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Fringe festival to bring theatre to Lancashire seaside town

Morecambe. Photo: Dave Martin Morecambe. Photo: Dave Martin
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A new fringe festival has been created in Morecambe, Lancashire, in a revived music hall in the seaside town.

The organisation, which is running its first festival from September 8 to 10, has also been appointed the new UK centre for the International Theatre Institute, a UNESCO initiative set up in 1948.

The Morecambe Fringe has a programme largely consisting of solo theatre and spoken-word shows and has been set up to bring theatre to an area where there currently is none.

Co-directors Nick Awde and Matt Panesh said: “The West End of Morecambe is in the top 10% of the most deprived areas in the UK and we asked ourselves why that should be a reason to exclude an entire community from theatre.

“We’ve therefore created a fringe that will roll over the whole year to not only build audiences but also provide a seedbed for local talent and create an interchange with the rest of the industry both nationally and internationally.”

The festival is based in the Carleton Club, formerly the Alhambra Palace and the location for Laurence Olivier’s screen version of John Osborne’s The Entertainer.

The festival’s first programme includes a performance of Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, which was inspired by his experiences as a young actor in the area.

The Morecambe Fringe will also become the UK base for the International Theatre Institute, a global arts organisation that promotes UNESCO’s values through culture and the performing arts.

Morecambe Fringe co-director Nick Awde is also co-editor of The Stage’s international section.