Sweet Venues at Brighton Fringe has become established at a true fringe venue year-round at the Poets in Hove. During the Fringe you can also find them at the truly intimate Sweet at the Welly. Offering some real variety covering theatre, comedy and a lot more, we offer some of our choices for you to get looking and booking. Sweet Venues is a mini fringe festival in itself and not that far from the city centre (easy bus journey).
Firstly, some theatre, The Final Approach promises some truly unique noir theatre. “Edited live using multiple cameras, voice manipulation, and extensive sound design, this show pieces together the final weeks of high school, in which a seismic scandal spreads across the campus. Join Sam as he recreates a cinematic noir nightmare in real time, straight from his mind into your ears.” Catch it in the afternoon at the Welly.
Our must-see choice at Sweet has to be Jekyll & Hyde: A One Woman Show, the award-winning solo piece making its return to the Poets, a homegrown Sweet Production. “”You must suffer me to go my own dark way…” Stevenson’s classic science-horror is reborn, with award-winning performer Heather-Rose Andrews in the titular role. Class, terror, and hypocrisy in Victorian London, as the search for self collides with the lure of the sensuous, taking its toll on all around Jekyll & Hyde.” (Sweet at the Poets).
For a theatre comedy, take a look at The Only Drummer in Town. It is billed as “a lively comedy play, told entirely from behind a drumkit. Drummer/storyteller Paul Richards delves deep into the edgy world of local bands, their aspirations and the bond music gives, even for those who thoroughly dislike each other.” (At the Poets).
Bloody Influencers is described as “a one-woman comedy with a dark twist about influencer Daisy Woolworth aka Lucija Antonija Matic, Instagram queen, who goes on a journey to find something real in a world where everything she has is fake; starting with the feelings between her and her fiancé.” It plays at The Poets.
“A dark psychological drama from Two Foolish Productions explores what happens when the world thinks that we are no longer relevant, played out to the sublime music of Bach’s B Minor Mass.” That’s the lowdown on I Believe in One Bach from Two Foolish Productions, also at The Poets.
ANother pretty unique theatre show making a welcome return is Talking to the Dead which is back at the Poets. “Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Griffin and Jones intend to find out. Face your fears, and join them for an intimate, fully immersive experience as they use techniques from Victorian seance rooms to peer into the Great Beyond, and ask the question “Is anybody there?”. Don’t believe in ghosts? Neither did we. Sceptics and believers welcome.”
For some live literature and spoken word, we recommend Dark Poems in the Dark at the Poets. “Head Replacement (they/them) is a poet amongst clowns and a clown amongst poets who not so long ago decided to venture outside of the confines of their dark liar and re-enter the society. Upon seeing the state of things they immediately turned around and went back in Rather than trying to step into the nasty light, for 2 nights only they are bringing their nice cozy darkness to you, and will strive to caress your ears with some truly delectable words that come from the deepest depths of their soul.”
For some improvised cabaret and music it has to be Phyllida Sings… “
Phyllida invites you to a celebration of her life and career. She’ll be sharing her repertoire of songs and stories—songs and stories which are unique for each performance. The lyrics, the music, and the conversation are all inspired by the audience and created on the spot.” You can catch this at the Poets as well.
Back at the Welly you’ll see nothing quite like comedy show Balthazar Dark: Wrestling with Saddos. “Balthazar Dark is the greatest wrestler you’ve never heard of. Too dangerous to perform in the U.K, he whiles away his time exposing the seedy underbelly of pro-wrestling to comedy audiences. Join him for an hour of career highlights and even more lowlights.”
Our “different” choice is Fever Pitch: Intense Goblin Nightmare Woman at the Poets. How could you not risk seeing “Dundee’s loudest band per capita FEVER PEACH brings a freshly squeezed off beat blend of surrealist comedy, heartfelt poetry and juicy jams. Intense Goblin Nightmare Woman summons tear jerkers, floor fillers and genre bending bops to shake your peach too.”?
For some close-up intelligent comedy at the Welly, see Dead Inside. “Part stand-up, part autobiographical theatre, Dead Inside takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the hilarious topics of cancer, suicide and whether it’s possible to overdose on potatoes.”.
Also perennial comedy legend at Sweet (and Edinburgh Fringe hit), Andy Thomas, Des Kapital: The Marx Side of the Moon will no doubt have you laughing and humming/singing along. “ult History Karaoke show! Commie crooner Des (winner: ‘Gulag’s Got Talent’, winner: ‘New Faces in the Central Committee’, Runner Up: ‘Made in Chernobyl’), the pop star of the proletariat, is back for more hilarious song parodies, and more advice for your personal problems!”
Our storytelling theatre recommendation (tipped by our friends at Fringeguru), is Green Knight at the Poets. “Christmas at Camelot: a monstrous green warrior issues an unwinnable challenge to Arthur’s finest knight. But what if the story was retold by the woman at its heart?”
Our acclaimed solo theatre tip is Old Bones, performed at the Poets by Daniel Hird. Written by Jen McGregor. Billed as “A story of love, loss, revenge, and forgiveness” it is an interactive theatre piece. ANd, for more from Daniel Hird, catch him as writer of My Esteemed Friend this “new solo show decodes the mad scrawlings of a mysterious professor, searching for answers to the questions posed by modern masculinity.”
One last theatre pick for now, right at the end of the Fringe, playing at the Poets is The Last Night Out. “It’s been a year since Sophie disappeared from David’s life. Formerly close friends, her sudden and unexplained ghosting left him confused and worried. Then, just as suddenly as she left, she returned. The two meet at a pub in London, David desperate for answers and Sophie praying to God that she won’t have to answer them. Over the course of the evening, these two former friends are forced to reconcile who they are to each other and who they want to be. Both at crossroads in their lives, both scared and unsure in their own ways, and both hoping to find some kind of answer in the other; but is the answer they want the answer they really need? A little bit dark, a little bit light. Funny, relatable, irreverent and bittersweet, ‘The Last Night Out’ is a true slice-of-life tale.”
And there’s more. We’ll add a few more recommendations as the Fringe progresses. But for a true Fringe experience, Sweet is your destination.