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Camden Fringe

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31st July -27 August 2017

Welcome to FringeReview’s Camden Festival Fringe coverage. Over 2017 coverage will soon appear here.

Camden Fringe is London Fringe. It always feels like a young Fringe, brimming with new work, experimentation, but with a back-bone of shows making a return, on their route to and from tours and other Fringes. It is packed this year with watchable fringe. So watch Camden come alive and join in this August.

Over coverage will be growing from now until the end of the Fringe and is designed, in different ways, to help you navigate your way through the many shows on offer.

Essential Links

Visit the main Camden Fringe web site

Browse the programme  – coming soon

Book tickets

Find a venue

Follow Camden Fringe on Twitter.

Join them on Facebook.

Watch them on YouTube

Read them on Tumblr

Read interviews and previews below and here


This was our 2016 coverage. Check back for the new programme as soon as the Fringe makes it available.

I want to see … at Camden Fringe

Rosie Holt: Drop It Like It's Holt

This is our quirky and intuitive show-finding tool at Camden Fringe. We hope you find it a useful way of homing in on what you want to see from the vast array of shows and events.

I want to see…


The Girl and The Box

… a celebration of London culture & diversity. Then see Broken English

… some fables and storytelling. Then see The Girl and the Box

… a grotesque comedy about a love triangle gone wrong. Then see Ya’akobi & Leidental

… a harrowing play about a young woman fighting for her sanity against the weight of a brutal sexual assault. Then see Dark Vanilla Jungle

… a Jacobean masterpiece by John Ford. Then see ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore

… some Shakespeare. Then see A Midsummer Night’s Dream

… a show about a drag queen. Then see Encore

… a puppetry piece inspired by Oscar Wilde. Then see Oscar

… some intimate theatre. Then see Not About Heroes

… a black comedy. Then see Mercy Road

… an award-winning play about couples therapy. Then see How Does That Make You Feel

… a satire set in a further education college. Then see At The Heart of Everything

… a play, backed by live jazz music, that tells of the passionately wild marriage of Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. Then see One for My Baby

… an original, devised and political piece involving music, movement and new writing. Then see Glaucoma

… some new writing. Then see Mine

… a bizarre, 30-minute show. Then see Rosie Holt: Drop It Like It’s Holt 

… Shakespeare alive! The First ever TV interview. Then see Shakespeare Tonight

… the scariest show at the Fringe. Then see Fright Nights

… a Shakespeare classic. Then see The Taming of the Shrew



Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious

… a brand new show of darkly silly sketches and characters. Then see The Intimate Strangers: Mister Bond

… some daring comedy. Then see Luke McQueen – Something For Everyone

… some sketch comedy. Then see Hot Crisps

… a fast paced, award-nominated farcical physical comedy. Then see Journeys

… some improvised comedy. Then see Improv Deathmatch or see The Irish Comedy Improv Show

… some comedy from the U.S.A. Then see Jiggy: 50 First Dates, Zero Second Dates

… some intellectual comedy. Then see Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious

… an Irish comedy musical set in a convent. Then see God’s Little Angels – An Irish Comedy Musical

… some comedy and Judge Judy. Then see Judge Judy’s Buzz World



Simon David: Virgin

… some original pop songs and comedy. Then see Simon David: Virgin

…a musical. Then see Big Shot

… a unique rock musical with a political and social heart that was a big hit at Brighton Fringe. Then see The Reincarnation of Trim Tab Jim

… Liza Minnelli. Then see Somewhere Under The Rainbow – The Liza Minnelli Story



… a dance theatre double bill based upon tragedies by Federico Lorca & Oscar Wilde. Then see ‘Till Death Do Us…

… Godspell. Then see Godspell.

We’ll be adding more in the run up to, and during the Fringe.


Camden Fringe Link Collage

Here is our visual way to find a show at Camden Fringe. We’ve chosen images of recommended shows that draw us in.

Click on an image that you feel drawn to and get booking…

A Midsummer Night's Dream A Day in the Life of Boab Coyle Radiator Andrew O'Neill Is Trapped Down A Well

Encore Ya'akobi & Leidental Curses Worst Case Scenario

The Reincarnation of Trim Tab Jim Realtine/Noreen Blink by Phil Porter Joy Carter: Spot The Difference

The Austerity Games Breakaway We Are Not Alone Altered Minds, Altered Realities

Richard Stainbank: The Wilderness Years Trolley Girls Fire Burn: The Tragedy of Macbeth Does Buddha Eat Haggis?

The Intimate Strangers: Mister Bond Soft, The Moon Rose Lady Parts Awkward Topic

Improvable Scenes from the End Square Stand up Tempest


We’ll be adding more in the run up to, and during the Fringe.


