New talent on display at Harlow Theatre Company’s Fringe Festival

Entertainment / Fri 13th Oct 2023 at 08:44am

HARLOW Theatre Company are busily preparing for their first ever Fringe Festival in November. 

Running 8th to 11th November at the Victoria Hall Theatre, Old Harlow, the fringe festival idea was originally conceived as an opportunity to bring people together and support new local writing and directing talent. With a cast and creative team of nearly 40 including two local writers and 4 new directors, it has certainly done just that! 

Opening the evening is Mark Edwards’ ‘Joined by War‘. Having started writing during lockdown, Mark is also directing the first world war tribute which features a character (‘Harold Tuck’) inspired by his own grandfather and the stories he used to share about his experiences during the war. Joined by War follows a group of soldiers in the trenches, as they face the realities of camaraderie, class barriers and, ultimately, death. 

Following this, we have a short American piece set in the deep south, ‘Sugar Pie‘, directed by Beth Sanderson. Beth is new to HTC and is already looking ahead to a full directing slot in 2024 with the company. Beth obtained a Masters in Theatre Directing in 2020, and previously directed Sugar Pie in London, but was looking for an opportunity to further develop the piece. Described by Beth as ‘a little slice of life’, Sugar Pie follows the moment two people’s lives cross, and the connection they find between each other. 

Up next is ‘A Dog’s Life’, directed by HTC regular Mel Richards. Although a familiar face to HTC audiences, Mel has only directed once previously and has taken the opportunity to be part of the festival before committing to a full directing slot in 2024. A Dog’s Life joins four dogs in a rescue centre as they contemplate the strange world of humans and consider what they want for their own lives – food, tidbits and walkies, something to guard, or simply just to see their best human friend again. Light hearted and endearing, but with a strong message about how we interact with our pets, HTC hopes Fringe Festival audiences enjoy seeing something slightly different brought to the stage! 

Closing the evening is ‘The Hen Party‘, written by local writer Cat Quigley. Directed by another HTC regular, Helga Dove, Helga recently completed her directorial debut with HTC’s family show ‘The Scarecrow and the Windmill’ for the High Wych scarecrow festival, and is looking forward to further developing her new skills. The Hen Party follows four old school friends who have fallen out of touch, but reunite for a weekend abroad to celebrate Sandra’s hen do. Please note, this play includes themes of an adult nature. 

Supported by a wonderful cast of new and familiar faces, and a highly experienced and talented creative team, the directors are relishing the challenge of bringing a show to stage under a traditional ‘fringe festival’ setting. 

To show your support, join us at the Victoria Hall Theatre, 8th-11th November 7:30pm. Tickets available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/harlowtheatrecompany

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