Swindon Fringe Festival 2017

The Opening Night

Bohemian Balcony

Featuring Canute's Plastic Army & Sweet Nightingale & Ed Hanfrey and the Bellflowers.

Drinks. Nibbles. Raffle. Prizes

Alf The Highwayman

Brave Bold Drama

Alf has an eye for other people's possessions. Especially belongings of sentimental value. He snatches and grabs without a thought for other people’s feelings. But it's time for him to change tack and learn that there are better ways to play!

Roll up, set a sail and join Alf as he gallops through the blustery wood, along the seashore and revels in wonder as the circus comes to town...

Full of imaginative play, original songs and vibrant characters - Alf the Highwayman is a show for all the family with plenty of chances to join in and no frights!

Winner of Best Children’s Theatre Show, Shaftesbury Fringe 2016.

Clown Workshop for Children

Bianca Bertalot

A one hour workshop that will bring activities for children to learn and create through clown techniques and play.

Through different games and exercises creativity will be developed, not only individually but also collectively in a group. Objects and costumes selected by the children will help in the development of each child. It will be a safe environment where each child will discover their clown within. 

They will learn and explore:

  • The 5 basic clown energies.

  • Different ways of communicating (body language, gobbledygook)

  • Discover objects and their usages, freeing mind and body and letting spontaneity emerge.

Recommended Age: 5-12 years

Church of Phil Recruitment Seminar

Fire Donkey Productions

The Church of Phil invites you to an introductory enrolment seminar where you will have the opportunity to sign a non-negotiable life-long contract to become a member of “one of the world's most progressive spiritual movements”.

Join two of Benevolent Phil's most loyal officiants as they guide you through the rigorous selection process and show you how the Church of Phil can improve your life. Hear creditable 100% unforced testimonies from current members and learn the secret to true enlightenment. Allow the omnipresent Phil into your mind and join us for an unforgettable experience. Expect to be awakened.

A visit From Miss Prothero

Jackrill Productions

Sitting at home, recently retired Mr. Dodsworth is contemplating his life and achievements with quiet satisfaction when there is a sharp ring at the door: his former secretary has come to ruin it all.

Permeated by Alan Bennett's ironic and compassionate observation, this play draws parallels between the technological revolutions of the Seventies and modern day business, whilst being funny, touching and true.

April Foolz

Fools Gladly

Welcome to The Empty Space. A spontaneous, weird, honest, raw, authentic, random and real cabaret, featuring three separate performances, where each fool will step off the cliff, but... Will they fall or will they fly?

Whatever happens, remember, its only a melodrama, so please don't take it all too seriously.

Gatecrash Tasty Improv Comedy Feast

Gatecrash Theatre Company

After the huge success of the delicious show at the Fringe 2016, Swindon based Gatecrash Theatre is returning with its Improvised Comedy Feast... with the odd soggy bottom guaranteed.

Who knows what will happen? Trained improvisers from Gatecrash Theatre stir-up a tasty comedy menu made-up of a delicious concoction of audience suggestions, a sprinkle of imagination and a dollop of the unexpected. You choose the ingredients, they create the action! Simple, tasty... and possibly moist.

I have not laughed so much in ages…my sides hurt! review of Gatecrash Improv show at Swindon Fringe 2016.

Recommended Age: 16+ (language and difficult themes)

Spoons Workshop

Jo May

Come and learn to play the spoons with Jo May! Jo will provide an assortment of metal, wooden and plastic spoons, including joined-up ones for younger participants. You’ll learn a few different techniques and put them together to create a short routine. The session will be accompanied by Against the Grain’s guitarist Matt Sullivan.


All ages welcome, no experience necessary.


DTA Productions

An eclectic, dynamic evening of contemporary monologues, featuring a range of new writing, some being performed for the first time. 

The schedule includes traditional & experimental character acting (from all ages 16+ and diverse characters), multimedia/film presentations as well as readings from award winning writers. 
Expect the unexpected, some thing for every one in this smorgasbord of performances from local and national talent. 

DTA Productions are delighted to showcase new talent both, writers and performers as well as new work from experienced professionals.

The Door

Alex Secker

Six strangers awaken to find themselves locked in a windowless room with no means of escape but a single door. When their unseen captor gives them a choice, stay in the room or go through the door and into the unknown, tensions run high as the group each try to persuade the others of their views, but can they really work together when they're already so divided?

The Door is the theatre debut of writer/director Alex Secker, a psychological thriller about division, paranoia and human interaction. Starring Laura Coates, Daniella Faircloth, David Higgins, Lindsay Linnegar, Matthew Mordak and Ashley Robson.

Recommended Age: 16+

Just Charming

James Luckraft Law

“Someday my prince will come” 

In fairy tales, princesses have a prince who sweeps her off her feet, saves the day, they live happily ever after. What if he doesn't live up to the dream? How does life compare to Disney’s picture perfect Prince and Princess? What if reality doesn't fit the role?

So many tales of the trials of princesses, now look closer at the other one, the bloke who’s meant to save it all. 

