Having reported on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, the challenge was something that I hadn’t done before. While it may be on a smaller scale, this year, I will be reporting on the Jabberwocky Market Festival, which, while serving a much smaller audience, promises to be ‘Darlington’s Answer to the Fringe’.

Darlington, in the north-east of England, will be holding the festival from the 26th to the 29th of March in partnership with the recently burnt down Battersea Arts Centre and Arts Council England. Having run since 2013, it is now well established and will be hosting a Scratch Night, The Frights and Lorraine and Alan.

Described on their website as ‘A Festival of World-Class Small-Scale Theatre’, the festival is appropriate for both kids and adults, providing anything from panel discussion, ‘Why Do We Tour?’, to advice for young performers through the Chris Grady Surgeries.

A town more used to the music scene, Jabberwocky Market is Darlington’s chance to see the very best of other areas of the arts, twice a year. This will be an insight for me as well, so please look out for my reviews and interviews with acts throughout the four days in which the festival is held.

For my first piece, I will be interviewing Chris Grady (of Chris Grady Surgeries), having previously worked with major theatre directors, he now intends to pass his experiences on in the form of advice for young actors and actresses.

You will also see reviews of the Scratch Night, a chance for the people of Darlington to see snippets of theatre works in progress. I will also be interviewing the performers and directors of those works in progress so please look out for that.

After the festival is over, I will also do a review of the festival itself. Having only attended music festivals before, aside from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it will be a new experience for me.

If you would like to see a taste of what is to come, why not read ‘Fringe Benefits‘, my review of Political Comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year.

Additionally, if you are in the north-east and are thinking of coming to the festival, please check out the Jabberwocky Market website. Here you will find all the information on tickets and events that are going to be on different days. If you are in Darlington, come along to the Jabber Van.

The festival promises to be an excellent showcase of local talent, as well as that from further afield. Having been well-received in the local community over the last few years, this is a chance to spread the word about the festival and I hope that you enjoy my reviews. It is the Jabberwocky Market’s fourth festival and it will be the best yet. If you need more information, please visit www.jabberwockymarket.org.uk .

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