After a way to kick off your summer with a cultural cavalcade of theatre, music and comedy? This July, York’s city centre will transform into the village green home to the Great Yorkshire Fringe. Since its inaugural year in 2015, the festival’s gone from strength to strength – 2018 is no different, with award-winning acts, delicious street food and more workshops than ever before.
York is the heart of the county, and the Great Yorkshire Fringe fully commits to being the heart of Yorkshire culture and comedy. In previous years it’s held walks of fame, charting the success of several Northern faces in comedy. More recently, the expansion of venues and events means there are more opportunities for Northern acts of all experience and backgrounds to perform.
The festival also draws in famous faces: ever wanted to see iconic Python and travel writer Michael Palin in conversation with comedy historian Robert Ross? Here’s your chance. Reginald D. Hunter returns again for another hilariously biting new show – see the greats before anyone else, within the historic trappings of York’s Grand Opera House.
This festival’s fourth year is bound to be better than a proper brew, the perfect day out for all the family. There’s so much to choose from, whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a Yorkshire resident – check out our selection of top picks across the festival:
Fresh from his victory on Britain’s Got Talent this year, additional dates have been added for the phenomenal Lost Voice Guy – catch him now before his Royal Variety performance. There are plenty of Northern acts on offer, following in the footsteps of great like Peter Kay, Victoria Wood and Caroline Aherne. For newcomers who do not disappoint, try the festival’s New Comedian of the Year competition! The final’s on 29th July, where you can secure bragging rights to having seen the next big star first.
The White Rose Rotunda is a perfect venue to let your little one boogie down at Baby Loves Disco (which also has a licensed bar, mums and dads…) A new addition for 2018 is Chicken Shed’s interactive Planet Play, bound to enchant toddlers. If your aspiring space travellers are a bit older, let them call the shots at Any Suggestions Doctor? An Improvised Adventure in Time and Space.
Alan Bennett is a national treasure, and being born and bred in Leeds it makes sense to put those bragging rights to good use! A staging of Bennett’s Talking Heads show “Ladies of Letters” is sure to enchant anyone looking to revisit this classic drama- and draw in a whole new crowd of Bennett fans. Yorkshire-based company Next Door But One bring the heartwarming Any Mother Would to the festival after two sold-out runs and an appearance at York Disability Pride.
Paris might have the Moulin Rouge, but York’s not to be outdone: the festival is host to the equally enticing Moulin Ouse! Cabaret group Coquette are celebrating ten years of entertainment with a brand new variety show. For spellbinding tricks, Morgan & West’s Parlour Tricks ape music hall legends of old, served up with a modern twist up their sleeve.
It’s not the Great Yorkshire Fringe without an hour in the infectiously cheerful company of The Grand Old Uke of York. Hear well-loved tunes and themes like never before, performed entirely by ukeleles. The Peach Collaborative will be performing electro-acoustic tunes inspired by the likes of Philip Glass and Kate Bush, all for the Lord Mayor’s selection of charities. Dancing is good for you and now it’s good for even more people. What’s not to love?
So many fantastic acts, and the best news? That’s not yer lot! Proper pooches at the festival’s annual dog show, boat cruises with celebrity skippers entertaining at the helm… The festival’s offering of culinary delights grows bigger every year, too. Grab a shawarma wrap or a tasty hot donut, or even sitting out in the picnic area with a Yorkshire gin and tonic, you can bask in the summer sun with a full stomach. A visit to York this summer won’t be complete without a day at the Great Yorkshire Fringe.
The fourth Great Yorkshire Fringe is taking place in York over 19-29 July 2018. You can purchase tickets for any show from the double decker box office bus on Parliament Square or from the festival website www.greatyorkshirefringe.com. For any other queries please call +44 (0) 1904 500 600.