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Monday 8th August 2016

Issue no.14

The VFringe Story... by Catriona Macaulay and Abstract painting with Mhairi Macaulay and Spoken Word with Maria Ferguson. “I didn’t move down to the Island until I was 10. As a child growing up in London, my mum used to take me and my sister to art workshops at Hampstead School of Art and we loved them. We did still life, watercolour and pottery. I like to think that these workshops fuelled my creativity as a child and played a part into my career path as an adult. I wanted to give kids in this community the same experience.” - Mhairi Macaulay. Lastly, but by no means least, the record store: the revival of vinyl records has been keenly observed by the VFringe crew who felt that it needed to be a part of their space, which is why Ventnor Exchange sells new and old releases of vinyl records. “I started record collecting after a night when I got very drunk in Southampton, I must have been about 20. I walked into a charity shop and found a copy of Spanish Flea for 50p and I really wanted it, so that’s when I started collecting. As for Ventnor Fringe, I worked with Jack at The Bonchurch Inn, he told me how much fun event organisation was. Then in 2013, I finally

eing a teen in the noughties on the Isle of Wight was great in the summer with the revival of the Isle of Wight Festival and creation of Bestival but between those two weekends there was little else to do. With the closure of Ryde Theatre visiting bands became few and restless young minds turned their attentions to events off of the Island. The prospect of leaving home and going away to university was so much more exciting because this astonishingly beautiful Island had little to offer the young cultural succubi. In order to see exciting bands, plays and art exhibitions young people had to take a boat journey away from the Island to Southampton, Portsmouth and then onto London. For three young people back in 2009 (Jack Whitewood, Mhairi Macaulay and Thea Welsford) the idea that they might not return to their beloved hometown became very real. Returning home after university had seemingly no benefit to their careers or cultural awakening.

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“We wanted a reason to come back.” Mhairi Macaulay

These three sixth form students began meeting in pubs and discussing how they could fill this cultural void. The initial planning on beer mats and paper napkins in the Crab & Lobster Tap soon found help from a team of mentors (Simon Perry, Sally Perry, Jim Willis, Liz Cooke, Malcolm Lloyd and Kathy Whitewood) sharing their own event planning experiences with our three 18-yearold students. “It was just the initial year really, we tried to share what knowledge we had to do with events and since then the Ventnor Fringe has become bigger and better every year. A lot of us still pitch in where we can and think they’ve done a brilliant job of bringing people down to the Island every year.” - Jim Willis. An entire year of planning culminated with the first ever Ventnor Fringe in the August of 2010. This first year premiered with names such as The String Theatre, Michael Champion, award winning film director Vincent Moon and the now critically acclaimed folk singer/actor Johnny Flynn Three and a half days has steadily become six; jam packed with comedy, spoken word, art, film and music across Ventnor town. 2016 is set to be the best yet, with the edition of the Ventnor International Festival. Not only has the festival grown in size but the core VFringe team has been increasing in numbers every year. The first Ventnor

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Photo by Robin Crossley

Fringe attracted friend and budding event organiser/designer Joe Keele-Toms and Arts Management undergrad, Becky Boucherat. These two names have reappeared each year and remain crucial to the development of the festival. Then in 2013 we had the edition of local socialite and vinyl collector, Billy May who has taken on many roles across the festival. “I met Thea when I was doing my foundation year at University in London. She told me about this cool little festival she and her friends were organizing and I just tagged along and chipped in where I could. I really wanted to get involved with festival organization and I fell in love with the Ventnor Fringe ethos, the town and its people.” - Becky Boucherat. In November 2014 the Ventnor Fringe found a year-round home, The Ventnor Exchange. Described as an “accident” by Festival Director, Jack Whitewood, The Exchange, as it’s known, has become a creative hub for people across the Island. “We needed a box office for Ventnor Fringe and people kept telling us that the old post office was available to rent. After some time of umming and ahhing, we decided to go for it. When we got inside we realised that the space was far too big to keep as a box office which is why

