Hot Lists Thursday, May 11th Words by: Jem Roberts

10 Things to See at Ludlow Fringe Festival 2017

Hot Lists Thursday, May 11th

10 Things to See at Ludlow Fringe Festival 2017

The original Ludlow Festival was a glorious fortnight of cultural excess centred on the atmospheric medieval ruins of Ludlow Castle, where a grand professional Shakespeare production would draw the crowds.

The tragedy of the 50-year-old festival’s demise - it was last held in 2014 - is slowly being softened by the annual Ludlow Fringe, set during the same period. With its far more grassroots feeling the Fringe brings experimental and edgy events to this otherwise quiet and staid town.

From award-laden drama to some big comedy names, the last two weeks of June and start of July offer a whole host of reasons to ride into town, and soak up the atmosphere of one of the most historic towns in the Welsh Marches.

Here, Ludlow-born author and performer Jem Roberts previews 10 of the top things to see at Ludlow Fringe 2017. As soon as it's published, you'll find the full programme and ticket sales at ludlowfringe.co.uk.

Big Get Together Weekend

When: Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18
Where: Castle Square & other venues, Ludlow
Price: Free
Tickets: Just come along!

There’s no better way of easing yourself into the Ludlow Fringe than joining in the festivities taking place in the Castle Square on the first weekend. In memory of the late Labour MP Jo Cox, the community is coming together for a variety of events themed around ‘One World’, with fancy dress, a tea party, craft competitions and a ceilidh, with all invited to take part.

Paul Sinha

When: Sunday, June 18 @ 7.30pm
Where: Ludlow Town Football Stadium, Bromfield Road, Ludlow, SY8 2BN
Price: £14/£12

Paul Sinha

There are so many great comics coming to Ludlow for the Fringe we’d like to list them all, with folk like punslinger Tony Cowards, political agitator Mark Thomas and TV face Joe Lycett notable names. But we’ve picked out the ‘Chaser’ himself, Paul Sinha, as a must-see show, and it will be interesting to see how his razor-sharp political material goes down in a rural town like Ludlow! Well worth taking the trip out to the edge-of-town football club. 

Wood

When: Thursday June 22, Friday June 23, Saturday June 24 @ 7.30pm
Where: Millennium Green, Linney, Ludlow, SY8 1EG
Price: Free
Tickets: Just come along!

WOOD

For three evenings, the Millennium Green down on the Linney will become a stage for this thoughtful drama, highlighting LGBT issues. Be prepared for a ‘semi-immersive’ show ‘exploring visibility, mental health, labels and camping’, as a group of college kids wake up in their camp to discover one of their friends is dead. An unusual offering amid the festival’s comedy and larks, but surely one worth giving up an evening’s TV to experience. 

Comic Art Masterclass

When: Saturday June 24 @ 12pm
Where: Ludlow Library, 7-9 Parkway Lane Ludlow, SY8 2PG
Price: £7.50
Tickets: Pay on the door.

comicartmasterclass

Kev F Sutherland is a veteran comics artist and writer, with Beano credits galore, and if you visit Ludlow library, he’ll tell you all the secrets of his success, with an afternoon of lessons and anecdotes, the chance to design your own comic strip, and take home a Sutherland caricature of your own! Kev F is busy this Saturday – at 7pm he’ll be at the Sitting Room controlling the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, so you have two chances to watch him do his thing! 

Fête Worse Than Death

When: Saturday June 24 @ 2.30pm
Where: The Sitting Room, above the Blue Boar Inn, 52 Mill St, Ludlow, SY8 1BB
Price: £9/£7

Feteworsethandeath

The Sitting Room is a godsend for Ludlow – while the Assembly Rooms has some great shows, this space above the Blue Boar Inn is there to offer some more esoteric, anarchic fare, and this hour’s strange comedy could not be a better example. Aged Welshman Eurys Evans welcomes you to the Llanfairchwaraesboncen village fete, complete with terrible contests, filthy gardeners, and a raffle that has to be seen to be believed. With a fine line in Caroline-Aherne-style deadpan turns of phrase, this promises to be a hilarious afternoon.

Remi Harris

When: Saturday June 24 @ 7.30pm
Where: Ludlow Brewery, The Railway Shed, Station Drive, Ludlow, SY8 2PQ
Price: £14/£12

remiharris

Perhaps the name of this young guitarist doesn’t ring a bell for you, but Remi Harris has toured the world playing his songs, as well as performing at Buckingham Palace, Montreal Jazz Festival, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with Jamie Cullum, on BBC 4 and live on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3. With influences including Gypsy Swing, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal, Electronic and World Music, there could be no better place to sample Remi’s music than the shining beer mecca that is Ludlow Brewery.

Wagons to Wheelbiers

When: Monday June 26 @ 7.30pm
Where: The Feathers Hotel, 21 Bull Ring, Ludlow, SY8 1AA
Price: £6

WagonstoWheelbiers

Here’s a very different kind of experience – learning a little of South Shropshire’s working history from someone who has been steeped in it all their life. Alfred Jenkins MBE was born and brought up in a working man’s pub up in the Clee Hills, and learned his craft at his father’s knee, back in the days when a publican like him also had to be the local wheelwright, carpenter and even undertaker. Here he shares his precious knowledge of the local traditions and dialect, and many tales of the hardship of country living in the 20th century.

Family (Mis)Fortunes, or King Lear: The Budget Version

When: Friday June 30 @ 1pm
Where: The Blue Boar, 52 Mill St, Ludlow, SY8 1BB
Price: Free
Tickets: Just turn up!

OldDic

The Old Dic company have been terrorising Ludlow drinkers for well over fifty years by now, and were once the official jesters to the Ludlow Festival’s Shakespeare production. That festival may have gone, but they are still here to offer their own silly, slapstick, scatalogical riposte to the Bard’s greatest play. Prepare yourself for the mad King as you’ve never seen him before, with garbled pentameter, colourful costumes and obvious jokes from the line ‘Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks!’

Price (Still) Includes Biscuits

When: Friday June 30 @ 7.30pm
Where: The Sitting Room, above the Blue Boar Inn, 52 Mill St, Ludlow, SY8 1BB
Price: £12/£10

Pricestillincludesbiscuits

The one other comedian we’ve picked out besides Paul Sinha is Naomi Paul – and that’s not just because, as the title suggests, this evening’s entertainment does also involve free biscuits for all attendees. Naomi has a strong line in Jewish humour, and promises an hour or more taking in subjects such as lingerie, libraries, Birmingham and the Balkans, with her material moving from the personal to the political.

The Naked Dietician

When: Sunday July 2 @ 2.30pm
Where: Women's Room, 10 Church Street (Behind the Rose and Crown pub), Ludlow, SY8 1AP
Price: £10/£5

nakeddietician

The last offering we’ve picked out of Ludlow Fringe’s rich and varied brew is a one-woman showfrom Lucy Aphramour, dubbed ‘the literary lovechild of Allen Ginsberg and Jeanette Winterson’ by Broadway Baby. This show is a tour-de-force of good and bad life advice, with a special emphasis on the lies meted out by dieticians, combining storytelling and food science with musings on privilege and politics. It’s the kind of thing to make ‘clean eating’ maniacs like Gwyneth Paltrow blush.

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Jem Roberts is a Ludlow-born author and performer who will be presenting folklore storytelling event TALES OF BRITAIN in the Blue Board courtyard on Saturday, July 1 at 3pm, to celebrate the launch of the new folktale collection of the same name on Unbound.

Visit www.jemroberts.com for more.

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