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Riverside Fringe Festival in Gravesend starts this weekend

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 July 2019

Four by Four Bhangra will be showing off their dance skills for the Riverside Fringe. Picture: Abigail Gilhooly

Four by Four Bhangra will be showing off their dance skills for the Riverside Fringe. Picture: Abigail Gilhooly

©Abigail Gilhooly

It's time for the Riverside Fringe Festival in Gravesend, starting this weekend,

Winner of the Edinburgh Fringe, Basement Tapes tells the story of a woman's life unravelling when she discovered mysterious tapes. Picture: Basement TapesWinner of the Edinburgh Fringe, Basement Tapes tells the story of a woman's life unravelling when she discovered mysterious tapes. Picture: Basement Tapes

The popular festival is scheduled to run over seven days across nine venues and it's jam packed full of some really exciting stuff, the council promises.

Building on the success of last year's one day extravaganza, this year's festival raises the bar by several notches and runs for a whole week from Sunday, July 7 to Saturday, July 13.

Local artists will be performing throughout the week at a cornucopia of exciting events, from award-winning drama to bhangra dance; comedy to a drop-in poetry shop at Gravesend Borough Market.

Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, cabinet member for community and leisure, said: "I am really looking forward to the Fringe festival, it's a platform for local people to showcase their talents for everyone to enjoy. And, what better way to bring our community together than through music, arts and entertainment."

The venues are equally diverse including LV21, The Woodville, Café No.84, Northfleet Central, The Gr@nd and St Andrew's Arts Centre.

The Riverside Fringe Festival has been organised by Gravesham Arts Salon known as GAS.

This is a group of artists and creatives living and/or working in Gravesham.

It was originally formed in 2016 and is now a constituted organisation initiating and delivering projects under the GAS banner. Independently many of the group are developing programmes for families and wider audiences but GAS has given the opportunity for lots of local organisations and individuals to come together to support each other and promote the arts.

The festival has been awarded £14,500 from Arts Council England and is supported by Gravesham Borough Council.

Woodville Theatre manager Mandy Hare said: "We are really excited about the Riverside Fringe and working with local creative people that are so supportive of the arts in their area. Gravesham has a rich and varied creative community and the festival will be celebrating that."

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A string of live music venues includes The Windmill Tavern, Invicta Bar, The Jolly Drayman, The Peacock, The Grapes and The Three Daws.

The Spur of the Moment Theatre Company has Alyce Potter working with local young people for what promises to be a piece of innovative and honest theatre at The Platform.

And Rock Choir is performing at The Enchanted Garden with what it calls a multi-layered singing experience. The big voices of the mass choir of dedicated members will send echoes around its surroundings.

At LV21, comedian Robert Jones will be putting on a show with his observations on life.

There is world music and dance at The Woodville Studio with bhangra workshops from Cohesion Plus. Anyone can learn the incredible steps and style needed to succeed, and there is no experience necessary. They stress all ages and abilities are welcomed to try out the popular urban street dance with expert guidance.

Poetry recitals are included, plus there's the likes of The Len Fudgekins 2019 Comeback Special featuring The Amazing Nutty Fudgekins Band Unplugged.

On Saturday, July 13 at No84, audiences can find John Ripley Remembers Max Miller, billed as a touching tribute of the original cheeky chappie.

Remember Benny the whale that swam up the Thames to Gravesend? There is a Benny the Beluga workshop where a local artist is creating a life-size Benny for audiences to enjoy.

Tellingly, considering the ocean pollution wildlife on a global scale, it will be made from plastic bottles donated by the public and will be raising awareness of littering and recycling. These are free workshops.

One popular show is set to be Basement Tapes from Edinburgh Fringe winner Jane Yonge, Thomas Lambert and Oliver Morse.

And at The Woodville Studio is Variance - a Victorian Puppet Show costing £5 to get in.

For more information about any of the events at The Riverside Fringe Festival, visit www.graveshamartssalon.org.uk

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