The Other Venues: Our Guide to the Real Fringe at Brighton Fringe

There are many smaller venues at Brighton Fringe each year.

You may not find bars, or a burger for a tenner. But you will find site-specific shows, shows and events in cafes, in houses and even deep underground. Here are some of our recommendations…

I want to see…

                    Love vs Trauma

… something exprimental, some shadow theatre. Then see Love Vs Trauma at Bom Bane’s

“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.”

… a free show, a funny, satirical one-hour performance. Then see Beware the Cat at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

“This funny, satirical one-hour performance emerges from a collaborative process between artists and academics responding to the world’s first ever English novel – a little known satire of magic and religious controversy by William Baldwin, written during a time of immense political and social change across England and Europe. It tells a tale of witchcraft, religious controversy, and talking cats in a bid to help us imagine what animals might say about the world if they had the ability to talk.”

… some solo comedy. Then see Paul Cox: Unattended at Artista Cafe and Gallery

“Paul Cox has been cutting his teeth on the London and UK comedy circuit since 2015. He has chosen the Brighton Fringe as the perfect festival to showcase his first solo work in progress show, ‘Unattended’. His likeable stage presence and sharp observations of life caught between the working and middle classes has led to him being compared to Micky Flanagan by Beyond The Joke. This show has only one mission, to make people laugh”

                    Hello, Who's Calling?

… some theatre, a comedy set 1970s Ireland and Brighton. Then see Hello, Who’s Calling? at Presuming Ed Coffee House

“It opens in a rural Irish post office where the postmistress listens to all the calls and interrupts as she feels fit. She knows everybody’s business and is the front of all gossip. The action then moves to a Brighton telephone exchange where hilarious complaints and crossed wires are the order of the day. Finally there’s a nod to contemporary communication! Communication, and lack of it, creates the comic situations.”

… a contemporary play with audio drama interludes. Then see Chain at Exeter Street Hall

“From the team that brought you 2018’s award winning ‘Bully Beef’ comes ‘Chain’, a contemporary play with audio drama interludes. A group of anti-war activists commit themselves to radical new tactics. When they lead to consequences none of them could have foreseen, it pushes their beliefs to the edge and threatens to tear the group apart.”

… some immersive theatre – a performance and ritual, a ghost story and an installation. Then see Scattering Salt at The Old Police Cells Museum

“It’s the story of two separated souls, one who left too early, and one who is always late. There are mirrors, mermaids, dance breaks and haunting. Created for an underground space that’s close to the sea, the show is set in the Police Cells Museum, creating the perfect ambience for spectators looking for a deeply reflective and immersive theatrical experience.”

… some historical theatre in a church. then see The Turbulent Priest at St Andrews Church

“Eight hundred and fifty years ago Thomas Becket was famously murdered by four knights in Canterbury Cathedral. The Turbulent Priest follows the extraordinary story of Thomas and King Henry II; their bromance, bust-ups and betrayals. In short, plenty to sing and joke about. James Cary (Miranda, Bluestone 42, Another Case of Milton Jones) and James Sherwood (The Now Show, I Guess That’s Why They Call it the News) previously collaborated on ‘A Monk’s Tale’, which toured UK in 2017 with 99 shows in total, including a long run at the Edinburgh Fringe.”

                    The Luncheon

… some drama – a two-hander encompassing a series of devised, scripted and improvised sketches that take place over a lunch. This bizarre and quixotic piece is an ever-changing play that continues to grow. Then see The Luncheon at Brighton Toy and Model Museum

“A conversation during a meal’s whole ceremony. Just one meal. And in that meal all their previous conversations. Like a cinematic track-shot, a sequence of events is shown but not necessarily adopting a linear order or using the space unidirectional. ‘The Luncheon’ aims to explore the scent of the simple and the ordinary to show it in a unique dynamic abstract way.  Every audience gets a new experience.”

… a dark comedy play. Then see A Long Way Down at Dogma Tent

“Eva and Billie found each other; searching for someone to commit suicide with. Complete strangers, they travel away together with nothing but a pack of cards and the clothes they are wearing. Join them in their tent as they spend their last night on Earth together, beginning to appreciate the beauty of nature and of each other’s company. Might there be something to live for after all?  Directed by Brendan Lucia and devised by the Company, A Long Way Down is a dark comedy which tackles head on the controversial subject of double suicide.”

… some cult political satire and comedy. Then see The Treason Show Festival Specialat Horatio’s at Brighton Palace Pier

“Brighton’s much-loved, resident satirists with their legendary mix of bang up to date topical sketches and songs, all wrapped up in Brighton Fringe award-winner Mark Brailsford’s festival package. Written by a team of over 30 writers and now in its record breaking 19th year, this is one festival show you can’t miss.”

… a completely improvised funeral. Then see An Improvised Funeral at St Marys Church

“Join us in St. Mary’s Church for one night only for a completely improvised funeral. Taking your suggestions we will show the life and times of a fictitious individual. With vibrant vicars, horrendous hymns, and flashbacks to the life of the deceased. Death has never been so funny. You’ll die laughing as we urn your applause putting the fun into funeral! Fresh from performing at Leicester Cathedral as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival. ”


We’ll be adding more recommendations as we find them during the Fringe.

Visit our main Brighton Fringe coverage here