Bedfringe 2022 Interview: Dossers, Drabs, Muck-worms and Mumpers

“Having spent years in the Middle Ages, I’ve leapt forward to eighteenth-century London.”

WHO: Mark Steinhardt / writer and performer

WHAT: “Coot looks down on everyone and drips irritation and misery upon all who come within his reach. Especially poor pathetic Piper. Such a pleasure to ruin his day!”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 22-23 July 2022 TIMES VARY (60mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

No! This is my 9th show in 11 years. Bedfringe puts a shape on my life! Every Christmas I start writing a new story for July. Bedfringe gave me my first opportunity and I’m eternally grateful. Now I have a loyal audience, so I’m able to pay back Bedfringe with sell-out shows.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2021 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I’m a storyteller. What have I learned along the way? Don’t repeat yourself. A musician can play his hits – folk like the familiarity – but a teller of tales has to have something new every time. This year’s story won’t sound like anything I’ve done before.

Tell us about your show.

Having spent years in the Middle Ages, I’ve leapt forward to eighteenth-century London. For me, that’s…. modernity. I mean, there are street lights in my story! Oh, and there are streets with kerbs and things to put them in.

It’s a warm-hearted tale, dangerously close to sentimental. There’s spite, greed, dishonesty and pointless hope, but by the end, there is redemption and the possibility of something better. I really couldn’t do anything grim this year – for my own sake as much as the audience’s.

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

I don’t have any friends at Bedfringe – solo performers don’t need friends – so these plugs are unsolicited, Alfie Moore, the ex-cop, is certain to be good. Olaf Falafel will be daft and funny, and the Theatre of Widdershins will be wonderful for young families. For the rest, just take a chance. That’s the point of fringe festivals.


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Bedfringe 2022 Interview: Life Under The Sun

“Recent events have encouraged me to read a lot into geopolitics and financial systems, why things are the way the way they are.”

WHO: Stephen Bathurst

ROLE IN THE PRODUCTION: Everything…

WHAT: “Life Under The Sun is a one man show based on the book of Ecclesiastes. It is a black comedy with a unique mix of ancient verse offset against dark pantomime and the dry wit of stand-up. Features underpants, pompous man-servants, self-deprecating witticisms, an existential crisis and one giant hangover…”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 23 July 2022 @ 16:30 (40mins +20 min Q&A)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

I came here back in 2016 with a two-man show based on the story of Job. Two vivid memories of said show are:

1) Wearing skinny jeans so tight I could barely move in them.

2) Having a bin full of rotting banana and orange peel dumped over my head.

I was the director so only have myself to blame for this… It was a very receptive audience. We had a good Q&A afterwards.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2021 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

There’s been much travel. I am British but live in Finland, recently went to visit an old friend in France and spent a good chunk of winter in Africa.

Recent events have encouraged me to read a lot into geopolitics and financial systems, why things are the way they are.

Tell us about your show.

We all look up at the stars and ponder the big questions of life, of purpose and belonging This is true of every human, no matter the race or culture. I don’t like being preached at. I like questions and opinions and doubt. I like laughing at the nonsense of life and thrashing out the meaning of things over a pint in the pub.

‘Life Under The Sun’. A show for those seeking, even if they don’t know what…

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

As a 90s Boy myself, Phil Green’s show of the same name looks a good shout.


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Bedfringe 2022 Interview: Nightmare Magic

“Think ‘Woman in Black’ (the play, not the one with Harry Potter) except with magic.”

WHO: David Alnwick: Writer & Performer

WHAT: “After a hit preview run at Edinburgh Festival 2021, writer and magician David Alnwick brings the new edition of ‘Nightmare Magic’ back to Bedford Fringe!”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 30 July 2021 @ 18:00 (60mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

Third time. I didn’t expect they’d have me back, y’know, after the… Well, let’s just say sawing people in half takes practice.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2021 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I spent a lot of time getting good at making pizza. People might question the relevance of pointing this out, what with me being a writer, an actor, and a magician doing a one-man horror show but I’m telling you, knowing I can make a great pizza gives me the confidence to keep going.

Tell us about your show.

