Exciting new Rugby festival celebrates drama, music, hypnosis and magic

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“Our Fringe Week not only gives smaller and more diverse talent an opportunity to take to our stage”

An exciting new festival will celebrate drama, music, hypnosis and magic in Rugby.

Rugby Theatre’s Fringe Week will see a variety of acts appearing at the historic Henry Street venue, with tickets starting at £5.

It runs from May 18-26.

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Emma Bright, Rugby Theatre’s joint artistic director, said: “We are thrilled to be showcasing an exceptional selection of home-grown acts, music and groupsfrom the Rugby community here on our theatre stage.

“Having re-established our thriving theatre at the heart of Rugby following the covid years, we have been looking to present an event that celebrates the wealth of talent here in the town, to sit alongside our normal programme of shows and films.”

The week starts with professional actor and entertainer Sally Jones returning to her hometown of Rugby to perform her critically acclaimed one woman show Piaf – The Life Story & Songs of Edith Piaf (Saturday, May 18, £15).

The show tells the moving and inspirational story of the ‘Little Sparrow’ who rose from the backstreets of Paris to become the highest paid female entertainer in the world.

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Ian Hill Jazz.Ian Hill Jazz.
Ian Hill Jazz.

Next up is the Rugby Irish Community Drama Group, performing an abridged version of the iconic Irish play Sive (Sunday, May 19, £5).

Written by Irish playwright John B Keane, Sive is set in rural Ireland in the 1950s, and explores themes such as poverty, exploitation, marriage, greed and love, as well as a prevailing set of attitudes that underpinned the battle between the generations

Completing the drama offering is a trio of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues, performed and directed by Rugby Theatre’s members (Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22).

Darkly funny, poignant and uplifting, the monologues delve into the lives of seemingly everyday people, with gripping twists and turns. A Chip in the Sugar; A Cream Cracker Under the Settee and Her Big Chance will each be performed both nights. Tickets are £10.

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Fringe Week then turns to music, with five-piece pop-rock/alternative band Courthouse bringing a mix of love ballads, rap songs, guitar solos and alt-pop anthems to the stage on Friday, May 24. Tickets are £10.

Courthouse, who also performed at Rugby Theatre for the OurJay concert last year, are supported bylocal bands The Bungalow Club and Molly Gone Mad.

Magic and hypnosis are on the bill on Saturday, May 25, with magician and mind-reader Angus Baskerville teaming up with master stage hypnotist Poldark (£15).

Angus will open the show with sleight of hand trickery and impossible predictions, while Poldark, who appeared at the Benn Hall in

February, will amaze and astonish in the second half.

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The closing act will be an easy-listen jazz set lead by saxophonist Ian Hill, with special guest vocalist Roy Forbes (Sunday, May 26). This blend of talented local jazz performers from across the county will present their tribute to ‘The American Song Book,’ to sooth audiences after a busy week. Tickets are £10.

Emma added: “Our Fringe Week not only gives smaller and more diverse talent an opportunity to take to our stage, but also to be able to perform to a wider, local audience.

“We hope that both our loyal theatre patrons and those who are yet to discover us will come and enjoy this exciting and unique selection of shows.”

Tickets are available from the Rugby Theatre box office on (01788) 541234, or www.rugbytheatre.co.uk.

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