• Durham OnAir

Durham Fringe Festival thrills in City for second year running


Durham Fringe Festival has brought laughs a plenty to Durham, in another week of brilliant fringe theater in the city.


In it's second year, The Fringe Festival brought over 150 different performances over a five day period. Over 2700 audience members enjoyed live comedy, theatre, music and dance over 6 days from July 26th - 31st.


Stephen Cronin, chairman of the Durham Fringe Said:


"People talk about buzz, it’s hard to define, but we certainly had it. Laughter, chatter, T-shirts, grinning faces saying “ What’s next?” “Did you see 'such and such'..!“ We’ve grown by more than 30%. It’s been brilliant with all sorts of shows: hilarious, challenging, joyous, stuff we never imagined, and people came, and loved them. They want more and can’t wait to come back. We’ve proved there’s a real audience for Fringe in Durham and support from all sides."


When asked about next years plans, Dr Cronin said "There’s stuff for us to learn as we grow and there are people and organisations who want to grow with us. I can’t wait for next year."


The first day of the festival was marred by a power cut in the Market Place, which resulted in historical bones being discovered by power workers.


Shows were moved to other venues, and by Wednesday, all shows were running to schedule in their listed venues.


Audiences members were treated to the future of comedy from the members of "The Durham Revue", a brand new musical was enjoyed in "Leaves On The Line", and fabulous cabaret filled The Assembly Rooms Theatre with "Tropicana" by Aidan Sadler.


Most shows performed at the Fringe are now en route to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they will play for the majority of August.


Another member of the Durham Fringe board said "The Fringe started as an idea a few years ago to bring more creative theatre performance into the city. Quirky shows in quirky venues, with more opportunity for people to get involved in performance. Hundreds of artists and audience members are making their way to Edinburgh for the Fringe festival in the last week of July, and we want to give them a reason to get off the train in Durham to perform, watch and enjoy some great theatre."


One organisation was notably absent from the Festival. Gala Durham, the main theatre in the City, did have a number of live events through the week, but they were not part of official festival listings.


A representative of Durham Fringe said "There does seem to be some reluctance from Gala to take part in the festival. We don't know the full reasons as to why, as we feel their involvement would be a huge benefit to artists and Durham's passionate theatre audiences who enjoy all kinds of entertainment. We hope to continue conversations with them about future collaboration" .