Think ‘Woman in Black’ (the play, not the one with Harry Potter) except with magic. It’s a one-person show where I demonstrate a collection of haunted items in an attempt to contact the dead. Man, that sounds cool, right? Like, I’d want to see that show.

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Probably something happy. Check out Marcel Lucont.


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‘Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq – Live From Bedfringe’ (Bedfringe, 30 July)

“A perfect performance by an artist who is at the beginning of the beginning of a brilliant journey.”

Editorial Rating: 5 Stars (Outstanding)

The worst thing you can do in a review is talk about the rest of the audience. What matters, I always say to new members of the writing team, is your reaction. How did the show impact you? Avoid phrases like, “the audience seemed disengaged” or “the audience seemed to like it” they’re just not useful. Last night was the exception that proves this rule. We, the audience, were very excited about this performance.

Thomas Benjamin Wilde esquire in the county of Bedfordshire has been one of those artists who’ve helped make the past 18 months almost tolerable. His YouTube covers encompass every kind of gem from Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell to Jack Buchannon’s Everything Stops for Tea. His original compositions are smart, funny, occasionally smutty, and catchier than COVID at a Trump White House event. Last night had the celebratory feeling of a comeback tour, yet it was only the first gig of a relatively recent newcomer’s much-delayed first ever tour.

The audience know that TBW is good. So good that had Bertie Wooster played banjolele even at two to the power of two hundred and seventy-six thousand, seven hundred and nine to one against as well as Thomas Benjamin Wilde esquire in the county of Bedfordshire then Jeeves might not have left him and Wodehouse would have lost a plot. Everyone in the room is a fan.

Last night was streamed live over YouTube (see above) and this is where I got that thrill that only comes from seeing someone you already greatly admire succeeding at something really chuffing hard. TBW was equally present for both the live audience and the folks at home. It was a beautifully balanced act, pulled off with the gracious humility of a true professional who has worked at their craft morning, noon, and night until it’s sharper than a cavalry saber slicing open a bottle of 2002 vintage bubbles.

It’s a funny thing that Burgess never much liked A Clockwork Orange. Graves wasn’t overly fond of I, Claudius. Graham fell in and out of love with The Wind in the Willows and we all know what Conan Doyle tried to do to Sherlock Holmes. So it follows that Thomas Benjamin Wilde esquire in the county of Bedfordshire has a complicated relationship with “That Song”, the one that made him a sensation.

BedFringe’s James Pharaoh claims credit for inspiring the little ears (no swearing) version and it’s a great twist on a much loved (by us at any rate) newly minted classic. This is the first show I’ve seen with Daughter 1.0 since EdFringe ‘19. She’s 6 now and a big TBW fan (although admittedly she prefers Tom Carradine). This was a brilliant family-friendly show to reawaken her excitement about live performance.

The unexpected move from the garden to the bar – the afternoon’s rain had tried very hard to stop play – amplified both the music and the energy of the crowd. It’s a long thin space with exposed rafters which were played to front and back. There was some Rodney Bewes style ad hocs when things went awry, but this forced improv only made things all the jollier. The flashing TV screen in the background wasn’t quite covered by the set, but other than that this was a perfect performance by an artist who is at the beginning of the beginning of a brilliant journey.


Reviewer: Dan Lentell

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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Fruitcake – Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward

“I went back to nursing for 14 months over the pandemic and learned bugger all, except that I don’t look good in a nurse’s tunic. I look like I’ve nicked it, basically.”

WHO: Rob Gee: Writer and performer

WHAT: “From the writer and performer of 2019 Bedfringe sell-put show Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit Comic, poet and reformed mental health nurse Rob Gee presents a user-friendly guide to losing the plot.

Fruitcake charts a night shift on an acute psychiatric ward, seen through the eyes of a jaded nurse who hears the voice of God – a kindly Jamaican woman – who gives him ten benevolent commandments to help him through the shift; and life.

