Brighton Fringe 2013
Bitesize is still in its own genre in the Brighton festival – having continued to successfully produce ‘bite size’ theatre – croissant, coffee and a selection of 10 minutes plays with a different combination each day. It has a loyal following and many of the audience book tickets for all performances to taste all the ‘menus’.
There are 3 menus this year in the Brighton fringe and this reviewer saw Menu 1 in The Latest Music bar, which is a bright, central and attractive venue.
So, here are the four…
Menu 1 – ‘Desires’
By Rachel Welch
The show starts off with a punchy feel – it gets the audience’s attention and sets the scene for the rest of the performances – this is light hearted theatre, accessible and quirky and tounge in cheek melodrama. Female vanity is mirrored excellently in the writing and had most women in the audience nodding and smiling in delighted recognition.
Katrina Holloway and Scott Virgo work well together here, competently turning a dark subject into comedy. The writing sets out to bring a humorous slant to human ego and the audience engages fully.
Mind the Flak
By Paul Randall
Fabris takes the lead here again addressing a human issue with a quirky and darkly funny perspective on the effects of the daily London commute and a capitalist work ethic on the ability to be compassionate. Fabris is a strong actor with a committed presence who needs some freedom to stretch her wings with this character, which could become more bittersweet with more depth. Some of her mannerisms are a little repetitive, which could be developed further but otherwise a strong and tangible performance.
Undress me Clarence
By Doug Grissom
In my opinion this was the best piece out of the selection today. Very well held by Cassandra Hodges (someone to watch out for in the future) and Bill Knowelden. Delightful portrayal of 1930s relationships, stiff upper lip and outrageous frigidity of the times is deliciously exploited here with a couple trying to spice up their love life using DIY fantasy and erotic dialogue…the tension and comedy is beautifully balanced, the performers are a joy to watch and the audience are completely tickled.
By Lucy Kaufmann
A fun idea and the audience loved this a lot. Some great gags and the characters were well held in the dynamics of this bizarre relationship . Again a nice light hearted take on common human foillbles, exploring how far we could take a love of something and how closely this borders with irrational obsession . Scott Virgo is brilliantly cast and again needs some encouragement to spread his wings and play with this character a bit more to reach a more meaty range to contrast with Fabris’s doe eyed and perfectly held 1940s housewife.
A Quiet Table for Four
By Philip Linsdell
This is a great high energy piece and always very popular with audiences, fun and tightly played by all the cast this brings out lots of human issues around self-esteem and how it affects making honest connections with others. This is a feel good piece, about relationships and letting go of fear and just going for it. The metrophorical inner voice we all have is given a body and a strong domineering presence but love conquers all and the beasts are slain..at least for a short while…
Bite Size is great concept theatre, it makes theatre accessible to a wide range of audiences and uses the morning slot well. In a Fringe setting it’s a perfect way to start the day, the croissants this year were really delicious and its clear how popular Bitesize is becoming with audiences who are just starting to delve into theatre going, which in my mind is a gorgeous way to ignite a passion for theatre.