THE FABULOUS Ventnor Fringe is underway for 2022, with festival-goers enjoying a choice of around 200 shows, from poetry to comedy.

A new venue has opened up at Flowersbrook, with the main hub centred around the nearby Ventnor Park and other smaller venues dotted around the town.

Many shows have already sold out but there's still another week's worth of events to catch - ticketed and free.

Turn up at the park and discover for yourself, or head to to book your seats.

One of the most hotly-anticipated shows was Joe Plumb's Born to be the Weather Wizard - as Joe's show was voted the best of the Fringe 2021.

Isle of Wight County Press: Joe Plumb on his quest to be the most famous Isle of Wight resident!Joe Plumb on his quest to be the most famous Isle of Wight resident!

Joe did not disappoint - resplendent in sparkly glitter beard, although his engaging stage presence shone through too.

The comedy show was based on Joe's quest to become the most famous Isle of Wight resident so we all learnt lessons from those who have been before, such as Randini and Derek Sandy!

With audience participation, Joe wrote a song to rival Welcome to the Isle of Wight and we all explored what it is to be an Islander.

Joe's other observations were brilliantly funny, including the horrors of letting police officers loose on social media, and the standard of driving found at an Isle of Wight mini roundabout.

He also had a flick through the County Press letters' pages. Well, every Islander loves to do that!

Isle of Wight County Press: Ventnor Exchange Spoken Word Collective at The Nest marquee at Ventnor Fringe.Ventnor Exchange Spoken Word Collective at The Nest marquee at Ventnor Fringe.

One show that was an absolute triumph was the Ventnor Exchange Spoken Word Collective. 

The audience who chose this show over some of the bigger names were rewarded. Host King Stammers thanked them for supporting grass roots local arts.

The nine spoken word poets poured out their vulnerabilities and their strengths to a spellbound crowd, who were in awe of their bravery. There were some shaky hands but nothing else to giveaway that this was the first time many had been on stage.

It was impressive, as was the content. Much of it straight from the heart, some painful, some joyful.

A huge well done to Ben Murray-Holmes, Jon Greenham, Simon Warry, Rachel Attwood, George, Andrew Butcher, Claire Speight, Tim Cooper and David Jowitt (aka Depresience).

Isle of Wight County Press: Queues start to form at The Magpie Tent in Ventnor Park.Queues start to form at The Magpie Tent in Ventnor Park.

Victoria Scone was a big draw, performing in her own show then hosting Pick of the Fringe - which was a show of local acts. Here were the Island's own glittery superstars, The Ventnor Darlings (who are making a few appearances, so don't miss them), burlesque dancer and singer Isabelle L'Amour, and the Island's very own drag queen, Quivers.

The evening proved a fabulous chance to see homegrown talent, all under one roof. Another Fringe variety night is on next week - good value if you can only afford one show.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Parkside Bar.The Parkside Bar.

Today, Sunday, there's family friendly entertainment from Ventnor Darlings Kids Cabaret to a Peter Rabbit play.

Remember the man who pranked Donald Trump, Sepp Blatter, and Theresa May? The comedian behind Lee Nelson, Simon Brodkin, is performing tonight, before his Edinburgh Fringe run.

There's an extraordinary amount to see and enjoy at this homegrown festival, created and curated by local people who have a passion for the arts and Ventnor.

Read more: FEATURE How Ventnor Fringe team held their nerve through pandemic