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Barnstaple Fringe Theatrefest



The Fringe is now over for 2017. Check back for 2018 dates. Our 2017 coverage is below.

“To celebrate the fabulous fun of Fringe TheatreFest we’ve doubled what’s on offer!”

“Building on ten years experience, we’re adding a whole raft of outdoor shows and shows in informal spaces: Shakespeare outside, magic in cafes, dancing on benches, hi-jinx in the High Street – and much, much more.”

Barnstaple Fringe Theatrefest has to be one of the hidden gems of the Fringe Theatre scene. Running over just four days, it is also probably the most do-able Fringe in the country, with plenty of theatre on offer and the chance to see all or most of it in one trip!

“38 different companies from the UK and beyond offering over 120 performances in 4 days. There’s a heady mix of events to provoke, delight and entertain.”

Essential Links

The programme is here.

Browse shows by time here

Find theatre shows here

Find a venue

Book tickets

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Follow Theatrefest’s Bill Buffery on Twitter @BillBuffery

Also find them on Facebook

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Below is our coverage for 2017…

We’ll be back in 2018.


Our Top Ten Recommended Shows

These are our topten recommended shows based on our review and preview team’s choices. We keep our ear to the ground and also have seen some of the companies elsewhere.

Luck Dog Laurel & Hardy

1 Hats off to Laurel and Hardy

2 Twelfth Night (or What You Will)

3 Fruitcake – Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward

4 The Assassination of Spencer Percival

5 Abi Roberts: Anglichanka

6 Witch

7 It’s My Funeral and I’ll Throw Glitter if I Want To

8 Storyteller of the Year Entertains

9 The Organised Chaos



I Want to See … at Theatrefest

Here is our quirky but highly useful show-finding tool…

I want to see…

… Laurel and Hardy. Then see Hats off to Laurel and Hardy

… a semi-immersive piece of pop-up theatre. Then see Wood

… some theatre based on a true story. Then see The  Bundle

… an acclaimed children’s show. Then see Alf the Highwayman

… some street theatre. Then see Have You Seen Molly?

… a family show with magic. Then see Seska – Fruit Salad!

… some dance. Then see Etch

… some new writing. Then see Remedies – A Ballad of Broken Britain

… some music and dance from South Africa. Then see South African Song and Dance

… some improvised theatre. Then see Square Bench

… some storytelling. Then see Storyteller of the Year Entertains

… some Shakespeare. Then see Twelfth Night (Or What You Will)

… a short film. Then see Warm-Up

… a play. Then see Witch

… some physical theatre. Then see The Elevator

… something for the whole family. Then see The Fisher Knight’s Tale

… some myths and legends. Then see The Forgotten Tales

… some live spoken word literature. Then see Well Thumbed

… a choir. Then see Transition Choir

More to come


Link Collage

Here’s another way to choose a show at Theatrefest. Use your instincts and click on an image that draws you and you can reveal the show behind the image. Then get booking…





More to come

Keyword Chaos


We’ve selected evocative phrases from the Theatrefest programme. Click on the ones that intrigue you and you might just find the show you need to see…

An innocent scene turns to mayhem as the pair are ‘shot into the brown’ on arrival of the whistle-blowing mutton shunters.”

a beautiful idiot fisherman raised by performing elephants

He’s the only Prime Minister ever to be assassinated.

She is the dark dream of our broken hearts demanding to be reclaimed.

Sam Gibbs will save the World

What happens when technology and ego replace the human and the soul?

All the scrapes and claustrophobia of an overcrowded elevator taken to the extreme

this libertine and ribald celebration contains historically robust language & subject matter

the hauling of a wooden spar along the High Street to the accompaniment of sea shanties. The spar is dragged to the Square where it is pulled upright and a sheet is unfurled proclaiming the launching of the day’s activities.


More to come.



 Bryony Joy Chave-Cox from MishMash talks about The Karaoke Experience

What’s the theme of your show? 

How, why, and IF humans should express themselves! Charlotte Loves Karaoke.

