Sunday, 21 October 2018

All aboard for fringe

A THEATRE company set up especially for the Henley Fringe Festival is back again for the sixth time this year.

A THEATRE company set up especially for the Henley Fringe Festival is back again for the sixth time this year.

Young actors Yvie Magee and Daniel Creasey decided to set up Falcongrange Productions after seeing an advertisement for the fringe, and the company has now become one of the hottest tickets in the week-long festival, which this year runs from July 22.

This year they will be performing John Godber’s comedy Men Of The World and children’s show, The Lion And The Mouse, an adaptation from an Aesop’s fable.Yvie, who trained at the Rep College, Reading, said that Henley had now become Falcongrange’s “home from home”.

She said: “Daniel and I had been working in the industry for a while, and we were in a situation where there wasn’t a huge amount of work out there of the kind we wanted to be doing. We have always been interested in the production side of things, so we thought, ‘Why not? Let’s just make opportunities of our own.’”

Since then they have put on productions at every fringe festival, including Abigail’s Party, Teechers and Lucky Sods. Last year their two shows at Henley Rugby Club — Willy Russell’s One For The Road and an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood — were their most successful so far, with ticket sales topping 1,100.

In a Standard review of One For The Road Yvie was described thus: “It’s hard to believe when watching Yvie Magee in full flight that so much power can come out of such a slender frame.”

She said: “We love Henley. It’s just the vibe in the town. There’s no audience like a Henley audience. Also there’s a real sense of community. People seem to have this misconception of Henley as a tourist town, but Daniel and I come here often to hand out fliers and people always recognise us and ask what we’re up to. One person even said to me recently, ‘Are you married yet?’ as we got engaged at the Kenton Theatre last year after a show, when Daniel proposed to me after the curtain went down.”

The couple’s house is now a hotbed of activity leading up to both the fringe and their wedding in August — they are making costumes for the show as well as bridesmaids’ dresses.

The Lion And The Mouse, which the couple adapted for stage themselves, will feature two actors who also play a range of instruments including clarinet, saxophone and percussion, and will be suitable for two- to eight-year-olds. The Godber comedy is for an adult audience — the cast of three will play 18 different parts between them.

Yvie said: “Godber is just brilliant and writes hugely popular plays — apparently at least one of his plays is on somewhere in the world every day of the year — and this one is very funny.”

For more information or to book tickets go to www.henleyfringe.org

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