Venue Focus at Brighton Fringe: Junkyard Dogs

Junkyard Dogs

At the Brighthelm Centre on North Road for the Fringe.

Junkyard Dogs is now an established and proper Fringe venue. theatre, comedy and other genres, and this year it has moved.

They now offer a new space at the Brighhelm Centre on North Road as well. Check out The Howler here. Look at the Doghouse here. And here is The Kennel. Their programme is expanding fast.

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 Mocking Birds  Kate Smurthwaite: Clit Stirrer

Let’s begin with comedy. For an hour of acclaimed stand-up character comedy, see Mocking Birds. “Fatiha smashes Muslim stereotypes and challenges you to re-think what you think you know about Islam and Muslims, and Katherine offers up an acerbic, sideways view of motherhood… if she can be bothered”

For some unmissable solo comedy, then see Fringe regular Kate Smurthwaite: Clit Stirrer. “The award-winning feminist, atheist, polyamorous comedian and writer for Have I Got News For You, puts away all those years of coquettishness and gets off the fence. Kate has sworn, flashed her hairy armpits at Eamonn Holmes, shown up in pyjamas, called a Daily Mail columnist “Dad” and shouted at a nun all on live TV. That’s when she’s not insulting organised religion or the monarchy.

For a comedy duo, our recommendation has to be Attendance Mandatory by Hubert Mayr & Martin Durchov. They come to Brighton with some decent provenance: “A Bulgarian and an Austrian walk into a Fringe Festival. Would you like to hear the punchline to this? Join Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year finalists Martin Durchov and Hubert Mayr for their debut hour of comedy. That’s an order since, much like an appointment with the Home Office, attendance is mandatory”

And for a more surreal comedy duo, it has to be Girl World. “Tilly and Inga exist in a surreal bubble called ‘Girl World’ where the only rule is ‘No boys allowed!’ But when Tilly thinks the unthinkable and asks, “Is there anybody out there?”, ‘Girl World’ descends into a foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed battleground and they discover there is a hole in their world… Expect non-stop laughter, love songs and brutal wrestling on a journey of genuine friendship between two girls who are growing up.”

Now onto some theatre…

We highly reviewed Unearthed Theatre, calling them “exciting with a promising future. Well, they are back at the Fringe with My Fern Flower. “A dying brother. A pregnant wife. A life filled full of myth and mystery. Find your story through this epic tale told through physical theatre, spoken word and poetry. It’s promises to be a night like no other.” According the the company, it “uses a full length live soundscape, physical theatre and storytelling to transport you into realms beyond comprehension. You will laugh, cry and be mesmerised at our humanity. Come experience one man’s quest to save those he loves the most. ”

But is she the one with the problem? Lots of angry men with very poor grammar on the internet think so. Kate lifts the lid on her reputation as a provocatrice extraordinaire and asks: where did it all go wrong?”

For ” a darkly humorous, soul-jolting new one-man show about sex, violence and city living”, see Bleach.

Winner of the Brighton Fringe Excellence Award, Thrown from Living Record is a theatre piece that swept the review boards last year. “As the memories of former patients collide violently with her own, a child psychologist attempts to record what she’s spent her whole life trying to forget. But when time begins to loosen its grip, and her recording equipment begins to argue back, we hear the inner workings of a mind on the brink of collapse.  Did you hear it? When you went from yourself? Just so I can listen out for it. I want to know what sound it makes.” This is research based, reeal, often verbatim, always innovative theatre. well worth catching.

We have seen Kokoda before. most recently at the Adelaide Fringe where we gave it a Hidden Gem

“In 1941, England had its Battle of Britain. A year later the Japanese army was rampaging through the South Pacific and the battle to save Australia was on, to be fought along New Guinea’s infamous Kokoda track by a motley militia of poorly trained young Australians plucked off the streets of Melbourne. Private Morris Powell is one of the heroes from that campaign. Through Jayden Marshall we join him in the battles, hearing his story of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice: the making of the men that rescued Australia from invasion and turned the Pacific war.”

There’s plenty more on offer at Junkyard Dogs at Brighton Fringe 2019, so look out as we add more recommendations in the run up to the Fringe.

Paul Levy

Here is our full Brighton Fringe coverage.