Exploring the Human Condition at Brighton Fringe

There may be a dearth of political shows at fringe festivals (including Brighton Fringe) but there is no shortage of create work across all genres examining, exploring, describing and portraying what it i to be human, to be alive, the struggle of life, of staying well, sane and purposeful.

Many fringe shows ask deep, quirky often powerful questions. Here are a few of our early choices, though much depends on your own restlessness, existential crises and questions of the day…

If you are looking for something life-affirming, the head over to Junkyard Dogs for award-winning play from Gauntlet Theatre, My Life Closed Twice.

 My Life Closed Twice

Based on the real life experiences of writer and performer Joseph Hand, “After being diagnosed with schizophrenia aged 20, Joe’s life becomes a cacophony of visions, voices and questionable media stereotypes. From the noise appears a young woman in a red hoodie who holds his hand and helps him, in spite of everything, to carry on. ”

One of Brighton Fringe’s most fascinating and unique venues has to be Bom Bane’s Music Cafe. Their fringe offerings are always different and never gratuitously so.

Love vs Trauma  “combines colourful, experimental shadow theatre techniques with beautiful music, a tender flying hand puppet, and rod puppets in a moving and thought-provoking show for adults and teens. Innovative shadow puppetry illustrates the isolation imposed by abuse versus the blossoming possible through re-connection with self and community. We all deserve care.”

 Love vs Trauma

This is a “45 minute performance followed by 30 minute discussion on the personal and societal effects of trauma. Printed materials will be made available on the process of healing, dynamics of oppression and local resources.”

Bryony KimmingsI’m A Phoenix, Bitch is a true-to-the-heart story of a journey through pain, a journey of self-discovery.

 Bryony Kimmings: I'm a Phoenix, Bitch

It is billed as “A mythical legend performed straight from a heart still pulsing with pain. Combining personal stories with epic film, soundscapes and ethereal music, the artist creates a powerful, dark and joyful work about motherhood, heartbreak and finding inner strength. We will need new myths to survive the end of existence as we know it. Tonight, a new legend will be created, that of the invincible and fearless woman, a tale Bryony wishes she had known from birth.” I saw an early version of it and it has to be one of the must-sees of this year’s Fringe.

For some acclaimed stand-up comedy, then Irish comedian Keith Farnan‘s Keith Farnan: Things Fall Apart has to be on your hit list.

 Keith Farnan: Things Fall Apart

It is a show that “celebrates failure and loss and incompetence and bad luck and how all these things make the world a better place.”

The world of self improvement is uncovered in Krent Tablowski: I Can Make You Make Yourself Better at Public Speaking in Front of People. here’s the lowdown: “Influencer. Sociologist. Inventor. Life coach. Twitter. Nike athlete. Facebook. CEO. PROUD American. Most importantly? I’m the guy who’s gonna change it all for you. Everything. All of it. My name is Krent Tablowski. The Tabby Cat. And you best believe kitty’s got claws.”

Gender and contemporary society are the theme of Annabelski’s Smashing at Exeter Street Hall. “Can one woman single-handedly smash the hetero-patriarchy? Well, maybe with a little help from the audience. Confront your unconscious bias as we embark upon a queer, feminist and irreverent exploration of contemporary society. Expect stand-up, sketch comedy, spoken word, subverted song lyrics and audience interaction. ”

So, there are a handful of early choices for Brighton Fringe. We’ll be adding more in the run up to, and during Brighton Fringe.

Paul Levy

Here is our full Brighton Fringe coverage.