Liz Hates Karaoke. Liz wants to go out, but they can’t decide where to go.
Will they ever leave the flat?

What’s new or unique about the show?

The two lead characters are occassionally played by inanimate objects. The show takes place in a found venue, usually somewhere near whatever local venue has a Karaoke night running. It explores lots of different ways humans hijack others words or actions to express themselves. It’s a 101of short cuts to expression.

How did the show come into being?

I was interested in the ways society permits and frowns upon public and private expressions of emotion.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

There’s music playing in the background and/or a DVD player showing a movie or sitcom. Some of the performers are re-using the actions, words, or emotions they see hear, or feel and transplanting them into the story of our main characters…someone is wearing a pink rain hat.

How is the show developing?

Well, so far!

How have you experimented?

One of my favourite ideas was that of a Karaoke Support group…something like Alcoholics Anonomous, but all the members are addicted to Karaoke.

What are your future plans for the show ?

The show is likely to continue it’s local tour if received well.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Anything that challenges me and entertains me simultaneously.

Show dates, times and booking info: Catch the show at it’s first public viewing @ 8pm on the1st June 2017 The Plough Arts Centre Torrington
Call 01805 624 624
Thurs 29th June 2017
Friday 30th June 2017
Saturday 1st July 2017


Jon Buckeridge from Parable Arts talks about The Forgotten Tales


What’s the theme of your show?

The British Isles are a tapestry woven with myths, legends and folk-tales. From Manx magicians to Cornish cats, the cultures of our kingdom are captured in our stories… but stories left untold will fade into forgetfulness.
The Forgotten Tales reignites the spark of the hilarious, heroic and heart-breaking stories that were once a steady flame across the land.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The Forgotten Tales comprises a collection of stories that were once commonplace in our Celtic cultures, with sources ranging from the Welsh Mabinogion and the Irish Finnean cycles, to local legend and folks-tales. Now one performer brings them back to life, presenting dozens of distinct characters across a range of artfully crafted adventures; playing multiple instruments at once, singing in three different languages, and seamlessly flowing through a range of accents and attitudes (and no small amount of perspiration) that will leave you utterly convinced there’s a cast of hundreds.

How did the show come into being?

Parable Arts is a collective of cross-disciplinary artists, with the sole aim of seeking, shaping and sharing stories. We firmly believe that stories are the basis of all communication, and they have the power to shape society. Recently the entire Western world seems to be going through a crisis of identity, with increasingly separatist and strong-border rhetoric becoming a lot of nations’ go-to policy. In the midst of that we wanted to explore some of the cultural roots of our nation, and the stories that helped ancient Celtic nations to know who they were, what they had in common with their neighbours, and what helped them grow and work together. Ultimately we wanted to rediscover that wisdom that our ancestors always knew; that sharing a story, no matter where it’s from or who tells it, will bring everyone that little bit closer together. Perhaps that sounds naive, but in ever performance we’ve done, so far, each audience has come in as strangers and left united, at least for that small moment – that, to me, is powerful.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

A one-man show is a lot of hard work to perform, and even harder to rehearse; whereas most performances have that brilliant sense of ensemble, with the team bouncing off each other to bring out the best in the text, that delightful luxury is removed from you when exploring this branch of the craft. Fortunately our wonderful director, Miriam Sarin, was able to work with me to push me through the physicality, musicality and sheer pace that the production required.

I’ve always been quite a gifted vocalist, and really handy with accents and dialects, so that side came quite quickly (though the Manx accent is really hard to get to grips with), so a lot of our rehearsals became about Miriam pushing me outside of that comfort-zone, and driving me to make my physicality as malleable as my vocalisations, and marrying the two together to get the sweet spot of story and pace to make this work to its potential. Fortunately Miriam has the patience of about four saints.

How is the show developing?

