Yorkshire Fringe Festival 2017

The ever-popular Great Yorkshire Fringe Festival returns between the 21 July and 6 August and it’s looking like it’s going to be hotter than ever…

Believe it or not, there hasn’t always been such a thing as The Great Yorkshire Fringe Festival. It’s simply been so successful that it might just feel that way. The event actually started in 2015 making 2017 only it’s third year of existence which, in human development terms, would still only be a toddler, yet it can already brag a line-up of 600 diverse performers from of over 30 nationalities. It’s not just up and walking. It’s taking massive strides.

“That was never a mullet. Just long hair, one length. Don’t let anyone tell you different.”

“We look forward to welcoming you to The White Rose Rotunda, The Teapot and The Shed on Parliament Street and the Barbican our new venue for 2017.” said festival founder Martin Witts, because the Fringe has expanded so much that this year it requires an additional 1,500 seater venue. So, who can you expect to be filling such space?

For a period back in 1991 singer songwriter and saxophonist Curtis Stigers was bigger than Nirvana. His single “I Wonder Why” reached number 5 in the UK charts whereas “Smells Like Teen Spirit” only made it as high as number 7. He was huge.

If you remember him from the 90s then you’ll recall both his long locks and his smooth soulful voice of a seasoned crooner. These days, as he explains on his website, he has “Shorter hair. More grey.” And goes on to underline, “By the way, that was never a mullet. Just long hair, one length. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Never a mullet.”

Well on 26 July you’ll find Curtis Stigers at the Barbican Theatre, having joined forces with the world renown Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. Together they will be performing renditions of Frank Sinatra classics in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Sinatra at the Sands, the live album that was accompanied by Count Basie and his orchestra and conducted by Quincy Jones.

Also appearing at the Barbican (but on 29 July) will be German comedian Henning Wehn, who will be providing his own unbiased insight into immigration – for laughs. Henning has lived in the UK since 2002, when he worked for the marketing department of Wycombe Wanderers F.C. He then encountered an open mic night, and decided to stick around and give comedy a go.

“I initially planned to stay in the UK for only 12 months to improve my English, but the good weather, the tasty food and the classy women made me stay.” he later wrote, adding “In order to blend in with the locals, I decided to get extremely lazy, spend money I don’t have and, most importantly, to unjustifiably bang on about my great sense of humour.”

Although The Great Yorkshire Fringe Festival will include many excellent comedy acts across multiple venues, including Paul Sinha and the hilariously surreal Paul Foot, the genius of Simmon Munnery and a recording of Richard Herring’s always brilliant podcast, it’s got so much more to offer, and in many creative directions.

Naturally, there will be more music including Back to Backarach’s celebtration of the works of Burt Backarach and Annette Gregory’s celebration of 100 years of Ella Fitzgerald, Dead Friedman’s Music for Grownups and the discotastic Abba Revival. But they’ll also be plenty for the family, like the heart-warming adaptation of Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s bestselling book The Scarcrows’ Wedding and the dynamic comedy and artistry of The Bubble Man. Westend Magic Workshops will be on hand to teach 7-13 year-olds the basics of magic, while dog lovers will be sure to swoon for The York Fringe Dog Show, which will be in aid of RSPCA York.

Check out www.greatyorkshirefringe.com for more details of what’s on and when. You’ll be glad you did.