Exeter Fringe Festival 2021 Programme Announcement

Exeter Fringe Festival, an innovative festival of locally-made theatre, returns this October supported by Exeter Northcott Theatre. With concurrent performance and artist development programmes, it will support creatives connected to the South West to share exciting new work with local audiences. Find out what’s on here.

The festival is back, working with more venues across the city than in its inaugural year of 2019. These include: Exeter Northcott Theatre, The Barnfield Theatre, Exeter Phoenix, Maketank, Exeter Library, and the Hall.

This year’s performance programme will run at the Barnfield Theatre and Exeter Phoenix between the 9th and 17th October 2021. This year’s festival line-up has been chosen from a host of new, local creative work reflecting the diversity of theatre being created in the South West, including talented artists based right here in Exeter.

“Programming this year’s festival with a team of talented local artists and our fantastic venue partner venues was a privilege. I’m really excited by the quality and breadth of the programme of theatre, made in, and by artists connected to Exeter.”

Alex Jackson (Festival Director)

One of the pieces in the performance programme, Nhair, is a new light-hearted one-woman show touching on local creator Conny Hancock’s lived experience with having polycystic ovarian syndrome. Another piece, The Zoo That Comes To You, is a joyous puppet show by Scarlet Oak Theatre company, inviting young people to join the conversation about animal conservation.

For music-lovers, there is Annette Gregory & Friends – Jazz and Me, featuring a mixture of original songs written during lockdown and classic standards. In her show, Annette will share her musical heritage of reggae and soul music, in particular celebrating her mother with Exeter audiences.

There’s also Saving Britney, a multi-award nominated solo show in the form of a hilarious and heartbreaking nostalgic love letter to the 90s through the eyes of the Princess of Pop’s biggest fan. There really is something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re a regular theatre-goer or you’ve never been before..

Meanwhile, this year’s artist development programme is supporting 7 pieces of theatre currently in development with space in the city centre, culminating in a sharing in front of Exeter cultural leaders.

One of these pieces is Lavender, a new play by emerging South West writer Holly Fitzpatrick. This collaboration between local theatre makers is a nonlinear sapphic scrutinising the impact of Christian iconography and culture on female sexuality, gender expression and autonomy.

Holly Fitzpatrick, supported writer on the programme, said:

“Exeter Fringe will allow me to climb inside my play – to excavate its golden nuggets, throw away the dirt, and practically explore. It is the perfect opportunity for an emerging artist beginning their journey into the industry; a wonderful balance of independence, support and the chance to gather new and exciting collaborators.”

Another project being supported by the development programme is Mindful Encounters, a new piece of musically-infused theatre. The piece will interrogate nature and urban coexistence, trialling an approach where the audience chooses their own pathway. Artists Matthew Short and Grace Hancock will use the opportunity to establish themselves in the Exeter creative scene after years away. For them, Exeter Fringe Festival 2021 is a chance to rebuild connections in the city.

For full festival listings, and to book tickets, visit www.exefringe.co.uk/whats-on. Tickets range from £6 to £12 excluding booking fees.