This show is pretty unique in that it’s a series of stories, which means we can add or remove stories and songs as we need to. This has been a great experience, because it’s mean that as we discover a new story, or a song that we really think should be included, then it’s easy to put them into the performance for that night, so in that sense this is the most continually evolving show I’ve ever performed. This offers a real sense of customisation and a unique experience for each audience. For example, we recently we went back to the town I was born in, and I brought to life a legend that’s native to the village I lived in as a child (the story of the Dead-Man’s Acre) – which everyone in the audience knew was a local story, so it was completely personal to them, as a crowd.

How has the writer been involved?

As the writer myself, I’d have to say I’ve been highly involved. One thing I’ve learned, though, is that each story will have a myriad of interpretations and variations, and quite often a lot of different areas will lay a claim to the same story or characters, so when re-imagining and presenting a story we’re careful to present this as *an interpretation* – not the Gospel truth, as it were.

How have you experimented?

We used a lot of physical theatre techniques, such as some great exercises from Gabriella Roth and Jaques LeCoq, to bring these world to life and populate them with a diverse cast of characters. This was complimented with a series of mask-work sessions, to make sure that I wasn’t just relying on an accent to do the work of a character, and a whole LOT of filming and reviewing footage, so I could really see where I needed to build and expand upon the craft and techniques of the art of storytelling.

Beyond that we experimented with different storytelling styles for each tale. It wouldn’t be as engaging if each one was the same style or technique, so we varied up the repertoire with song, verse, physicality and vocal-dexterity to make a diverse and interesting evening for everyone.

Where do your ideas come from?

As with most good ideas, they blindside you when you’re not expecting them. That was certainly the case with the writing and rehearsal process, and quite often I surprised myself with where on earth ideas popped up from. That said this show involved a lot of hours spent in libraries researching ancient texts and books of British myths and legends, and a great many hours listening to a wide array of folk-music and storytelling songs.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

I think the whole team has learned a lot about the impact these stories can have. It’s easy to think they might be just silly little stories with whimsical value at best, but I’ve been amazed how quickly audiences bond to your heroes, and there’s one story from Scotland that has never yet failed to bring a tear to the audiences. There’s a reason why they’ve survived (in some form) for thousands of years, and so one challenge has always been to make sure that we do them justice and honour their heritage.

What are your future plans for the show ?

As I said, this is a continually evolving show, so I’d like to see it with a long shelf-life. It’s diverse and flexible and can fit almost anywhere, so I’d like to see it toured widely. I’ve come to realise how important these stories can be, and in many ways they’re the heritage of all the people who call this quirky collection of Islands home, so I’m quite keen to see this brought into environments where people will connect with it. I’d quite like to perform it in a castle… or lots of castles… though that might just be because I like castles.

Show times and dates 

Thursday 29th June – 6.30pm – The Guildhall
Friday 30th June – 7.00pm – The Guildhall
Saturday 1st July – 2.30pm – The Guildhall
Sunday 2nd July – 2.30pm – The Guildhall
Book here: www.theatrefest.co.uk



Gill Simmons from Brave Bold Drama talks about Alf the Highwayman

What’s the theme of your show?

“Alf the Highwayman” is about sharing, circuses and sentimental value.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The story is utterly unique, as are all the songs in the show. It’s also the first show we’ve made that’s won not one but two awards, so that was new for us.

How did the show come into being?

We were commissioned to make a show that was about modelling appropriate social behaviour. From that came the idea that most children snatch and have to gradually taught how snatching isn’t nice…and how children have to gradually learn not to be totally ego-centric…and from that came the character of Alf the Highwayman. Highwaymen are known to snatch and grab, just like children after all…

Describe one of your rehearsals.

A lot of tea. Massive pieces of paper covered in urgent colourful scribbles and drawings. A piano and a ukulele. Sudden bursts of inspiration that create a chain reaction where we feed off each other and ideas are bouncing around. Spontaneous singing and harmonizing. Wine at the end.

How is the show developing?

This is our second tour of “Alf the Highwayman” so he’s pretty much developed now. However we have refined it slightly since our first tour. We wrote Alf a new song and added in a new character who doesn’t approve of “juggling where people can see you.”

