Lewisham lines up its own fringe festival

Comediennes Scummy Mummies will premiere their first ever live show

Comediennes Scummy Mummies will premiere their first ever live show

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EDINBURGH has one, so does Brighton and now Lewisham has its own brand new fringe festival.

The London Theatre in New Cross is hosting over 30 shows from emerging and established performers between October 26 and November 10.

It is a chance for entertainers to put on new shows in a proper theatre without the usual expense.

Performers can hire slots in the 50 seat theatre for as little as £20, and just like at the Edinburgh fringe, artists publicise their own shows and sell their own tickets, meaning ticket prices are also kept low.

Entertainment ranges from stand-up comedy, a children’s show, live Balkan acoustic music, poetry nights, monologues, stage plays and play readings.

There is also a three-hour stand-up comedy workshop for those who want to have a go at being funny. 

Lewisham Fringe’s Artistic Director Harry Denford said: “A lot of the performers are locals from New Cross and Telegraph Hill.

“There are so many talented people in the area, but with only four theatres in Lewisham borough there is a lack of performance space so we are filling that gap.

“It’s the first time we have put on a fringe festival in Lewisham so we are starting quite small and will build on it for next year.”

Comediennes Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn live in Forest Hill and Honor Oak and will premiere the first ever live show of their popular Scummy Mummies podcast.

The two mums met doing a gig in Deptford while touring the open mic stand-up comedy circuit.

Their show, about the scummier side of parenting, is in the top 40 iTunes podcasts and the live show will interactive with the audience encouraged to share their less-than-perfect parenting stories and have a good laugh about it.

Helen said: “Other festivals are really expensive to take part in but in this one you just book the theatre and invite your friends.

“Our first show has already sold out just through word of mouth – which is fantastic.

“There are so many creative people in Lewisham. Usually we have to travel north of the river to perform so it will be wonderful to perform close to home”.

Ellie, who grew up in Lewisham, added: “The festival is an indication of how Lewisham has changed.

“There are really exciting things happening which was not the case when I was growing up.

"There is a growing comedy scene here with lots of performers but not enough venues. So this new fringe festival is really important.”

Other shows include Forest Hill resident, stand up comic Madge Hooks’ debut solo show about sexuality and homophobia, and two shows by Prams in the Hall, a theatre group who’s professional actors, directors and writers are all parents.

Go to lewishamfringefestival.com

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