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Manchester Pride - the Best Fringe Theatre

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Manchester Pride is one of the biggest gay pride events in the world, people from everywhere flock to see the floats, the pop stars and enjoy the many other events that take place. This year the line-up includes Pixie Lott, Sugababes and Patrick Wolf. Pride though is not just about the drinking and dancing over the Big Weekend, it actually starts 10 days before the Big Weekend and it's that run up that sees some of the most unique, outrageous and fantastic fringe theatre the city has to offer. This year is no different, so here are some of the best fringe theatre events happening in the city that you should jump online and buy tickets for today. Let's take a look at what's on offer.

Checkout - A New Musical - John Thaw Theatre, Manchester University, 25th August.

Checkout is a brand new musical, performed by a talented group of ten singers and accompanied by a ten-piece band. Set in the fictional town of Dalewood, Checkout tells the story of the town's local independent supermarket, the store's owner and the troubled love lives of the younger people in the town.

Blowing Whistles - Taurus Bar, 22nd and 23rd August.

It's Gay Pride again and Jamie and Nigel are celebrating their 10 years together with something special. Or at least, that was the plan... Blowing Whistles by Matthew Todd is a frenetic, funny and provocative play on love, life, and the internet.

Fetish Knights - John Thaw Studio Theatre, 22nd - 24th August.

A new play by Rob Ellis. There are secrets in Associates Bar but to find them out, you'll have to go in. Strap-in, buckle-up and get ready for the ride of your life - the most outrageous comedy of the decade.

Die Mommie Die! - Sachas Hotel Ballroom - 24th - 25th August.

Ok, so this one is mine! Vertigo Theatre Productions bring back the smash hit production of the Off Broadway Charles Busch camp masterpiece. After a previous successful run, we have secured the ballroom at Sachas Hotel for two performances only. Circa 1960s, Angela Arden, a fallen pop diva is trapped in a hateful marriage. Desperate to find happiness with her younger lover, Angela gruesomely murders her husband with the aid of a poisoned suppository. Angela's manipulative daughter, Edith, convinces her ‘emotionally disturbed' brother, Lance, that they must avenge their father's death... by killing their mother!

Sex and the Century - Chorlton Cum Hardy Library - 25th August.

Imagine your life in 1911, 1951, 1991. What would you be doing? Who and how would you love? We've been gathering information during LGBT History Month, finding the hidden history of ordinary people who often led extraordinary lives. The director, Stephen Hornby, says, "There is a wealth of brilliant stories, really compelling, moving, hysterical and often quite unexpected, not just in Manchester but across the North West. There's so much still to be told about the last century and VADA is going to make a brilliant start this summer with Sex and the Century.

So there you have it, fantastic fringe theatre lighting up Manchester Pride, please note that you do not need a wrist band to see the shows as the wrist band is only for the Big Weekend. So please come on out and support some of the best gay theatre the city has to offer, Musicals, One Woman Shows and Off Broadway Award Winning plays, there's something for everyone at Manchester Pride 2011.

There are more details at the Manchester Pride Website.

- Craig Hepworth


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