Variety performance to close fringe festival

First published in News by

A FRINGE festival held at Barnabas Arts House in Newport will go off with a bang tonight (SAT) with a variety performance.

The arts house, in New Ruperra Street, has hosted its fifth fringe festival featuring arts and crafts workshops and demonstrations.

Owner Janet Martin said about 500 people have taken part in events at the centre throughout the week.

She said: "There's been participation in every workshop, we've had lots of fabulous comments from people.

"I do this every year to publicise Barnabas Arts House. It's main aim is to promote the arts and creativity to all. We're inclusive not elitist.

"We are in an area that is very challenged in Newport. Some people say 'this would be fantastic if it was in Bath', I say 'it is fantastic and it's in Newport'."

Yesterday (FRI), graffiti artist Alex Arnell held a workshop where participants created a collaborative piece of art on the side of the arts centre using rubbish that had been fly-tipped.

Mrs Martin added: "We have a lot of trouble with fly -tipping in the lane next to the building so we've had a bit of an uprising and we've turned a problem into an asset."

Mr Arnell has also decorated the shutters of Gwent Picture Framing, in George Street.

Mrs Martin added: "There's been plenty of highlights, over the last few days we've had Indian head massage workshops, weaving workshops and we had a talk by Auschwitz survivor Ron Jones.

"We had a full house. He told some of his stories from his time as a prisoner of war in Auschwitz. That was an art piece in itself. He's a work of art, he's 96 and stills drives."

The festival is culminating in a variety performance evening tonight from 7pm, including an 80-year-old ukulele player, a performance artist from London, a poet from Cardiff and a comedian from Newport.

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