With only 4 weeks to go and over 40 acts to choose from, we're gonna help you pick your very own Swindon Fringe Festival Programme for 2017. Each week, we'll get to know the companies and their performances more by taking a look at their blurbs, having a gander on their websites and asking them some pressing questions in the Quick Fire Round.
Read on to decide what YOU should go and see...if you can't decide, you can always buy a Platinum Ticket (£50) and see it ALL!
In The Spotlight
Friday 31st March 2017, 7:30pm
The Bohemian Balcony
The Opening Night
Featuring James Bennison: How To Be A Winner
Award winning comedian James Bennison is here to teach you how to be a winner like him. Pulling together a Jamesified version of every game show from television history in a giant wheel of fortune (no relation), literally, every show will be completely different. Come and battle it out to be awarded the James Bennison Trophy of Winning.
"a most enjoyable slice of nonsense" Steve Bennett, Chortle
"highly entertaining, utterly engaging"★★★★ Fringe Guru
"great geeky revelry"★★★★ Arts Awards Voice
Saturday 1st April 2017, 10:30am
Alf The Highwayman
by 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.
Monday 3rd April 2017, 7pm
by 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.
Monday 3rd April 2017, 8pm
by James Luckraft-Law
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.
Thursday 6th April 2017, 7:30pm
by 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 writing" Daily Telegraph
"A masterpiece. A vivid and timely play" Time Out
Saturday 8th April 2017, 7:30pm
Kevin, King of Egypt
by 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
Sunday 9th April 2017, 10:30am
The Missing Easter Egg
by 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!
Sunday 9th April 2017, 7:30pm
by 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.
Quick Fire Round
Who are you?
Jame Bennison: How To Be A Winner I’m James Bennison, Award Winning Comedian, Innovator, Inventor, Inspiration. I’m bringing the debut of my new show James Bennison: How to be a Winner in which I take all of the gameshows that we all grew up watching and force the audience to play my own versions for the chance to win a gold-plated statue of my own face.
Alf The Highwayman Brave Bold Drama and we’re bringing Alf the Highwayman
Solo Dee Thompson and Doug Kirby from DTA Productions and we are hosting ‘Solo’ which is an evening of monologues
Just Charming I am James Luckraft-Law an actor and theatre maker from South West Devon. I am coming to Swindon with my one man show Just Charming. A comedy show which looks at the role of the prince in fairy tales, through the eyes of a guy who isn’t meant to be a prince.
Pugilist Specialist Whole Hog Productions and we’re here with Pugilist Specialist by Adriano Shaplin
Kevin, King of Egypt My name’s Rob and I’m a writer and performer. I generally do performance poetry and Kevin, King of Egypt, I am acting.
The Missing Easter Egg Fairy Dust Productions and we are bringing a lively children’s show called ‘The Missing Easter Egg
ANGLICHANKA I am comedian, Abi Roberts and I’m coming to Swindon with my critically-acclaimed, sell-out, five-star show, ANGLICHANKA.
Describe your company in 3 words
SOLO Pick n Mix
PS We go the
KKE Comedy. Poetry. Psychiatry.
ANG ‘Self-effacing” “Hilarious” “Intelligent”
Describe your show in 2 words
JB Copyright Infringement
ALF Captivating. Energetic.
SOLO Combinational Cluster.
JC Witty. Nostalgic
PS Punchy. Dark.
KKE Bipolar Rollercoaster.
MEE Eggtastic Entertainment.
ANG Russia. Meerkats.
Describe you in one word
What is your show’s selling point / highlight?
ALF It’s a brand new story we made up about a Highwayman, so you definitely won’t have seen it before. It won Best Children’s Show at the Shaftesbury Fringe 2016, which tells you a lot of people have already seen it and thought it was really good!
PS Darkly humourous, sharply observed, superbly written. The play brilliantly dissects the US military mentality and the country's obsessive need for demoniacal enemies.
KKE It’s about a bloke who thinks he’s the king of Egypt.
ANG It’s funny all the way through for a start. I’m the only UK comedian to have performed in Russia in Russian and English, beating Eddie Izzard to that accolade. It’s the only show where you get stories of living in the former Soviet Union, mixed with learning opera, jazz, singing, Cossack dancing and Boney M. It’s been nominated for three comedy awards and pretty much had 5 star reviews in Edinburgh last year. Every show I do is usually sold-out; such is the appetite for all things Russian and for people to have a real belly laugh.
If your show was a doughnut, what flavour would it be?
JB If I may be so bold, I would say that my show would be like one of those Krispy Kreme dozen boxes with lots of different flavours in. You can in theory keep coming back to the box to try new and exciting combinations but inevitably it will leave you feeling quite sick afterwards.
ALF Something 18th centuryish…like a medlar.
SOLO Liquorice Allsort
JC Something that looks classic like a jam doughnut, to represent the classic fairy tales I am working with but with a flavor twist like apricot jam or apple.
PS Bitter chocolate with a sour cherry centre, thickly coated with red, white and blue star spangled sprinkles.
What is the weirdest feedback you’ve ever received?
JC ‘Well done, being in a relationship is overrated!!!’ from a teenage audience member who really liked the show.
KEE “He’s a performance poet, but don’t worry – he’s not sh*t” Jimmy Carr
Who inspires your work?
ANG Graham Norton. Lenny Bruce. Lee Mack. Robin Williams. Brian Logan. Billy Connolly. Richard Pryor. Bette Midler.
Who would you be most excited to see on the front row of your audience?
SOLO Robert Downey Jr (Dee answered that question and it had nothing to do with theatre)
KKE Several escaped patients.
MEE The Easter Bunny
“I’d be happy if my performance at the Swindon Fringe Festival…?”
JC …made people laugh, remember and aware that we’re all a part of one big human story.
MEE Creates a fun filled theatre with lots of happy children and happy families that walk out singing the tunes from the show!
Buy your tickets below
Click on your desired show below and purchase from the Wyvern Theatre Box Office online, over the phone or in person.
James Bennison: How To Be A Winner
Alf The Highwayman
Kevin, King of Egypt
The Missing Easter Egg