This year’s Durham Fringe Festival saw a superb range of performances across six venues in Durham City.
With shows for audiences of all ages, we were delighted to support the Festival this year, working in partnership with the organisers.
Six venues hosted performances from Wednesday 26 – Sunday 30 July, including a new venue – a stretch tent in the historical heart of Durham on Palace Green.
Durham Fringe Festival Board Director and Durham alumnus Daryl Folkard (Economics, St Aidan’s, 1983-86) commented: “This year’s Durham Fringe Festival was spectacular. Thankfully the weather was kinder than earlier on in July – we even caught a glimpse of a double rainbow when setting up the stretch tent on Palace Green! Audiences flocked to view all the performances, with many selling out, and we increased our ticket sales by 81% on last year which is fantastic for the third year of the Festival.
“Our thanks to Durham University, whose support for the Festival was invaluable. I’d also like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers, performers, venues and sponsors for their vital contributions.”
Six talented student-led companies from Durham Student Theatre and Music Durham kept their audiences entertained, with performances throughout Durham Fringe.
Northern Lights A Cappella, Woodplayers Troupe, Sightline Productions, KEITH. Sketch Comedy, Shellshock! Improvised Comedy, and The Durham Revue all continue their journeys at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this month.
Nadena Doharty (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology) attended Chance, by Sightline Productions: “Chance follows Aaron, who’s just been excluded from mainstream school and is being sent back to Sunnyside Pupil Referral Unit, a school for kids who’ve been excluded for disruptive behaviour. As a Sociologist of Education, I have keen interest in practices of exclusion and marginalisation. I was particularly struck by the ways in which state services frame ‘hard to reach’ communities, when in fact, their deeply complicated lives are simply unheard. Much respect and appreciation to the actors who gave a rousing and engaging performance.”
They join further student-led Durham companies Fourth Wall Theatre Company, Wrong Tree Theatre Company, Pitch Productions and Full Score Barbershop Choir, representing the strength of Durham Student Theatre, Music Durham and the wider student experience at Durham.
To bolster our Edinburgh Fringe representation further, our student companies are joined by seven Durham alumni groups, and staff member Professor Simon Rees from our Durham Centre for Academic Development, who will be making his Edinburgh Fringe debut.
This year’s Durham Fringe was part of the Summer of Shakespeare festival, to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio of the complete works of Shakespeare.
Many performances featured Shakespeare, from the ethereal Midsummer Night’s Dream and the brooding Macbeth put on by The Elysium Theatre Company, to the loud and chaotic (Taming of) The Shrew by Menstrual Rage Theatre Company.
Alumnus Alain Vendiola attended Macbeth: “The performance was extraordinary, and the venue's ambiance added an electrifying charm to the evening. The cast's acting absorbed us, especially the standout performances of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Macduff, the witches, and King Duncan, transporting us into a world of avarice, paranoia, mania, and betrayal.”
See which of our student-led companies and alumni groups will be at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, followed by some of the Durham Fringe Festival 2023 photos (courtesy of Andrew Grant | www.aadgrant.co.uk, also an alumnus - Classics, Ustinov College, 2014-16) in the slideshow below.
Ten Durham Student Theatre and Music Durham companies will be performing at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Seven Durham alumni companies will be performing at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
A new venue (the stretch tent) was erected on Palace Green for this year's Durham Fringe Festival.
Watson: The Final Problem kickstarted Durham Fringe Festival 2023 in the newly re-named Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre.
Buckets of Blood - Fairy Tales Not For Kids with storyteller Eden Ballantyne in Cafédral.
Four piece band Cartoon Food at the newly re-named Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre.
Dark comedy musical Potty the Plant at the newly re-named Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre.
Mister Shakespeare - an Incomplete Work in the Palace Green stretch tent.
Two bards and a Songbird with Jessa Liversidge at Cafédral.
Kirsty Mann: Skeletons (WIP) at Klute.
Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act at Fabio's Bar.
The Quality of Mercy: Concerning the life and crimes of Dr Harold Frederick Shipman in the newly re-named Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre.
Macbeth in the Palace Green stretch tent.