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.