As the glorious, large-scale Sgt Pepper at 50 arts festival comes to a close, another new fest for Liverpool begins – much smaller in stature, to be sure, but equally as intriguing.
Liverpool Fringe Festival is bringing together independent theatre, comedy and music at venues in and around the Hope Street area from now until the start of July.
It’s been organised by Korova Arts, which has been based in Liverpool for the last year and also operates Liverpool Fringe Society. The company is not connected with the similarly-named iconic city bar and club of yore – if fact, its roots are in Preston, where it began in 2010.
Founder Sam Buist pioneered the Preston Tringe Festival there, showcasing the city’s arts fringe, and operated the Korova Arts Cafe & Bar there until last year.
He moved to Liverpool looking for a new challenge – and hasn’t wasted any time.
Some 47 acts, including established shows and faces as well as lots of new stuff, mean that fringe theatre hasn’t been this celebrated and supported in town since the days of the Lantern.
The programme of theatre, comedy and music includes Edinburgh comedy stand-up and sketch previews, children’s shows, political theatre, new writing from local writers, cabaret and physical theatre.
Sam says: “I’ve been delighted with the way the festival line-up has come together this year, especially with the amount of theatre that has come forward.
“It’s great to see lots of new writing and political theatre in the festival, as encouraging new talent and people to take a risk is one of the key aims of a fringe festival.”
Details of the full programme are on the Liverpool Fringe Festival website. Highlights include new productions from What We Did Next (Pippin) and Falling Doors (Dennis Kelly’s Taking Care of Baby), some revivals of recent works from Burjesta Theatre at the Casa, and the return of Lewis Bray’s Cartoonopolis and Mike Howl’s More Scouse Saddam?.
Korova Arts is also staging its own productions, including Salford playwright Rob Johnston’s play In a Land Much Like Ours.
Comedians performing during the festival include Josie D’Arcy, Rahul Koli, and Edy Hurst.
Check it out!