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.


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.


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.


Borderline

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


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.


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.


Lulu

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


Mary and Me

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


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.


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.


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"


Sweethearts and The Hooligan by W. S. Gilbert

Superbly acted, these gems deserve to be seen


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 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.