A rich variety of fringe shows are being streamed online as part of an Online Fringe Theatre Festival set up to help artists during the theatre shutdown.
It has been founded by theatre director and filmmaker Aydan Wilder and Vibes Art Studios, bringing together video recordings of productions that have played fringe venues around the UK as well as Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Vault Festival in London.
The current line-up includes fringe favourite Testament of Yootha, Caroline Burns Cooke’s funny and moving tribute to comic actor Yootha Joyce, as well as Theatrical Niche’s inventive and bittersweet adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya which toured the UK last year.
Another show is the charming and poignant play Baaba’s Footsteps by Susan Hingley which premiered at Vault Festival last month, about a Japanese woman uncovering her family’s past in San Francisco.
The Two of Us, devised and performed by Mariana Aristizábal Pardo, explores the joy and pain of two Colombian women communicating across the generation gap. Using movement, music, and language, it played Theatre Deli Broadgate in London in early March.
Tania Amsel’s one-woman play Blood Orange follows a stressful day in A&E for a young doctor as she examines the real reasons she chose to go into medicine. It was staged at the Old Red Lion in London over Christmas 2019.
In a one-woman solo performance by Margherita Remotti, Fata Morgana explores the life of artist Christa Päffgen, aka Nico, who was best known as one of Andy Warhol’s inspirational “Superstar” personalities. It debuted at London’s former Chapel Playhouse.
Each show will be available for only a few days. While they are free to watch, the festival aims to help new and emerging theatre makers not only by sharing their work but by asking for donations. The festival organisers will keep only 10% of funds raised, with the remaining 90% split between the artists.
More shows will be added, from one-woman musicals to operas and stand-up comedy. Imminent releases include Jo Tyabji’s show, Motherland, which is described as “punching fascists in the face through the medium of drag… a show full of rage, dance and provocative lip sync”. It was touring the UK from October last year until it was halted by the theatre shutdown.