Brighton Fringe 2007
White Room Theatre
Venue: Mint Cafe, South Lanes
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Short and varied sketches are performed between courses of tapas at a funky cafe bar in Brighton’s South Lanes.
Bitesize; six short sketches performed whilst diners much on tasty Tapas. This winning formula has been operating from the Mint restaurant in the South Lanes since June 2006. Each month a ‘menu’ is drawn up from a wide selection of banked sketches, so punters who enjoy the experience need not worry about seeing the same thing twice.
Tonight we were treated to an alcohol fuelled one night stand which didn’t quite live up to fantasy expectations. A light-hearted sketch, the subject matter was perhaps a little clichéd and unimaginatively delivered, but the use of the restaurant bar worked well in the staging of the piece.
We then saw Alfred Hitchcock and James Dean as the quintessential American and Englishman at odds; quite a funny take on the Hollywood greats, with a slightly disappointing ending. Doug Devaney was an amusing caricature of the great director, helped by his prolific use of a certain expletive!
Next up was a piece slightly at odds with the other sketches – the ‘Gift of the Gun’ was much more dramatic and serious, and while it was the strongest sketch of the evening, it sat somewhat uncomfortably. However, it was well acted, the subject matter was interesting and suspense was maintained until the last moment.
The penultimate sketch was an amusing story of an abortive kidnapping, which whilst being slightly unmemorable was well delivered with good, if not over the top, characterisation.
Finally we were given a 10 minute version of Hamlet, which featured a drugged up Prince of Denmark, a bizarre debt settling ghost and an awful lot of men in tights. Not the best version of the play I have ever seen, but the goggling girls outside the door of the café certainly seemed to enjoy the show!
All in all it was an enjoyable evening, with the combination of food and theatre working very well.
You would be advised to book in advance for June (the show moves to the Sanctuary Cella during the May Festival) as it was full this evening.