I spent my weekend in Brighton, checking out what’s on at this year’s festival of art, performance, dance and comedy, all happening by the sea side. And despite the relentless rain and freezing winds, I was not disappointed.
I saw four shows and each of them, although unique, deserved at least four stars. Fringe theatre can be a bit hit or miss but I was thoroughly impressed by the originality, and imagination behind each of the four shows that I saw. Although, I have to say, And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, by Dash theatre had to be my favourite, because of its artful combination of romance, astrophysics and indie comedy. As well as the absolutely winning soundtrack that bought the story to life, and the brilliant cast.
If you’re not sure of what to see at this year’s festival and haven’t been swayed by my recommendations, have a walk around the town centre. If you wander past the Pavilion, you’ll meet an array of performers and musicians exhibiting work for free, or presenting mini tasters of the work they’re putting on at one of the many venues around the city.
When I was walking past the pavilion I was met by a group of gymnasts, a magician, a swing band, and about fifty people all dressed up as grannies. Yes that’s right, grannies, as part of the infamous Grannycon, a gathering of granny impersonators who paraded through the city centre offering out cake while doing their best granny impersonation. The streets were filled with the sound of fifty or more people crooning “give granny a kiss dear!” This was certainly something that you don’t see every day!
As well as theatre, comedy and dance, there is also the Open House event, in which local artists open up their houses to the public, and turn their houses into exhibition spaces, to display their original work. If you walk around Brighton you’ll see houses with ‘Open House’ on the door, take a look inside and you’ll rarely be disappointed. Alternatively you can pick up a programme to see the list of artist’s houses open to the public.
There is a wealth of free installations and unusual events that will catch your eye as you explore this quirky city, filled with undiscovered talent. In fact there are over 150 free events to investigate at this year’s festival! If that’s not an excuse to catch the train to the sea side I don’t know what is! There’s also some winning night life to seek out, make sure you check out The Blind Tiger Club to see live music and cabaret performances.
Other venues to note are The Nightingale, The Marlborough Theatre, The Basement and The Red Rooster Café.
All in all, I reckon Edinburgh has got competition. I’m looking forward to making another trip down, and I recommend you do the same.
You can read more of Sophie’s reviews for Brighton Fringe 2012 here.