Reading Fringe Digital

Reading Fringe Festival is a 10-day annual festival, welcoming national and international artists from a wide range of genres to indoor and outdoor venues across the town. We programme a wide variety of shows including shadow puppetry, yoga, clog workshops, conversations with refugees, an orchestra in a train station, a whale in a shopping centre etc etc

When Covid hit, and lockdown loomed, in collaboration with our artists we took the decision to go digital. Thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, we converted from a physical festival with over a dozen venues and in excess of 100 events, to a 6 week online, streaming festival with nearly 70 pre-recorded and live events.

Reading Fringe Digital kicked off with a 10-day programme of live events to create that festival buzz, inviting audiences and artists to visit together and connect each day. Recordings of these live events remain available to view on our website, alongside our vast programme of pre-recorded content

As part of our drive towards greater accessibility, 60% of our content was live or closed-captioned. We also have three audio described photography exhibitions.

By providing our platform digitally, we supported our artists to reach an international audience as well as our core local audience, reaching Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, whilst providing our usual varied programme of events for all audiences to enjoy – without having to leave their home! Going digital has opened up new opportunities, connections, and creative outcomes for us and for our artists, meaning we are excited about a hybrid Festival approach going forward.

Fizzy Sherbet

Fizzy Sherbet presents womxn's voices from across the world.


Initially set up as a series of play readings, Fizzy Sherbet is now being reimagined and created as a podcast series in an attempt to connect artists globally in this new digital era we face as theatre makers. 

We are excited to present short plays (10-20 mins in length) in English on any topic, with a cast size of up to four, and no restrictions on setting. We want to keep the borders open, even if it's just in our minds. So be bold, dream big and write something incredibly exciting. We can't wait to read it.

The first episode of our pilot season will be released on the 24th of August, and includes plays by Buhle Ngaba, Babirye Bukilwa, Amy Ng, Marie Bjørn, Eve Leigh, Josephine Starte and Tamara von Werthern.

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