As prize winners were announced, director Matt Panesh applauded all concerned involved in its triumph, particularly volunteers such as Emma Corless, Paula Binney and Nigel Faithful.
He said: “We’ve gone from a weekend and 15 shows in 2017 to a fortnight and 49 performances. Next year’s festival will be bigger, lasting three weeks in July. Shortly we will be calling out for sponsors and venues as we increase our shows to 90. A big thank you to all who performed. The standard of this festival was incredibly high.
“There are some delights, heading up to Edinburgh Fringe, directly from here. Edinburgh is the biggest arts festival in the world. We’re fortunately geographically placed to catch these career-making shows on the way up.”
Matt, himself a performer, continued: “This festival has always been about more than just seeing great talent. It’s been about getting involved, building the talent here in the West End of Morecambe, a town literally built for entertainment.
“Before we arrived, there was a statue of a comedian, but not a regular comedy night or bricks and mortar producing theatre. Now, I’m glad to say we are here and established.”
He said Fringe HQ and venue/performance lab Alt-Space ran workshops from January with intake from Blackpool, Lancaster and across the district.
“It was some achievement to produce eight full shows, featuring 12 talents, for the programme. These are reflected in the local awards, but I want to salute all participants, not just the winners, “ Matt continued.
“Next year we’ll be aiming to support our local talent all the way to Edinburgh to help make careers of their own. The Fringe is a great blurring of the lines betwen amateur and professional. It’s where people can get up and give it a go.”
Organisers will next meet in September, working toward Fringe-mas Festival running from November 30 to December 7.
Anyone keen to be involved, participate, sponsor or offer a venue, get in touch via www.morecambefringe.co.uk or call Matt on 07858 031303.
Morecambe Fringe Festival 2019 local category prize winners:
Best play - Salsa Brava written and performed by Maggie Wignall
Best spoken word show - Awkward Questions by Dean Tsang; Best comedy - Amy B
Best spoken word show - Nazis need Jews by David Lee Morgan
Best play - Testament of Yootha written and performed by Caroline Burns Cooke
Best comedy - Chris Kehoe
Lookout: Award - One Hour To Save The World (in 15 minutes or less) and other noble minded nonsese by Becky Fury
Best title - Who’s the Daddy Pig? by Philip Simon
Best dance show - Oracle by LPM Dance