First Fringe fest enthrals audience in Sharjah - GulfToday

First Fringe fest enthrals audience in Sharjah


The event will continue to delight residents and visitors of all age groups until Feb.1.

Sharjah has burst onto the global Fringe scene with the launch of its first Fringe festival on Jan.16, transforming the city into a vibrant family entertainment canvas painted with a diversity of acts spanning the genres of theatre, comedy, circus, dance and children’s entertainment.

Whacky comedy and gravity-defying performances unfolded across a trio of venues as Sharjah Fringe marked its debut edition with a host of standout acts born on Fringe stages around the world.

A stellar lineup of theatre artists, comedians, musicians, acrobats and dancers took to the stage at the scenic locales of Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba and Al Noor Island where they will continue to delight residents and visitors of all age groups, until Feb.1.

More than 600 shows, consisting of 35 ticketed shows and 30 roaming street shows staged by over 50 artists, will be held across these destinations and The Flag Island, providing over 1,100 hours of entertainment, art, creativity, and fun for all ages.

The first day of Sharjah Fringe Festival saw Ireland’s Fidget Feet Dance Company’s “Hatch,” weave craft workshops and Irish language in a spectacular aerial dance performance, while Africa’s “Black Blues Brothers” entertained with hilarious dance challenges, fire and somersault routines, human pyramids and soulful tunes.

Carrying on the African theme was “African Signatures,” another lively dance show that traces ancient African footsteps through stories of the past merged with the present and the future.

Though armed with just a guitar and a distinctive singing voice, Australian duo “Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum” regaled audiences with a riotous combination of folk-pop songs and virtuosic beatboxing.

Kids and adults alike enjoyed a double dose of bubble fun with Pop the Bubbleman’s “Fantabulous Bubble Show” featuring smoke-filled bubbles and giant bubbles while “Maxwell the Bubbleologist” fused science and art to create tornadoes and even fire inside bubbles.

Meanwhile, the fast-paced comedy, “I Hate Children Children’s Show,” combined hilarious fun and magic to woo young audience members onto the stage.

Joining this diverse international cast was UAE’s very own group of award-winning comedians whose offbeat observations in “Sketchy Behaviour” had the audience erupting in laughter.

Sharjah Fringe is presented by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in strategic partnership with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

Tickets for the Sharjah Fringe are priced from Dhs35-50 and can be purchased online at or from box offices in Al Majaz Waterfront and Al Qasba.

Sharjah Fringe Festival is the first-ever Fringe festival in the UAE and the Middle East, joining a global list of Fringes that are considered among the largest arts and entertainment events globally.

Sharjah Fringe is a platform that brings the best of family and children’s theatre and entertainment - which includes dance, music, mime, magic, puppetry, circus acts and other forms of interactive entertainment - from around the world to the emirate.

Sharjah Fringe will run from Jan.16 to Feb.1 with more than 600 shows staged by over 50 artists across four destinations: Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba, The Flag Island and Al Noor Island, alongside roaming street performances.

Separately, WAM reported that the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announced that this March it is set to present “the most ambitious exhibition in the Middle East to date” that explores art in the age of the internet.

Curated by newly appointed SAF Director of Collections and Senior Curator Omar Kholeif, who also served as co-curator of Sharjah Biennial 14, “Art in the Age of Anxiety” brings together a truly global group of contemporary artists to explore the ways our everyday devices, technologies and digital networks have altered our collective consciousness.

The exhibition presents more than 60 works spanning sculpture, prints, video, virtual reality, robotics and algorithmic programmes developed by more than 30 international artists including Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Cory Arcangel, Wafaa Bilal, Cao Fei, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Joshua Nathanson, Trevor Paglen, Siebren Versteeg, UVA, Guan Xiao and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.

“Art in the Age of Anxiety explores critical questions in contemporary art and society through the work of a diverse group of artists from around the world,” said Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation.

“We are delighted to inaugurate Omar Kholeif’s tenure as Senior Curator and our first Director of Collections with this important exhibition.”

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