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Published on July 21st, 2019 | by The Town Crier


My Shout

August is the month of holidays and festivals.

The Orange Works is a Kent-based theatre company that’s producing work mainly for the Edinburgh Festival. Full disclosure; I’ve been acting and directing with them for three years. So the Edinburgh Festival is, this year as last, my summer holiday.

If you’ve never been to Edinburgh, then I whole-heartedly recommend it. It’s possible to see theatre, comedy, live music, magic, children’s shows and all kinds of entertainment every hour of every day for three weeks. And that’s just the Fringe. Check it out at www.edfringe.com.

It’s exhausting. But it’s also inspiring, even life-changing.

If you can’t make it to Edinburgh (and it’s probably too late to find anywhere to stay!) you can always get along to the Old Fire Station here in Tonbridge on the 31st July. Or get along to the Faversham Festival at the end of August. 

One of the two shows you can see in Edinburgh, Tonbridge and Faversham was performed for the first time last year – it was even reviewed by The Stage (the UK theatre’s trade paper) who described it as an ‘engaging, bitter-sweet comedy’.

The other play is called ‘Being Frank’ and deals with the very current topic of men’s mental health. It’s a disturbing fact that whilst men represent a small proportion of people presenting to their GPs with mental health problems, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 50.

Despite the subject – and the fact it is based on real experiences –  it’s an entertaining 50 minutes with original music and laughter. So have a look at www.ticketsource.co.uk/the-orange-works or check out favershamfringe.co.uk.

For a small local theatre, The Oast located in Hildenborough, August is a month of rest – or at least, no action on stage. Instead a big band of dedicated volunteers (lots over the age of 50) do all the maintenance jobs they couldn’t do whilst the theatre is in use for shows 11 month of the year.  If you have a talent for painting, carpentry, painting or sewing or you just fancy serving behind the bar, drop them a line. Membership is ridiculously cheap and you get discounts on tickets as well as a big bunch of friends. I’m sure it does a lot to keep its members healthy in mind and body.

The new season begins in September and there is something for everyone in the new programme.

And make sure you book early – it’s a small theatre (with a nice little bar) – and often plays to full houses.

Happy holidays. I’ll see you when I get back from Edinburgh!

Philip Holden – Owner of Mr Books, High Street, Tonbridge.

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