A STALWART from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has a new performance home in Bournemouth for 2018.

Mervyn Stutter’s, Pick Of The Fringe, has been a regular fixture since 1992, showcasing theatre, comedy, cabaret and dance. Now Mervyn is bringing this format to Shelley Theatre as a monthly event from Saturday, January 6.

We caught up with Mervyn to find out more and why he is bringing this to Bournemouth.

He explains: “The Edinburgh audiences kept asking me what was good to see. I put on a showcase of talent for them to choose from. It was an immediate success as people trusted me to showcase only quality shows. I have a team of researchers reviewing shows daily to bring in only the best - 26 years later I’m still doing it.

“We always set a ticket price that doesn’t exclude anyone. It’s £12 for the 90 minute showcase and it will be the same at the Shelley Theatre.”

For the first show Mervyn has lined up comedy musical star Earl Okin who is described as a top notch jazz and Bossa Nova guitarist and singer.

Mervyn adds: “Every month I will open the show with some fun songs and chat and then we move onto the main act. We have a wide selection for 2018.”

The new year line up includes a one man theatre show, Playing Maggie, who takes questions from the audience, TV comedian and madcap adventurer, Tim Fitzhigham, and An Instinct For Kindness, one man’s true story of his journey to Dignitas (and back).

Other acts include Bournemouth comedy group, JunNk who sing four part harmonies and play dustbins, barrels, drainpipes, and flip-flops, Christine Bovill, sharing her personal stories and all the legendary songs of Edith Piaf.

By being an established event at the Fringe and well recognised since the 1990s is there a sense of trepidation by bringing a monthly show to a brand new venue? “Very much so,” stated Mervyn. “It all comes back to where I began.”

“I have a black book of contacts who have all been a part of Pick Of The Fringe and made it what it is. I am now asking people to trust me and come to an evening that they enjoy, warm to and come back again.”

“But after doing this at the Edinburgh Festival for so many years, I’m excited to bring Pick Of The Fringe to Shelley Theatre for 2018.”

Pick Of The Fringe is once a month at Shelley Theatre, starting 6th January. To book, for the first evening with Earl Okin, visit shelleytheatre.co.uk or call 01202 413600