Cutting edge comedy promised at Fringe Festival

HAVE you heard the one about the stand-up and the burlesque bombshell?

They are just some of the bespoke theatre shows that have all been lined-up for the Guildford Fringe Festival in July.

The festival’s headline venue for the fourth year running will be the Back Room of the Star Inn. The pub in Quarry Street has been a place of entertainment for more than 400 years, making it one of Surrey’s longest-running live music and entertainment venues.

The Fringe will see a visit by international burlesque singer, Elsie Diamond – her one-woman show, The Sensible Dresser, is on Thursday 28 July.

Inspired by her day job – dresser to the stars – and set backstage in an opera house, this is a comical, sexy and heartfelt piece told through song, spoken word and striptease.

With her vintage looks, Elsie transports the audience through the decades while maintaining her modern humour.

Also heading for the Star Inn will be new and innovative theatre company  The Forge Initiative Productions with their original production about the forgotten yet rich history of Guildford: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Guildford.

Directed by Jessica Beck (nominee for best director in 2015 Broadway World awards), the graduates from The Academy of Performance Training visited heritage spots, such as the Spike Workhouse, Guildford Museum, the Cathedral and the Guildford Institute to get a broad view of the town.

The play uncovers the hidden local celebrities, including the first woman to get a pilot’s licence; the first best-selling cook book author, Mrs Beeton; and the legend who wrote the anthem of the Suffragists, Ethel Smyth. The show is on Monday and Tuesday 25 and 26 July.

The Friday Night Theatre Company – also from Surrey – will present Amy Rosenthal’s one act-play, Henna Night, on Friday 8 July, also at the Star Inn.

Henna Night features two women – both acquainted with the same man – who want to stay enemies but occasionally just can’t help being friends!

The story starts when Judith leaves a desperate message for her ex-boyfriend Jack on his answering machine, which is heard by new girlfriend Ros, who rushes to speak to Judith.

If you fancy a bit of comedy, Kelly Kingham will bring his latest show to the venue on Friday 29 July. At 50, he is struggling to find peace in an ever-changing world and suddenly realises he has never really felt at home.

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