Preview: 5 student shows at the Durham Fringe Festival

It’s less than two weeks before the second Durham Fringe opens its doors to audiences, after a successful first year of shows. From stand-up to musicals, dance to plays, this year’s festival is certain to have something for every attendee.

With such an extensive, broad programme to navigate, we are here to give you our picks of the festival, featuring a range of comedians, musicals and plays that will be familiar to Stage readers. 

The Durham Revue: Déjà Revue

The group which brought you Ed Gamble, Nish Kumar, Ambika Mod, Stevie Martin and many more, are coming to the Durham Fringe with a new troupe and 100% new material. 

Join the award-winning Durham Revue, one of the UK’s most famous student comedy groups, as they journey through an hour of sketch comedy with hilarious consequences. The performers may be stuck in ye olde times, but their material is ‘outrageous, energetic and intensely funny’ (EdFringeReview).

17:15 at The Town Hall, 30th-31st July

Tickets available here



Sometime in the last century. A public toilet. One man enters. Then another. Both looking for something only the other can give.

Tense, darkly comic, and intensely intimate, Cottage delves into one of the most shameful yet thrilling parts of queer history, and presents the difficult dilemma between public sex and private connection. Engaging from the start, the dialogue ranges from the hilarious to the thrilling to the tragic, with twists and turns along the way.

Palatinate observed that ‘seasoned audience members called it the best thing in Durham’, while First Night called it ‘fluid, emotional and thought-provoking’, with the script compared to Pinter and Beckett. At the Durham Drama Festival, a panel of industry professionals awarded the play four awards, including Best Writing, Best Play, and Best Actor for Ben Lewis. 

Don’t miss this original and gripping play, as we make our way up to the Edinburgh Fringe!

20:00 at The City Theatre, 26th-31st July

Tickets available here


Leaves On The Line

Leaves on the Line is a feel-good new musical showcasing some of Durham’s finest student writing. It follows six people on the train from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley, living their lives full of hilarity, embarrassment and human warmth. 

Receiving five stars and glowing reviews at its first preview, this is not one to miss before it makes the trip to Edinburgh. If you like musicals, trains or just a good time, then this is the show for you! 

18:30 at The Town Hall, 30th-31st July

Tickets available here

Leaves on the Line

A split bill stand-up comedy show featuring two of the country’s most attention seeking stand up comedians and special guests! Featuring Durham University’s own Sascha LO. At only 21, Sascha has already been finalist in Chortle, Komedia and Get Up Stand Up New Act competitions and semi-finalist in Funny Women and LSNC. ‘Funny bones and a joy to watch’ (Matt Reed). ‘Hugely impressive’ (Palatinate). 

With guest appearances from Sarah Roberts; Rising Star 2020 finalist and 2Northdown and Leicester Square 2021 semi-finalist. High brow, hates attention, guy’s gal. “A phenomenal new talent, original and funny. Every set is packed with punchlines. See her now, she’s destined for stardom!” – Catherine Bohart. 

And featuring one surprise up-and-coming comedian. Come see this show to witness these acts whilst tickets are still cheap. Finally, a show where women are actually funny (amirite or amirite?).

21:15 at The City Theatre, 29th-31st July

Tickets available here


The Single Lady

As the daughter of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth has witnessed, first hand, the consequences of when love goes wrong. But when the Queen falls into an unfortunate love triangle with her courtier and favourite Robert Dudley and cousin and confidante Lettice Knollys, she must reckon with the forces of history in an attempt to save her throne. 

Drake and Brewer’s new musical offers a unique angle into the sacrifice and personal cost it takes to be a female leader in a man’s world. Perhaps the Virgin Queen isn’t all she seems in the history books…

17:30 at The City Theatre, 30th-31st July

Tickets available here

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