Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2014

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival is an annual event that I do my damnedest to attend. The younger sibling of the massive Manchester International Festival, the Fringe is a more community based, lower budget (unsurprisingly) but unlike the MIF, it’s an annual look at the creative minds at home in Manchester and Salford who get together to create events, plays and dramas, music and comedy.

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This year, however, I failed. I missed out.

Despite promising myself a visit to at least one event in the festival programme and the events taking place in central venues like Apotheca, The Bay Horse and Taurus, I didn’t manage it. Not a one.

The organisers did, however, take pity on me and invite me to the after party held at The Albert Square Chophouse, so I could applaud those who had taken part, sip on a Ginger Beer provided by sponsors Crabbie’s and, well, look at what I could have visited.

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I’ve detailed the awards below, with thanks to the Fringe organisers for letting me poach some of their photographs too (thanks to Elspeth Moore for these beauties).

But what’s really exciting is 2015. Next year, it will again be alongside it’s big sister and they’re looking for ideas, suggestions and submissions, from venues wanting to take part as well as writers, musicians and organisations.

Heck, they even suggested I write a play.

Me.

Given my recent foray into creative writing, not such a far fetched idea.

Time to get my thinking cap on?

GREATER MANCHESTER FRINGE AWARDS:

BEST NEWCOMER: 

Happy Birthday Without You, Paper Mash Theatre at Joshua Brooks, Manchester

Nominated:

Equal Partners – troublehouse theatre at The King’s Arms, Salford

Hacienda Tales – LIAC Concepts at Joshua Brooks, Manchester

Life’s A Gatecrash – PACT Productions at The King’s Arms, Salford

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BEST COMEDY: 
Back Door – Off Off Off Broadway at The King’s Arms

Nominated:

James Acaster – Gag Reflex at The King’s Arms, Salford

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre – Kev Sutherland at Taurus Bar, Manchester

Sinful – Carly Tarett at The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Uppity – Misty Chance and Terry Gold at Taurus Bar, Manchester

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MOST INNOVATIVE USE OF SPACE: 

Lulo’s Shitting in Narnia – Lou Lowe performed in a campervan 

Nominated: The Dumb Waiter – performed in the newly opened Lucy Davis Vaults at the King’s Arms, Salford

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BEST NEW WRITING: 
Len Johnson Fighter by Colin Connor – King’s Arms

Nominated: 

An Extraordinary Light by Rob Johnston – Breathe Out Theatre at Taurus Bar, Salford

Hacienda Tales by Philip Stuchberry and Sophie Tickle – LIAC Concepts at Joshua Brooks, Manchester

Hardwired by John FK Hoyle – JHC Productions at The Swan Inn, Dobcross

Life Cycle by Adam Sunderland – Sticks Theatre at The Swan Inn, Dobcross

Would You Change? by Rylan Cavell – Bewilderbeastly Productions at Taurus Bar

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BEST SPOKEN WORD: 
JB Barrington – Woodchip Anaglypta and Nicotined Artex Ceilings at The King’s Arms, Salford

Nominated:

Carol Robson, Finding Me, Take Me As I Am – Taurus Bar, Manchester

M.A.I.R.O.U.L.A. by Lena Kitsopoulou, performed by Aliki Chapple – The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Money is as Innocent as the Gun – Bar 21, Manchester

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BEST REVIVAL OR INTERPRETATION: 
The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, Ransack Theatre, at The King’s Arms, Salford

Nominated:

Be My Baby by Amanda Whittington, performed by Asphalt Roses, at The King’s Arms, Salford

Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me by Frank McGuinness, performed by Yer Maun Productions at Joshua Brooks, Manchester

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FASTEST SELLING SHOW: 
The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, The Swan Inn, Dobcross

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SPIRIT OF THE FRINGE: 

Uppity – Misty Chance and Terry Gold at Taurus Bar, Manchester

Nominated: 

Life’s A Gatecrash – PACT Productions at The King’s Arms, Salford

Meet The Real Maggie Thatcher – Gerundagula at The Swan Inn, Dobcross

The Many Mishaps of Mr Vinegar – Two Boards and a Passion at The Swan Inn, Dobcross

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