An honest, comic and personal exploration of storytelling, gender, masculinity and sexuality against reality's make believe.

Sam Schäfer

Sam Schäfer

Sam Schäfer once lost a game of crazy golf to a mouse. He is trying his very best.


"Sam Schäfer does my club all the time and he is really good" - Josie Long.


"Elaborately essayistic" - Broadway Baby 4 Stars.

100 Acts of Kindness and Morality

Matt Hoss

2016 was awful.  Brexit. Trump. Pokemon Go.

After an existential crisis and a break-up, Matt tries to make the world a better place, through 100 comical acts. He is ethical in food, fashion and feminism; whilst fighting Global Warming, the war on drugs and the Tories.

Can one person make a difference? Can somebody be completely moral? Do rhetorical questions make you want to see this show? See Matt's stand-up comedy show about creating ultimate kindness.

Matt Hoss gets the crowd pumpedInquire Newspaper

Comic fans are in for a treatCanterbury Times 

Eric Barker Award Winner 2015 

Daft Pun

Tony Cowards

If you’re a fan of puns and are ‘up all night for good fun’, prepare to ‘get lucky’ as Sony award-winning comic Tony Cowards brings his show Daft Pun, an hour of great gags, playful puns and witty wordplay, to Swindon Fringe.

The best joke writer aroundGQ Magazine

A sought-after comic worldwide, Tony’s gags turn up in all sorts of places from greetings cards, to TV shows. So, even if you’ve never heard of him, there’s a very good chance you’ve laughed at one of his jokes!

Hilarious… a delight to watch…you’ll definitely enjoy this ★★★★ BroadwayBaby

Recommended Age: 16+

Breaking Point

Madam Renards

It’s been a bad night, a really bad night. In fact, life in general is pretty bad for these two strangers. They wind up in A&E… then sat on bench, in the early hours, waiting. What they’re waiting for is a bit of a mystery. All that’s certain is the sun will rise and they will part ways. The question is: how much do you share with a stranger?

In Breaking Point two women take a one-night stand approach to the confessional, in a bid to wind up a little happier at the end of it all.

The Justice Equation

Seb Wolfe Productions

Is law about morality? Or about which lawyer tells the best story? What is the right equation?
In 2027, this question still remains, particularly after the introduction of the “Useful Persons Act,” a law designed to ensure citizens deliver their absolute utmost to the workings of society.
The Justice Equation is an interactive courtroom drama following the trial of Emmet Barker; a man whose social value undergoes brutal examination.  A new piece of original writing in which the workings of the new system is tested against the will of one man.
With alternate endings it’s up to you, the jury, to decide his fate.

Recommended Age: 15+

All American Scream


Welcome to The Average Joe Show, a good ol’ fashioned daytime sitcom with zinging one-liners and loveable characters all working hard on that freedom freeway named the pursuit of happiness.
Except that recently the world has pursued a terrifying, globalising and memetic transformation into something very grey indeed.

Joe’s life goes off the rails in existential crisis when the show reaches its happy conclusion and all that is left is an ugly land filled with cybernetic post-humans and trump-like revisionists, that reveal the inherent absurdity of all he held dear.

All American Scream is a genre-bending and off kilter, mind-warping piece with a pitch black sense of humour; deploying radical 4th wall-breaking sensibilities and surrealist costume as well as experimental live music and offbeat dramatics to tell a thought provoking story about the state of the world today in a cultural-analytical fashion. It’s heaps of fun.

Recommended Age: 12+

Pugilist Specialist

Whole Hog Productions

Four highly trained US Marines are assigned a top secret mission to eliminate a high profile Middle Eastern leader.

Triple Fringe First winning, Pugilist Specialist won every major award at the Edinburgh Festival with this soaring and timely play dissecting the American military’s hunt for evil in foreign lands.

A darkly humorous, punch in the guts play.

Remarkable and riveting. It’s hard to imagine more brilliant or arresting new writingDaily Telegraph

A masterpiece. A vivid and timely playTime Out



The human being stands against the Universe and the bodies on stage tell about the struggle between the Law of Men and the Law of Nature, the crash between imposition and refusal.

A woman stands against the will of a tyrant: the visionary only can make the power fall down opening new perspectives.

The city of Tebe will heal only with sacrifice. Antigone wants to fight. Himmel Theatre offer her their bodies and voices from far away.

Blooming Out

NOS Three Theatre Company

Blooming Out is a clown show, interpreted by two Brazilian actresses, that explores in a light and comic way the most intriguing moments of the feminine universe. The fascination of beauty, girly plays, the first time putting on make-up, the body’s development including its feminine parts, arrival of the period, the first kiss, virginity loss, oppression and fear, maternity, love, demands and social taboos, work, happiness and growing old; these are some of the many fascinating and scary themes that build the story of this plot.

Blooming Out uses only non-verbal language, creating touching scenes of great power and beauty.

Recommended Age: 12+

The Homeless Panda

Hodge Podge Theatre Company

Xióngmāo the Giant Panda wakes up to find that her home has been taken! Where will she go?

