The Great Yorkshire Fringe

Parliament Street, York

Fri Jul 24-Sun Aug 2

Fringe website

There’s plenty of grown-up humour at the first Great Yorkshire Fringe. But as well as edgy stand-up and cabaret, the ten-day entertainment festival offers a feast of family fun.

Here’s our pick of the shows which will entertain everyone, whether they’re aged three or 103

Stick Man – Live On Stage

Jul 24-26, 28-30, Aug 1-2 @ 10.15am and 12.15pm

Adults £15, children £10

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This adaptation of the popular children’s book has received rave reviews across the board.

It’s a lively show featuring puppets, singing and dancing and follows the adventures of one stick man as he tries to navigate the big bad world outside of his tree home.

One look at the promotional video will show you that Stick Man has truly captured children’s imaginations, and there are songs that are sure to have adults singing along, or at least tapping their toes.

James Campbell’s Comedy 4 Kids

James Campbell

James Campbell

Jul 25-26, 2.30pm

£7.50, family £28.50

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There’s some great comedy at the festival for grown-ups, and it wouldn’t be fair for the children to miss out.

This is where James Campbell steps in, with his brand of child-friendly stand-up comedy. James spends most of his time visiting schools throughout the country, telling stories and inspiring children to do their own writing, so he’s clued in to what makes kids laugh.

He’s received glowing reviews, the most relevant one being, ‘funny and amazing’ from Anna, age 9. Suitable for children aged 6+.

The Amazing Bubble Man

July 28-30 @ 2.30pm

£8, family £30

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When I first read about ‘The Amazing Bubble Man’ I was slightly dubious. What’s so amazing about bubbles?

Watching The Amazing Bubble Man’s videos popped these doubts.

Louis Pearl, as he is known on a daily basis, has been performing with bubbles for 30 years and his show has sold-out at the Edinburgh Fringe for the past eight. It’s easy to see why. He really is an expert at making them magical.

Bubbles as big as people, bubbles filled with smoke, bubbles manipulated into delicate patterns… No bubble is too much trouble.

West End Magic

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£8.50, family £30

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There’s lots of magical entertainment at the first fringe. Expect illusions, slight-of-hand and mind-bending tricks from three of the best magicians around.

As West End Magic they have performed individually at prestigious events, on television and even for the Queen.

They are also staging magic workshops for children during the fest. More here.

Siro-A

Jul 29-31 @ 4pm

£10, family £35

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Siro-A is a group of six performers who combine dance, mime, and puppetry with light displays and techno music.

Known as Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group, their show is said to be “mind-blowing”.

Slightly Fat Features in Variety Soup

July 25-Aug 2, except Jul 27

£11.50, family £40

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Slightly Fat Features are an internationally renowned variety group, bringing their fun and family-friendly cabaret show to the festival.

Definitely one to see if you’re looking for some clever silliness and a show that everyone can enjoy.

The Kagools

Aug 1-2 @ 2.30pm

£6.50, family £20

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The brain-child of two physical theatre comedians, Nicola Wilkinson and Clare Ford, The Kagools are a mute, slap-stick duo who, true to their name, wear kagools.

This description might sound as if it is a show firmly in the ‘just-for-kids’ section, but there are fun moments for all the family in this well reviewed, highly polished comedy sketch show.

Utterly Spiffing Magic Show

Sun Aug 2 @ 2.30pm

Child £7, adult £9, family £30

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More magic. And silliness too, as can be judged from the full title of the show, Morgan and West’s Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show – For Kids (and Childish Grown-ups!).

Somehow time travelling Victorian magicians Morgan & West end up in 21st century York. But while they are here the duo are ready to unload another boxful of bafflement and impossibility.

Jess Clark

Jess Clark

Jess has just finished studying English Literature at the University of Liverpool. She loves reading and running, but not necessarily at the same time