It’s all a bit fringe-y: this month’s best independent arts events

Phoebe Hurst

Who says you need a festival to have a fringe? One-off performances, book readings and new theatre productions happen in Manchester all year round. The folks behind 24:7 Theatre Festival help us to round up this month’s best fringe events.

Proving theatres don’t have to go dark in the summer, Contact stages Lounge Fest, a festival-style take over that showcases two nights of new-writing. Featuring 24:7 alumni Ian Winterton as well as Liverpool’s Annexe Writers, the festival centres around Contact Compacts, a series of short plays from the North West’s brightest writing talent.

And we couldn’t talk fringe without mentioning Manchester Pride. The Big Weekend returns this Bank Holiday with its infamous parade but Pride Fringe runs throughout August with a programme of exhibitions, film screenings and performances. Highlights include Identity Parade at the Lass O’Gowrie, an evening of storytelling, poetry and comedy that explores Queer identity, and Chris Hoyle’s latest play, The Other Team. Portico Library also tempts bookworms with a fund-raising book fair this Friday and Manchester magazine, Nous continues its As We Are Away Festival with readings, screenings and live performances.

And for anyone venturing North of Hadrian’s Wall, Manchester theatre company Leading Van takes its slice-of-life comedy, Loving Dick to Edinburgh Fringe and the Royal Exchange Theatre flies the flag for Manchester at the Northern Stage with a production of Chris Thorpe’s There Has Possibly Been An Incident. Articulate Elbow also represents the city with its production of Mother F, a celebratory tale about mothers and 24:7’s very own David Slack speaks as part of the Edinburgh Showcase at Waverley Gate.

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