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Greater Manchester Fringe boasts record number of shows

Comedian Phill Jupitus performing at the Greater Manchester Fringe. Photo: Shay Rowan
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More than 20,000 people attended the Greater Manchester Fringe this year, in which the number of shows registered was double that of last year.

The festival, which took place throughout July across the city, saw 138 shows take place over 678 performances, double last year’s figure of 69.

A mix of theatre and comedy, the fringe included shows from Phill Jupitus, Robin Ince and the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, who all previewed new shows ahead of this month’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Venues for the festival, now in its third year, ranged from established venues such as The King’s Arms in Salford, to hotels, bars and even a campervan.

Co-director of the fringe, Zena Barrie, said: “We are really delighted with how the festival went this year. Quality shows with good audience numbers. What more could we ask for?”

More than 800 people took part and a total of 28 shows from the festival are currently running in Edinburgh.

This year’s patrons included writer Tim Firth and actors Shobna Gulati and Arthur Bostrom, as well as comedian Justin Moorhouse.

Salford councillor and assistant mayor, Ann-Marie Humphreys, said: “I personally believe that it is very enriching for people’s lives and I was extremely enthusiastic from the first minute.”

She added: “I could see that, because of The King’s Arms, it would drive people into that part of Salford, which is undergoing a big regeneration and we really want to make that a vibrant community like [Manchester’s] Northern Quarter.”

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