Fruitcake is based on twelve years Rob spent working as a registered nurse in psychiatric units around the UK and Australia.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 31 July 2021 @ 18:00 (60mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

I did the 2019 Bedford Fringe with my show Forget Me Not, which is a whodunnit set on an Alzheimer’s Ward. It sold out and we all had a lovely time, by which I mean me and the audience.
This will be my 102nd international fringe festival. For me, the best ones are less like trade fairs (Edinburgh, Adelaide) and more like actual fringe festivals (Orlando, Winnipeg), although they’re all good in one way or another. Bedford’s a lovely one to do because it’s very well organised and everyone’s friendly.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I went back to nursing for 14 months over the pandemic and learned bugger all, except that I don’t look good in a nurse’s tunic. I look like I’ve nicked it, basically.

Tell us about your show.

Fruitcake charts a night shift on an acute mental health ward, seen through the eyes of a jaded nurse who hears the voice of God. In this case God is a kindly Jamaican woman who gives him ten benevolent commandments to help him through the shift; and life. It’s won Best of Fest at Calgary, Ottawa and Winnipeg Fringe Festivals, Best Spoken Word at Minnesota Fringe and Best Solo Comedy at Buxton fringe.

The show is based on the 12 years I spent working as a registered nurse in mental health units around the UK and Australia before becoming a full-time writer and performer. When I first wrote it, I performed it to an audience of ex-patients. I was really nervous! Thankfully the feedback was very positive, it was a huge relief.

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Gerard Harris (A Tension to Detail) is great. It’s like watching someone fail to organise their thoughts in the most entertaining way possible. A very witty fella too.


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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Tremaine Dawkins

“Be prepared for audience interaction, jazzy improvisations, exquisite harmonies & melodies that you can’t resist swaying along too.”

WHO: Tremaine: Singer-songwriter & perfomer

WHAT: “Tremaine will be performing a soulful acoustic set on the Garden Stage, accompanied by her backing vocalists. The set will include a mix of original songs from her album & stylish renditions of some classic. A performance & experience not to be missed.

Tremaine has a voice that will stop you in your tracks. She is also an exceptional songwriter. Her style is a unique brand of Soul/Gospel -encouraging, heartfelt lyrics laid over beautiful jazzy chords, wrapped in a soulful groove. Her impressive vocal range, improvisations & intricate harmonies, make Tremaine an exhilarating live performer.

Tremaine draws influences from Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder & Sade.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre Garden

WHEN: 24 & 31 July 2021 @ 15:00 (60mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

In 2019, I gave a heart-warming vocal & piano performance on the Garden Stage & I’m back again this year. This time I’ve brought some backing vocalists with me, to really add a new dynamic. I’m also doing two shows this year. So plenty of opportunity to enjoy some acoustic Soul music in the open air.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Since my first performance, I’ve been recording my second album which is due for release early next year. I’ve also been focusing on developing my style – mixing my influences of Motown, Soul, traditional Gospel & modern Jazz to create something new.

Tell us about your show.

My show is an exhilarating live acoustic performance of Soul/Gospel music. I perform both original songs from my debut album ‘But for the Grace of God’ & re-workings of some well-known classics. It’s me, my piano & backing vocalists on stage – outside in the sunshine singing encouraging, heartfelt lyrics laid over beautiful jazzy chords, wrapped in a soulful groove. Be prepared for audience interaction, jazzy improvisations, exquisite harmonies & melodies that you can’t resist swaying along too.

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Be sure to check out The Goldentones after you’ve seen my show. They are also performing on The Garden Stage, after me on Sat 24th July at 7.30pm. They are a great group of singers performing operatic to Pop covers. A performance to definitely check out.


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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Max Fulham & Matt Daniel-Baker in ‘An Extraordinary Evening’

“The past year has also made us even more excited to be performing for a live audience again!”

WHO: Max Fulham and Matt Daniel-Baker: Ventriloquist and Mind Reader

WHAT: “A superb evening of Comedy & Mind Reading.

TWO sensational talents perform their extraordinary skills for ONE NIGHT ONLY!

TV Comedy Ventriloquist Max Fulham & International Mind Reader Matt Daniel-Baker perform for the very first time at the legendary Bedfringe.

