THE curtain rises on this year’s Swindon Fringe Festival with a host of dramatic happenings including productions from national and local theatre companies.

Two local offerings are Eugenia by TS Theatre Productions and The Door, written and directed by Swindon’s Alex Secker - both will be performed in the Shoebox Theatre, in Theatre Square.

The Door opens on April 4, and explores important issues that face society.

The thriller is very relevant today when Brexit and Trump are bringing uncertainty into the Western World with each passing day.

The psychological thriller is Alex’s theatre debut, as he is more at home creating films.

He is currently juggling work on The Door with his feature film Follow The Crows.

“I’ve always liked film and theatre when it has something to say. I think that’s part of what makes something enjoyable.

“You can have a great time at a popcorn movie or a flashy, stylish musical, but it’s the ones that go a little deeper that stay with you. I want to make people think, what would they do?” said Alex.

His plot is based around a group of six people trapped in a windowless room who are challenged by their captor to choose between staying in the dark room, in relative safety, or venturing out in to the unknown.

The six strangers all have their own ideas about working together and tempers fray and tension builds.

Alex said: “I’ve never done anything in theatre before and so I was worried I’d be out of my depth.

“Luckily I have some fantastic actors who really, really know their stuff.

“So we’re all working together to make sure it’s the best it can be. Funny, considering the importance of collaboration is one of the points we’re trying to get at!”

Stars of the drama are Laura Coates, Daniella Faircloth, David Higgins, Lindsay Linnegar, Matthew Mordak and Ashley Robson.

Alex said: “If it makes the audience think, well, then I guess I must be doing something right!”

Doors open for The Door at 6.30pm on April 4.

T S Theatre are treading the same boards with Eugenia, a premier of a new political comedy drama, based on the story of a scientist who finds herself mocked for her skills.

The strong political personalities around her are riding a roller coaster over her principles such as truth and human decency. She decides to fights back.

Director Peter Hynds from TS Theatre said: “The show is a blistering look at the current political climate and the situations we now find ourselves in. Trump, Farage and Mayhem, no one is safe!’’ Eugenia is a dark comedy written by Swindon playwright Robert Lewis.

It was written and will be performed within eight weeks of the idea being mooted.

TS Theatre members pride themselves on taking an idea and running with it from conception to completion within a few short weeks.

Peter said: “If you’ve ever considered how a suicidal panda may choose to express himself this show may have the answer.

“Given the topical nature of the story and the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring, time is very much of the essence.’’ During the fourth Swindon Fringe there will be 43 acts performing in four venues from April 1 to April 9 bringing a music festival, family shows, stand-up comedy and some hard hitting dramas.

It is produced by Madam Renards, led by Matt Fox, and spread across The Bohemian Balcony, Shoebox Theatre, The Victoria and Swindon Town Hall.

Seb Wolfe, resident writer at The Bohemian Balcony, will be previewing his show, The Justice Equation, at the new venue, alongside London-based writer, Zoe Smith, with her production, Breaking Point performed by Madam Renards.

The launch of this year’s fringe is also at The Balcony on March 31 at 7.30pm with musicians including Swindon duo Canute’s Plastic Army and award-winning comedian James Bennison.

“He will teach you how to be a winner like him,” Fringe director Matt Fox said.

“Madam Renards wants give Swindon audiences an opportunity to see something dazzling and new without having to leave their town.’’ Tickets prices vary per performance but Platinum tickets are £50 for access to all Fringe Shows.

To book call 01793 524481 or visit

For more details visit