If you’re looking for some quirky entertainment to liven up the next month, then Brighton Fringe might just have what you’re looking for. And you don’t even need to head to the city to enjoy the fringe, as this year there’ll be a mix of live and digital shows.
This year, there’ll be an international line-up from more than 25 countries. Which is a feat in itself with border restrictions and quarantine! Brighton Fringe has worked its socks off to bring us a bunch of weird, wild and wonderful shows from around the world.
Brighton Fringe opens this week with more than 500 events, both live and online, so you’re bound to find something that will intrigue you, make you laugh or brighten up your day. So, what can you see at this year’s festival fringe?
Digital shows at Brighton Fringe
Appearing digitally, will be a programme of work by South African artists from the National Arts Festival. The multi-award-winning Women Hold Up the Sky by WoMin African Alliance tells the story of the women activists affected by mining in South Africa, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It looks at how they are engaged in an active struggle to take back control of their land, their bodies and their lives.
MNQUMA by Xolisile Bongwana is about one man’s quest to reconnect to his roots and reclaim the legacy of his ancestors. Whilst Theatresmiths’ The King of Broken Things is a journey through creativity, imagination, and determination. It’s the story of a young boy who finds that rehabilitation can include mending broken hearts. And Beast in Him from Masifunde’s Academy of Creativity is a cry for those who have lost their lives to the hands of their so-called loved ones.
Also part of this programme is Hymns Of A Sparrow from MagentaPro. It’s a story of hurt and healing. There’s also Ovcorp’s rich jazz compilation Jazz in the Theatre, featuring Muneeb Hermans. Plus, there’s Is’Thatha Dance Project’s Domination. It’s an expression of how the lives of non-whites have been affected over the last few centuries and the hope that soon the promised ‘rainbow nation’ will be achieved.
For something a little different, there’s Kinsmen’s Nowhere People. It’s a poetic collection of narratives developed through experimentation with improvised musical expression. And Lord of Life by In Tandem is a loving elegy to the rhino which combines poetry, art and performance. Finally, there’s a funny and delightful modern fairytale from Mixed Media. The Tower & The Tree follows a rude bell tower who wants to change but just doesn’t know how.
Shows to catch in Brighton
For those of you who are planning to travel to Brighton Fringe, there’s plenty more to discover. Australia’s Guru Dudu Productions have adapted their Silent Disco Walking Tours to be Covid-safe, with new group sizes and tour routes (Hurrah!). There are few better ways to find fun after a year inside. So, why not join this flash mob as it dances through the streets to hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s?
Bringing her trilogy of comedy shows, Michelle Christine will be on-hand to discuss taking risks, embracing change and turning bumps in the road into stories of joy.
And there’s a chance to enjoy performances from our European neighbours too. From landlocked Switzerland to Brighton’s beautiful seaside, Elsa Couvreur’s dystopian battle between a woman and an answering machine in The Sensemaker questions the effects of new technologies, as well as our laborious bureaucratic systems. An eclectic mix of the world’s finest cabaret and cirque artistes, with performers from Italy, Poland and Germany, The Night is an immersive spectacle of physicality, comedy live music and the outright bizarre.
From further afield will be The Lady Boys of Bangkok’s most sassy and outrageous show yet, Flight of Fantasy. Climb aboard for the holiday of a lifetime with this non-stop world tour as the Lady Boys take you soaring to spectacular diamante-dipped song and dance destinations. Brighton Fringe favourite Circus Abyssinia, will be back with their breath-taking new show. Tulu tells the story of distance runner and Ethiopian legend, Derartu Tulu. It charts her rise from the humblest beginnings to become the first African woman to win Olympic gold.
Wait! There’s more…
This is just some of this year’s Brighton Fringe events. There’s an array of much-loved returning acts alongside exciting newcomers with an eclectic mix of comedy, theatre, circus, exhibitions, magic, dance and children’s shows. The fringe is aiming to bring culture back to the city, alongside Brighton Festival and the Artist Open Houses event.
Got festival fever? Check out these other fab festivals!
When: Friday 28th May – Sunday 27th June 2021, with some venues running extended programmes until Sunday 11th July 2021
Where: Across Brighton and online
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Lots of events are free
More info: www.brightonfringe.org