Brian Butler takes a dive into the unique cocktail of live entertainment that is Brighton Fringe

Brian Butler March 2, 2020

Brian Butler takes a dive into the unique cocktail of live entertainment that is Brighton Fringe  

With over 1000 events to choose from, the biggest arts festival in England is set to take over Brighton for the month of May, running alongside the Brighton Festival.

Julian Candy , CEO of the Fringe company says: “  One third of the programme is by local artists , but it also features work from all over the Uk and the world – with 155 international events from 32 countries . In these changing and divided times the arts offer a space to both express and immerse ourselves- to entertain, challenge, unite and above all inspire “

Cabaret and variety highlights include :

Brighton Big Drag Pageant with its infamous judges and guest performers

The fireball that is David Hoyle with his all-singing , all-raging show

Les Explorateurs in a  French cabaret burlesque

Gays in Space versus The Big Black Hole – a science fiction queer revelation

The History Bois – adventures drag king time

Drag chanteuse Miss Hope Springs

And of course the world-renowned Lady Boys of Bangkok in Flight of Fantasy

Circus and dance shows include :

Continental Circus Berlin

The Brighton Lindyhoppers

Circus Abyssinia

30+ by Labelled? Dance Theatre – with a central theme of changing our  perception of autism – part of the Fringe’s Freedom Season

Comedy shows feature among others

Arthur Smith, Ben Pope, Christopher Bliss, Elly Shaw and Eddy Hare

Film offerings include 3 nights of short films from the Iris LGBT+ Film Festival , and from around the world the Nomad Short Films Festival. And a discussion event will consider the state of the arts in Brighton and Hove, chaired by Fringe reviewer Paul Levy.

Exhibitions include:

The Art of Migration

The Annual Brighton Spring Show from Katty McMurray and Kathryn Matthews

I Am  More Than 2020 – exploring women and homelessness

And the Art Yard Sale giving an opportunity to by from local artists

Music shows feature the works of among others Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, Paul Simon, the Nashville scene, Suspiciously Elvis, and Sing-Along-a-Musical.

There is just so much theatre on offer it’s difficult to know how to select from its ranks but my tips include :

Bella Ella  – featuring Nicky Mitchell as Miss Fitzgerald

Blowhole – a gay man aspires to be  Billie Piper

The Canary and The Crow – grime and Hip Hop inspired gig theatre  – a previous winner of the Fringe Award for Excellence

From Judy to Bette – the stars of Old Hollywood by triple award winner Rebecca Perry

Man In The Blue Box – all things Doctor Who-like

Marilyn The Star – solo mystery drama about the ill-fated film star

Make Up – a drag artist faces they truth behind his persona Lady Christina

Pip Uttton: Playing Maggie . A live audience with the Iron Lady

The Tragedy of Dorian Gray – Wilde’s classic Gothic tale moved to the 1960s

But take a chance and dive into the packed programme –you’re almost certain to be surprised and challenged.

Tickets on sale now, more info on the Fringe Website