Whats on

Introducing the Free Fringe!

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Alongside the ticketed shows at the Fringe, there’s also a whole feast of free events and performances to discover in the Free Fringe.

There are more than 100 acts performing around Ventnor in addition the main programme. We take a look at what to expect and where to find them!

Harbourside Stage

The Harbourside Stage is located on the waters edge at Ventnor Harbour. Here you can watch live music every day from 12pm – 5pm. You don’t need to book tickets to any of the performances during the day, just pay what you want at the entrance. There are often ticketed gigs in the evening, with acts like Gengahr, Los Bitchos, Do Nothing and Billy Nomates. After around 9pm there are DJs playing for £3 entry.

You can see the timetable for the Harbourside Stage by clicking here.

 


Parkside Bandstand

The Parkside Bandstand is at Ventnor Park, it’s also full of live music every day from 12pm -5pm. No need to book tickets – just pay what you want at the entrance to the park and then you can stay and watch whichever performances you like. There’s also a variety of workshops and other activities taking place from yoga to ukulele.

You can see the timetable for the Parkside Bandstand by clicking here.

The Book Bus (Tuesday 27th – Saturday 31st July) 

A real Fringe favourite, The Book Bus is set in the grounds of St Catherine’s Church, just opposite the Ventnor Exchange. After browsing this beautiful pop up book shop set in a 1930’s Parisian bus, you can watch a variety of literary and acoustic events in the little garden next door. All of the events here are free and you don’t need to book any tickets or pay to enter. 

You can see the timetable for the Parkside Bandstand by clicking here.

 

Street Theatre & Buskers 

During the Fringe performances often spill out into the streets of Ventnor with buskers and street theatre taking place around the town centre and esplanade. In particular we’d recommend keeping an eye out for Rimski with his Bicycle Piano & Handkerchief, the Double Bassicle as well as roaming Pirates and Giant Seagulls!

4 Shows That You Can Pay What You Like For!

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We know that everyone loves a cheap night out, so we’ve picked out four shows that you can pay what you want to see!

There’s plenty of funny, wallet-friendly shows to choose from at the Fringe! Here are four shows with ‘Pay What You Can’ tickets. Just book your free ticket online, and then make a donation of what you’d like to contribute at the venue.

Jimmy Andrex: For One Night Only…
Northern Beat Poet Jimmy Andrex presents a poetry double-header in our intimate venue, Ventnor Arts Club. Featuring Billy Baggins There and Back where Gawain meets Broadchurch meets Shameless. A Leeds burglar seeks redemption via the search for a missing toddler. A modern picaresque tale in Anglo-Saxon Verse form. And Stupidity is Not the Problem, based on Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman. A polemic in music and verse as to how poverty and inequality might be addressed via a Universal Basic Income. Book Tickets

When? Wednesday 28th, 7pm & 9pm
Where? Ventnor Arts Club

Emma Ashley-King: Accio Fandom
Straight from premiering at Brighton Fringe, Emma Ashley-King brings her pit-stop tour of fandom told through comedy and cabaret to the Ventnor Fringe. Accio Fandom is a show that pokes fun at herself/other geeks while being accessible to those who know little about it. A little surreal, lots of heart and all performed while cosplaying as She Hulk. Book Tickets

When? Friday 23rd July, 6.30pm
Where? Comedy & Cabaret Tent

Glen Maney
Glen Maney has played most of the top comedy clubs at home and abroad and has worked with some of the biggest names in comedy. He brings his unique look at how our lives have changed over his fifty odd years on the planet to the Ventnor Fringe Festival, in his one man stand-up show, A Dinosaur on the Isle. Book Tickets

When? Sunday 1st August, 10pm
Where? Comedy & Cabaret Tent

Kym Kym Nash: Talked Too Much, Stayed Too Long

Join comedian Kym Nash on a rollercoaster ride on how he grew up (physically), occasionally Talked Too Much & Stayed Too Long, and discovered we all have a dark side and are all equal… even you… laughs along the way too. Book Tickets

When? Friday 23rd July, 3pm
Where? Comedy & Cabaret Tent

 

The full ‘Free Fringe’ programme will be announced next week after the Government’s announcement on COVID Guidelines.   

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+ 

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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+ 

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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 

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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+ 

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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+ 

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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+ 

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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+ 

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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. 

5 Shows Exploring Migration In The Modern World

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One of the most exciting aspects of the Ventnor Fringe is how each year artists bring work to the Festival that questions and challenges the issues of our time. Perhaps one of the most relevant contemporary themes that shines through this year is the topic of migration.

 

Today Festival Director Jack Whitewood takes a look at 5 shows in this year’s programme that explore the complex issues of migration, travelers and the movement of people in the modern world, all in very different ways.
 

Asylum Monologues
Thursday 9th Aug / 2pm / Pier Street Playhouse / £6
The real life experinces of Dembe and Julie from Uganda and Marwan from Syria are brought to life by members of Isle of Wight Amnesty who read first hand accounts of their journeys to the UK. I saw this at the Exchange last year and it really hit home the bureaucratic no mans land people can find themselves stuck in.
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Boxman
Sunday 12th Aug / 1pm + 6pm / The Other Place / £10 / 2for1
Billed as a deeply moving one man play by the Australlian playwright Daniel Keene which tells the story of Ringo, who is one of the 60 million displaced people in the world. Sheltering in a cardboard box in an innner city park he is a survivor from a childhood as a soldier. This is a play which explores the life of someone you might be tempted to walk by without even giving a second glance. I’m hoping this play will make us think again. Reviews from the London run seem promising.

A special production from the London based Flugelman Productions.
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The Tropicalia Island
Tuesday 7th + Wednesday 8th Aug / 5pm / Parkside Tent / £10
A tragedy has destroyed almost the whole world but The Tropicalia Island has survived and Amanda Ferreira is the Immigration Officer talking to European refugees about the asylum rules and opportunities for them on the Island.

A character comedy by the Brazillian performer Fernanda Mandagara which takes a different angle on this important issue. I’m intrigued.
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Kit & Caboodle
Thursday 9th Aug / 1pm + 3pm / Parkside / £6 – £5
A beautiful outdoor puppet show for the whole family which explores remarkable journeys of all types and sizes. Thingumajig Theatre’s giant rolling mule puppet carries with it bags and cases which each hold another story. This is a company we’ve kept an eye on from afar for sometime. I can’t wait to see them at Ventnor Fringe.
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ẸRÍ (Testimony)
Thursday 9th Aug / 9pm / Parkside Tent / £10
Incredibly talented cellist and kora player Tunde Jegede and multimedia artist Sunara Begum return to the Isle of Wight following two sell out shows at the Ventnor Exchange. This will be the world premiere of a new piece which combines their art forms to weave together stories that span both Britain and Nigeria and what it means to be displaced in the modern world. This will form part of a whole week residency for these two artists, the first the Fringe has every hosted, which is something I hope we can build on in future.
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