Oxford will have a fringe festival to rival Edinburgh or Brighton if the organisers of a music, theatre and spoken word festival have their way.

On Saturday, Oxfringe - Oxford's first fringe festival - will begin with a variety of events designed to stir up the city's creativity.

For the next seven days, more than 40 events, including Write A Play In A Day, ImProfessors, Viking Voyages and Troublesome Trolls, will take place at 22 venues, including pubs, theatres and museums.

For Cowley playwright Heather Dunmore and her three co-directors the festival will be the culmination of six months of planning.

But not content with those events, the 56-year-old insisted the fringe could grow in size until it rivals the most famous in Britain.

Ms Dunmore said: "We hope to grow it year on year and turn it into a big festival like Edinburgh and Brighton.

"We're all really excited about it. We hope it will make a big impact. It seems to be being talked about quite a lot."

Ms Dunmore said many of the events would be free to enable as large an audience as possible to enjoy them.

Events lined up also include poetry readings, stand-up comedy, a presentation about the city's Cowley Road and plays including The Case and The Mary Rose: A Boat of Ill Repute.

A joint concert by the Blackbird Leys Choir and Afropean at the Ashmolean Museum's Randolph Sculpture Gallery is scheduled for Friday, April 4.

Sarah Jones, Oxfringe co-director, said: "It is wonderful to have two choirs, rooted in Oxford's local communities, performing as part of our first full fringe.

"The mixture of exciting new sounds in the beautiful setting of one of Oxford's most prestigious institutions promises to make a hugely memorable night out."

Sydney Hicks, a member of Oxford Impro, which will tackle the subject of professors at the Burton Taylor Studio, in Gloucester Street, said: "I think Oxfringe is a fantastic idea. I'm hoping to go and see some of the other shows myself.

"There's a tremendous appetite in Oxford for anything that is creative and interesting."

A full list of events is available at www.oxfringe.com