Twenty-four hours of theatre in two days may sound like a mammoth task, but this is exactly what theatre group Caravanserai is attempting. Not once, but twice.
In two north London venues, each ‘Fringe Binge Fest’ will run from noon until midnight over two consecutive days. Featuring a huge range of productions, audiences can expect plays by Tennessee Williams, Chekhov and Brecht, plus improvisational pieces from Shotgun Impro, musical comedy, new writing and a turn from sketch troupe The Beta Males.
Founded in 2005, Caravanserai offers ongoing and master-class training for beginners through to professional actors. Giles Foreman, Caravanserai’s founder, said of the project: “It’s a great way for people to develop lots of work. With lots of actors and directors together it’s a great big celebration of theatre. With something new every 90 minutes, audiences will be entertained, enlightened, warmed, humoured and sorrowed in one sitting.”
Impressively, the 90 actors and 30 directors involved are all donating their time for free. Proceeds from the events will go to Developing Artists, an international charity supporting the arts in post-conflict zones, and Youth Leadership and Social Responsibility (YLSR), which uses engagement activities including theatre to train young people and teenagers in social responsibility and deliver a strong anti-violence and anti-racism message.
Members of Caravanserai also want to extend their work internationally, by working with Sahrawi refugees in north west Africa. “We want to give them a voice,” says Foreman. Fringe Binge will help raise the all-important funds needed to complete this work.
Sandwiched between the two Fringe Binge Fests is Caravanserai’s new production of Richard III, at Hoxton’s Courtyard Theatre, adapted and directed by Foremand.
If you’re out and about in Camden or Hoxton over the next few weeks, be sure to give Caravanserai at least 90 minutes of your time. With such a range of shows there’s sure to be something to suit all tastes, with the added warm fuzzy feeling of supporting charities at the same time.
Fringe Binge Fest ran at the Camden Roundhouse on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 March and will be repeated in Fringe Binge Fest 2 is at the Courtyard Theatre on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 April. Tickets cost £11 (£8 concession) per production and £40 for a festival pass. Richard III plays at the Courtyard Theatre from 5 to 24 April, priced at £14 (£11 concession).