Brighton Fringe

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Brighton Fringe 2017

27 Wagons Full of Cotton

Fox and Hound Theatre Company’s trio of Tennessee Williams are a must-see. Not just because they premiere the 1981 Ivan’s Widow adding the 1953 Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen but the gem: 27 Wagons Full of Cotton from 1946. already famed for a Edinburgh Fringe sell-out. A superb piece superbly played.


A Remarkable Person

How do you create the perfect image of yourself?


According to Angelica

‘It’s about this nurse.’ Angelica, former nurse to the Capulets sets out her moonlight vegetables quite literally. The essential point is that’s it a fascinating take, and a compelling story.


Agamemnon

Steven Berkoff's version of Aeschylus' classic. War, murder and blood aplenty.


American Contemporary Ensemble (ACE)

"professionally polished performances"


AY/NA Ceyda Tanc Dance Company

This world class contemporary dance is filled with both quick and unhurried graceful movement requiring real control, which is displayed in genuine abundance. Yet the themes are so highly contemporary and their skill-set so excellent that they surpass any contemporary dance performance I have seen, whilst holding to their very own distinctive form and style.


Bethnal Green

A harrowing recount of terrible tragedy on 3rd March 1943, when 173 men, women, and children were crushed to death on an East End air raid shelter.


Blindfold: The Night of the Hunt

Four actors led by writer/director Sofia Stavrakaki enact what’s clearly a prison of a circus, people forced to perform a ritual of trouping for the delectation of a whip-cracking elite. A summary hardly does justice to the atmosphere this production evokes or the meta-language burning through the glares of hallucinated prey. You’ll know whether it’s for you if you like Beckett or European theatre


Blink

This is the most affecting bittersweet piece of theatre seen at the Fringe for a while and a masterly play. That Hall and Lacey invest it with such pathos humour and delicacy whilst working to pinpoint direction is equally winning, equally devastating and makes you dream sequels. It’s a must-see.


Blocked

It’s as if Billie Piper’s Yerma does stand-up. Caroline Byrne’s Blocked reveals a writer whose images stamp a scream-out-loud theatre drawn into an arc of devastation. Curnick inhabits a performer’s meltdown from a technique and emotional agency as strong as… a recording black box. Why? Find out. Superb theatre.


Blooming

It’s not a sequel to Patrick Sanford’s award-winning Groomed. Blooming’s an outstanding work still developing, but judging by Sandford’s original deployment of images and the interaction between performers, it’s becoming a definitive statement. There’s much to discover, especially for many at the Q&A. If you care for the human condition, you must see this.


Borderline

"....saving you the need to go to Calais or any other refugee camp"


Broken Air

Stretching time and space with help of a balloon, a suitcase, one shoe and countless grains of sand


Bug Camp

Paul Macauley’s garnered outstanding praise and Bug Camp adds to his reputation. All four cast give exemplary performances though Douetil and Spencer hit a top register of something teetering on tragedy, laughing over an abyss.


Cabaret from the Shadows

A mind bending, thought provoking feast for the soul!


Christopher Nibble.

"The Guinea pigs of Dandeville are munching the poor over-stretched dandelion population out of existence and heading for eco-disaster!!


Collapse

Here I am - Cassandra. And this is my city under ashes.


Collections -Swallowsfeet

Contemporary Dance


Comedy Club for Kids

A lot of fun, a lot of laughs, a lot of joy. And (mostly) age-appropriate.


Dark Matter

Consciousness. Where does it arise from? What happens when it begins to decay?


David Hoyle

A Compelling and Heart Wrenching Explosion of Love


Die Die Die Old People Die

A stunning new work from Ridiculusmus, the multi-award winning theatre company who specialise in transforming complex mental health issues into warm, witty and accessible performance.


Dracula

'Stakes are high in this hilarious and charming rendition of Dracula'


Drawing Circus

"Come sketch as models in circus costume are frozen mid-act for your drawing delight"


Eat the Poor

A very funny evening of political satire through silly song


Eglantyne

What’s in this name? Eglantyne means a prickly rose and smells by any name bittersweet. Founder of Save the Children who burned herself out in its service. This is enlightening and moving in equal measure, not only rendering a great service, but asking after Eglantyne Jebb’s breath-taking leaps of empathy, how far we’ve come since.