How has the writer been involved?: “Alf the Highwayman” was entirely devised so the performers/devisers were also the writers in this case.

How have you experimented?

All the time! It’s how we love to make. Try this, try that, no matter if it doesn’t work, never close anything down until you’ve given it a go.

Where do your ideas come from?

They just come to us. That’s the alarming truth of it! But we did obviously feed our minds with information about highwaymen, 18th century history, paintings, folk music from the period as well as looking at child development as we are ultimately telling a story about how you learn as a child not to be totally self-serving and how that can be a long and difficult process.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

We work within tight time constraints. One of us is a single parent and we can only make work whilst her children are at school so that makes us focus, crack on and not waste time.

What are your future plans for the show ?

We would love to take Alf to more festivals in the future. We’re taking him to Priddy Folk Festival this year, and we’ve played the show outdoors at lots of community festivals in Bristol and we know it works well as an outdoor piece. We’d love to take him out on the road a little more. I mean, he’s a highwayman after all. He loves the call of the open road.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

We love devised theatre because it is someone telling their story the way they want it told. And that can make the shows exciting, visceral, passionate, expressive, experimental and that’s what we love!

Show dates, times and booking info

“Alf the Highwayman” plays at the Baptist Hall as part of Fringe TheatreFest 2017 on
Sat 1st July at 4.15pmSun 2nd July at 1pm and 3.30pm

Book online here

Company web site: http://www.brave-bold-drama.co.uk



Tom Stabb from Middle-Weight Theatre Company talks about A Ballad of Broken Britain

What’s the theme of your show?

‘Remedies – A Ballad of Broken Britain’

A heavy duty clue in the title – the show centres around the discussions, debates and discontent of Brexit, ‘Broken Britain’ and on the odd occasion, viagra…

‘Set within 4 walls of a local pharmacy, this one room situation comedy / drama features two opinionated, strong willed and polarised members of staff.

As they witness the ailments and sicknesses of the public, they might be able to administer the medicine, but can they find the remedy for the ill’s of Britain?’

What’s new or unique about the show?

It is difficult to define what is unique about our production when the subject is so culturally relevant.

Within the political lexicon of the British public, undoubtedly everyone will have their own opinions – what I believe with ‘Remedies’, is the calibre of writing from Bristol, UK based playwright Matt Roberts.

It stands out as a distinctive voice; whilst concisely adding an alternative perspective to the ‘Brexit’ saga – through the use of humour one second and impactful insight the next.

This combined with fantastic performances from the cast of five,
(Matt Roberts, Al Wadlan, Louise Merrington, Charlie & Nicola Killen), delivered with speed and precision and has been described as “Flawlessly performed”.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Intensive, hard work and fun!

As director for ‘Remedies’, I am constantly surprised by the professionalism and dedication of the cast and crew.

It can be typical for theatre companies to ease into their rehearsals, either with a half an hour pre-amble or warm up games – with Middle-Weight Theatre Company, everyone is ready and eager to get started and don’t stop until it’s correct.

Mind you, if you were to ask any of the cast members past or present – they would vehemently state that I am ‘nit picky bastard’.

How is the show developing?

Interestingly the show has developed out of necessity due to the venues and festivals we have already attended.

Originally ‘Remedies’, was a two act play, (one and half hour duration).
Which has also been condensed into a one hour version to suit the needs for Fringe Festivals.

This is not uncommon, yet equally wonderful for us as a theatre company having both options at our disposal for booking venues and the mini ‘tour’ we are currently on; switching between the both versions.

Having started our spring tour in our home town of Exeter, we have closely observed the different reactions from different parts of the Southwest, in regards to certain jokes and hard-hitting parts of the production.

After every performance we politely ask the audience to leave their feedback – we regard this very highly. If we feel something doesn’t work or repeated observations from audience members – we endeavour to alter / distort or at times – completely remove pieces when necessary.

How has the writer been involved?

