Wednesday 18 May 2022

Read all about it… News from Fringe performers!

Charmian Hughes (credit: Steve Ullathorne)

We are so excited to see press releases coming in from our wonderful Fringe performers. Below follows some extracts giving a flavour of what’s in store from stand-ups Charmian Hughes and Henry Churniavsky and from playwright Margaret Holbrook. For full details of their shows see our listings on If you are a Fringe performer who would like to be featured in our blog, please send your press release, or even just a quote from you, to

Charmian Hughes: She! The Immortal Horror Queen’s Guide to Life

Charmian Hughes has been performing stand-up comedy for over three decades, in venues as varied as the Comedy Store, the Glastonbury Festival, the Houses of Parliament and HMP Wormwood Scrubs. 

She has taken her comedy to the Dublin Comedy Festival, Scilly Laughs Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, and the New Zealand Fringe- where she got stuck in their lockdown in 2020!

What does a Bond Girl, a Hammer Horror villainess and a Colossal Squid have in common? They all mentored Charmian in the game of life.

In 1965, as Feminism ‘s second wave lapped at the shores of a fading British Empire, eight-year-old Charmian Hughes (British Comedian of The Year finalist) saw the iconic Hammer Horror film ‘She’, starring Bond Girl Ursula Andress. 

The story of a mysterious and murderous queen who has endless beauty, power and immortality but wastes them on some English bloke who could be the reincarnation of her long-lost lover, filled young Charmian with horror. Is that what being any kind of successful woman looked like?  

But by the time Charmian was 17, idolising her older glamorous dollybird sister, and desperate for a boyfriend, she was trying those deadly womanly wiles herself. But what makes you a great girlfriend in 1000 years BC makes you a terrible girlfriend in 1973.

Now, all these years later, for Charmian, happily married and a comedian, running into that old boyfriend again unleashes old obsessions, resentments, and jealousies. 

As we get older and our future contracts, does the immensity of the past hold answers?

Can an encounter with a Colossal Squid save Charmian from herself?

‘I LOVE Charmian Hughes.’ Bridget Christie.  ‘Pick of my fringe.’ Arthur Smith.

Charmian also runs comedy workshops, and this year assisted comedian Angie Belcher in her daring new NHS backed Comedy On Referral project, where comedy is used as therapy. As his former comedy teacher, Charmian also appeared in Micky Flanagan’s TV show Peeping Behind The Curtain.

Charmian has also acted in plays at the Edinburgh Fringe for Comedians Theatre Company and Kazzum Theatre.

Charmian was a finalist in British Comedian of The Year, nominated twice for Buxton Fringe Festival’s Best Comedy Show - including last year with this show. This is her tenth solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe and is directed by Amanda Baker.


Scouse Comedian Offering ‘Laughs for Life’ at Buxton Festival Fringe.

Jewish/Scouse stand-up comedian Henry Churniavsky has two shows on Saturday 23rd July 2022. Both shows are to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health Charities. He came up with the idea after his best friend’s son attempted suicide, and never recovered. He is now an Ambassador for The Mental Health Charity. Jami UK and he also supports YoungMinds Mental Health Charity.

With All Jew Respect: Henry’s first show for the charity is an afternoon solo show of his best Jewish humour. See how he survives his 88 year old ‘Non-Filter’ Jewish mother (who still lives too near him) and his extended family. Covering topics such as growing up, school (losing his virginity), marriage, managing the menopause (his wife’s not his), mid-life crisis, Jewish lockdown (yes it’s different), being Jewrotic (Jewish & Neurotic), now being a sexagenarian and having many surgical procedures. But most importantly, the influence of his Jewish mother.

Laugh For Life Comedy: Compilation show for Mental Health: A team of award-winning comedians will be aiming to raise funds and awareness for the mental health charities.

Join Henry and the crew for some laughs and at the same time support a great cause. 

Henry has eight years of Comedy Stand-up experience performing all over the UK, performing also in America and Amsterdam.

His solo shows have been at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Buxton & Brighton Festival Fringes, Leicester Comedy Festival and Camden Fringe.

Henry’s aim through his charity ‘Laugh for Life Comedy’ is to raise awareness and funds. His website includes help lines, advice, supportive blogs and links to his podcasts ‘Laugh For Life Comedy’ which combines mental health issues and comedy. He also posts about comedy, which lifts the soul and raises the spirit and this should never be underestimated.


Empress Presents ANY OTHER DAY, a new play by Margaret Holbrook. It is set a few days following the death of Alan Turing at his home, Holly Mead, in Wilmslow on the 7th June 1954. There will be a short Q and A following each performance. 

Says Margaret: "I've been wanting to write something about Alan Turing for several years but couldn't visualise how I could set it to make it accessible, and I didn't want it to focus too much on numbers and codes. Then, in November 2021 a lightbulb moment and ANY OTHER DAY was the result. It is set in the garden of Holly Mead, Alan Turing's home, in the days following his death."

Margaret is widely published in poetry magazines and anthologies and has 3 poetry collections published and several novels. Her latest novel creation is Jack France, a landed amateur sleuth and racing driver. 

Her poetry collection Hobby Horses Will Dance (folklore/myth/nature) has found its way to the library at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


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