A Fringe Festival for Durham

Published: 29 April 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Durham Fringe Festival
The Assembly Rooms
The City Theatre
Fabio's Bar
St Chad's Gardens

Durham City’s first ever Fringe Festival is due to run from 28 July to 1 August. Aimed at attracting performers on their way to Edinburgh as well as other performances, the Festival offers four venues seating between 70 and 175 seats, suitable for one-person shows to a full-scale play.

This is a grassroots festival, organised by a group of friends made up of local people working alongside local businesses and looking to grow a collective dream.

It's run by a Community Interest Company, a non-profit organisation which sets out to benefit the people of the county and give performers the chance to find new audiences.

For the first year, they are keeping it small but they hope that over time more venues will join.

The venues are:

  • The recently upgraded Assembly Rooms has 175 seats and a proscenium stage with excellent facilities for audience and performers.
  • The City Theatre also has a proscenium stage and has 71 seats. It belongs to a local amateur company but has hosted a number of professional productions in its time, most recently from Elysium Theatre Company.
  • Fabio’s Bar is very popular bar above a restaurant and an established comedy and music venue. The stage is 2x2m with simple lighting and PA. It is most suitable for soloists, magic, poetry or stand-up.
  • St Chad’s Gardens is an outdoor space in the historic centre of Durham City with minimal tech. It will seat 120 with a thrust or in-the-round stage.

Currently, the Fringe is inviting applications from shows on their way to Edinburgh but that’s not essential. A great show will be welcomed with open arms. To apply, go to the application form on the Festival web site.

The closing date for applications is 21 May 2021. If you have any questions, e-mail [email protected].

Anyone interested in volunteering or any businesses interested in sponsorship should also contact the above e-mail address.