There is a vicious rumour circulating that Matt Roberts, writes himself the best roles for him to perform within his own plays… this I can vouch for and is completely true.

Matt is an integral part of the company and is involved 100% within all aspects, (expect the heavy lifting).

Matt, whilst being the main writer to date with Middle-Weight Theatre Company, (previously ‘Sound Bite’ and ‘Insensible’), he also is the co-founder of the company.

As mentioned above, Matt has a interesting ‘take’ on the world and has a wonderful ability to see things from a curious perspective.

From his first play to the latest, ‘Remedies’, whilst we edit and format the script – he is always eager to gather feedback and balanced criticism; most importantly being fair-minded and open for any changes that are to be made or altered – rather than fighting for every dot and comma.

How have you experimented?

Mainly through the use of character traits and condensed script edits.

From a directorial perspective and collaboration on finalising the script with Matt, I had a clear idea of the look, feel and aim for the production he originally set out – which has not altered all too much.

Originally though, the script intended the role of ‘Justine’ a typical highly strung, area manager to be male. We chose to experiment with the use of language and comedic timing of the character – converting it from a male / female perspective. It became abundantly clear that with this experimenting, we were able to get a much more funnier intense response from audiences which also gave the character more ‘third dimension’.

Where do your ideas come from?

Again, difficult to define – but a quick story…

Before Middle-Weight Theatre Company was founded, I joined an amateur dramatic society – and was asked to provide a ten minute sketch to add to a ‘variety show’.

I happened to bump into Matt, the night I was trying to work on a script. I am no writer and was having difficulty; to which I mentioned, in passing, an idea…

‘Two NASA operatives have been given one hour to write Neil Armstrong’s first words when stepping onto the moon… but there’s one problem – writers’ block!’

Matt loved the premise, threw me a few positive ideas, said good luck and went on his merry way.

Five hours later…

Approx 2am – I receive an email from Matt, entitled “I couldn’t sleep”.

On opening the email and attachment – behold NINE PAGES of a fully established, funny, witty and poignant first half of a script named ‘Sound Bite’.

I replied instantly. “I only needed ten minutes!”

“Too good an idea for just ten minutes don’t you think?” came his inspiring response.

Middle-Weight Theatre Company was born.

So, as self indulgent as the above sounds – most of our ideas formulate around that inexplainable feeling and reaction when your mind whirls with immediate effect and ideas bounce around the room at light speed.

This we have found is a good foundation of story telling and fuelling a level of passion behind each creative project.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

As a relatively new theatre company, whom receive no funding or grants; in the midst of establishing itself – the latest challenges we have found are the on going expenses in touring, advertising and building reputation.

With each new production we are are continually growing in ambition.
This has been shown by expanding the size of the casts, sets, props, lighting requirements, budget and further afield venues and Fringe festivals.

Whilst the above mentions financial challenges and constraints – equally, when tackling a new script, our aim for the company is to maintain a high standard of entertainment and thoughtful use of dialogue; used by a wide variety of characters and actors.

Having developed a solid following within the Exeter, Devon area – now face the challenge of presenting our ideas to a more diverse and unfamiliar audience.

But we also want to set challenges…

We hope to help challenge and push people’s boundaries through the use of language and whether it is set in the past or a dystopian future; our new production ‘Remedies’, is no exception in drawing on parallels to our complicated present.

‘Brexit’ and ‘Broken Britain’ is by no means an unfamiliar concept to anyone living within the United Kingdom – so what better or important time to bring the debates / disagreements and properties of unity and division to a general public audience; still reeling from the outcome of what is only the beginning…

What are your future plans for the show ?

As briefly mentioned above – to tour our latest production to more venues and audiences; helping to build a following and reputation as a must see theatre company, whilst securing contacts for future performances.

We have already completed a few runs of ‘Remedies’ (listed below) and will be completing our spring tour in early July, at ‘TheatreFest’, Barnstaple.

Throughout the summer, the company will be returning to the rehearsal room to rejuvenate an one hour version of Middle-Weight’s first production, ‘Sound Bite’, to be included with ‘Remedies’ on an Autumn / Winter tour (listed below) – boasting two, one act plays in the same evening.

