Exeter Fringe Festival is an 11 day festival of live performances, many of which have never been seen before until now. There is no limit to the variety of styles, forms and disciplines to discover throughout the festival, all of which promise bravery, provocation, challenge and debate.
Here are some highlights …
About a Bench
Presented by Owdyado Theatre, Cornwall
One bench. One hour. Nine stories.
Back with their 2nd tour, ‘Owdyado Theatre, Cornwall’s most exciting new company puts the humble park bench centre stage to explore the intricate human dramas that take place upon this normally inconspicuous object. The play follows seven separate stories that all have one thing in common; a park bench. ‘Owdyado use a wide range of theatrical styles from playful mime to mind bending surrealism to bring you a unique production unlike any other you may have seen before. Join two inseparable drifters as they try to find out where they are, where they were going and even where they came from, watch a whole love story unfold in ten minutes and discover what happens when you meet yourself. With a cast of two playing a large number of characters this is a challenging and exciting original piece for the company that formed in early 2010. Over the last year they have developed from a small scale theater duo to a professional touring company and have had the fortune to bring Simon Harvey of Kneehigh and O-region in to direct About a Bench.
22 – 23 June, The City Gate, Exeter
An Indecent Interlude
A darkly comic examination of the strains of modern romance.
In its sardonic depiction of a young woman’s complex love life, the play follows Holly Chapman who finds herself trapped in everyone’s worst nightmare—enclosed in a small space with her two ex-lovers.
Locked in a store cupboard over the weekend with the charismatic Richard and unassuming James, Holly must endure their mind-numbing company whilst trying not to lose her head. Tensions run high and the three become embroiled in an intense dispute which results in some troubling revelations. Within hours, claustrophobia strikes. With no food, no signal and indeed, no hope, the three are forced to work together in a bid to avoid, well—killing each other.
An Indecent Interlude evokes the quirks of basic human nature. At once witty and moving, the play is a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre. With no Colin Firths or Hugh Grants in sight, this play proves that modern intimacy is less Notting Hill and more Fatal Attraction.
22 – 24 June, Barnfield Theatre, Exeter
By Lot Vekemans
Translated by Judith Amsenga and Nick Bruckman
What if you don't know how to be strong or heroic? What if you've never done anything big in your life, but you have a world famous sister who did? What if you've been dead for thousands of years, without anyone to talk to? What happens when you finally get to tell your story?
SISTER OF is the story of an anti-hero, a footnote in the history of the famous ancient Greeks. Because she never did anything memorable. Based on the mythological figure of Ismene - sister of Antigone, daughter of Oedipus.
22 – 24 June, The Bike Shed Theatre
BY THE GUITARIST KEITH HYETT
The guitar music of Keith Hyett will transport you to many places with his varied programme of guitar music. Keith's musical influences are many and varied, from the rock music of his teenage years, to classical favourites by Bach and Beethoven, to flamenco and folk music, all are in there, which means that his music is appreciated by a wide audience.
His pieces will take you for a walk through a forest on a moonlit night, with a clearing where you get a panoramic view of the moon and stars. Another piece which although having a flamenco feel is very much about a view from a tower on the Cotswold edge where you can see many counties on a clear day, as well as seeing the Welsh mountains and the Malvern Hills in the distance. There are many pieces which are like this, one of the best is probably a piece called the Mill, which tells the story of the water going through a water mill, as it starts in a collecting pool and then goes through a channel which leads it to the water wheel, and then takes it to a more tranquil life.
26 June, Rusty Bike, Exeter
The Improsarios present an evening of improvised theatre and comedy - all created on the night and inspired by your suggestions. Sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and always entertaining, this highly-skilled group offer complete stories with strong, theatrical performances and a genuinely one-off experience every time.
27 June – 2 July (no shows 29 and 30), The Black Box Studio, Exeter Phoenix
Written by Eliza Power
Who is more trustworthy than a sister?
Sex, lies and black comedy permeate this modern reworking of Ovid’s myth of Tereus, Procne and Philomela from the Metamorphoses, blending mythological symbolism and contemporary dialogue.
After years of estrangement, married couple Marisa and Dan welcome Marisa’s sister Edie into their home. Their marriage, already marred by interference from Marisa's meddling best friend, is put to the test. Struggling to settle into the fractured household, Edie finds solace in her new lover Nathan. But as Dan’s attraction to Edie develops, a dark history between the two sisters begins to emerge...
28 - 29 June, The Bike Shed Theatre.
Opposition - A Little Political Speech Opera
Written and Performed By Hannah Silva
In her new solo show Opposition, vocal gymnast and word cutter-upper extraordinaire Hannah Silva uses multiple art forms to dissect and parody political language, revealing the meaning, music and meaninglessness beneath the rhetoric of today’s (big?) society.
The audience pick up their name badges and become delegates at a political conference remixed as David Cameron’s Big Society speech, the Weather, the News, slang, live Twitter feeds and Winston Churchill all get cut up and recomposed using a loop pedal, a tin whistle, and her extraordinary vocal gymnastics.
28 - 29 June, The Bike Shed Theatre.
Tomboy Blues – The Theory of Disappointment
Written and performed by Rachel Mars and nat tarrab.
Acclaimed live artists and performance makers Rachel Mars and nat tarrab present their first full length show. Funny, poetic and disarmingly honest, it is a bittersweet tale of how it feels to wonder what life would be like if you weren’t who you are.
1 - 2 July, Exeter Phoenix