Friday, 3 July 2015
Skywatch Friday: the fringe
I always see Skywatch Friday as a chance to look not just skywards, but upwards to building tops too. And here on the ornate building that houses the Albert Square Chop House pub is a cartoon fringe, marking the start of the Manchester Fringe Festival (1-31 July), an alternative adjunct to the larger Manchester International Festival (MIF) which kicks off this week.
This is the Fringe's fourth year and is timed to coincide with the MIF and ~ like all Fringe Festivals around the world ~ from humble beginnings, it's developing each year. The Fringe has big ambitions to become one of the world’s largest arts festivals where it can show off and celebrate Manchester's creativity, encouraging new and established performers to try out new work and take risks.
The Fringe currently has 31 venues throughout Greater Manchester, putting on 100 performances and events. One of the highlights will be 'music festival favourite', Tim Peaks Diner, which will be taking residence upstairs at The Albert Square Chop House for the weekend of 11 and 12 July.
Tim Peaks Diner will host cartoonist Tony Husband's workshop and various bands and DJs.
The 'giant fringe hairpiece idea' was inspired by a conversation between Tony Husband and The Albert Square Chophouse owner, Roger Ward ~ they thought it would be fun to mark Fringe Festival venues with a fringe. So to get things going, it seemed fitting to recreate Tim Burgess' distinctive hairstyle as a flagship for Tim Peaks Diner. Tony subsequently adapted Pete Fowler's cartoon drawing of Tim and then a giant fabric fringe was created!
As Roger says: "Manchester is arguably the capital city of music for the world! It's famous for its bands, theatres, television and creativity… as well as for football. It is also well-known for its maverick, independent spirit. Whilst becoming increasingly well-known internationally for MIF with its original work, if we want to turn it into a really huge tourist attraction and engage with the people of the city, we need to add the benefits that only a fringe festival can bring ~ affordable, accessible fun!”
Tony adds: “The fringe hairpiece idea is a light-hearted way of bringing attention to the festival and to help people find the venues, which may not usually be associated with the arts. We'd love this to become an enduring theme for the Fringe, because we can have a lot of fun with the idea over time and encourage other venues to wear our 'wigs'”.