we now have a café/ bar/ record store/ theatre/ everything else space.” - Jack Whitewood. In truth, the Ventnor Exchange actually first opened its doors during the 2014 Ventnor Fringe as a pop-up box office. At this point it still resembled an old post office with various people walking in asking what stamps were recommended for next day delivery. Over 12 months the 80s postal husk transformed into a chic London-esque record store, bar and café that stocked over 40 different craft beers from across the world. Ventnor Exchange has showcased a number of spectacular performances since their opening with names such as the Flabbergast Theatre, Maria Ferguson, Luke Wright, Ahir Shar, Grainne Maguire, Joe Bone, Chordorize, Bonchurch Theatre Company and Reading Between the Lines. Ventnor Exchange has been granted Arts Council funding which means that they’ve been able to create some of their own theatre productions over the last year. At Christmas they had the popular premier of Good Night Little Bear, and most recently their puppet show, Wireless. Ventnor Exchange has started running children’s workshops. So far they have had Songwriting with Paul Armfield, Night Photography with Lucy Boynton, Watercolours

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realised what a good liar he was.” - Billy May. The vinyl revival in Ventnor has meant that Record Store Day came back with a vengeance in 2015. This resurgence had people queuing outside Ventnor Exchange from 6am to get their favourite records. I think you’re about up to date with what’s going on. So here we go again...

Lonely Hearts Club As the great Tina Turner once asked, “what’s love got to do with it?” Well Tina. I’ll tell you. EVERYTHING TINA. ITS HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH IT. I am Miss Reid and my mission this Ventnor Fringe is to get some eyes meeting over crowded rooms, some sweet nothings whispered in to ears and some Disney style love duets happening (flying carpet optional). So, shall we begin? Our first contestant is the darling Miss B and she is, without question, just the most adorable package of loveliness I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She enjoys porridge, red wine and vans. n fact, she is looking for a man with a van. If you would like to meet Miss B and discuss vans, please email a photo of your van to Media@vfringe.co.uk, or pop into the press office with van details. Let’s envelope Ventnor in a fog of love. A mist of affection. A low, damp cloud of hugs and kisses. Miss Reid.x #Lonelyhearts

Email: media@vfringe.co.uk


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Fringe Review

Meet The Media Team Caroline Barlow (aka Bubbles) Radio Presenter From the mainland traveling far from the great capital of ours I bring warmth, stokie charm and a swimming Catriona Macaulay (aka Drench) Editor-In-Chief/Media Liaison Best friend to David Bowie in the omnipotent multiverse; obsessive fan in reality. Caty spends the majority of her time PR-ing and doing important things whilst humming the words to ‘Friday I’m in Love’. In 2014 she started up the Fringe Review and has been adding sorry souls to the team ever since.

Matt Hit - Journalist As the other half of the Ventnor Darlings, Matt has been involved with the Fringe for quite some time. Often to be found staring vacantly out to sea, Matt has had few

Tobias Penner Photographer …Isn’t really a photographer, he is just pretending. Irritatingly handsome and a nice sort of chap. Should you see him around town he

ambitions of journalism this far in his life, so let’s see how this week turns out.

will exchange a poorly taken image for gin/ whatever you’ve got.

Hollie Hayes - Journalist Level 20 rouge journalism student. Special powers: drinking, eating, sleeping. Weaknesses: student loans, hangovers, a Tory government.

Katy Thorogood Layout Illustrator Freelance illustrator, surface designer and blames Beatrix Potter for her need to dress animals in clothes. Katy Rose has most recently

costume. If I’m not in the tea shop, I’ll be running around mic in hand interviewing people. Words of wisdom: You’ve got to live to make great radio. Tom PC (aka HST) Journalist THE MOONLANDING WAS A CONSPIRACY. Hi I’m Tom, I like long walks on the beach, animals and the crippling sense of self

Ben Hansen Hicks Radio Presenter Arriving on Friday is Mr Ben Hansen Hicks, Southampton University graduate, currently working at Radio 4 and based in Bristol.

loathing that comes after every waking second of life. Oh yeah and I’m in godawful, crippling pain from an ear infection gone awry.

Miri Green (aka Prawnder) Radio Station Manger Self proclaimed daughter of Madonna and Siouxsie Sioux, Miri is a tortured soul who was born in the wrong era. Surviving on a staple of 80s fashion and 90s comedy she attends the Ventnor Fringe to revive the most vintage of mediums: the radio. She puts the ‘na’ in bananarama, the ‘er’ in cement mixer and the ‘ah’ in shoulder pa(h)ds.

