous set and shared with them a cheeky review note I’d made during the show …

“A happy version of Bon Iver/Daughter that would definitely give the cast of ‘Pitch Perfect’ a run for their money!” – Winter Springs

Of course that mustered a little giggle among the group and myself, but jokes aside, as a band, Winter Springs have some s.e.r.i.o.u.s harmony magic that’s too good to miss!  So if you were deterred by the gloomy grey of Tuesday night, not to worry! You’ve got another chance to catch this fabulous folk pop band. They’ll be performing at the Woodland stage from 10pm-10.45pm on Friday 14th and also have their brand new EP ‘Summer is Coming’ on sale at the Exchange.

This is not one to miss, if you like 5 part harmonies, mad mandolins and singers sippin’ on chai tea, Winter Springs are a must watch for the week.

Playing again at the Woodland Bar on Friday @ 10pm. 


FREE THE FRINGE- Thursday 13th August

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It’s day three of the Fringe, which means more free events for you to indulge in! 

For the earlybirds amongst you, Maitri is holding a yoga session in the Woodland Bar at 11am to help you loosen yourself up and prepare for the eventful day ahead of you. From 1pm, there will be art and bushcraft workshops for the whole family to enjoy- so don’t say you’re stuck for something to do! The Fringe is then hosting a Fringe Forum where the best in the industry will be discussing topical issues in festivals and the arts.

The first of the musical performances in the Woodland Bar comes from Island band Polar Maps following successful stints at Rhytmtree Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival. They will be followed by Ventnor lad Patrick Gooden, whose musical influences include Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. The final Free Fringe performance of the day in the Woodland Bar is from folk-pop band Something About Mondays ahead of their performance at Postfest later in the month. 

Over in The Observatory, festival goers will be treated to another performance by Patrick Gooden and Elliot Porter, after his successful performance in the Woodland Bar yesterday. 4pm sees a solo performance from Rob Henry before his first ever full band show tomorrow, followed by jazz duo The Cool Connection, who will be bringing their smooth sounds to the fans at 6pm. With her second performance of the week, the acoustic sounds of Poppy Janella will be bringing fans into an evening performance by rock outfit The Delinquents. Closing the Free Fringe events today is a DJ set by Green & Apples who will keep you dancing throughout. 

Make sure you look out for fantastic buskers and all the other secret happenings around town and remember to purchase The Fringe Pass which allows you access to the Woodland Bar, The Observatory and the shuttle buses around town. At £2, it’s a steal! 

The Spirit Of Carnival

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What’s 126 years old, writhes along like a slug and closes more streets than Island Roads can shake a stick at? That’s right; it’s that time of year – VENTNOR CARNIVAL IS BACK!

The time of year the ashtray skies don’t get to us as much as they should do, the time of year the seasonal self-loathing lies dormant at the pit of our bloated, neglected stomachs. The time of year we turn a blind eye to all the austerity, injustice and cyborg Nazi warlords plaguing our existence. Come to arms brothers and celebrate like it’s 1999 – Mardi Gras style baby.

Now if you’re a carnival virgin this makes things a little tricky. It’s not exactly something some old hack can write about and expect you to understand, and as a self-certified old hack myself, I get this. Yeah sure it’s a procession, sure there are floats and costumes and pints of Fosters in plastics, but that is beside the point. It’s an other-worldly visceral experience man, it’s a helter skelter ride to the brightest star and back. You know the space vortex scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Mix that with Lord Summerisle burning a wicker man and you’re halfway there.

Open your eyes, open your minds and bring at least 10 quid for a Disney helium balloon. Catch you on the flipside.

The procession begins in the town at 7pm tomorrow.

The Ventnor Fringe Review Show: Tuesday

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It’s the first day of the Ventnor Fringe Festival 2015!


The Review Show 2015: Tuesday (Scena Mundi / Kiya Heartwood / Rachael Berry) by The Ventnor Fringe on Mixcloud


In the Exchange today the review team are joined by theatre company Scena Mundi (in costume) who discuss Shakespeare and Marlowe ahead of their week-long run of performances. Rachael Berry from the Undecided Art Collective tells us about their Fringe exhibition about dreams and 80s rocker Kiya Heartwood is bringing her one woman show all the way from Texas to the Arts Club for this year’s Fringe – she also has a song for us!

The Ventnor Fringe Review is a daily podcast recorded in the Ventnor Exchange at 11am, it is an opportunity for artists and performers to have a chat about their work and get to know one another. Brought to you by Miri and Caty (AKA Drench & Prawnders, media gurus) the review show is a delightful teaser for visitors to the Fringe who can’t make up their mind what to see.

A Breakdown of Butoh

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An introduction to butoh as a dance form with Ezio Tangini. Check out Eio’s show Somewhere Nowhere at The Scout Hut, 9.30pm & 10.30pm Thursday evening (18+).

Where are you from?

“Rome, Italy”

How did you hear about Ventnor Fringe?

“On the web”

What style of performance is yours?

“The butoh dance is born in Japan in 1959, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno have been the discoverers of this new kind of dance.

Now this form of dance is known everywhere. It is a form of dance in which it is important to feel the internal motivations. The Body expressing its existence. Living. Body. Inner-landscapes.”

Who/what inspires your choreography?

“The nature is often the most important inspiration. In Somewhere Nowhere the nature has inspired me strongly and also pictures, like the paintings of Andrea Mantegna and Hans Holbein the young.” 

How many years have you been perfecting this art? 

“I started studying butoh in 1998 with Masaki Iwana, in an intensive summer one month training in Normandy. Then I was there several times.

I started performing butoh in 2003. Flavia Ghisalberti, Yann van Steenbrugghe and I founded the group In Between Butoh. The group has been created around the dance project “Something in between”; reflections about the socialization of madness and the memories of places which accompanies it, conditions it or treats it.”

What other countries have you performed in? 

“With In Between Butoh; I performed in Russia, U.S., Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, Gibraltar and Romania.

As as solo performer I’ve performed in Holland, Ireland, Romania and Switzerland.”

Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever performed? 

“In Sibiu (Romania) in 2009 with In Between Butoh. We performed as a three piece with a musician, Frank Heierli, in a small boat on an artificial lake, inside the Astra Museum and park with 400 people watching our performance.”

Hollie’s TOP PICKS

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  • Scena Mundi’s production of Shakespeare’s Richard II & Marlowe’s Edward II in Holy Trinity Church @ either 2.30pm or 7.15pm everyday except Sunday
  • Birthday Lock-In with JJ Bola & Rex Domino in The Woodland Bar @ 10pm on Thursday
  • The Diamond Age in Ventor Arts Club @ 10pm on Saturday
  • Screening of Pride in The Outdoor Cinema @ 9pm on Thursday
  • Shakespeare’s Rattle and Roll in Ventnor Arts Club @ 6pm on Saturday