The Brighton Fringe 2014
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti
Dateline: 13th April, 2014
Theatre at Brighton Fringe (part 1)
The Brighton Fringe is England's biggest arts festival providing entertainment for all ages and across diverse art forms over a month in May.
Alongside theatre performances, some commemorating World War I, there is a wide variety of live spoken word, physical theatre, contemporary dance, music and comedy events.
These, together with other arts, make up over seven hundred events at some 186 venues and locations that include The Old Market's toilet (Flush) and a Victorian–style bathing machine situated on New Road for one–on–one relay play Host.
This year's Fringe will see the inaugural street party of The Marlborough Theatre which is hosting thirty events, the introduction of the Family Guide covering the child–friendly programme and the Arts Council–supported initiative WINDOW a showcase programme created to develop and encourage artists with new work.
In 2013 Brighton Fringe ran for four weeks, including half term, for the first time and saw an estimated 270,000 attendees.
Amongst the theatre performances at the 2014 Fringe are:
- The world première of musical drama King & Country takes a look at what was it like for the men who left Sussex to fight in World War I, for those who came back, and for the families of those who did not.
King & Country is a semi-staged production. Based on The Conquering Hero, a play by Allan Monkhouse, and featuring World War I poems by Edward Thomas and Roland Leighton, it has a book and lyrics by Jane Bramwell and music by Michael Brand.
- Storm In A Teacup is inspired by Chekhov’s Three Sisters and presented in Brighton by Hot Coals Theatre Ensemble after a run at London's Park Theatre.
The sisters are now in their 80s in this darkly comic and cartoon-like piece when words have lost their place, physical comedy, walking sticks and false teeth come to life.
- Anatomically incorrect rock odyssey Hedwig And The Angry Inch is an Obie-winning off-Broadway hit by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask.
In telling the life-affirming story of how East German rock ‘n' roll goddess and victim of a botched sex-change operation, Hedwig Schmidt, got to where she is today, Hedwig is backed by hard-rocking band The Angry Inch. For further information visit the New Venture Theatre web site.
- Tea At Five is an award-winning one woman show about Hollywood star Katharine Hepburn which has enjoyed huge success at the Stratford-Upon-Avon Fringe 2012, Birmingham Fest 2013 and the Edinburgh Fringe. The play is adapted from Katharine Hepburn's memoirs, Me: Stories of My Life, by American playwright Matthew Lombardo.
For further information visit the venue web site.
- All-female theatre company Six Lips Theatre presents House Of Tragic She, a blend of physical theatre and contemporary dance.
In this ensemble piece, they explore loneliness and emotional wellbeing using literature’s re-interpretations of madness and the voices of mental health service users with experimental electronic music backdrops and projection.
- The Opinion Makers is a new comedy musical from award–winning writing team Brian Mitchell and Joseph Nixon. It is set in swinging 60s London when world-famous cure-all 'Dr Campbell's Lotion' gets a re-brand, and all hell breaks loose.
For further information visit The Foundry Group web site.
- Not About Heroes is a moving play about the relationship that developed between aspiring poet Wilfred Owen and established poet Siegfried Sassoon when they met at Craiglockhart War Hospital for Nervous Disorders in 1917, using a mixture of action, poetry and prose.
The production of this play by Stephen MacDonald is a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the Great War in August 1914. For further information visit the New Venture web site.
- Comedy-drama Way Back joins the fun at Brighton Fringe following a run at The Pleasance Islington. Set on notorious suicide spot Beachy Head, it sensitively explores the taboo themes of suicide, existential crises and disabled toilets.
- Piaf: Love Conquers All is a montage of Piaf’s life, from the first time she fell in love aged 15 to her untimely death at 47. It is written by Roger Peace with the text interlaced with some of her greatest songs, amongst them "Je Ne Regrette Rein", "La Vie En Rose" and "Milord". Laurene Hope plays the singer in this one woman show.
For further information visit the company web site.