Laura Clare Reid Journalist Full time Ventnor Darling, part time lover. Laura can usually be found sashaying around charity shops with a glass of Malbec in hand. This is the second year Miss Reid’s Lonely Hearts Club will be making all the romance happen at Ventnor Fringe. If your dance card is empty, come and see Miss Reid in the Exchange and let love in.

Issue no.14

“People seem to like me because I am polite and I am rarely late. I like to eat ice cream and I really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.” Luke Bridgeman Photographer/ Videographer Animator, Film maker and avid tea collector. Will be filming the Fringe events and generally looking after the team with cups of Earl Grey and whimsical nonsense.

elcome to Miss H’s agony aunt column, a safe haven for the faint hearted, down trodden or just downright ranty to let their emotions flow. Over the next six days I will be answering your troubles with as much empathy, sympathy and seriousity as possible. Think of me as the tattered diary you stowed under your pillow during your angst riddled teenage years. My witticisms are guaranteed to resolve any issue, all free of charge. If you don’t believe me, check out my reviews:

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“Truly inspirational. The only voice of reason in a generation built upon troubles. A 21 st century me.” Shakespeare *****

“A shame to the family name, she’s not my child anymore.” My mum * Whether you’re dealing with a strenuous relationship, emotional inconvenience or just a bit worried about what show to see, make sure you email your questions to media@ fringe.co.uk titled: Let Your Emotions Flow. Disclaimer: anonymity is a paramount concern for Miss H, unless you desperately want to be named.

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for over 10 years. As a self-employed designer, he is always keen to work with others. Daniel is also an actor, starring in many short films and stage plays, most recently WIRELESS created by Jack Whitewood and Mhairi Macaulay for the Ventnor Exchange.

ell hello, my name’s Matt, a local musician, artist and beard wearer. Alongside performing at various venues this week, I was flattered, nay, humbled to be given the responsibility of searching out fashionable offerings and scouting out the best dressed Fringers’ for our daily Fringe Review. Anyone who knows me will know I have a penchant for a lot of knitwear (Q. Is it wrong to wear a cardigan over a cardigan over a jumper? A. NO!) and own more shoes than I reasonably have space for. Most of my wardrobe is locally sourced and I’m often to be found roaming the charity shops in Ventnor; if you have a spare few minutes I fully recommend trying the RSPCA, Diabetes Research, and Hospice shops. If you find any gems, come find me and let me know – you might even be my Fringe Fashionista of the day! If vintage is your thing, head along to Parkside and have a rummage through some of the lovely pieces that The Events Co. Presents Sweets and Swag have to offer and grab yourself a beautiful bargain. Or if you have anything you want to sell, speak to them and they’ll do their best to find your garments a new loving home.

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“Breathtaking. Literally breathtaking, I suffer from asthma and was advised to ditch the asthma pump.” A women’s last words ***

“This column is a sure way to a quick divorce.” A divorce lawyer ***

Daniel Trevenna Layout Designer From a young age Daniel has always had a keen eye for design. Whether it be digital or print based he has been making things look great

The Fringe Fashionista

Let Your Emotions Flow

“I didn’t say that...” Shakespeare *

created bespoke venue artwork for Bestival, The Isle of Wight Festival and the Observatory Bar at Ventnor Fringe, while also creating tailored designs as In-house creative for The Events Co. based at The Tea House Ventnor. (Editors note: She also designed the beautiful header we have for the paper this year, aint’ she good eh?)

Photo by Becky Boucherat

Welcome Back Free Fringe by Tom PC

o let me get this straight... I don’t have to pay a thing? Sounds too good to be true? Well I’ve got news for ya, it ain’t! Once again we are thrilled to welcome back Free Fringe, a part of our festival that replenishes all those cravings for culture at the competitive price of absolutely nothing. From live music to street art and kids workshops to galleries, there’s a little bit of everything for you to sink your teeth into on a daily basis. We are also very excited to

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announce the very first Free Fringe Showcase! An eclectic selection of this year’s Free Fringe musicians shall be performing at the Parkside Bar on Friday at 6.30pm. Hosted by the brilliant BBC Folk Award nominated Jack Pout, this promises to be a smashing evening. Tickets are only £4 and every penny shall be going straight to the performers! There’s always a lot going on around the festival so be sure to pick up a Free Fringe programme for more details.

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Email: media@vfringe.co.uk

Ventnor Fringe Review 2016 - Issue 14  
Ventnor Fringe Review 2016 - Issue 14  
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