Chichester Fringe returns with the “magic of performance”

After a successful debut in June 2021, Chichester Fringe is bringing the magic of performance to a live audience.

Simon O'Hea
Simon O'Hea

From 1-3 July, it will be staging eight different shows in Graylingwell Chapel, as part of the Festival of Chichester. There is a comedy night at Chichester Canal on 7 July, and a music night at Oxmarket Contemporary on Thursday 14 July. On Saturday 16 July there is a poetry performance and a cabaret night at the Canal.

Simon O’Hea, from the Fringe team, said: “This year promises a fantastic mix of new performances, ranging from drama, comedy, music, puppetry, through to poetry and dance. There’s Indie musician Jacob Palmer, comedy from TikTok stars The Sugarcoated Sisters, dance from Arabesque, drama from Juvenile Behaviour Theatre, as well as a brand-new musical, The Girl in the Mirror.”

Katie Bennett, co-producer, said: “Our aim is to make the fringe accessible and affordable. We’re doing this by offering tickets at affordable prices and offering NHS, student and Equity discounts, as well as by live-streaming each evening show at Graylingwell for free!”

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    Last year Carol Webb, Katie Bennett and Simon O'Hea set the fringe up in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They recognised the need to give performers a safe space to perform, as well as to provide entertainment for audiences far and wide. They sensed that there was an opportunity for a unique and supportive fringe scene in Chichester, as there was plenty of talent about, yet nothing like a fringe anywhere around the city.

    Simon said: “Chichester Fringe supports and mentors up-and-coming performers from the local area and beyond, by providing a free and safe space to perform, and by enabling them to showcase their work directly to a receptive audience.

    “In 2021 the Cathedral generously provided the Vicar’s Hall free of charge and more than 13 hours of Fringe events were freely livestreamed. This year the Chichester Fringe will be freely broadcasting most of the Graylingwell events either as a livestream, or on catch-up the following weekend. You can watch the shows through our website, https://www.chichesterfringe.co.uk.

    “Chichester Fringe also gives opportunities for behind-the-scenes roles too. Volunteers are able developing their skills in stage management, photography, web design, social media

    and musical direction. It also gives Chichester venues the opportunity to use their spaces in innovative ways, supporting others in the community.”

    Will Allenby, senior lecturer at the University of Chichester, said, “The University of Chichester Conservatoire is absolutely delighted that the Chichester Fringe has offered so many opportunities to graduating students for professional engagements. It’s offering a great variety of entertainment and shows - what a fabulous asset for our beautiful city."

    Rachel Hogarth is returning to this year’s fringe performing at Oxmarket Contemporary. When reflecting on last year she said, “After the isolation of lockdown, Chichester Fringe 2021 helped me to gain confidence to start performing again. It was a very useful stepping stone that allowed me start putting myself out there and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity it gave me!”

    Go to https://www.chichesterfringe.co.uk to find out more.