Shaftesbury looks forward to record-breaking Fringe


The 2023 Shaftesbury Fringe Festival is set to be the biggest ever, with a record 212 performances over three days.
Notable acts this year include Fiona Allen, a double Emmy Award winner known for her work on Smack the Pony and various TV series. She will debut her stand-up show, On the Run.
The Great Baldini, an illusionist, returns for the third consecutive year with his new show, Illusionati. Glam punk and funk band SOCK, led by Vince Venus, will bring high-energy performances to the festival. David Mamet’s play, Duck Variations, presented by Benchmark Theatre, promises to be witty and poignant.
The festival covers various genres such as spoken word, theatre, dance, and live music, with performances at 36 locations throughout the town. A new addition is the Salcombe Brewery Stage, hosting acoustic performances.
The organisers believe that the open-access nature of Shaftesbury Fringe is one of its greatest strengths. ‘There’s no element of curation or selection whatsoever,’ says Rob Neely, ‘Anybody who wants to perform can. It gives an element of discovery and a sense of the unexpected. You never know what you’re going to get.’
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