In the lead up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, every week we will be producing special focuses on our collegiate groups who will be performing at the world’s largest amateur arts festival in 2012. In the seventh edition, we’ll be looking at The Oxford Belles, who are returning to the Fringe for the third consecutive year.
The Belles debuted at the Fringe as far back ago as 2000, but had a significant hiatus from Fringe Festival madness before their return in 2010, and have been on the receiving end of very favourable reviews since then. Last year they performed for the entire run at C eca and were a constant and energetic presence on the mile throughout the festival.
“Tight harmonies.” – BroadwayBaby, 2011 (****)
“Very refreshing.” – ThreeWeeks, 2011 (****)
“The Belles blend magnificently as a group” – UACUK, 2011 (7 out of 10)
The Belles have moved from C Venues this year and are performing at Spotlites @ The Merchant’s Hall from the 1st-18th of August, and will be looking to further improve on an already solid foundation and widen further their already significant popularity in the city. I am particularly looking forward to seeing their live performance of Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts, which won the ‘Outstanding Soloist’ award at this year’s Voice Festival competition, and with a lot of recent gig experience in and around Oxford, the girls are sure to provide an inventive and original a cappella show.
What To Expect
The introduction of so many new Belles has of course brought new and unique challenges to the group, but the addition of new voices and personalities to the group has also allowed the group to be more creative and musically ambitious in the past year, and this should culminate at the Festival this summer. They lacked real punch last year, but some of the new voices in the group are extremely powerful and this could bode well for this Fringe, as the girls as a group will undoubtedly have a more powerful stage presence. The group’s repertoire is generally very broad, and they will no doubt produce a thoroughly enjoyable and watchable show which may well be their best yet.