IF you’ve never been to the Edinburgh Fringe, and you want to experience a similar atmosphere, a similar buzz, look no further than Manchester city centre.

Later this week the 24:7 Theatre Festival getts under way and executive producer David Slack, who comes from Stretford, believes the event has preached to the un-converted in the eight years it has been running.

As in the Scottish capital, performances take place in venues you wouldn’t assoociate with live theatre - venues that only boost the festival’s lovable informality.

David says people who attend the new writing showcase to watch one specific play often end up watching another production. This event is certainly cutting edge, but David insists there’s a line the organisers just won’t cross when it comes to good taste.

“If plays are exploitative, they won’t get through the system. One of the plays is called Firestarter and it’s based on a real case of a young man who did start fires deliberately. It’s exploring his psyche and it’s really quite dark. The Cell is set in a prison cell and that was developed in a prison by the writer and the people at the prison say everything that happens in the play could happen or has happened in the service,” he says.

Festival performances will take place in New Century House and the Three Minute Theatre on Oldham Street.

* The 24:7 Theatre Festival runs from July 20-27. Anyone interested in finding out more or booking tickets should call 247theatrefestival.co.uk