When: 5th May – 4th June 2017
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
What is it?
This year’s Brighton Fringe will feature 1000 events including more than 300 world premieres, 100 international shows and a weekday Fringe City.
This year’s theatre programme will include the premiere of Blooming, Patrick Sandford’s take on experiences of happiness, following his hit show Groomed, which won three Brighton Fringe theatre awards in 2016. Comedy writer John Osborne (creator of John Peel’s Shed and Sky 1’s After Hours) returns with Circled in the Radio Times, and We Are Ian, a homage to acid house, makes its Brighton debut.
Trygve Wakenshaw returns with the Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated show Nautilus and will also be narrating brand new show Odjo: King of the Ocean. The UK premiere of Rob van Vuuren’s horror-comedy Dangled, which won the Cape Town Fringe Festival’s Audience Choice Award, will also be staged.
Scott Gibson, winner of the 2016 Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, performs Life After Death, a darkly hysterical account of living through a brain haemorrhage. Owen Roberts, one-third of Beasts, premieres new show The Man Who Ate Too Many Raisins. Up-and-coming comedians Samantha Baines, Tez Ilyas, Sophie Willan and Zach Zucker will also perform.
This year’s WINDOW programme, ten exciting new shows selected by industry experts, includes Focus Group*, inspired by cult US writer David Foster Wallace. Also in WINDOW is Shell Shock, featuring up-and-coming Sussex actor Tom Page; adapted from a novel by Iraq veteran Neil Watkin, and supported by the Sussex Armed Forces Network and Help For Heroes.
The dance programme features Trade Winds, an evocative performance that mixes animation, dance and water; which comes to major new Brighton Fringe venue Shiny Town at the Royal Pavilion Gardens. The Dance Trail, a collection of new works by local artists exploring borders, barriers and belonging, will be staged along the boundary between Brighton and Hove during opening weekend.
Performance-artist David Hoyle heads up the cabaret and circus programme, which also includes offerings from one of the UK’s longest running cabaret companies Cirque du Cabaret, bringing its trademark circus and burlesque to Brighton for the first time. ARCO, an acrobatic display suspended beneath a 12 metre-high illuminated arch, also comes to Shiny Town.
Brighton Fringe’s diverse music programme will include legendary punk band UK Subs, US Soul singer Avery*Sunshine, and Carla Lippis, who makes her Brighton debut.
The visual arts programme includes Hidden Voices, an exhibition and screening of digital stories by children and young people with family members in prison. Tim Andrews will bring his photography exhibition Over The Hill in his Brighton Fringe debut. Andrews turned himself into an art project after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005, and has since been photographed by over 400 photographers.
Spoken word offerings will include The Angel and The Fiend, a dramatised reading set to projected images about the life of muse, model, surrealist photographer and WWII war correspondent Lee Miller, who lived at Farley Farm in East Sussex.
Events and film events include Project Knockdown, a series of live acts, music videos and short films by Access to Music students, which will act as the Brighton music college’s swansong following announcement of its closure.
A special Dutch season will see a series of acclaimed shows from the Netherlands come to Brighton Fringe, funded by the Dutch Embassy and the Dutch Performing Arts Fund. Giving British audiences the opportunity to experience some of the most exciting and challenging work to come out of the Netherlands over recent years.
Shows will include Macho Macho, winner of the Dioraphte Best of Amsterdam Fringe Award 2016, by artist Igor Vrebac, which draws inspiration from Instagram-workout-selfies, Turkish wrestling and the idea of bromance to examine the idea of male objectification. Also appearing is I Will Carry You Over Hard Times, the ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ Award-winner at Amsterdam Fringe 2016, a mesmerising piece of musical choreography featuring a master musician performing on instruments made of thin air.
Experimental performance group 7090, bring five shows to the Brighton Spiegeltent, including Jellyfish Trap: Satie in 3D, a cavalcade of characters and explosions in an absurd 3D ceremony, and Daddy Day: Bret Hana, a family slideshow with a bloodcurdling ending.
Sexiety, a crossover between theatre and journalism by the Gehring en Ketelaars company, will use a series of monologues, mini-lectures and short dramatic scenes to examine the thorny issue of sex.
155 venues will be hosting events, with people’s living rooms, beach huts, cafes, parks and pubs all being transformed into performance spaces. The ever-popular Brighton Spiegeltent returns to the Old Steine, as does The Warren to the grounds of St Peter’s Church.
Creative showcase Fringe City will see the North Laine come alive every weekend during May. This includes two Brighton Fringe Family Picnics, part of the fringe’s kids and youth programme, which has more than 100 shows this year.
For the first time Fringe City will also take place on Thursdays and Fridays (from 11th May), at Bartholomew Square in association with Sweet Venues, and there will be an evening Fringe City (2nd June) on New Road as part of The Fringe’s Final Fling. Also new for 2017 is the Fringe City Charity Day, which will host the finish of the Mayor’s Brighton-to-Paris charity cycle ride, plus community stalls and live fringe performances.
More info: www.brightonfringe.org