A fringe festival is, according to founder and head of the Hong Kong Fringe Club Benny Chia, 'always a dramatic and hazardous event'. 'The performers are given the freedom of a wide-open road to test-drive their creative energy and imagination,' says the veteran arts administrator. 'The fringe audiences are inclined to be adventure-minded, and for that they often get rewarded by seeing something either truly original or outrageous.' With more than 20 performances, talks and exhibitions, City Fringe - a month-long alternative/offbeat performing arts event - promises to offer plenty of originality and outrageousness. Though primarily targetting an older crowd, this year's programme lineup includes a handful of shows that you might be interested in catching. Of the three (yes, three!) Beauty and the Beast productions on offer over the next couple of months, this one by the Purple Turtle is billed as a children drama for anyone above the age of three. Judging from its past works, this version of the classic fairy tale by Leprince de Beaumont is likely to be wacky and funny. It will run until Saturday. Also on this week are two shows that have a Japanese connection. Staged by Tokyo-based dance duo Orientarhythm, Dragon/Shadow is a show that blends traditional Japanese elements such as karate and nunchack with modern original dance styles. 'Dragon uses [martial arts legend] Bruce Lee as the motif,' explains Katsumi Sakakura. 'We are expressing his sharp and beautiful actions in a modern and original style. 'Shadow charts how a Ninja becomes a 'shadow master'. The process involves strict practice, which in the show, is expressed through dance. The shadow master [and what he stands for] is expressed through a visionary performance.' Also based in Tokyo is Performance Exchange, who will be staging Beckett, a drama based on Samuel Beckett, a 'towering figure of 20th-century Western drama and Nobel Prize winner'. 'Our piece is our homage to the great man and we hope to create a little of Beckett's world for the audience,' says Performance Exchange's Daniel Foley. Set up in 1981, the touring theatre has performed all over the world. It works on classics including Greek, Shakespeare, Restoration and modern plays. Another literary classic to look out for is Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters. Regarded by many as one of the best pieces of theatre ever written, this Silver Warehouse production is performed in three languages: Japanese, Korean and Cantonese. It is a cross-Asian interpretation that examines the search for happiness and fulfilment within the confines of everyday life. If Beckett and Chechov are little heavy for you, then why not check out 9204 Lemon On The Side, a multimedia performance with images, live music, sound and theatre staged by local group Vivre Visa. City Fringe runs until February 7 at the Hong Kong Fringe Club. For more information, visit www.hkfringeclub.com or call 3128 8288 for ticket bookings.