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Fun at Windsor Fringe

Windsor we're coming for you! Windsor Fringe Festival on 21 September is fun, eclectic and right up our street. Take a gander at the amazing line up.

If you have survived the summer on a diet of Love Island and fast fiction, you may be looking for a culture shot to redress the balance. Windsor Fringe Festival, the UK’s second oldest fringe after Edinburgh, launches on Friday 21 September for two weeks of music, art, comedy, dance and drama. The programme this year is fun, eclectic and in many cases FREE! Yup, you heard me right. *Breathes huge sigh of relief* The summer wine habit got expensive.

To give you a taster, and for you get your mitts on tickets early doors, here are Muddy’s picks of Windsor Fringe Festival


MUSIC: Toffeetronic, Chad Jackson and Se7ens, The Old Court Windsor, Sat 29 Sep

Back to the old skool for a superclub flashback, hands in the air kinda night with Toffeetronic‘s acid house-techno-hip hop musical mash up, former Hacienda Club resident DJ Chad Jackson (remember Hear the Drummer Get Wicked? That was him) and Windsor’s renowned Se7en’s crew will be playing the crowdpleasers. Raid the depths of your wardrobe, smiley faces and crop tops (*cough * perhaps not) and remember 90s rave culture the second time round. Tickets £5.


COMEDY: Brewery Comedy Spectacular 2, Windsor & Eton Brewery, Sat 29 Sep

black white picture of comedian performing on the factory floor stage at Eton and Windsor Brewery

Following on from the sellout Brewery Comedy Spectacular of 2017, we have Brewery Comedy Spectacular 2. Like all good sequels is doesn’t need a fancy title, just a number. I’m a big fan of the monthly comedy nights on the factory floor of Windsor and Eton Brewery, so you know they’ll be massively upping their game for the Fringe. It’s also Brewery Comedy’s 4th birthday, even more reason to give it some welly. Names of the acts are being kept under wraps, but it promises to be an unforgettable night with a lorra laughs, silliness, surprises and booze. If they can’t organise the proverbial p*&% up in a brewery, I don’t know who can. Tickets £10 in advance or £12 on the door.


MUSIC: Portugese Fado with Claudia Aurora, Windsor Baptist Church, Fri 28 Sep

Portugese singer Claudia Aurora staring through the window to the white rendered buildings of a portuguese town

Relive the sounds of summer with the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Claudia Aurora in the ethereal surroundings of Windsor Baptist Church. Claudia will perform traditional Portugese folk songs, as well as her own beautiful passionate songs of loss, love and longing. She has performed throughout the world, and her sell out concert at the Festival Hall was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. A unique voice in an equally unique venue. Just add custard tarts and good wine. Cue stampede. Tickets £13.50.


FAMILY FUN: Big Draw A Long, Windsor Baptist Church, Sat 22 Sept

Art in the dark The Big Draw Festival 2018 glow in the paint art created by kids on the wall

Escape the digital nanny and get your kids to put pen to paper (positively prehistoric) – well, at least for a couple of hours. Join artist Tony De Saulles – illustrator of the Horrible Science books – in a Festival draw-a-long. Tony will explain how it’s done with lots of disgusting science facts, before the kids raid the art box to create their own masterpieces. Tickets £8.50. If Tony hasn’t tired them out, head over to Trinity St Stephen’s First School at 2pm for The Big Draw Festival. Always wise to keep the paint, glitter and pom poms away from your own home.


TALKS: Human Library, Windsor Baptist Church, Sat 6 Oct

Human Library Windsor Fringe Festival wooden head shaped bookshelf with books against a brick wall

Don’t judge a book by its cover – one of my mum’s favourite cliches – takes a literal twist with The Human Library. Like a regular library, you choose a title but the books are people and reading is a 10-minute chat with your Human Book. You won’t get this on Amazon Prime. Channel your inner Jeremy Paxman and ask the difficult questions, probe their knowledge and see where it takes you. The Human Library started in Copenhagen in 2000 to break down people’s prejudices and is now active in 80 countries. The Human Library is open from 11am-2pm and won’t cost a penny.