Middle-Weight Theatre will debuting a new original play named ‘Limited Company’ written by Al Wadlan, in early 2018.

Completed dates of ‘Remedies’:
Exeter – Banfield Theatre (5 date run)
Falmouth – The Poly Theatre (2 date run)
Bath – Bath Fringe Festival (2 date run)

Future dates:
Barnstaple – ‘TheatreFest’ – (3 date run)

Autumn / Winter season – ‘Remedies / Sound Bite’:
London – The Bread & Roses Theatre – (5 date run)
Falmouth – The Poly Theatre (3 date run)
Bristol – Wardrobe Theatre (TBC 1 week run)
Exeter – Barnfield Theatre (last show of year)

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Noises Off – Michael Frayn.
The funniest and superbly written farce of all time.

The Audience – Peter Morgan.
One of (if not the best), current playwright in Britain. Magical use of language and always giving actors incredible dialogue to work with.

Matlida (Musical) – Roald Dahl, (Dennis Kelly / Tim Minchin).
I challenge anyone over the age of 30, to see this show and not be reverted back to their childhood.

Crazy For You – Ken Ludwig / George Gershwin.
A beautiful score, wonderful sets and outstanding choreography.

The Producers – Mel Brooks / Thomas Meehan / Susan Stroman
The perfect adaptation and blend of comedy, outrageous sets, song arrangements, choreography and old women dancing with zimmer-frames.

Angels in America – Tony Kushner.
Most hard hitting comedy / drama which makes you think, laugh and cry all at the same time.

Show dates, times and booking info:

St Anne’s Art Centre

June 29th – 8.30pm
June 30th – 5.45pm
July 1st – 9.30pm

Book here
Company web site



Robert Garnham, Writer and Performer from The Robert Garnham Partnership talks about Garnham Juicy

What’s the theme of your show?

Juicy is a scatalogical mishmash of comedy poetry, spoken word shenanigans, serious and deep explorations of loneliness, LGBT rights, songs and a comedy monologue about lust at an airport departure lounge. I suppose if it has a theme, then that would be finding love. Different characters throughout the show find love, or dream of finding love.

What’s new or unique about the show?

Juicy is a free form entity, different every night, with no definitive order. It’s upbeat and funny one moment, contemplative the next. It looks at some serious issues, too, behind the fun and the hilarity, such as gay rights in places such as Uganda and Russia, loneliness, isolation, longing.

How did the show come into being?

The show just kind of evolved outwards from several different places simultaneously, somehow, in a kind of spoken word osmosis, meeting in the middle. It started with a few ideas, which were improvised, then these ideas led to other ideas.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

The show is in three parts so rehearsals were conducted in fifteen minute sessions in a shed at the back of my parents garage in Brixham, Devon. This is real home grown stuff! There’s a big mirror along one wall where I can watch myself practising. I play around a lot with word order and tone and movement and hey presto, the show started to come into being.

How is the show developing?

One of the important aspects was the adoption of music. I worked with some talented musicians and sound artists, which really helps with the tone and the delivery. And then I was privileged enough to work with Margoh Channing, one of the funniest cabaret drag artists of the New York scene, and she recorded some words for the end. I just knew that the end would have to fit in with her words!

How has the writer been involved?

The writer has been involved since the start. I’m the writer. I’ve been there for every rehearsal.

How have you experimented? As I say, the music was the key to the show. I’ve performed all over the UK and New York for years, but never used music before. Most of my experimentations were actually with the technology necessary to get the music backing just right. I’ve also never done a long monologue before, so this was kind of scary. I was influenced by another New York friend of mine, the storyteller Dandy Darkly.

Where do your ideas come from?I wish I knew! They just seem to arrive. Like being hit in the face by a kipper. You can be in a sauna or swimming pool or on a bus about to get off and suddenly, oh yeah! A badger that wants to be in EastEnders!