Max was recently seen on ITV’s ‘Game of Talents’ & ‘Crackerjack’ and Matt’s TV appearances include ‘Masters of Illusion’ in Hollywood & ‘Penn & Teller’s Fool Us’ in Las Vegas. They look forward to bringing you an unmatchable feast of entertainment in one show.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 29 July 2021 @ 19:30 (100mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

Bedfringe is a first for us and we are both incredibly excited about performing our show as part of this wonderful festival. We started collaborating on shows last year and Bedfringe will actually be the first opportunity we’ve had to perform together in 2021, so we jumped at the chance! It is going to be great to be able to bring our acts together again to create one ‘Extraordinary Evening” (get us slipping in the show title so smoothly!).

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Having the names Matt and Max in one act can cause confusion as they sound similar! In all seriousness though, I think one of the main things we have taken from the past year or so is adaptability. Both of us have had to be able to change what we do to fit new and changing situations whether that be adjusting our shows for COVID regulations or adapting things for zoom shows. The past year has also made us even more excited to be performing for a live audience again!

Tell us about your show.

‘An Extraordinary Evening’ is a show combining my (Max’s) ventriloquism and my (Matt’s) skills as a mind reader to create a unique and hilarious variety show like you’ve never seen before! Whether you are coming alone, as a couple, as a group or even bringing the whole family, a fantastic time will be had by all.

Max: I will introduce you to my cast of puppet characters including a monkey and my Grandad. A few other things may start to talk too but I’ll leave you to see that for yourselves! I feel like a talking monkey is the one thing that Bedfringe has been missing! Over to you Matt!

Matt: For my section of the show I will be using my deceptive mind and sharp wit to create some moments of wonder. It will be fully interactive and I’m looking forward to revealing things that I couldn’t possibly have known. So gather your deepest darkest secrets and come along to see if I can discover them!

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Max: My wonderful friend Andrew White will be performing his show “The Gay Agenda Live!” which is sure to be a brilliant standup comedy show. I am constantly blown away by Andrew’s comedic skill so I would definitely grab some tickets if I were you!

Matt: If you’re in the mood for something a little spookier, I would recommend “David Alnwick: Nightmare Magic” which combines magic and horror. That sort of thing is right up my street and using magic to help drive the narrative is a great idea.


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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Elizabeth & Jameson (Indie Folk Duo)

“We’ll be performing mostly songs from our 2020 debut album, “Northern Shores & Stories”. It’s a concept album based on the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby and the surrounding area.”

WHO: Griff Jameson: One half of the duo

WHAT: “Elizabeth & Jameson is an award-winning collaboration comprising two rising stars of the UK acoustic music scene.  Fresh from opening for Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra as official support act for part of their 2019 Autumn/Winter tour, the duo are currently gearing up for the spring release of their debut studio album, Northern Shores & Stories.

Hannah Elizabeth and Griff Jameson have joined forces to create an indie-folk sound which encompasses both their individual musical backgrounds of traditional folk-roots and folk pop/rock.  This is simplistic, classic song writing at its best – a stripped back harmony-driven sound with acoustic guitar, violin, accordion and exquisite harmony vocals.

WHERE: Quarry Theatre Garden

WHEN: 1 August 2021 @ 13:00 (60mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

As a performer, yes! We’re former residents of Bedford and loved enjoying the music in the garden of the Quarry Theatre in previous years! Had some chums play out there and loved the vibe. We always wanted to do it but the dates always clashed with other bookings so never sought it out….but this year….sadly when we’re no longer Bedford residents….We can do it!

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Hahaha! Well we are all always learning right?! I think, on a practical level at least, we’ve certainly become alot more savvy with tech, what with having to do so many remote shows and interviews from our front room!

In all seriousness though, I think it teaches you to never take what you do for granted. We are so lucky to travel around and perform in all corners of the UK so regularly…..the idea that that normality is just around the corner sounds like a dream!

Tell us about your show.

We’ll be performing mostly songs from our 2020 debut album, “Northern Shores & Stories”. It’s a concept album based on the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby and the surrounding area.

We were lucky enough to release it on it’s original planned date (although sadly the tour to co-incide with it fell by the wayside) and got some great reviews and airplay on a national level!

We invite the audience in to enjoy the history, tales and characters from the album….as well as a few more familiar covers to get everyone singing along!

