Venue Focus at Brighton Fringe: The Latest Music Bar

Our first must see cabaret theatre choice at the Latest Music Bar is Queen Mab: The Witching Hour. “Queen Mab is irreverent yet commanding, escapist, ethereal, alluring, slightly unhinged… Fun, but with an undeniable darker streak. She conjures a heady witches’ brew of wildly eclectic influences – a pinch of trip-hop here, a dash of breakbeat there, a healthy dollop of funk, a drizzle of folk, and lashings of R&B, soul, and jazz. Ostensibly, it’s theatrical art-pop that ran away with the circus and woke up in a field somewhere… And with its sense of dramatic flair, witty lyricism, musical kudos, and banging beats, it may also prove to be the stuff of legend.”

Our second must see choice for theatre is Who is No. 1? from the multi award-winbning The Foundry Group. “The latest comedy play from the multi-award-winning writing duo Brian Mitchell (co-writer of The Ministry of Biscuits) and Joseph Nixon (co-writer of West-End hit The Shark Is Broken), explores the age-old tensions between artist and patron, prophet and king, telling the truth and pleasing the crowd, and why artists sometimes risk everything for their vision.” Certainly for fans for thge cult TV series The Prisoner, but exploring themes beyond that anyone can go.

“1966. Patrick McGoohan, the world’s highest-paid actor, having already turned down James Bond, walks out of his hit series Danger Man for a new project that seems to encapsulate all the paranoia, intrigue and psychedelic insanity of the swinging sixties. Backing him is Lew Grade, Britain’s leading impresario, head of a legendary entertainment dynasty. Together they make The Prisoner, a cult TV masterpiece – the most written-about TV series of all time. But, through all the tensions, strains, triumphs and controversies, there’s one question that remains: “Who is No. 1?”

Written by Tim Coakley and directed by Petina Hapgood, Zip Me Up Darling! promises some comedy theatre. “Oliver and Isabel, middle-aged and middle-class, must host the perfect dinner tonight as the guest of honour is Oliver’s boss, and Oliver’s promotion depends on the success of this evening. Surely nothing can upset their plans?
Except… possibly… the clash of their personalities, her ambition, his ineptitude, mutual jealousies, the strain of holding a marriage together and keeping up appearances, the shattered dreams, and the general lack of poetry in modern life, all explored hilariously in this fast-paced roller coaster of a comedy.”

Awful People by Julie Burchill and Daniel Raven is another of our theatre choices. 2When a pair of middle-aged, middle-class ex-spouses get back together to write a rap musical, the stage is set for eye-watering embarrassment and folly. As they waylay the less privileged young people who cross their path – their Ukrainian nanny/cleaner (*home curator*) and a young black Deliveroo man – it’s soon clear that this clash of cultures can only end in calamity.”

Out choice for Literature and Spoken Word is original fiction performed live at Bovine Cemetery’s World War III Literary Cabaret, which invites you to dress cabaret style. “

In The Dreams of Salvador Dali,the creative legend himself “gives us a lecture about Surrealism. But we also get glimpses into his passions, his soul, his attempts to find love, and to grapple with reality as he is pursued by a procession of bizarre characters, strange events, surprises, twists, and some outlandish, one might almost say surrealist, happenings.” Billed as “Funny, absorbing unpredictable, and ultimately heart-warming, this play will give you a lot to talk about.”

On 2 June, fiction fanatacists Bovine Cemetery will be showcasing ten of Brighton’s best and boldest emerging writers, all musing and amusing on the crazy death spiral that is the modern world. Expect risqué regrets and laughable lamentations, all passionately delivered from Latest Music Bar’s colourful cabaret bunker. Ten writers, ten stories, and a jolly nice night of glitterature before we all explode in a fiery ball of flames.”

Can I Be Bored Now? is “a theatre piece in which through dialogues, music and movement, two performers lead the audience on a journey using a visual art installation with projected drawings on a screen.”. It poses some challenging questions: “Should we keep surrendering ourselves to the screen, embracing alienation? Lack of passion, or better said, lack of necessity to be productive. States of energy and creativity compensated with states of depression, fear and anxiety. Overwhelming feeling of being less worthy, intensified need to feel special, every single day. Constant need to be entertained while losing the ability to focus. Can we be bored again?”

For some drums, dance and song, book to see Abatimbo. As Maison Mere Arts describe themselves: ” On the stage, we have at least 10 drums and small strong sticks to beat them. Some of us will be singing and dancing culturally, whereas the rest will be beating drums.”

With its intimate theatre bar cellar space, Latest Music Bar is well worth a visit or two during the Fringe.