How do your challenge yourself?

I watch other performers and see how they do it. And then I try to be as good as them. I’m really influenced by cabaret artists, even though I’m a spoken word artist. The sense of fun and naughtiness is irresistible.

What are your future plans for the show ?

Juicy will be going to GlasDenbury Festival near Newton Abbot, the Guildford Fringe, and then the Edinburgh Fringe, where I’ll be at Banshees Lanyrinth.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Margoh Channing’s Tipsy, for the humour and the pathos. Dandy Darkly’s Myth Mouth. Paul Cree, Ken Do. All these people invent characters and invest them with humour, and take you to new places almost effortlessly. I’ve seen them all at various fringes. Also Melanie Branton’s new Edinburgh Show, she’s such a good writer and performer.

Show dates, times and booking info: 29 June at 5pm, 1st June at 650pm, 2nd June at 330pm, all at the Golden Lion in Barnstaple, tickets available on the Barnstaple TheatreFest website.

Then the Keep pub, 9 July at 730pm, Guildford Free Fringe, tickets available, again, from their website.

And finally at Banshees Labyritnth, every day at 1230pm, 13th to the 19th August, at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Company web site: http://www.robertgarnham.wordpress.com

Book here

Comedy Preview

Abi Roberts: Anglichanka*

The First UK comic to perform in Russia (in Russian) tells all.

About the show

In 2016, Abi Roberts became the first UK comedian to perform in Russia – in Russian! Now, in 2017, the centenary of the Russian Revolution, she’s here to shed some light on our continental neighbours and tell us what side of a blini is buttered.

Just pipping Eddie Izzard to the accolade, Abi’s world first came at the bilingual Moscow Comedy Bar and Club. This was her first visit since an intensive period of trips to Moscow in the 1990s that came about because of her studies and because her dad was a diplomat.

During this time, Abi become an opera singer at the Moscow Conservatoire, a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and an expert on how matches and sawdust are vital to the country’s plumbing when it’s minus 17 degrees outside!

Abi’s return to Moscow was a crash course in new Russian culture. Noticing signs of wealth everywhere, and cars much evolved since the days of the Lada, Abi found the trip bewildering and a steep learning curve.

Join Abi as she tried to get to grips with a heady mix of being monitored, crossing the paths of gangsters, overwhelming hospitality, fear of Putin and the strange disappearance of street kiosks.

Anglichanka (Englishwoman) climaxes with a spectacular sequence where Abi recounts almost performing opera for the Russian President and how she narrowly escaped with her life during the attempted military coup of 1991.

About the performer

Abi Roberts and her big hair exploded onto the stand-up comedy scene in 2011, after a number of years as a session vocalist and cabaret performer. In her four years in professional stand-up comedy, Abi has supported household names such as Michael McIntyre, Sarah Millican, Jack Whitehall and Tom Stade and is to be found performing at many of the UK’s leading comedy clubs, such as The Glee Club, Komedia and The Stand.

Abi was a Finalist and Runner-Up in the London Comedy Store’s Costa Light Comedy Competition in 2012, a Finalist and Runner-Up in the 2012 Harrogate Theatre’s Comedian of the Year and took the Audience Award at the same festival.

Abi also hosts her own chat show MUSICAL CID where well-known comedians talk about their music collections, which featuring comedy stars such as Al Murray, Romesh Ranganathan, Seann Walsh, Mark Dolan, Jo Caulfield and Jarred Christmas.

Show details

Friday 30 June, 9pm at The Golden Lion Tap, The Square, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 8LS

Book here

Abi Roberts’ web links and social media

Web: www.abiroberts.com and chat show: www.musicalcid.com
Twitter: @abiroberts https://twitter.com/abiroberts

Friday 30 June, 9pm Friday 30 June, 9pm

Social Media at Theatrefest

Here are some of the top tweeters at Theatrefest…





The news from Theatrefest…

27th June 2017: Secrets to enjoying Barnstaple Fringe TheatreFest with kids (North Devon Gazette)