Following the hugely successful inaugural Fringe last year, the second Colchester Fringe is about to take over the city from October 20-23.

It’s taking over multiple venues, including Headgate Theatre, Mercury Theatre, Firstsite, Colchester Community Hub, Lion Walk, Culver Square and Coda, all within walking distance and all fully accessible.

The mission of the Fringe is the acts are 50% Essex based, 25% national and 25% international. With 34 acts in total, encompassing theatre, dance, drag, stand up and those tricky to categorize, I won’t be able to cover them all- but here’s my highlights.

I’m proud to be presenting my new play, Jacky, at the Mercury Theatre, and it features wheelchair ballroom dancing, and is a story of reliance, sequins and survival! Alongside us will be the very intriguing The Sensemaker. If a dystopian battle between a woman and an answering machine sounds like your thing, then see this multi award-winning show, which hails from Switzerland. Also catch Life Is just a bowl of cherries, a dance/theatre piece direct from San Diego, and Intolerable Side Effects, a tale of a Millennial Rabbit!

There’s quite a hub at the Headgate Theatre. Catch Radio Vision, Colchester’s group that focus on audio drama. They are presenting two plays, Bounce out of the Darkness, featuring local writers and actors, and this company were my Fringe pick last year. Catch The A to Z of Fish and Chips, which is going to be hilarious, and award winning Headgate Young Company present Failed, a devised piece about driving lessons! There’s loads of LGBTQ content, don’t miss Paper Dolls, a new piece that explores themes of gender through video, physical theatre and drag, and 2nd Star to the left is a new work created by Movement Space Colchester, winners of last year’s Fringe production, Back to the Roaring 20s, which they encore this year.

There are great family shows, including Captain Jake and the search for the Red Queen and Circus Zuzu, and the other end of the spectrum, no doubt, will be Colchester Fringe Comedy Showcase, and The Last King of Porn!

There’s so much, so pick up a brochure from many locations in the city, or go online to browse and book!