Arts & Culture

Speed dating with the press promotes Oxford Offbeat Fringe Festival

By Richard Chidwick at

One of the first people I spoke to on walking in to the doors of the Oxford Playhouse for

the 2017 Oxford Offbeat Fringe Festival show case, was a representative for the Leo and Hyde

Theatre Company who are performing a satirical version of Mozart’s The Marriage of

Figaro, loosely based on the trials and tribulations of American Celebrity and Instagram

star Kim Kardashian. It was a typical example of some of the original and interesting acts

and show previews presented in the foyer and upstairs in the Gallery at the theatre.

The Offbeat Oxford Fringe Festival Programmes is bringing 18 premieres from Oxfordshire

artists and over 70 shows from Mark Thomas, Viv Groskop and Richard Marsh with prices

for tickets being less than £10. This night held in the lobby of the Playhouse and

upstairs, was a convergence of comedians, producers and performers who will present

stage shows at the Fringe Festival held between 23 June and 2 July at The

Old Fire Station and the Oxford Playhouse.

The hosts for evening the used fake American accents, attracting attention and laughter

from the crowd of performers who had travelled across the country, as far as Derby to

promote their own shows. A two minute ‘speed dating with the press’ allowed comedians,

producers and performers to talk with the press in two minute intervals. The speed dating

was preceded by some innovative dance by the Hackney dance school tap dance and

Floyd Jones on the ivories who is playing a show at the festival on the Piano.

Eleanor Colville’s ‘Bigamous’ sketch show was one to remember from the innovative two

minute ‘Speed dating with the press,’ as she talked about her comedic memories of

weddings and marriage. Also in the two minute interviews, the producers and comedians

addressed the subject of death, addiction, mysticism, adoption and the idea of looking at

illnesses such as cancer with a fresh perspective to the floor.

Vicky Graham who is producer of the festival said: “The launch was electric.

With 54 of the artists meeting the press, the Offbeat team and one another for the first

time, the excitement on all sides was tangible. We can’t wait to share the 71 shows and 19

music acts with an audience. “

To see the full 2017 programme visit:
Twitter: @OffBeatOx