Who Are We?
The Windsor Fringe is the second oldest fringe in the U.K after Edinburgh. Run by volunteers, it offers an innovative and affordable programme of music, dance, comedy, drama and art with a passion for being a platform for promoting new talent.
HISTORY OF THE FRINGE - NOW AND THEN.........
In the late ‘60s, the cultural scene in Windsor was sparse; we had a cinema, local societies and a lively Theatre Royal but no Arts Centre. An exciting Pop festival in the Great Park wasn’t repeated as hundreds of people camped for days (Woodstock-like) and the authorities took fright.
Windsor Festival, primarily for classical music, started under the aegis of Yehudi Menuhin. Nicola Brooker, whose husband was in the festival choir, was so shocked at the prices that she said “I’m going to set up a Fringe which is cheaper and more diverse than the traditional Festival”. This she did. It consisted of a group of six who put together a programme. From that it grew.........
In ‘75 the Fringe was put aside so that the Committee could throw its weight behind a movement for a Windsor Arts Centre. This was achieved and the Fringe was restarted. Since then the Fringe and main Festival have evolved and occasionally have joint events. The Fringe continues to offer an eclectic mix of the arts and entertainment.
It is the policy of the Fringe to promote new talent within a varied programme, and to keep events low-cost or free. Over the years there have been major developments. Our International Windsor Fringe Award for New Drama Writing started as a platform for local writing groups and now attracts hundreds of scripts worldwide. Our prestigious judges; Hilary Mantel CBE, Fay Weldon CBE, Kenneth Branagh, Nina Bawden CBE, Nell Leyshon, Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, Jenny Seagrove, John Adams, Nell Dunn, Iqbal Khan and Joanne Harris have generously given their time.
Another success is our ever-expanding Artists’ Open House scheme: local artists showing their work in houses in Windsor.
The Fringe committee is still voluntary. At the moment we have a diverse group of local people who come from a variety of arts and professions. We employ a journalist to promote us and our website: www.windsorfringe.co.uk.
If you are interested in joining us, whether you have a lot or a little time to offer, please contact: [email protected]