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'We are always meeting people who are amazed they have such a wonderful building with some of the best facilities in the county on their doorstep' - Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall

The Memorial Hall in Dereham will be the venue for the town's first fringe festival. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Memorial Hall in Dereham will be the venue for the town's first fringe festival. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

The Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall (FDMH) has embarked on its most ambitious and far-reaching project since it was formed four years ago.

The group will take over the entire building in Norwich Road for a whole day for the first Dereham Fringe Festival later this year.

It aims to fit in as many local performance groups and community organisations as possible to showcase their work and their plans, while at the same time bringing more local people into the building.

The fringe will showcase a succession of shorter, festival length shows in the main hall, while the smaller meeting room will feature shows, demonstrations, workshops and tasters.

Chairman of FDMH Tim Cara said: “We promote an ever-widening range of shows, exhibitions and events at the hall for people across the whole community.

“It belongs to us all, but there are still people who don’t recognise it as their centre for popular entertainment, who don’t know where it is, or who may live their lives in Dereham without going there.

“We are always meeting people who are amazed they have such a wonderful building with some of the best facilities in the county on their doorstep.”

He added that many performers felt they could not take the risk of losing money on a show, because of the high hiring fees.

“We’ve joined with a number of top local performing groups so they can showcase their talents for free, and in so doing give their members the chance to perform at the hall,” he added.

The timing of the events will be staggered so the audiences can move from one to the other.

Around 15 groups are bringing stalls, and there will be buskers, street food and performers around the building.

Mr Cara added: “It promises to be an exciting free day out in Dereham. We are delighted at the response from top local groups, who really want to take part together and show what they can do.”

And to round off the day, the FDMH has teamed up with the Red Card Comedy Club for an evening of stand-up comedy. Tickets for the comedy club are on sale at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/fodmh
The festival runs from 10am until late on Saturday, September 9,

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