DANCE: Sole: 4 Motion Dance Theatre, The Loading Bay Cafe, Sat 29 Sep

4Motion Dace Theatre Man balances on one hand while kicking out arm stretched wearing black

Love dance? Me too but my jazz hands jiggle is a poor example of the art form. Thank god for 4MotionDance Theatre who have created a performance for the Fringe, Sole, on the subject of loneliness – what it means to people of different people, ages and backgrounds. The dancers are aged 10-95 – a mix of 4Motion’s Youth and pro dancers performing alongside people from a local care home. The venue is one of my favourites in Windsor, the Loading Bay Cafe with it’s cool, urban vibes, so there will be the opportunity for drinkies before and after the show. Tickets £8 (£4 concessions).


DRAMA: Shakesbeer In Love, Windsor & Eton Brewery, Fri 21 – Sat 22 Sept

The Bard, beer and tales of love. It’s like my first date with Mr Muddy. Put your beer goggles on for Shakespeare’s greatest lovers as they teach us lessons in L.O.V.E. From the giddiness of Romeo and Juliet to the heartbreak of Ophelia, the Butterfly Theatre Company – renowned for their productions in weird and wonderful places – return to Windsor and Eton Brewery to perform Shakesbeer In Love – a night of passion among the barrels. Tickets £16 (£13 concessions).


DRAMA: Kenneth Branagh Awards; The Final, The Old Court Windsor, Thu 4, Fri 5 and Sat 6 Oct

Actor Kenneth Branagh sponsor Windsor Fringe Festival New Writers Awards wearing navy suit and loose tie

Nothing like a bit of Hollywood-West End lustre to add showbiz shimmer to proceedings. I give you Kenneth Branagh. Before you get all giddy, he’s not performing at the Fringe (wouldn’t that be fabulous), but he does sponsor the International Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing. From hundreds of scripts sent from 24 countries, just three battle it out during the Fringe: Cut & Paste by Jeff Nolan; The Claykickers’ Chorus by Kevin McMahon and Waiting For Hamlet by David Visick. All three plays will be performed each night and then the legendary Joan Lane (The King’s Speech) and director Pete Gallagher will crown the winner. Tickets £10.


ART: The Seven Halts on the Somme, Eton School Hall, Wed 26 Sep

Artist Hughie O'Donoghue Seven Halts On the Somme Eton College Collection World War 1 art Battle of the Somme

My paintings tend to come in the form of emulsion slapped on the wall , so when you get up close to the work of true talent, I am generally in awe. British painter Hughie O’Donoghue will be in da house to discuss his abstract series known as The Seven Halts on the Somme. Each painting connects to a location where the British Army was brought to a standstill during the Battle of the Somme. A unique and special opportunity to learn from a genuine master. I’m off to buy an adult colouring book – baby steps and all that. Tickets £12.


FILM: Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Datchet Village Hall, Tues 25 Sep

Heady Lamar Story actress playing Hollywood star draped in faux fur

I gotta confess I didn’t know a lot about Hedy Lamarr until now, but what a woman! A Hollywood bombshell from the silver screen days of the 1930s to 1950s Hedy appeared in a few hit movies. But it was her work as an inventor that make her catnip for the curious. During the Second World War she invented a radio guidance system for allied torpedoes, the US Navy adopted the system in the 1960s, and the principles of her work  were later used in Bluetooth technology. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story reveals how the world underestimated the brains behind Hedy’s beauty. It happens to me all the time. Tickets £6 on the door.


DRINKIES: Gin Masterclass, The Jelly Lounge, Sat 29 Sep

I’m not sure how much art or culture goes into making a gin and tonic, but who cares, sign me up. The Jelly Lounge is hosting a Gin Masterclass to get your clued up on the history and production of this spirit du jour before getting down to the good stuff – drinking! You’ll taste five premium gins, all with a different serving twist. I’m thinking Mad Men vibes, vamp up the glamour, ditch the kids if you have any and enjoy cocktail hour in peace. Spaces are limited to 10, so snap up a ticket – £6 (includes 20% off drinks after the tasting).

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