Morecambe Fringe Festival expands to Carnforth and Barrow making it biggest ever
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Morecambe Fringe Festival was set up six years ago by poet and festival performer Matt Panesh and has grown over the years.
This year is the first time the festival will be hosted in other areas across Morecambe Bay.
Matt Panesh, festival founder and director, said: “The festival programme is a mixture of acts going up to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, and local acts, including people who’ve developed skills on the West End Playhouse's Make your Fringe show course or with our community company The West End Players."
The annual event begins at the West End Playhouse on Yorkshire Street in Morecambe on Friday, July 7, and continues with regular shows until July 30.
Morecambe Fringe kicks off with Sister Christian's Variety Night Special at the Playhouse on Friday at 7.30pm.
Other Fringe performers during the month will include the West End Players presenting their play St George of Yorkshire Street and Matilda Walden's Heavenly Cabaret, comedy from Kevin O'Brien, Ageing Folks Telling Jokes and James O'Connell, improvised Shakespeare with June Metcalfe and Steve Longstaffe, comedy hypnotism with Jason Simmons, poetry with Christopher Moriarty, Lisa O'Hare, the Talentless Millennial Poets, Alan Parry, Elizabeth McGeown and many more.
Events in Carnforth which begin on July 14 will centre around the Royal Station Hotel, the railway station itself and the Civic Hall.
As the Edinburgh Fringe acts make their way up the country, they will be stopping off at Carnforth to practice and perfect their performances, with Ulverston and Barrow joining later in the month.
Carnforth Town Mayor, Jim Grisenthwaite, said: “Carnforth Town Council is delighted to support this exciting programme of Fringe events.
"Hopefully it will build into an annual feature of Carnforth's cultural and social calendar appealing to residents and visitors alike.
"Why not take the opportunity to sample what's on offer this year and help put Carnforth on the Fringe trail?’
There’s plenty of local anticipation for this event with residents looking forward to a Gala Evening on Friday night and two more days of Fringe activities happening at the War Memorial Gardens, Carnforth Civic Hall, Brief Encounter Bistro and at the Royal Station Hotel.
Glen Pearson, owner the Royal Station Hotel, said: “What a wonderful opportunity for Carnforth to be invited to host this festival. It is great for local businesses to see the Bay Fringe Festival steaming into town, all fired up with their fast-paced gags on a whistle stop tour round Morecambe Bay and beyond.
"This will give local artists, comedians, and other performers a chance to put on their first shows, and maybe become star attractions at Edinburgh in the future.
“You can arrive by train, car, bike or boat and visit three venues in town with family activity in the War Memorial Gardens and donate whatever you think each act was worth at the end of the performances.
"It’s great to see Carnforth Town Council and Chamber of trade giving Matt Panesh their full support, as the Bay Fringe festival travels round the bay.”
Matt Panesh, Morecambe Fringe producer said: “I'm really looking forward to the Carnforth Fringe, as it takes us a step closer to the Bay Fringe.
"A jam-packed line up of top talent on their way up to the Edinburgh Festival, currently the largest ticketed event in the world!
"Carnforth along with Ulverston, Barrow and Morecambe are providing a great space for local people to get up onstage with them!
"This Fringe weekend is about dipping our toe in and see what happens, but I really feel it's going to take off.
"The support by Carnforth Town Council has been brilliant - without them it wouldn't be happening, so a big thanks to them and all our partners.”
For a full Fringe festival line-up see the Morecambe Fringe Facebook page.
For tickets visit https://www.skiddle.com/g/morecambe-fringe-festival/