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Just saw Danni Nicholls is on for the Blender Takeover! I shared the bill with her several times with my former band. She has a phenomenal voice and self penned songs to match!


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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Coor Brow-Obles

“The main difference between playing a festival and just going to one really comes from being backstage and seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Plus there’s more chance of you sharing a mirror with the other performers when they know you’re not just trying to get their autographs and bags.”

WHO: Coor Brow-Obles: Musician

WHAT: “Coor Brow-Obles is a South-Eastern UK based alternative musician and secret fantasy you can’t tell your partner about. Multi-instrumentalist and producer, noted for his pure voice, intelligent lyrics, strong stage presence and devilish good looks.

With Inspiration from artists like David Bowie, Placebo, The Cure, Still Corners and Björk, his music is constantly evolving and exploring the boundaries of alternative pop music.

Performed in full gothic glam attire and with some audience patter in between.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre Garden

WHEN: 29 July 2021 @ 19:00 & 20:30 (30mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

It is and I’m very excited to be part of it! I know a lot of great talent has performed here including Lee Nelson, James Acaster and (my personal favourites) Aunty Donna. It’s going to be a lot to live up to. Still, if I can’t be as entertaining as them, at least I’ll be safe in the knowledge my eyeliner will be on point.

The main difference between playing a festival and just going to one really comes from being backstage and seeing all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Plus there’s more chance of you sharing a mirror with the other performers when they know you’re not just trying to get their autographs and bags.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

I’ve learnt that Brood X cicadas only come out of the ground to breed every 17 years. This year however there’s a lot of them being infected by Massospora cicadina, which is confusing a lot of the cicadas into thinking they are opposite genders and rotting off the back half of their bodies. Neither of which has prevented their breeding cycle. Horrifying.

Also if you put your music on the internet some people might actually enjoy it. That was the biggest shocker.

Tell us about your show.

I label myself an alternative singer/songwriter as I’m not exactly Ed Sheeran with my song choices and performance, but it is just me and an acoustic guitar. Musically, I am more inspired by 80’s pop, post-punk, ethereal and dream pop. David Bowie, The Cure, Still Corners, Voltaire, Placebo, Joy Division etc. Anything that can create a mood.

That said, I like to incorporate a lot of crowd work into my show. It’s almost as much of a stand-up comic show as it is a musical performance. If you’ve only come to listen to music you might as well just buy the CD. An audience is as much a part of a show as the performer and should feel welcomed. There’s nothing worse than a performer who can’t even look at an audience let alone talk to them past “My next song is...”.

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Personally I looking forward to seeing Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq the most. I’ve really enjoyed his performances on youtube.

I’m really interested in the ‘Twas a dark and stormy night poetry act, which has received a lot of great reviews.

I may take part in the Stevie Vegas Circus Skills workshop. I already have some experience with Devil sticks, so it’d be nice to add to the repertoire.

Also Debra Kedabra looks right up my street. Magic and Drag looks like a winning combination. I wonder if they’ll lend me their lipstick…


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Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Seska: BULLINACHINASHOP

“We shall soon be able to see how many people can fit in a ford fiesta sharing the same milkshake from the same straw on a Saturday night!”

WHO: SESKA: PERFORMER

WHAT: “Entertaining crowds from Mumbai to Trinidad.

Flying in for just ONE EXCLUSIVE Bedford Show! DO NOT MISS ! A turbo-charged chaotic comedy magic show for all ages. Kids laugh out loud , dads fart out loud and mums faint at his feet! Buy tickets quick!”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 25 July 2021 @ 14:00 (45mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

This is my 721st visit to Bedfringe … I can’t get enough of it! James and the team always provide carrots for my donkey Gertie and make me feel so welcome.

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

Be patient everyone. We shall soon be able to see how many people can fit in a ford fiesta sharing the same milkshake from the same straw on a Saturday night!

Tell us about your show.

The show is a chaotic clowning magic show that is loud and colourful. It really is a show for the whole family … kids laugh out loud, dads fart out loud … mums faint at my feet

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

There is a show called The Underdogs – Friendzy. Its for adults and you shall see some excellent magic – some very dangerous. It’s a fab show


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