Ensonglopedia of Science

A song about science for each letter of the alphabet - and more.


Enter the Dragons

Classic clowning exploring the subject of female ageing


Fall of Duty

Not so much another First War narrative but a parallel rediscovery of singalong music, song and dance, stars and tears in their eyes. Tightness of video, the engagement of audience and extremely well-counterpointed denouement makes this a memorable show. And did I mention the Childs can sing?


Good Grief: Stories at 207 West 88th

Tales from a New York apartment building.


Good People, Bad Day

I loved this piece and so, I think, did the audience on the first night. The cast’s comic timing is second to none. Go see it and be confounded by this fine troupe who deserved all the applause they received on the first night.


Gratiano

'The Merchant of Venice' updated to post-Fascist Italy


Great Train Robbery

Through an ingenious mix of clowning, physical theatre and wonderful singing, this comic four shed new light on ‘what really happened’ and ‘how they participated.’


H. P. Lovecraft’s Pickman’s Model

A fine adaptation of a classic 1926 pulp horror tale from H. P. Lovecraft. Be prepared for subtle creeping horror late at night when Thurber befriends the brilliant but horribly morbid painter Pickman, and is invited to his 1690s studio.


Hidden Mother

From dominating Diva, to damaged daughter.


How to Walk Through Hell

When an author entitles her experiences in How to Walk Through Hell as based on her own, you might wonder if we’re close to stories of abuse and terror. Yes, the abuse is a virus. Lyme disease. The acting of both Sam Wright and Kizzie Kay is exemplary, some of the finest naturalistic acting seen on the Fringe this year, indeed consummately professional.


Ivan’s Widow and Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen

In his end lies his beginning: almost the last and first plays of Tennessee Williams yoked together before a devastating mid-period work are a must-see. Beautifully crafted performances, these rare Williams plays deserve packed houses and Fox and Hound themselves accolades for putting on three Williams plays in one night and proving a special attunement to them all.


Learn To Throw a Pot

A fun and very satisfying hour learning the basics of using a potters wheel.


Lucy Hopkins: Ambition

Powerful Women Are About


Lulu

Though occasionally uneven this Lulu is a must-see, and should it ever tour or return it might prove a classic interpretation.


Macblair

The story of Tony Blair written as a Shakespearean tragicomedy.


Mary and Me

A near masterclass of solo performance, based on emerging new writing.


Mobile

Fringe theatre at its best. A unique intimate experience with outstanding production values.


Model Organisms

Donkin’s artistry as writer isn’t in doubt, and Newton-Mountney’s performance is compelling. This is eminently worth seeing especially if you like dystopian narratives of the possible near-present. The story’s complete, but this journey’s just begun.


Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer: The Chap-Hop Decade

Returning to his roots, festival fave and Brighton’s own Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer celebrated 10 years of the musical genre he founded, Chap Hop. 


Obama and Me

Eight years. Three continents. Two lives. One story.


Octopus

A forthright political performance that pulls no punches


Pals

It’s not been done like this before. This play fully deserves its accolades. Though we associate the First War Pals Battalions with the north (the Accrington for instance) this show localises it to every community it tours.


Personalised Pendant Workshop

Make a simple silver pendant at Silver and Sage's studio


Protect and Survive

Imagine it’s three minutes to midnight before a nuclear winter. And that’s slipped on January 26th this year to two-and-a-half. Jonathan Williamson’s created a laconic take on the old 1970s-80s nuclear holocaust warnings.


Richard III

This is an outstanding distillation of an exceptionally prolix if often brilliant early Shakespeare history drama. It could not really be executed more compellingly.


Ross And Doug Present Scenes From The Life And Death Of Lord Haw Haw, Britain’s Most Patriotic Traitor

Germany Calling , Germany Calling, Germany Calling - "an entertaining and enlightening hour"


Sami and Jim

Thoroughly entertaining, consistently offbeat funny


Scorched

The onset of dementia takes Jack Dobson on a hazardous journey of remembering


Sex Education

A filthy, funny and moving story of sexual exploration


She Denied Nothing

A contemporary re-rendering of Sophocles' 'Antigone'


Shell Shock

This show will set you pondering on matters related to armed combat and could prove a catalyst for many.


