Brighton Fringe 2023 – Opening Weekend

Brighton Fringe 2023

Bringing hundreds of shows to stages big and small across the city, Brighton Fringe kicked off proceedings for 2023 at the weekend with a huge splash of talent from the world of theatre, comedy and performance. With multiple events daily throughout the month, there truly is something for everyone. Here are our early discoveries from this year’s Fringe, with more to come once we dip out briefly for The Great Escape.

The ever popular Spiegeltent is back, always a big draw for the crowds. On Friday night, we caught some famous characters as you’ve never seen them before in Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody – a whistle-stop tour of your favourite fairy tales with no pun unturned brought to you by The Hairy Godmothers. Over at the Bosco stage for Big Quiffy Bingo, Boogaloo Stu and sidekick Bertie Balls took bingo to a new level incorporating, as should be the case at every local Mecca hall, the occasional flash mob dance routine.

Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody

Big Quiffy Bingo

With plenty to choose from on Sunday night, we started off at the newest mini village of Caravanserai. A throwback to Camp Bestival, the space is cleverly structured from repurposed caravans and forgotten fairgrounds. A fittingly dystopian setting for the off the wall and slightly surreal comedy of Police Cops in Space, the trio of Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe making slapstick look easy, their talent as undeniable as the belly laughs from the audience. Then on to The Actors to see Drag Queens vs Vampires, shown to our seats by flight attendants, Eurovision contestants and well, drag queens and vampires Crudi Dench and Kate Butch, collectively Haus of Dench. As the mysterious Count threatens to ruin their attempt at Eurovision glory, some impressive audience involvement and a leaky lasagne save the day. All the fun of the Fringe, and the perfect escapism to leave the night on a high.

Police Cops in Space

Drag Queens vs Vampires

Check out the Brighton Fringe website for details of all remaining shows here.

Words and photos by Siobhan

10th May 2023