Artist Registration now open!

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Artist Registrations are now open!

Following the release of the Government’s new road-map for the easing of COVID restrictions and restarting live events, we’re moving ahead with planning the return of Ventnor Fringe.

Artist Registration is now open for all creatives looking to host ticketed events at the festival, and will be followed by the opening of Free Fringe in the coming days. We’ve removed the registration fee so you can now apply without any upfront costs, and this will only be charged when you venue and slots are confirmed. As with ticket holders, all costs are fully refundable in the event of cancellation.

Please do take a look at our new Artists Handbook which explains everything you need to know, as well as our list of confirmed venues and our extra COVID Guidelines. We’ll be updating all of these with any new information as it becomes available.

As ever, our team are on hand to help if you have any questions not answered by these guides.

We can’t wait to welcome you all back to Ventnor, it’s not been the same without you!


New Artwork by Hugo Bilton

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We’re very excited to unveil new artwork for this year’s Ventnor Fringe.

Inspired by the legend of the ‘Ventnor Giant’ the series of bespoke illustrations has been created by Island artist Hugo Bilton. The designs build on new narrative begun in 2019 and where inspired by a mural created by the celebrated street artist Phlegm, which you can still see in the centre of Ventnor.

The artwork was created in the lead up to the 2018 festival, as part of an island-wide project called Lift The Lid. It was rated one of the best in the world by the Amsterdam based ‘Street Art Today’ journal, and despite being 3 stories tall it’s incredibly detailed. Like the festival’s artwork look closely and you can discover many tiny features.


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


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


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


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


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


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+ 


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+ 


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+ 


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+ 


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+ 


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. 

Amazing Opportunities for 15-18 Year Olds at the Fringe!

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This year Ventnor Fringe and Lift The Lid are offering young people aged 15-18 an amazing opportunity to take part in a unique 3 day experience as part of the Ventnor Fringe Festival, going behind the scenes to meet the artists that make it all happen.

From Friday 26 – Sunday 28 July 2019, a Young Actors group will get the opportunity to see a range of shows at the Festival as well as meet some of the performers and directors behind them. Professional actors from these productions will host special intensive workshops as the group work towards producing their own piece to be performed on the last day of the Festival!

At the same time, a Young Artists group will get the opportunity to have personal guided tours around a wide range of exhibitions, working with a range of materials to make their own work, inspired by the artists they’ll meet.

There are 10 spaces available in each group, and those who take part will also be able to qualify for an Arts Award (Free moderation and certification included!)

It’s completely free to take part and spaces are very limited.


Dates and Times

Performing Arts Group

Friday 26th July 12:00hrs – 18:00hrs

Saturday 27th July 16:00hrs – 22:00hrs

Sunday 28th July 14:00hrs – 19:30hrs (plus optional extra to watch the 10th Anniversary Concert until 21:00hrs)


Visual Arts Group

Friday 26th July 12:00hrs – 18:00hrs

Saturday 27th July 12:00hrs – 18:00hrs

Sunday 28th July 12:00hrs – 19:30hrs (plus optional extra to watch the 10th Anniversary Concert until 21:00hrs)



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 #vfringe19

Ventnor Fringe: Artist Registration Now Open!

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Ventnor Fringe returns for our special 10th Anniversary with new dates from the 23rd -28th July 2019. Artist Registrations are currently open, and we encourage submissions from all art forms including theatre, comedy, cabaret, music and visual arts.

This year we’re expecting to host over 100 performances and we’re very excited to be introducing new venues, more networking and social events for artists and a whole new system for venue hires meaning less upfront costs to taking part.

Our new dates, two weeks earlier than in the past, mean we’re better able to host Edinburgh Previews and we’ll no longer clash with local events like Cowes Week. We’ve already had a host of applications and enquiries in the first 24 hours!

The deadline for Artist Registrations is Tuesday 30th April.

See you in the summer!

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


5 minutes with Heady Conduct

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Heady Conduct, hello! What a great name for a theatre company, it means Exhilarating Behaviour right? Hopefully you’ll be exhilarated by everything at the fringe this week! What three words would you use to describe your work and the show, Tiresius?

Epic, evocative and (from Simon’s point of view playing 8 characters) sweaty.

The show is inspired by the Greek Myth of Tiresius who was granted the gift of foresight by Zeus. Where did the interest in Greek mythology and this story come from? 

Great question. It started with a module of Greek plays and storytelling at drama school; Tiresius appears in a number of Greek myths and stories, though never as a major player. We were intrigued by the amount of times he appears, and started to piece together his life; a blind prophet who walked with royalty and rejects, living both as a man and as a woman in his 600 years of life. He is called upon by some of the heavyweights in the ancient world; Hera, Zeus and Oedipus are a few. We were curious to explore what it is to be both blind and seeing, woman and man, prophet and beggar.

Multidisciplinary shows are amazingly popular at the moment, can you tell us a bit more about your use of live music and storytelling in the show?

For the larger part of Tiresius’ life, he is blind, and we wanted to create a world that was textually and audibly vivid, to create an experience which the audience can be enveloped by. Music has always been integral to Heady Conduct shows, and we have the privilege of working with the wonderfully imaginative and incredibly talented Rebekah Harvey on Tiresius. Rebekah has written a score which has become the backdrop to the ancient world Tiresius lives in and a second character in the piece. We like to make potent theatre that our audiences feel a part of, characters lives they can relate to or recognise and we embrace the ancient Greek tradition of storytelling. Simon plays a number of characters from Tiresius 600 year old life, and epic storytelling allows us to look at glimpses of his extraordinary story.

Tiresius can see into the future, and someone has said you are “on the path to a glorious future”. What does the future hold for you as a company? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

We’d like to see our show Tiresius tour, and long-term, we’d love Heady Conduct to travel and develop more relationships with wonderful festivals like Ventnor, as well as theatres in the UK and internationally. In the next 5 years we’d like to expand Heady Conduct and create career opportunities for others. Tiresius says in our production, “I could see my future laid out before me, all the adventures I would take…” and hopefully those will be the adventures we will embark on as a company!

Looking not so far into the future, but just ahead into Fringe week, is there anything you hoping to see during the festival?

People watching our show! And aside from that, some of the brilliant artists, companies and acts at the Ventnor Fringe this week. It’s Heady Conduct’s debut at Ventnor Fringe and we are excited to get involved and soak up the atmosphere. Some, but by no means all, of the pieces we have our eye on in the festival are Phlegm’s street art, StoneCrabs’ “Some Kind Of Love Story”, Flugelman’s “Boxman” and “Holy Matrimony”.

SEE ALSO: Tiresius show times