Brighton Fringe

SPOTLIGHT ON: Brighton Fringe: from Dutch drag to Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus

Brian Butler April 20, 2023

This year’s Brighton Fringe can boast nearly 800 shows, many with multiple performances at pop-up venues all over the city. It’s the final Fringe for Chief Executive Julian Caddy, who’s done so much to foster the arts in Brighton. For my first taster, I’ve selected seven that tickled my palate.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus presents After Dark at St George’s in Kemptown on 5 May and 6 May. It’s another outing for this great choral group, but as you’ve never seen them before – darker, edgier and sexier – but still fabulous. Expect burlesque and a bit of Cher.

5 FINGER$, at Caravanserai on 7 May and from 9-12 May, is a solo show about French author Jean Genet, while he was locked in prison in 1943 facing a life sentence. During this time he wrote Notre Dame des Fleurs, considerered to be the first appearance of a queen in literature – the fabulous non-gender conforming type. It’s an important look at queer counter-culture and performed by Matthew Dunlop.

Drag Therapy Lipsync Theatre: How 2 Prepare 4 Love

Indie Nile is a drag artist from Amsterdam whose Drag Therapy Lipsync Theatre: How 2 Prepare 4 Love is at Caravanserai from 26-29 May. He plays both therapist and patient in a show designed to heal love wounds, while jamming to iconic ’80s and ’90s ballads.

Joe Leather

Joe Leather is a queer writer/performer who’s bringing his new show Wasteman to Brighton’s Actors Theatre (formerly The Marlborough) on 25 May and 6 May. It’s the story of a bin man who dreams of being a drag queen, based on Joe’s time working as a refuse loader during lockdown. Expect songs, gowns and plenty of heart.

Offies Award winner for Best Musical, 2023, La Maupin is a folk musical about the queer 17th Century opera singer and swordswoman, Julie d’Aubigny. It has original music and lyrics by Olivia Thompson and is performed by an ensemble of actor/musicians, with Julie being played by Frida Rodbroe. It plays at the Actors Theatre on 12 May and 14 May.

Homophobia on the Orient Express, at the Actors Theatre on 11 May and 12 May, is a murder mystery about how suppression can lead to death. Caroline and Edward are bound for Istanbul. They bond over their love of Agatha Christie, but their journey is also one of self-revelation, challenges and the uncovering of secrets.

Fabulett 1933

Fabulett 1933, performed by Michael Trauffer at the Actors Theatre from 18-21 May, takes place in in Berlin in 1933. The new leadership of Germany has ordered the closure of all venues promoting homosexuality. But Felix, emcee of the depraved Fabulett club, still has a story to tell.

Look out for my next preview or CLICK HERE for the full Brighton Fringe programme.