Camden Fringe Keyword Chaos


With so many shows to choose from, sometimes the clues are in the publicity.

We’ve been scanning the programme and are collecting phrases that leap out and intrigue us.

How it works: Click on a phrase, use your intuition and you might just find a gem of a show…

“When one of them meets a woman with a big behind, a cruel game of petty manipulations begins”

“conflict and violence at a provincial state all-girls school”

“A play about sex, knitting and unintended consequences”

“Aaron wears orange, Brian wears a potato sack.”

“a young girl Beth’s battle with her own brain”

“where did this pessimism come from? His Dad? Where he grew up? Or maybe it’s just him!”

“A simple Scottish girl rising from the streets of Johannesburg to London’s West End”

“a crazy and crowed world full of bright lights, large creatures with hands, as well as many more sweet treats to distract his tiny mind.”

“six characters struggling, surviving and laughing despite living in a world that does not understand them.”

“Anger heals but forgiveness takes courage.”

“everything from the absurdity of social media, the terrifying world of relationships and his grandmother.”

“a feel good show about waterslides”

“Ever felt like part of the sideshow in the circus of life?”

“a provocatively twisted performance based on the personal life story and poetry of Nobel Prize-winning, Soviet-American writer Joseph Brodsky.”

“Very, very loosely based on true stories of self-marriages”

“unconditional love, anxiety, peeing on things and being a wolf”

“what happens when the dead come back to life?”

“a tale about Doing Shit instead of sitting still and be safe”


We’ll be adding more soon.



(More interviews here)

Comedian, Luke Kaile from talks about Luke Kaile Is A Fraud

Luke Kaile Is A Fraud

What’s the theme of your show?

My stand-up show is largely about how we feel the need to exaggerate and fabricate our lifestyles. This may be to gain more attention, a promotion or even just to pretend.

I look at the spectrum of being a fraud, from people who create different personas online, to people who lie on expense claims for their company.

I share some examples of what I’ve personally witnessed in trying to produce my own feature film, with how filmmakers and alike will do anything to get their hands on budgets and bragging rights.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

I guess my rehearsals are largely in the form of stand-up shows.

In the run up to the Camden Fringe I’ve done a lot of 5-10 minute slots across London, testing different bits of material on varying crowds. This helped me slowly hone and stitch the piece as a whole together.

I then ran 3 preview nights across January, February and March where a set of comedians would perform in the first half, before I performed a 45 minute set. Each preview night I would tinker with the 45 minute set, switching segments around, introducing new bits of material until I found a good match.

What’s new or unique about the show?

Despite veering away from the hot stand up topics such as Brexit, Tinder and politics my show takes a unique angle with its audio.

Throughout the last few months I’ve had a few voice over friends of mine record audio for varying jokes. Sometimes, they will be reciting a Facebook post or an Amazon review which I will then analyse with the audience. Other times, I have compiled a entire audio film trailer to play to the audience.

How did the show come into being?

A lot of the framework from the show started with the lies and exaggerations I’ve experience as I produce my feature film. A lot of the boasts of filmmakers came online via Twitter and other social media platforms.

This eventually led me to examine how everyday people change their personas to boast online. This segment of my show is possibly the most popular as I think a lot of people can relate to what some people do to garner attention online.

How is the show developing?

The show’s now at a point where I have around an hour’s worth of material that I think works well as a whole.

The idea now is to write a few more bits so I have a wealth of options when I come to perform the 45/50 minute sets at Camden Fringe.

Describe the process of creating this work

As mentioned with in the rehearsal question, the majority of the work has been attending stand up nights and trying out bits of material.

The set is written solely by myself with the occasional consultation with a writer friend of mine who I’m subsequently working on my film with.

How have you experimented?

I think my comfort zone is in call backs and linking stories together. And as much as I do that in my set, I have tried to push away from that at times. The introduction of the audio analysis segments and the fake film trailers have allowed me to test out more absurdist comedy.

Furthermore, with the theme being about fraud and fakers, I’ve written segments that see me intentionally lie and exaggerate stories to the maximum, pushing them away from standard stand up stories that seek to relate to audiences rather than alienate them. It’s been quite interesting seeing reactions on that!

What are your favourite shows, and why?

“Community” was a firm favourite of mine for a long time. It’s ability to morph and play with genres in their episodes is great fun. I also like the meta, self referential comedy.

“Breaking Bad” – Like most people I became consumed by the show, especially the tautness of the writing. I loved the way each moment was dealt with explicitly, no character was discarded, no idea left off the table. If a character did something, their would be consequences.

