About

Folkestone is home to many writers, actors and comedians, who came together to create Folkestone Live after a workshop day held in the town last year called Devoted And Disgruntled at the Quarterhouse theatre in October 2023 organised by actor Oliver Senton, founder member of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, and Fi Woof, director and producer of WoofBarkDonkey Theatre.

During the day, many actors, directors, producers and writers shared how post-COVID times had impacted the theatre, their careers and finances. Director, Victoria Gartner led a workshop, discussing the idea of setting up Folkestone fringe festival of theatre and comedy.

Actor Theresa Cole and stand-up comedian Jody Kamali then set up a steering group to drive the idea forward, meeting for three or four months to brainstorm ideas on how to organise the event.

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Seven creatives sitting around a table during a meeting
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Monotone portrait of Theresa Cole, Sarah Thurstan and Michele Sheldon
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Photographed by Pete Brown
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Portrait of Brian Croucher mid-conversation at a meeting
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Photographed by Pete Brown
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Seven creatives sitting around a table during a meeting
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Monotone portrait of Michele Sheldon, Sasha Ravencroft and Michèle Rowland
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Photographed by Pete Brown

The main working party consists of Theresa Cole, Sasha Ravencroft, Michele Rowland and Sarah Thurstan. Matthew Jones, Jody Kamali, Michele Sheldon and Ben Shockley have also volunteered expertise and help. Thanks also to actor and director Brian Croucher, director Matthew Hahn, Punch & Judy/magician entertainer Paul Norris, actor Brian McGovern and Oliver Senton, who all shared ideas.

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Portrait of Theresa Cole on a light background

Theresa Cole, one of Folkestone Live's Steering Group organisers, said:

"We've already had a fantastic response from artists wanting to perform, and hope to attract some great acts locally and from across the country, to entertain residents and bring tourists into our beautiful town over the festival weekend."

Our thanks go to Bostonian playwright, film maker and journalist Anthony Hill, Vita Paladino, Creative Folkestone's festival fund, and to everyone who has contributed to our Go Fund Me campaign. Many thanks also to Folkestone & Hythe District Council for providing a day at the Quarterhouse theatre.

If you'd like to financially contribute towards the Folkestone Live festival, the team have a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign running. All funds will be used to help set up the festival.