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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Newcastle Fringe Festival to showcase city’s creative talents

A pair of Newcastle-based comedians will aim to ignite roaring laughter at the upcoming Newcastle Fringe Festival.

Comedians Lauren Budden and Eddy Rockefeller are two of the 40-strong group of creative talent performing at the four-day event, which will go from 17 to 21 March.

The pair will be hoping that the shows, ‘Who let the Dyke out’ and ‘The Art of Falling in Love’, are rip-roaring successes when they appear at The Grand on Church Street, which will serve as Newcastle’s de-facto comedy club.

Ms Rockefeller said her long-standing appreciation for the “beautiful artform” stemmed from watching acts like Paul McDonald and The Umbilical Brothers, as well as the Melbourne comedy debates.

She first started performing stand-up four years ago during her stint organising music nights at the Mayfield Hotel.

“I was so excited to go down and have a crack, and I got there and everybody was perfect, like really well written jokes and everything, proper, proper comedy,” she said.

“I went home and wrote a set that night. And then two weeks later, I got back up into comedy. I’ve been doing it ever since. I’m still in love with it.”

At the Newcastle Fringe, Ms Rockefeller will debut her first hour-long show, ‘The Art of Falling in Love’.

She said it was exciting to finally put it all together.

“It’s a lot about all sorts of different things we go through while we’re trying to date and find love,” Ms Rockefeller said.

“So, I talk about relationships. I’ve talked about breakups. There’s definitely talk about sex in there – I talk about one-night stands.

“It’s like all the sort of stages that you go through.”

Ms Budden, like Ms Rockefeller, was a late comer to the world of stand-up comedy, falling in love with performing after first getting on stage three years ago with encouragement from her partner.

She explained that her show delved into her personal journey.

“I’m a gay woman, and I came out very late in life,” she said.

“I was married with two kids, and came out at 30, so this is my 20-year anniversary of finding myself.”

Ms Budden added that small fringes were “really important” for local artists to perform and get their names out into the community.

“[Small fringes] are incredible – this has given me the opportunity to bring a full show without having to rely on getting an agent and maybe waiting 10 years,” she said.

“I can do it myself, and it gets my name out there.

“It’s sure to be a really good festival this year again. I think it’s because of COVID that they’ve had more impact, more artists wanting to be involved, and more shows.”

Visit the event’s website for more information.

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