Carlisle Fringe 2016

Carlisle Fringe 2016 was an impressive new urban performance and street theatre platform presented and run by the talented (and extremely hardworking) team of Electric Theatre Workshop. Carlisle city centre was taken over for three days by actors, comedians, dancers and musicians offering quality street entertainment to children and grown ups.

As an urban photographer I wanted to convey the buzz and excitement brought by Carlisle Fringe programme to Carlisle and document the incredible ways in which the performers inserted themselves in the very fabric of this historic city.

Thousands of inhabitants and visitors enjoyed the shows. Some people had spontaneous urban picnics around the main square waiting for the next act. An old lady brought her pet poodle and made him dance to the tunes of Carlisle Fringe (he was a willing dancer, happy to please!).

Local artists responded to the organisers’ appeal to come out and take part in the open stage mini acts across the city pedestrian areas. In fact The D’ukes were the first act  to open the Fringe.

The Flower Theatre looked amazing. It brought a piece of nature into the “urban jungle”. Amid chanting and dancing kids learned what it takes to grow a flower and had a chance to plant and water a seed and take the pot home.

Cheeky cockney Chamber Maids comedians busied themselves cleaning the streets (and people!) carrying the tools of the trade.

I had a laugh when after one of the Bjorn the Polar Bear perfomances a confused little boy from the audience asked: “So why do polar bears eat bamboo?” Ha-ha! Poor giant pandas – perhaps one of them should be brought to Carlisle Fringe next year.

The D'ukes were the first to perform on the open stage

The locals having a chat with Jack Finlay about the Carlisle Fringe programme

The locals having a chat with Jack Finlay about the Fringe programme

Urban picnic

The sprites help the princess to escape the palace in the Caliban's Dream

Caliban and the princess in love

Caliban dying

Kids touch the dragon who delivered the princess after the theatre act

Kids touch the dragon who delivered the princess after the theatre act

The Other Guys - an acoustic trio

The Other Guys - an acoustic trio

Cheeky Chamber Maids get busy cleaning the streets during Carlisle Fringe 2016

Cheeky Chamber Maids get busy cleaning the streets during Carlisle Fringe 2016

Such comedians!

A little flower grows out of a giant flower pot

Children learn how to plants seeds. Everyone can take their future flowerpot home

Watering the seeds

The little audience dances with the Flower Theatre actors

The little audience dances with the Flower Theatre actors

The clown duo warm up the crowd before the Dancing Queen performance

The clown duo warm up the crowd before the Dancing Queen performance

At the Dancing Queen show

At the Dancing Queen show

The Dancing Queen. Graham Main, the director, monitors the sound at the back

The Dancing Queen, an Abba fan,  dances in a snow ball to her favourite band's music. Graham Main, executive producer of Electric Theatre Workshop, monitors the sound at the back and makes sure things are run smoothly

An old lady leads her poodle in a dance to some Carlisle Fringe 2016 performers' tunes

An old lady leads her poodle in a dance to some Abba tunes too

Crowds gather to see the polar bear

Sharing facts and answering questions about polar bears' life in the Arctic

Carlisle Fringe 2016: Kids are sniffed by the life-size and life-like Bjorn The Polar Bear

Kids are sniffed by Bjorn The Polar Bear

Life-size and life-like

Bjorn The Polar Bear walks amidst the Carlisle Fair

Bjorn The Polar Bear walks amidst the Carlisle Fair

The Cone Heads street theatre

The Cone Heads street theatre

The Cone Heads act: the aliens interacting with the Carlisle dwellers

The Cone Heads act: the hilarious aliens bow to the locals