De ja vu or firm favourites returning to Brighton Fringe 2019? Victoria Nangle picks out a few tried and tested comedy successes, shows that already have a following and have audiences coming back for more each time.
The Warren: The Hat, Shakespeare: 6-22 May, Showtime: 23-30 May, 21:45, various prices
For years Magnificent Bastard Productions has returned to Brighton Fringe with sold out runs of both its boozy Bard and mashed-up musical shows. This year has them turning their attentions to first the Scottish play – Macbeth, and then on to their own rendition of Oliver With A Twist. The fun with these is the absolute anarchy of the beer halls they turn their theatres into. With audience interaction (some planned, some taking the form of sometimes hilarious drunken asides) and a top notch talented cast, these performances are both impressive and highly enjoyable. The more you try to explain how much fun they are the less fun they sound, but leave it as an issue of trust in the queues that snake around the block every year and rave reviews.
Komedia Studio, 12 + 30 May, 18:30, £15
Remember those adventure games that used to be about in the 80s? You might also be familiar with the retro concept of Create Your Own Adventure books that asked you to decide at the end of each chapter what to do next… this is that in the form of an Edinburgh Fringe institution and returner to the Brighton Fringe. John Robertson’s immersive show starts with: “You awake to find yourself in a dark room”. Together with the rest of the audience you must find a way to escape the room and the merciless overlord, possibly win £1000, and try not to die. Winner of multiple accolades, and creator of a buzz that just doesn’t seem to stop.
The Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront Hotel, 4 + 26 May, 19:00 (4th) + 13:00 (26th), £39.50
Funnily enough this isn’t the Del Boy and Rodney affair that’s been hitting the papers in London at the moment, but a welcome to Marlene and Boycie’s gala dinner combining food and comedy action. Previously the home of the Fawlty Towers dining experience, Jurys Inn on the seafront are now old hands at presenting mayhem and starts in a synchronised fashion. Combing classic comedy characters and familiar storylines for fans with a three-course meal, you can expect references to ‘your actual cordon bleu’ as well as dodgy dealings and goings on at Nelson Mandela House.
Sweet Werks 2, 24-25 May, 22:55, £7/5
Absolutely nuts. Pun intended. If there’s a double entendre to be mined, this is where you’ll find it. This late night adult-only show is a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe, and last year at the Brighton Fringe drew such commitment from one player he ended up in A&E! It’s a game show with two teams made up of performers from the Fringe promising free spirits and no holds barred.
Komedia Main Space, 8 May, 20:00, £11/9
A regular monthly night at Komedia with the highly acclaimed comedy improvisors The Noise Next Door, plus special guests joining in on the fun. This month’s visitors are Nathan Caton (BBC Radio series of his own, as well as popping up all over the place on TV, radio, podcasts etc) and George Rigden (Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2017 nominee), buying their way in with straight stand-up sets and then diving in head first to join in the games with the Noise boys. Always loud always fun, always asking for your suggestions.
Other familiar faces that are worth looking at more than once this year include: Jim Tavare: Deadpan To Bedpan; Late Night Gimp Fight; Ade Foidelli: Comfortably Dumb; On The Edge Comedy; Dan Evans: 20%; Scottish Falsetto Socks: Roll Up!; The Treason Show Festival Special; Hot Gay Time Machine
More from Vicky Nangle here.
More from Brighton Fringe here.