The monkeys say she’s too big for their trees, the porcupine thinks she’d eat all his food and as for the other bears, well…they just think she looks weird.

Xióngmāo must travel far & wide to seek new friends, see new places & ultimately, find somewhere to call home again.

With puppets & pageantry a plenty, The Homeless Panda is a family tale about looking past our differences & remembering that we all feed off the same stuff: love, happiness & bamboo!

Liquid Library Presents Worker & Parasite

Liquid Library

Liquid Library presents an afternoon of ambientnoisedronemusic(?) at the Shoebox Theatre. Expect incense, coffee and earnest pretension. Weird noises will start at 12pm

Laughs With Tricks

Stu Tuner and Phil Reid

Comedy magician Stu Turner and comedian & ventriloquist Phil Reid come together for an hour of stand-up, magic and variety. Stu's offbeat act is sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, but always baffling and highly entertaining. Phil is a warm & vibrant comedian with a natural storytelling ability.
This two-man show combines traditional stand-up comedy, with hilarious magic and ventriloquism with audience participation. The pair have both worked all around the country in comedy clubs, cabaret, and theatre, and are combining their skills to bring this cracking hour of comedy and variety to Swindon!

Man of 1000 Farces

Johnny McAulay

Man of 1000 Farces is a Schlock 'n' Roll explosion of magic, sideshow and physical comedy. If Tommy, Alice and Jilly Cooper had a lovechild, it would be Johnny Macaulay.

I cried I was laughing so muchGJ, Brighton

 F**king hilarious. Go check it outS Geddes, Edinburgh

Recommended Age: 18+

Kevin, King of Egypt

Rob Gee

Escaped psychiatric patient Kevin Haggerty is not pleased about his diagnosis, even less pleased about being on a section of the Mental Health Act and distinctly upset about being told he is not the reincarnation of an Egyptian pharaoh. On his way to Egypt, via the Tesco Express, he stumbles across the nemesis to all his plans: Millie – a six year old with a mouth like a sandblaster. Together they embark on a journey that will change both their lives forever.

Hilarious ★★★★★London Pub Theatres

A mind-roasting bipolar joy-ride★★★★½ Victoria Times

Winner: Best Solo Show, Victoria Fringe 

The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Tobacco Tea Theatre Company

When Sherlock Holmes unknowingly murders his own client, the game is on to track down the criminal mastermind who did it - Holmes himself! But does Watson's rent have anything to do with this accident? Has this case been secretly planned by a narrative genius? And could Moriarty's hunger for new detective fiction fuel a global terror plot of unimaginable proportions?

Satire maestros ,Tobacco Tea, bring you this witty and absurd take on Arthur Conan Doyle's creation for the 3rd year running. Expect extraordinary plot twists, metafiction, twisted logic and "almost unparalleled entertainment!" 

Recommended Age: 16+

The Missing Easter Egg

Fairy Dust Productions

Princess has a beautiful singing voice, her Mum doesn't. One day they get a visitor and all is not as it seems. Who is this mysterious lady and what does she want? 

Come and watch 'The Missing Easter Egg and join in with the fun! There will be lots of singing and dancing for all! 

A Shoebox Full of Songs

Janice Thompson

Yvette, Becci and Janice present a cornocopia of songs from the 17th  Century - 20th Century shoehorned into an hour of delight.

A Snap Musical

Theatre Illogica

Ellen is a millennial trying to find her way in the world. She knows that there's more to life than ordering Dominos in bulk and drunk crying to Radiohead, but she isn't quite sure what it is. But then, she discovers an app that has the power to change absolutely everything. With a simple flower crown, she can go from a 6 to a strong 8. But are all her problems really over? Is life really as simple as just filtering out the boring stuff? Come along to find out - through the medium of song.

Only For Now

Stagecoach Swindon

In or out? Red or blue? Hot or not? The public will decide. An amusing new musical, exploring what can happen when the world of politics meets celebrity culture.

Stage Coach Performing Arts Swindon Further Stages students (aged 16-19) are excited to take part in their first Fringe Festival. They can't wait to share Only For Now, a brand-new show including a variety of musical theatre and pop songs.

Recommended Age: 18+


TS Theatre

Everyone knows being a soldier is hard. Everyone knows that warfare is nasty...but if you've never seen a dismembered body up close then you can't possibly, truly understand. For those who've witnessed the worst things imaginable, the world can never be the same again; and for those that haven't...the least we can do is listen. Matt fox's new monologue is a stark, brutal and savagely honest exploration of what modern warfare really means, and is performed in this year's fringe by swindon theatre's own enfant terrible' Peter Hynds.


Abi Roberts

Anglichanka (Englishwoman in Russian) is an exhilarating new comedy show about living in the former Soviet Union in the 90s and returning after 18 years as the first UK comic to perform comedy in English and Russian.

Including diary extracts, the consequences of drinking hardcore vodka, studying opera and using outdoor loos in -20 temperatures, we see how Russia has changed and what we need to know about Putin and the country described as ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. ‘True comedy genius...on our list of newer stand-up comedians not to miss in 2016’ GQ Magazine. 

Please reload