The 13th Camden Fringe Festival has announced its 2018 line-up, which sees themes of #MeToo, LGBTQ and mental health taking the forefront, reflecting what has been a groundbreaking year of social and political change for the UK. The festival, which runs from 30 July to 26 August 2018, will take place in 23 Camden venues this summer with over 200 shows.
Theatre in this year’s programme this year sees a vast range of new work, including Loquitor Theatre’s feminist trilogy show Fémage à Trois, long-time participants Fourth Monkey’s Scandal! Season and performer Rachel Salisbury on that Facebook call-out for a boyfriend – which accidentally went viral.
Dance and music also have a significant presence at the festival, with everything from The London Gay Men’s Choir to a dance musical about Sam Neill.
“I can’t believe that the Camden Fringe is now a teenager – although it has been a whirlwind of hormones and slamming doors from the start, so hopefully we won’t see much difference in mood,” says co-founder Michelle Flower.
“The 13th line-up is typical of the Camden Fringe in its huge breadth of styles, themes, and types of performers. We’ve got youth theatre groups and seasoned performers taking part and shows ranging from classic theatre to sci-fi and fantasy, through to a drawing room orchestra. As always, there is a healthy dose of stand-up and improv included, to keep everyone on their toes.”
Since its humble beginnings, Camden Fringe has fiercely maintained a true fringe ethic of showcasing new work from big names and emerging acts alike at independent venues. Despite running at the same time as the Edinburgh Fringe, the London festival is increasingly becoming the preferred option, with acts like comedian Rhys James choosing Camden over heading north of the border this year.
“One of the things I love about the fringe is the wide variety of venues that get involved. From proper theatres to the surprisingly beautiful back room in a pub, it’s a great way of finding new places to go to all year round,” explains co-founder Zena Barrie. “London is getting increasingly full of chains and posh flats, it’s good to explore and support all the lovely independent places that are still slogging on.”
And as for the festival’s humble pigeon mascot? In former years the bird has been punk, mime and even Bowie-themed – and this year it’s drag. You’ll be sure to see a lot more of this glamorous bird over the coming weeks. Look out, too, for more on our Camden Fringe series of Featured Shows working with MyTheatreMates and, no doubt, quite a few reviews from Mates bloggers.