Local acts, a local venue and a new local fringe festival? With five nights of drama, comedy and magic, that’s what’s promised by festival director Peter Mitchelson.

We caught up with him to find out more about the performances and why Liverpool is a great place for a fringe festival.

SevenStreets: Tell us about the Shiny New Festival.

Peter Mitchelson: It’s a 5 day series of shows all taking place in the lantern theatre running from the 16th to the 20th of July.

It has a mixed line up from new plays to stand up magic and musical comedians. Most are Liverpool based and over half the shows are Edinburgh previews.

Highlights will include Jollyboat launching there comedy album. They have been Edinbrugh Festival favourites gathering great reviews over the past few years. Also Rebel Base are putting on the new play Saving Grace about our over reliance on social media. Last year’s show also from writer and producer David Griffiths Excess Baggage enjoyed a successful run at the fringe last year.

The full line up includes BAFTA nominated stand up, Liverpool’s youngest comedians and Magic and sketch comedy from “Totally Ninja” Dave Alnwick. There is also new writing from Liverpool playwright John Maguire with his new play Weave (reviewed here).

SS: Why set up the Shiny New Theatre – what are your ambitions?

PM: I set up Shiny New to help give a platform to upcoming artists. I have been involved with many festivals from 24/7 in Manchester, Buxton Fringe and the Edinburgh Festival and I want to put this experience to use in my home city.

I’m not a middle man or an admin person – I’m an artist myself doing directing and design on shows and trying to get my work seen. Often major festivals have large costs to the acts and the box office money ends up going to the venue more than the performers I want to change this.

Major festivals usually charge large fees and then give the acts 60% box office. This festival gives the act 80% with smaller technical charges and venue hire.

SS: What can we look forward to in future?

PM: I will definitely be holding the festival in July next year. The aim will be to bring more acts to Liverpool who would not normally bring their show. Often whilst working on shows in Edinburgh I talk to performers who do not consider Liverpool as a potential place to perform.

I want to change this perception by showing them that this is a viable platform and an excellent place to preview there shows before taking it to the fringe.

Apart from the Shiny New Festival the company will strive to produce new work and get involved with as many local artists as possible.

Liverpool has a huge community of writers and a massive comedy scene. People have already begun submitting scripts for consideration and we will want to develop and produce more in the near future.

Shiny New Festival
Lantern Theatre Company
16 July – 20 July 2012

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