Don’t miss Barnstaple Fringe TheatreFest at venues around the town this week, beginning on Wednesday with free taster sessions at Barnstaple Coffee Shop.

All manner of performers will be taking over Barnstaple Coffee Shop from tomorrow (Wednesday) with free tasters shows to welcome Fringe TheatreFest to town.

The festival runs from Thursday through to Sunday as five venues around the town will play host to a huge variety of shows, with 105 performances from 33 different theatre companies.

Everything from comedy to tragedy, noir, dance and song will be aired at the Coffee Shop tasters from Wednesday to Friday, with the opportunity to meet and chat to the performers.

There will also be artwork on display with a mural created by local artists Mel Saggs plus several pieces of art created for one of the shows.

TheatreFest venues include St Anne’s Art and Community Centre, The Queen’s Theatre, the Baptist Hall in Boutport Street plus the museum and library.

Puppet noir…

Noir, A Dick Privet Mystery -

Adult puppet theatre detective thriller.

When Dick Privet is hired to find Jonny Volent, he finds he’s not alone. Femme fatale, Lola Meme is in deep. Together they witness a murder and try to out-fox the heavies.

Who is the man calling himself The Collector? Will Dick get answers? Results? Corpses? A date with Lola?

The show is at Studio @QT on Friday (10.15pm), Saturday (8.30pm) and Sunday (2.30pm).

Murderous Mathis…

Johnny Mathis Killed Our Christmas -

A show by Ripple, that takes a look at a 40 year marriage of one couple and their annual Christmas ritual which they can’t shake off.

Ripple are performers Derek Frood and Ruth Mitchell with dramaturgy by David Prescott. They set up in 2005 to make theatre and to explore with form and content on an intimate scale.

Derek is a regular performer with Devon based Theatre Alibi, most recently visiting Barnstaple with their latest show Hammer and Tongs which played the Queens Theatre.

He is currently filming for the new series of Poldark playing Captain Bray and is fitting the TheatreFest in amongst his filming dates.

Ruth has been a classical actor for many years, working for four of them with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The show is at St Anne’s on Thursday (8.30pm), Friday (9.30pm) and Saturday (8.15pm).

For the full programme visit www.theatrefest.co.uk or call the box office on 01271 324242 to find out more.