Team fringe announce their open call for performers

Team Fringe celebrated at the top of the town’s iconic Gold Hill last week after announcing that the popular summer event is now open to performers to register.

The Fringe festival will again coincide with the North Dorset Gold Hill Fair so the team are working hard to build on last years success and fill the program with an even wider variety of artists.

Shaftesbury Fringe is ‘open access’ like the Edinburgh Fringe so anyone from anywhere can do anything they think will entertain people. Performers can contact the venue they fancy from a list of more than 50 in the town centre listed here.

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved in this years festival you can follow us on Facebook for all the latest news.

Meet the team: From left to right, back row – James Thrift (Website), Georgie Kirby (Social Media), Teresa Hatcher (Treasurer), Lee Hennessy (Team co-ordinator), Natalie Evans, Andy Tebbutt-Russel and Samantha (Joint Presidents), David Cohen (Sponsorship). Front row Rob Neely (Venues) and Richard Thomas (Press).


Samantha sings the shows…from the Grosvenor balcony.

If Shakespeare at Shaftesbury cattle market was one of the unlikeliest events of 2016, the performance of International singer Samantha from the balcony of the Georgian ballroom at the Grosvenor Arms Hotel in the town centre was one of the most moving. The audience in the main street, some 30ft below her to listen to her hour-long medley of songs from stage and screen, were blissfully unaware that Samantha suffers from a serious fear of heights – so throughout her hour-long performance she was in a state of near-panic!

“Fortunately there’s a sturdy handrail there I could hold onto very tightly – and I did!” said Samantha. “The crowd was blissfully unaware I was in a state of terror throughout the performance. But they obviously enjoyed it because some of them were even dancing impromptu in the road.”

The Grosvenor Arms Hotel has various rooms that will be available as venues for Shaftesbury fringe 2017 so if you are an artist and interested in performing here you can find all the information you need on the venues page.

60 Seconds with……YOU!

We would like to invite all our acts past and present to complete a mini Q&A for us to use as part of a feature we

will be running on social media.

Simply answer the questions below in an email and submit along with any photos and web links you would like to

include to:

Q: How did you first discover your talent?

Q: Which three words best describe your act?

Q: How many shows have you performed to date and which was your favourite?

Q: Which two fictional characters from film, literature or theatre would you replace your parents with?

Q: What was the best piece of advice you have been given by a fellow performer?

Q: What will you be performing at Shaftesbury Fringe 2017?

Remember to include your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram details so we can follow and tag you in posts and remember to use #shaftesburyfringe to join the conversation online.

Rob Neely

Looking after: Venues

Performance Category: Poetry, Spoken Word


Bio- Roberto is Master Of Venues, in fact we’d be surprised if there’s any potential venue in Shaftesbury that Rob hasn’t visited or signed up! Artist and garden designer, Rob is also owner of the very beautiful The Dorset Store, an emporium of marvellous delights.


James Thrift

Looking after: Website and Sponsorship

Performance Category: Dance


Bio: James has been involved in running community events in Shaftesbury for the last decade or so. He spends far too much time staring at computer screens in his role as the Dorset Mac Man, including the creation of this website.


Georgie Kirby

Looking after: Social Media

Performance category: Theatre and Children’s theatre


Bio: Georgie runs The Big Beautiful Bunting Co. from her home studio in Shaftesbury and has been organising community events of all shapes and sizes for over 20 years. Georgie will be managing social media and web content as well as looking after the Theatre and children’s theatre category for Shaftesbury fringe 2017.


Lee Hennessy

Looking after: Web and programme content

Performance category: Music


Bio: Lee retired from the University of Bath a couple of years ago. She returned to Dorset after an absence of 35 years and is loving Shaftesbury. Lee is involved in a range of local activities and is very excited about the Shaftesbury Fringe as she will be looking after the music category with David.


David Cohen

Looking after: Sponsorship

Performance category: Music


Bio: David is a former English teacher and was a founder member of the Badger Poets – until recently the longest running performance poetry group in the country. David will be looking after the music category for Shaftesbury fringe 2017.

Sue Allatt

Looking after: Production and General enquiries

Performance category: Exhibitions

Email: and

Bio: Living and working in Shaftesbury & mum of 2 gorgeous teenagers. Passionate about photography & the arts. Representing great photographers & artists for the last 25 years.


Natalie Evans

Looking after: Team Fringe and Accommodation

Performance category: Cabaret, Variety, Magicians, Street and Circus


Bio: In her past life Natalie used to be a BBC-TV Producer but now runs a bespoke kitchen company with her husband in Dorset. They live in Shaftesbury with their 2 teenage boys and 2 miniature schnauzers. Natalie looks after Magicians, Circus and Street performers and Puppetry for Fringe 2017 as well as Fringe Accommodation.

Richard Thomas

Looking after: Press

Performance category: Comedy

Email: and

Bio: This is author and journalist Richard’s seventh arts festival, having organised Shaftesbury’s first arts and music festival in 2010 and 2011, been co-organiser of Shaftesbury Festival 2012-2014 and Shaftesbury Fringe in 2016. Richard will be looking after the Comedy category for Shaftesbury fringe 2017.