Show dates, times and booking info: Show taking place at Aces and Eights
156-158 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park, London NW5 2HP
dates time ticket prices concessions
Mon 1 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00
Tue 2 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00
Wed 3 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00
Thu 4 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00
Fri 5 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00
Sat 6 Aug 2016 5:15pm £5.00
Sun 7 Aug 2016 5:15pm £5.00
Book tickets here

Visit Luke’s Facebook page



Devising Performer Lucy White talks about Mr Jordan’s Funeral: In Absence of his Memory








What’s the theme of your show?

Mr Jordan, a loving husband, brother, dickhead, lover, father, mumbler and ghost. Six women pick up his fragments and create stories by slipping through the cracks of memory.

It’s not about him after all. A physical exploration that uses daring imagery, energetic performances and messy yet vulnerable moments to turn the conventions of a funeral upside down. It’s quirky, playful and sincere.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Full of dancing and inspiration from surprising moments! We train, improvise, collect and explore. We follow a natural route towards our devising process that comes to us quite intuitively. We often start with improvisation (after preparatory training ‘exercises’ to tune our bodies in to the theme of work and each other) and then work playfully with found pieces of text and use a combination of techniques to combine the material produced. All in all they are a lot of fun!

What’s new or unique about the show?

It is daring and playful yet communicates sincere and quiet moments as well. We are unafraid to present our audience with a world in which we truly play and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We dare our spectators to dive in with us and follow strands of story through varied visual landscapes.

How did the show come into being?

When we were all living in the same city (Canterbury) we were meeting weekly to train and devise. After exciting feedback following a 6-week devising experiment (to create a show in this time, a scene a week in three hour sessions) we decided to work towards developing a full show from one of the lines we had used “…go,to Joe’s worskshop, get new underpants, attend Mr Jordan’s Funeral.”

Some months later a few of us had moved to other places so we came together again for an intensive devising period to finish the show. One of the members had found some exciting pieces of text from Charles Mee that were full of visceral poetry and juicy images (they felt very Foxtale!) and we went from there…

Following this we had another week of bringing together the ends and rehearsing, before debuting it to a full audience in Canterbury, just over a year ago.

How is the show developing?

It was exciting to revisit the show in our week leading up to the recent Brighton Fringe. We used this time (at least 5 hours a day) to recapture what we found the previous year, but also develop it drawing from on our individual journey’s since originally approaching the material – 3 members trained at Duende School of Physical Theatre in Athens in this time, 1 at Lispa (London International School of Performing Arts, based on the teachings of Jaques Lecoq) in Berlin and 2 working on PHDs (one on the use of the woman’s body in performance and the other in the use of Drama to aid the diagnosis of Autism).
These rich experiences, plus a fresh approach to our piece as a whole, resulted in interesting character developments and a heightened sense of synchronicity and fluidity. We look forward to continuing this process in our week together leading up to our performances in Camden.

How has the writer been involved

Or describe the process of creating this work.: We are all the writers! Although we also use text from other authors (for which we have copyright) we fragment and fuse these texts (as well as our own) to create our own story lines and world of narrative.
We start by exploring these texts, what we like about them, how they feel on our tongues and in our bodies and then the story lines and characters begin to emerge. We choose to focus on the themes we see appearing out of the work, and the the dramaturgical links develop in rehearsal as these scenes slot together (often in delighted ‘light bulb’ moments!)

How have you experimented?

We experiment every time we enter the rehearsal room. Being an emerging company we are at the beginning of trying our work out on a number of different audiences. Therefore, as our style isn’t particularly conventional, it is an experiment whenever we present it to a room full of spectators from different backgrounds.
We relish in committing to our own style of theatre and experimenting with ways different in which we can use pieces of text, music and images, which are seemingly unrelated, to create a story of our own making.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Gecko – ‘Institute’ – We made sure to see this together as a company as we love the way this company integrate their text and body work. This show is one of our favourites as it it devised from a company approach, creating a world of their own in which they bring their very real themes to life in a slightly surreal and dystopian world. The strength of Gecko’s text work alongside their obvious physical skill and innovative use of movement is something that we take inspiration from.

Show dates, times and booking info: 26th/27th/28th August, 12:30pm.
Email foxtale.six@gmail.com to enquire about a press ticket.
Booking here: http://camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=613

Company web site: http://www.judita-vivas.com/foxtaleensemble/



Bria de la Mare from Backpack Theatre talks about Bibs, Boats, Borders & Bastard

Bibs, Boats, Borders & Bastards

What’s the theme of your show?

An epic retelling of stories about the people affected by the current refugee crisis. The show highlights the political issues and delves into the people behind it all with documentary style scenes, puppetry, live music and bouffon scenes, creating a dynamic and riveting performance that questions your beliefs and viewpoints.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

We’re a devised company and all of the work in our shows comes from intensive and lengthily devising processes. A typical rehearsal will start with any notes for the company and then lead into a warmup, usually taken by a different member of the company. We play a lots of games as our company is big on play, as well as physical exercises. We may then review any work a company member has prepared outside of rehearsal and then workshop that material into the show. We have a musical team (who are also performers) always on hand with their instruments to accompany workshops of scenes or improvisations. We will then usually run through the material we have and we may try different variations or dramaturgical structures of that material.