Slap and Tickle

An inherently comical and highly political take on what it means to be a woman


Sleeping Trees: Sci-fi?

Rollicking furiously paced exquisitely skilled physical comedy


Smoothies, Salads and Sorbets

A display of how to make a delicious array of healthy dishes to try.


Stones

Locked in a prison cell, how can you tell what is real and what is illusion?


Sweet Charity

This is gritty New York in the mid-sixties and is now a fascinating reflection of American sub-culture during that era. It portrays a slice of life at the Fandango Dance Hall where the real purpose of the premises is geared far more towards sex-work than dancing the quick-step.


Sweethearts and The Hooligan by W. S. Gilbert

Superbly acted, these gems deserve to be seen


Tap Into Health (TIH): Movin’ With Melvin!

Just to meet Texan Movin' Melvin Brown is enough of a privilege to warrant this workshop worthy of being recommended.


The Amazing Bubble Man

"A great show that combines entertainment with science with spectacle."


The Brexorcist

A darkly satirical exploration of the events which surround us


The Cocktail Pianist

The Cocktail Pianist is ultimately radiant with self-knowledge. Hatchard is a phenomenally gifted pianist even on an electric keyboard. His touch, mercurial dispatch are not of the medley kind. A first rate show with enduring things to say, it’s also a comment on how we treat our gifts and they us.


The Effect

A superb way to get to know a superb play. It’s difficult to conclude anything but a kind of dopamine’s got into BLT recently; perhaps we absorb it there too. Everything they touch is enhanced, there’s a uniform excellence of cast and production here that’d look perfectly in situ in any off-West End theatre.


The Elephant Girls

It’s history, so believe it. For over a century an all-woman gang marauded London from Elephant and Castle. Margo MacDonald’s explosive one-woman play which she both wrote and acts in, asks what you might expect in a series of evenings with Maggie Hale, an amalgam of two Maggie Hs, in 1937. MacDonald’s riveting throughout, rasping her laments, lusts and long views to the dogged interlocutor. A superb performance of a remarkable play and subject, whatever its provenance.


The Empress and Me

A one-woman show about the amazing true story of Princess Der Ling,


The Forecast

The Forecast is an unforgettable experience on many levels - a horrifying, yet ultimately hopeful story about a future that is already pulling into the driveway


The Life and Death of Puppet King Richard II

Did he go, or was he pushed? Is he just a puppet?


The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

"...as near perfect a show as I would want to take my children to..."


The Missing Special

It’s all in the maths obsession. Think Nick Payne’s Constellations with a tighter focus on one event and its outfall and rewind. It’s a clever but also heartening play, which also asks what time does to two individuals who dream of the one direction but wake up without interpreting each others’ dreams, or finding when they do they’re different. And what to do.


The Odditorium: Pioneering Women in Music

A fantastic double bill of two female musicians in talks and conversation.


The Ruffian on the Stair

Joe Orton's early play about murder, vengence ... and goldfish.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

A real treat for young and old


The Writers’ Bloc

Soviet Russia, 1937. Five writers in a room with an infinite supply of vodka, cigarettes and fear.


They Built It. No One Came.

An intriguing and entertaining hour combining comedy with pathos as it explores ideas around community, love and faith.


Tina C’s President -C

Witty, wonderful and warming politics meets drag queen meets country singer...in a tent on an intersection.


Trainspotting

Startling immersive stage production of the classic film; Fast, furious, stomach churning, shocking and gritty.


Undercover Refugee

Syrian refugees, sea crossings and social media.


Underworlds

Different Theatre


Wacht!

A Dutch museum attendant says nothing during a twenty minute performance - and it speaks volumes.


Wet Bread

What’s Left must be right. But the country’s voted, Right. Do catch this! Left-wing activist Adele is just the dominant voice when Morag Sims puts on the best single act of a whole cast I’ve seen in a long time.