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Barnstaple Fringe Theatrefest


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!

“Fringe Theatrefest embraces the widest possible range of theatre forms. Events take place in a variety of circumstances including venues provided by Fringe TheatreFest, venues found and equipped by participating companies and many outside locations.”

Essential Links

The programme is here.

Browse shows by time here

Find theatre shows here

Find a venue

Follow them on twitter.

Follow Theatrefest’s Bill Buffery on Twitter @BillBuffery

Also find them on Facebook

View Theatrefest on Instagram

I Want to See … at Theatrefest

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

I want to see…

… soaring melody lines, dirgy, intense a capella vocals and complex rhythmic structures. Then see Songs of the Hollow

… a family-friendly comedy magician. Then see SESKA – SPOT THE DIFFERENCE!

… some dance theatre. Then see Softly Fall

… some theatre about the First World War. Then see Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl

… some very different spoken word poetey. Then see T.S. Idiot & His Orchestral Testicles

… a stand -up comedy show from Norway. Then see Wingrid

… a lovely story of two clowns cultivating true friendship. Then see Friendly Ever After

…  a world authority on the Whitechapel Murders. Then see Jack The Ripper: Facts, No Fiction

… a one-woman show on how ADHD affects women in their early adulthood, whilst exploring a mother-daughter relationship and how ADHD affects that relationship. Then see Failing at ADDulthood

More to come

Theatrefest 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

Theatrefest 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…

“If you like the idea of a topless Englishman talking about open heart surgery then you’ll love Chest Pains.”

“Expect silliness, sexiness and some sincerity from a performer described by his local council as ‘in very poor taste’.”

“A treatise for our troubled times encompassing tragedy, history and comedy; satire, philosophy and social comment; drama, theatricality and hilarity.”

“What if we live in a multiverse where all possibilities exist and every relationship can take infinite paths?”

“a student’s inner thoughts and feelings, visualising the internal battles when your heart meets your head, and your confidence takes a knock”

“What is art? Who can be said to truly own a piece of art? Why did Leanne’s father never hug her?”

“A young successful designer tackles the biggest job of his career. Working long hours in his studio, external events begin to take a toll on his work, his family, and himself.”

More to come.


Coming soon.

Social Media at Theatrefest

Here are some of the top tweeters at Theatrefest…





Artistic Director Hannah Brooks from TicTac Theatre  talks about Nature Knows Best











What’s the theme of your show?

A comedic look at relationships through the eyes of nature.

What’s new or unique about the show?

A unique blend of word witty comedy and physical theatre, mixed with animals and multi-rolling, all in the space of an hour!

How did the show come into being?

The writer Nick Discombe came to see our production “The Open Couple” (Dario Fo) which is a comedy that we made very physical. He loved our physicalisation and specially commissioned us to do this piece. We had unfortunately already programmed our next show, so it had to wait an extra year. But here it is and we’re extremely proud of Nature Knows Best.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Our rehearsals (with director Jacquie Crago) generally consist of a real physical and vocal warm up, followed by getting to grips with the text. Before flipping upside down in a seagull dive, or learning how to lie down as a sheep (knuckles first) or trying to flirt with your seahorse husband whilst telling him about the dangers of overfishing, all whilst trying not to laugh!!! Our rehearsals are intense, hard work and fun.

How is the show developing?

Each time we are revisiting the text we pull out more tiny nuances, the audience reaction helps us tweak little physicalisations or allow it space to breathe.

How has the writer been involved?: Nick has been the perfect mix of involved and trusting us to do it justice. He has given us all the information and ideas for where he saw the piece going (and where it came from) but then has allowed us complete freedom to adapt, change and add in anything that makes the piece stronger. As he says, the writer is the heart but the actors make it come alive, they know what works on stage. It’s been a wonderful experience collaborating with him.

How have you experimented?

We’ve experimented a lot with the physical aspects. Do we make the animals humanistic, or play humans who have animal traits and how does that work. We researched a lot about animal behavior. We also experimented with audience participation, how much, how little if at all.

Where do your ideas come from?

From the text, we’re fortunate that all the productions we have done so far (“Open Couple” Dario Fo, “You Were After Poetry” Steven Bloomer, “Bride To Be” Peter Quilter) have been fantastically well written. We get all our ideas from reading the text in depth and then putting them up on their feet and seeing the possibilities.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

We constantly push ourselves to give physical, high quality productions but that make sense as to why we’re doing that particular thing. We also go back to our ethos of minimalistic set to draw attention to the text and action of the play, which can prove very challenging!

What are your future plans for the show ?

To tour it for the rest of this year, before starting a new project.

Booking Details and info:

28th June-1st July Barnstaple theatreFest

Book here

Company web site: http://www.tictactheatre.co.uk


The news from Theatrefest…

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