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  • Chris Keen

Hosting For Army @ The Fringe

I was incredibly excited and honoured when I was asked to host at this years Army @ The Fringe. It’s something I follow every year so to be involved was brilliant!


Because of Covid-19 though, like a lot of festivals Army @ The Fringe went online and became Army @ The 'Virtual' Fringe!


That didn’t hold it back though, in fact I’d argue that it may have been even better because more people were able to join in and watch some of the incredible stuff on offer! All of which by the way is still available to see at Armyatthefringe.org and on their social media platforms.


So I was asked to host the variety night on Wednesday 26th August and it was so much fun! There really was so much to see... We had clowns, comedians, musicians, poets, writers, magicians and then me DJing at the end to finish the night.


The idea for me to get involved actually came about during #Spousehour, an hour a week on twitter where spouses come together to network, promote and just chat about anything. It was the lovely Wendy Faux who thought of me and I jumped at the idea!


To make it even better I've recently taken the decision to step down from full time radio presenting and go freelance following the arrival of our beautiful daughter Holly. So when opportunities like this come up it reminds me how lucky I am to still be able to do what I love whilst being a stay at home dad!


This was the full line up of the variety night...


Clown

Leonor Estrada opened the night for us with a brilliant clown performance devised as part of Army @ The Virtual Fringe. It involved balloons filled with different liquids and a few different objects to pop them with whilst talking to them in a french accent... It was a tad weird but hey what else would you expect?


Magic

We were joined live by Chris Massey, a former Royal Marine Commando turned magician. He was amazing to watch, not only was he a magician but a great story teller as well! I had a part in this act too... My job was to shout “STOP” when he flicked through his card pack. You can see more of Chris Massey on his website.


Music

We were treated to an incredible performance by the British Army Band Catterick. They performed an original track called ‘That is what you are’ by LCpl Mitchell. The song was inspired by the birth of his son who spent two weeks in ICU before making a full recovery. During that time, he started playing around on the guitar and the result was incredible!


Comedy/Poetry

Mac McFadden joined us live from the Union Jack Club in London. He’s a man of many talents... A comedian, a poet, an actor, and a wordsmith. He was brilliantly funny and I would highly recommend going back to have a look at his act. Failing that you can check out his website. I’m a big fan of Mac, he kept me (and thousands of others) sane during the lockdown.


Another Clown

We had another clown act from Edinburgh-based storyteller Jane Mather. Jane began clowning during the pandemic with a ‘Nose to Nose’ intro course and thanks to former Cirque du Soleil performer Aron De Casmaker’s encouragement she developed a short premiere piece about her clown ‘BEENOO’ going up in a hot air balloon.


Poetry

We had a brilliant film to watch from British Army veteran Karl Tearney. It was called 75 Years and was set to archive footage to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Again one to go back and have a look at.


Yes Another Clown

The penultimate act of the night was another brilliant clown performance from Andrea Gordon.


Final Act - DJ

The final act of the night was another clown... Well it was me banging out some tunes! I chose to play some of my favourite songs mixed up in a way that you may never have heard before. My set lasted about 20 minutes and it was safe to say that I was rather sweaty by the end of it!


If I might say so myself it was a brilliant night and I thoroughly enjoyed hosting it! If you did watch it live, thank you for doing so and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! If you didn’t catch it live though don’t worry because you still can right here!


You can also check out everything that this years Army @ The Fringe had to offer by heading onto their website or onto their social media pages.


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