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

Brighton Fringe – Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why at Ironworks Studio, Brighton, 21st May 2022

Almost exactly a year ago I went along to see one of the Fringe shows I was booked to photograph, an extravaganza of costume and song called Tell Me Why. Taking a journey through queer culture over the years, I was struck by how much effort had been poured into making the show happen, despite Covid restrictions and lack of funding, a true labour of love.

So twelve months on, lottery funding approved, a new venue and a new set secured, how would things look this year? It proved such a pleasure to be back to see on one hand the difference, and on the other the same vein of commitment to the cause running strongly through the whole show.

Brought to life by Mr Venus and the NoAgEnDeR collective, the outfits were fantastic, the soundtrack filled with original music coupled with tunes still so evocative of various eras and memories – McLaren’s Madame Butterfly and Shelley’s Homosapien amongst the mix. And contemplate for a second if you will the jeopardy of partnering six inch heels with a revolving stage; if that doesn’t impress you nothing will. Thankfully no ankles were harmed in the making of the show, kudos to all involved.

Throughout all the stunning visuals though, a reminder that over the years and even now, communities are and have been marginalised purely because of their beliefs, their sexuality, the colour of their skin. A message of solidarity and support, a shout out that this isn’t and never was OK and that there is a place in society for everyone, however they present.

Tell Me Why is a celebration of diversity; its success a testament to all the hard work that’s gone into making it happen and all those who believed in it. A makeover to be proud of.

Words and photos by Siobhan

25th May 2022

 

Brighton Fringe – Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun

Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun at Spiegeltent, Brighton, 6th May 2022

This year’s Brighton Fringe is well and truly off the mark, with an influx of performers descending on the city and a huge array of shows to see over the coming month. Theatre, comedy, performance – whatever makes you happy, you’ll find some of it here. And what better way to kick things off than with Fringe stalwart Alfie Ordinary at Spiegeltent. Alfie Ordinary’s House of Fun absolutely lived up to its name on Friday night, bringing ‘some of Brighton’s most beloved drag performers, Spiegel favourites and special guest clowns’ to the stage, just what the glitter doctor ordered and an opportunity to shake away the restrictions of the last couple of years; photo gallery below.

Alfie is back at Spiegeltent on 4th June with Now That’s What I Call Bingo.

Alfie Ordinary | Brighton Fringe

Words and photos by Siobhan

9th May 2022