Two weeks of events begin as Norwich Fringe Festival returns

Norwich Fringe characters, Vernon Ponder, front left, and Monty Tailforth, right, aid artist Aaron F

Norwich Fringe characters, Vernon Ponder, front left, and Monty Tailforth, right, aid artist Aaron Fickling in cutting the ribbon to launch Norwich Fringe. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

Norwich is set to be awash with art and entertainment for the next two weeks, after the curtain was raised on the return of the Norwich Fringe Festival.

Norwich Fringe characters, Vernon Ponder, left, and Monty Tailforth, who are hoping to swap a jar of

Norwich Fringe characters, Vernon Ponder, left, and Monty Tailforth, who are hoping to swap a jar of Norwich air for a car in the Fringe's Swap Shop at the Fringe launch. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The festival didn't run in 2012, but has been 'rebooted' for 2013 by two former organisers, Marion Catlin and Paula Sanchez.

Norwich Fringe characters, Vernon Ponder, left, and Monty Tailforth, right, aid artist Aaron Ficklin

Norwich Fringe characters, Vernon Ponder, left, and Monty Tailforth, right, aid artist Aaron Fickling in cutting the ribbon to launch Norwich Fringe. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The return of the Fringe was celebrated yesterday with the opening of an exhibition by six local artists at The Undercroft, a new arts space beneath the Memorial Gardens at the back of Norwich market in the middle of the city.

Among the Fringe line-up is everything from readings of recently translated and medieval Hebrew poetry to a handful of theatrical misfits with a market stall who are trying to 'trade up' a jar of local air, for a Lotus car.

Fringe co-director, Marion Catlin, said: 'We didn't really intend to re-boot Norwich's much-loved Fringe, but in the end, we responded to demand from local artists and performers who wanted some collective profile for locally produced work – a test-bed and showcase for what Norwich can offer to the rest of the UK.


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'Even so we are really excited by the response and reaction from local artists and venues – though next year we will take a bit more time.

'The enthusiasm and support has been overwhelming and it shows that there is a real need here. No-one has just been hired in, it's all about working together and making the most of our very creative city.'

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The Fringe is running alongside Norwich Sound & Vision and will 'umbrella' a Poetry Slam Night at The Birdcage, music from Carolina Chocolate Drops and Rob Beckett at Norwich Arts Centre and two performance at The Garage; The Wrong 'Un and 12 Miles to Nowhere.

The Fringe's other co-director, Paula Sanchez, added: 'Our partners Norwich Sound & Vision, Norwich Arts Centre, The Garage and The Birdcage have augmented our programme so that for the next two weeks Norwich is going to be teeming with brand new performance, visual arts and music.

'I hope local people and visitors to the city will embrace this opportunity to discover some fantastic new talent.'

Many of the events are free or in exchange for donations on the door, or priced as 'Fringe for a Fiver', which is paid on the door or booked online.

Norwich Writers' Centre chief executive and UNESCO City of Literature director, Chris Gribble, said: 'Norwich Fringe Festival is a vital part of the city's artistic life and we're delighted it's back. Celebrating the best from Norwich, it's a brilliant platform for established, emerging and new talent.

'I am looking forward to being in an audience at as much as I can get to this year.'

Tickets can be booked at www.norwichfringefestival.co.uk

Related links

Norwich Fringe Festival set to return

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