The Camden Fringe returns this summer for a 9th consecutive year and the 2014 festival will be the biggest yet with over 200 different productions taking part
This record breaking number of shows has been made possible by an increase in the number of venues taking part across the borough of Camden and beyond. This year stalwart performance spaces like the Etcetera Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, The Camden Head and Upstairs at the Gatehouse are joined by The Moors Bar Theatre in Crouch End, The Hen & Chickens on Highbury Corner, Lov’edu Gallery in the Stables Market and The Poor School on Pentonville Road in hosting multiple shows. Acts will also be found in pubs including DublinCastle, The Grafton, Sir Richard Steele and The Grafton. It all kicks off at the end of July, but with tickets selling fast, here we pick out nine shows to watch:
St George’s Gardens
Critically-acclaimed theatre company Broken Glass present GlassMountain, an open air production in one of Central London’s most beautiful green spaces. Drawing on material from the Brothers Grimm to tell a new fairytale, it is the story of Little Hans, the boy who knows no fear, who journeys across the Darkling Wood in pursuit of his truelove Lind, who is on her own journey: to Glass Mountain to fly with the witches. Combing storytelling theatre with puppetry and a live musical soundtrack, GlassMountain is an encounter with witches, fairies, cat-hunters and bone-boilers, and will delight young and old alike.
28 July-2 August
This is the story of Lili Elbe, the world’s first known trans woman to undergo full realignment, which is based on her 1930s diaries. The play tells of the emotional journey Lili undergoes whilst coping with her new life, and her adjustment back into her former life as an established and well-known painter. The show has been devised by an entire trans cast from a series of workshop sessions.
Various dates and venues
In the year of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, it seemed fitting for the Camden Fringe’s pigeon mascot to have a Shakespearean flavour. It’s also appropriate that four of the Bard’s works have been adapted for this year’s fringe. The Lazarus Company will be presenting Troilus and Cressida and Coriolanus; Get Over It Productions return to Camden Fringe to turn their all female hands to Twelfth Night; and Erratic Dramatics produce Othello, with the action transferred to 1980s Cyprus. Additionally, A Midsummer Night’s Dream provides the inspiration for a new piece, Demetrius Unchained by Gulliver Bell.
29 July-31 July
The Phoenix Arts Club
Sean Smith is a mind reader, a magician and a hypnotist. He’s also an avid reader and will read you like a well-thumbed book. Mind What You Read is his fully interactive magic and mind reading show with a literary bent. Discover what your spelling mistakes reveal about you, and do make sure to bring your favourite book.
The Dublin Castle
Here’s another unmissable dose of mind control. Join critically acclaimed magician and mind reader S1L3NC3 on a dark, interactive experience examining the psychology behind hallucinations and how to control them. Be warned: this show is not for the faint hearted.
Paper Dolls is inspired by the militant tactics of the Suffragettes and the actions of ‘Slasher’ Mary Richardson. These ‘terrorists in bloomers’ make us ask: how far would these women have gone for their right to vote? Expect physical theatre and original song intertwined with first-hand material and plays by eminent actresses of Edwardian Britain.
Tristan Bates Theatre
Get set for an evening of one-woman shorts by some of the UK’s finest emerging female playwrights, including Katie McCullough, Maud Dromgoole, Serena Haywood and Guleraana Mir. Hilarious, heart-warming and often agonising, these tales reveal the inner lives of women dealing with whatever the world throws at them.
Life. Death. Youth. Beauty. What if their fates were tied into something as simple as the roll of a dice? A short play exploring morality, adapted from the classic work of Louise Bryant. Can a young couple who have never met find love within themselves and determine the very fate of their souls?
Canal Café Theatre
This gender-balanced foursome have thrown the towel into reality, heaved anchor from the bay of good sense and shaken their tiny fists at social responsibility to bring you an evening of physical, musical and/or idiotic sketch comedy. Have you a penchant for the peculiar and a predilection for polo necks?
For full listings, visit camdenfringe.com