A STAPLE of Colchester’s cultural scene will take place once again this autumn as a popular event returns for the third time.

The Colchester Fringe Festival, which showcases all kinds of creative talent, will run over five days from Wednesday, October 18 until Sunday, October 22.

Headgate Theatre, the Mercury Theatre, Colchester Arts Centre, Three Wise Monkeys, the Old Library, Lion Walk, and Coda will act as the venues for performances of the unconventional sides of the expressive arts.

The event, which will feature theatre, comedy, drag, dance and family-friendly performances, is being organised thanks to the efforts of 31-year-old Cameron Abbott-Betts, who is submitting his PhD thesis to Essex University later this month.

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He said: “It has been truly wonderful to see our festival grow in both size and popularity over the last three years.

“There are over 300 fringe festivals commencing annually across the globe on every single continent, except Antarctica.

“Our city is now very much part of that list and festival history – I encourage everyone to embrace the spirit of the Fringe, a spirit of openness, inclusivity, and camaraderie.

“I recommend that you take a risk, see something new and support our talented local, national and international artists.”

A particular highlight of the festival is likely to include Stage Write’s production ‘Living with Luke’, which is set in a wrestling ring and tells the story of a dad wrestling with autism in a bid to make contact with his autistic son.

In all, 38 acts will be performed up to three times each over the five days, with plenty of homegrown talent set to be involved.

More than half of the performers are from East Anglia, though plenty of international acts will be part of the festival too, with groups from Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany completing the line-up.

Free family workshops will also feature heavily at the festival thanks to the support from organisations including Colchester BID, Lion Walk, Colchester Council, Headgate Theatre and the Mercury Theatre.

Tickets for Colchester Fringe Festival can be bought for £8 each via colchesterfringe.com.