By Sam Bridge
Sharjah event to feature 1,100 hours of entertainment in 17 days spread across 600 performances
The first-ever Fringe festival in the Middle East, to be held in Sharjah, will feature 1,100 hours of entertainment in 17 days spread across 600 performances covering theatre, music, puppetry, magic, dance and interactive street shows.
Sharjah Fringe is set to transform the UAE’s cultural heartland into a creative, theatrical playground, with the emirate hosting acts that were born on Fringe stages around the world, a statement said.
Sharjah Fringe will unfold with 35 ticketed productions and 30 outdoor street performances that are free and open to all members of the public.
The shows, performed by more than 50 artists hailing from across the world, will take centre stage at three Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) destinations - Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasbaand Al Noor Island.
Among the top international Fringe favourites that will be presented in Sharjah is Maxwell the Bubbleologist’s exploration of the dynamics of bubbles.
In The Bubble Show, UK-based performer Maxwell Graham combines comedy and artistry with audience participation and bubble tricks.
Australia’s Tom Thum and Jamie MacDowell, winners of Best Music Event at the Brighton Fringe 2014 and the Adelaide Fringe 2016, come armed with just a guitar and a distinctive singing voice while South Africa’s In Sticks Stones Broken Bones will see household junk and bits of rubbish transformed into wordless shadow puppet stories.
Organised by Shurooq in partnership with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, the Sharjah Fringe festival is produced by South Africa’s National Arts Festival and UAE-based Dolphin Creative.
Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, COO, Shurooq said: “Designed primarily as an interactive event, families and the general public can also experience the sheer thrill of being called on stage alongside international artists at the Sharjah Fringe.
"The emirate enjoys a global cultural status and touristic appeal, which we wanted to reinforce by presenting an event full of choice for each of the 200-plus nationalities residing in the UAE. The 17-day art and entertainment festival will showcase the diverse talents of internationally popular acts alongside up-and-coming artists from worldwide.”
Tickets are available to buy online at www.sharjahfringe.com, with prices ranging from AED35–50 with discounts available for children, students and over 60s.
Sharjah Fringe will run from January 16 to February 1.