What’s new or unique about the show?

Our show is unique firstly in how it came together. This was our first professional show as Drama Students and we were incredibly focused throughout the process. Our director, Andre Pink, conducted us through a lengthy devising process which resulted in us producing over 3 hours worth of material from the show. This material was all based in either improvisational workshops or extensive research that we conducted as a company. So when it came to structuring the show we hit upon a very effective way, and eventually (not until opening night) we managed to get the show down to the required time. This formula we found for creating shows will be the foundation for all future Backpack shows.

Our shows are incredibly dynamic, our unique training as World Performance students ensure there are a lot of different theatrical elements rolled into one show. We are strong on music, with an incredibly talented musical team. We’ve worked together for three years and our diversity as a company is our biggest strength.

How did the show come into being?

(See above)
It was our first show has the graduating year at East 15 Acting School. Our director was incredible in introducing us to a devising process that will now serve us through the years. We received an incredible reception during our debut performance of the show, we were all also so passionate about the message of the show that we decided we had to form a company and continue.

How is the show developing?

Every day! The current refugee crisis changes constantly and we are dedicated to trying to update our show as this happens. We’re currently on a break from rehearsals and when we return we know a lot will change! Which is a part of the way we do things at Backpack and it’s incredibly exciting. We’ve had to reshuffle cast members which has been difficult but has allowed us to look at the show with fresh eyes.

How has the writer been involved? Or describe the process of creating this work.

Each company member wrote a part of this show. All the written material came either directly from our was adapted from the extensive research each member conducted. We would then bring all this work together and discuss what worked and what was vital to the shows message.We would then structure the show based on that material.

How have you experimented?

Through choice and without any choice. We’ve been forced, last minute to completely rework the show , when members had to leave we had to rework structures, scenes and even cut material and replace it with something new.

We always experiment with music, sounds and theatrical styles. Will it be done direct address? Through comedy? Why don’t we replace this actor with a puppet? How can we bring our training into this scene? How can we push the story forward?

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Anything experimental, whether it’s good or bad, you can always appreciate the attempt at pushing boundaries. Stories that are told visually, without reliance on text or dramatic structures.

Show dates, times and booking info: The Cockpit Theatre

Saturday 13th August – 3:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday 14th August – 2:30pm and 6:00pm

Booking and info here

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



Comedian, Bentley Browning from Cute Cat Productions talks about Rubbish Rebel

What’s the theme of your show?

Rubbish Rebel – TV Comic actor features in this one man stand up comedy show as himself failed rockstar Steve Plimpton,North London’s most boring priest Rev Rupert Williams and You Tube channel fame desperado Melinda Middleton.

It’s A humourous collection of pathos driven, post-modern expressionists vignettes with a sub- Brechtian twist…… (!!! – Ed)

it’s a load of silly voices.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Gruellingly self indulgent staring at empty theatre seats struggling to perfrom and act as a 50 strong mad for it audience whilst hoping the office girl next door can’t hear me.

What’s new or unique about the show?

It’s kind of retro,broad and a throwback to a gentler era shot through with a 21st Century fame age complexity.Sort of end of the peer meets a fifth-rate Mike Yarwood.

How did the show come into being?

Doing a string of quirky tv jobs including a Porn Baron on Sexx the Sitcom for Loaded Tv,as David Cameron on Titchmarsh and the Green Party broadcast,doing comedy sets on Channel 5’s Half Night Stands and Posh Pawnbrokers inspired me to package it somehow into a stand up show

Constant experimenting in 5 min spots in London pubs..A failure to decide whether to go for characters or myself..so i did both!

How is the show developing?

Previews at Brighton Fringe, Hastings Fringe,  Canterbury and London are helping me tweak it into a more impacting shape.

How has the writer been involved? Or describe the process of creating this work.

I wrote it and am still wondering if these characters are part of me or some satirical comment on society.Are they parts of me? Failed rockstar definitely.My father was a priest so i guess so too….Melinda the WAG wannabe i couldnt comment!

How have you experimented?

Wigs, glasses and not drinking before going on stage.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Anything with Alan Partridge or Steve Coogan.I decided to start doing stand up when i saw Russell Brand on Ponderland and at a small show in the Soho theatre.

Show dates, times and booking info:
Sunday August 21st at the Etcetera Theatre, 2.30pm 

Booking and info here

Company web site: http://www.comedynovices.com

(More interviews here)