Here are some of the people that have been involved with the Greater Manchester Fringe so far and have helped to shape it into what it is today.
This is what they have to say about their experience.
My company, People Zoo Productions, chose the Greater Manchester Fringe as our first outing into producing professional theatre. We were ambitious and chose to create and perform three separate productions across the month-long festival. We would never have been able to achieve this feat anywhere else; this is partly due to the fact that Manchester is our home but mostly due to the support and one-on-one guidance offered by the events team. They worked tirelessly to ensure we had everything we needed from the moment of registration, through to the final performance and we have them to thank for the wonderful audiences that came to see our shows, due to their fantastic and relentless marketing efforts and their loyal audiences.
Having this fringe festival in this City has proven invaluable to us, both financially and for our professional development. We were able to take one of our shows, The Trial, up to Edinburgh off the back of the sell out run that was part of the GMFringe and we are now thrilled to be performing the same show as part of HOME Mcr's Push Festival 2017. This could never have happened had we not had this excellent platform to showcase our work to begin with. We remain endlessly grateful to the GMFringe team for their hard work and support!
Managing Director, People Zoo Productions
Vertigo have been around a long time but normally avoid festivals. This one however is so inclusive and so important that we had to be a part of it. We had an amazing time, our show sold out and we won an award which has helped us book further tour dates for our play. It's essential that this festival becomes as big as it can since the wealth of talent on the fringe scene in Manchester is huge. The organisers are brilliant and we could not have asked for a better experience and we will be returning in 2017. We Met great folks during the fringe and forged exciting working relationships. This is THE festival that Manchester needs.
Writer, director and owner of Vertigo Theatre Productions
The best thing I ever did was get involved with the Greater Manchester Fringe and their support and encouragement enabled me to put my first show on in 2013. I’d been performing poetry for less than 12 months doing the odd 5minute slot here and there at various open mic events but the Fringe suggested I put all my work into a show which is what I did. This for me is where it all really started and it led to me to write another show the following year at the 2014 Fringe which sold out. Since then I have taken the show across up and down the country appeared on many BBC Radio shows, been commissioned by the BBC to write poems for them, I’ve supported Sleaford Mods on their UK Tour, supported The Fall and appeared at several major festivals including main stage at Kendal Calling and also 2 years in a row at Festival No6 where not only did I perform my own show I also performed as part of another show with Johnny Vegas and Ricky Tomlinson. None of this would have happened had I not been encouraged & supported back in 2013 by the Greater Manchester Fringe to put a show on. Thankyou GM Fringe. I must come back with another show.
J B Barrington
Manchester seems to be the focus of massive building infrastructure spending at the moment (HOME, Contact, The Factory). Whilst its great that this is happening, it's equally important to invest in artists as it is in concrete and glass. The Manchester Fringe takes any bit of space there is in the city that might host something and turns it into a performance venue. It is the vital grass roots counterpoint to all the top down investment in more and more and more new spaces. It nurtures talent, writers, actors, comedians and poets. It minimises fees and barriers, creating a brilliant open door to getting your work in front of an audience. The Greater Manchester Fringe is now the central showcase in the region for emerging talent and a useful stopping off-post for shows on their way to the Edinburgh Fringe. The Manchester Fringe has grown massively each year and is now a vital part of the theatre calendar in the UK. It deserves more financial support to help it continue to build up it's brilliant work.
Stephen M Hornby
I think there’s nothing more inspiring than going to a festival and seeing loads of great work and thinking "I’d LOVE to do that". The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival has been a great way for Studio Salford WriteForTheStage to engage with people wanting to learn how to write and produce, and for us to grow as a company. It’s given us a great opportunity to air some of the work produced through the WriteForTheStage courses (Runaway by Richard Stringer in 2016 was developed through Intro, Advanced, Developing and the Producing course) and has been a great platform to spread the word about the help we can provide. We love the WriteForTheStage Prize for New Writing we get to see some fantastic work and the fact that we can help leave a legacy for the festival with a publication makes it all the more an exciting event for us. Manchester is a great, creative city and the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival helps to bring the brilliant work being produced here into the well-deserved limelight.
Director - Studio Salford - Write For The Stage
I think GM fringe is a wonderful event which is give artists a platform to showcase their fabulous talents to appreciative audiences. Let's wish for its continued success and growth year on year.
With a dull and dominant mainstream, a fringe should always be encouraged. A city that has been the birthplace of some of the greatest alternative poets, bands, comedians and painters should be encouraging the odd and the different to create, and it is with the Manchester Fringe, brilliantly so. Some of my favourite spaces to play have been the corners and attics found for the Manchester Fringe.
The Greater Manchester Fringe is a fantastic place for performers producers and writers to showcase their talent. It’s so important to have an open access Fringe in a city where people can try out their ideas in a supportive environment. Too often artists get told 'no' and the fringe never does that, it just helps to makes things happen allowing artists to thrive and develop. Long may it continue!
We love being part of GMFringe. As a small venue, slightly off the beaten track, it feels great to be part of such a diverse and vibrant festival. Potential artists are attracted by the prospect of being part something bigger and new people get to hear about our little theatre.
Programmer - The Swan - Dobcross
Actor / Director
The Greater Manchester Fringe festival provides excellent opportunities for local artists and I’ve been delighted to take part in previous years. I’ve taken part in other fringe festivals, but have found the level of support and value for money at Greater Manchester Fringe is outstanding. The team are super friendly and welcoming and will provide support from the very start with selecting a venue and finding technical support. There’s also a load of other great stuff that I’ve found is less available at other fringes including networking and marketing opportunities (the launch party is always excellent!), full press support and contacts (I’ve had opportunities to appear on local radio and television, as well as support with interviews and press releases), high quality photography of your show/rehearsals/headshots… last year I was even put in touch with a volunteer videographer, meaning I could have my show professionally filmed and edited, something I wouldn’t have been able to do or afford without the support of the fringe. There are awards available for artists too - I was fortunate enough to win Best Newcomer in 2015, which helped to raise both my profile and confidence as a local artist! I’m already planning and looking forward to next year’s festival, and I hope to be a part of this excellent festival for many years to come! I highly recommend it to local artists, whether you’re an emerging artist or a seasoned professional, it’s a great community to be a part of!
Writer / Performer
Writer / Actor
I wouldn’t be writing plays if it wasn’t for the Greater Manchester Fringe. As a notorious lazy arse, winning The Hive Award was a godsend; it forced my hand in the nicest of ways. Receiving mentoring from Tim Firth (Calendar Girls) and Mike Heath (Write4thestage) and working with the production team and cast turned my ramblings into something real and beautiful. I went from being someone who said ‘I could write a play’ and did nothing, into someone who had in fact ‘written a play and put it on’. I am now working on my second play and talking to agents. Winning The Hive Award has been life-changing.
Greater Manchester Fringe gave me one of the biggest opportunities I’ve had in my comedy career so far. The Hive funded mentoring for me to write and perform my debut hour of stand up. Without this support I would still be kicking around ideas thinking, I’ll write it one day. I benefited hugely from the personalised, artist centred approach that allowed me to create an authentic piece of work which is still continuing to grow. This grassroots level of support has been vital to my creative practice and has given me the tools to further develop my work.