The annual opening of The Warren, now in its 14th year, feels like the symbolic curtain-up of Brighton Fringe. A hideaway and a haven, it’s moved to Victoria Gardens for Brighton Fringe 2019, providing more space for its creative planners to play with. As a focal point for varied, unpredictable theatre across more than a month, its programme offers thousands of visitors the opportunity to discover new, often boldly original and singular work, but the directors also plan the space as simply a place for people to enjoy gathering in, with plenty of room for children to play and explore. Several bars and food stands, including a rooftop venue, make it an idyll on a sunny day and an atmospheric garden of delinquency at night. Here, Artistic Director Nicky Haydn gives SOURCE ten shows to sniff out in the space this Brighton Fringe 2019.
What Doesn’t Kill You [blah blah] Stronger – Cabaret & Musical Theatre
Sun 12th May, Wed 15th May, Sat 18th May, Mon 20th May – Tue 21st May 9.45pm (£12)
Witness true stories of extraordinary near-death experiences, packed into this award-winning cabaret as a love letter to misfortune. A bizarre and entertaining series of phenomena brought to you by Holland St Productions, all the way from Australia, who are unifying film and theatre. Winners of the Arch Angel Award 2015.
Garry Starr Conquers Troy – Comedy
Sat 18th May 8pm (£12)
Damien Warren-Smith is a theatre-maker and actor bringing you multi-award-winning idiot Garry Starr(tacus), who is on a mission to save the Trojan bloodline. Rediscover this Greek tale, insanely told like you’ve never heard it before. Winner of the Balkan/Otherplace Award 2018 for his show Garry Starr Performs Everything.
Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams – Circus
22nd – 28th May, 30th – 31st May, 1st – 2nd June (£12.50 – £16)
Circus Abyssinia is the first circus made by Ethiopian artists. Ethiopian Dreams was inspired by their journey, telling the story of two brothers with a shared dream of joining the circus. For the cast, “to perform is to be happy and free”, so you truly will be witnessing a performance bringing to life the hopes and dreams of the artists. As seen on the Royal Variety Performance 2017 and in Tim Burton’s recent live-action Dumbo film.
The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé – Theatre
Sat 4th May – Mon 6th May 8.30pm (£10)
Riddlestick Theatre are here to tickle your fancy in a voyage of hilarity, an exploration of women’s independence and a celebration of imagination and curiosity. Join Madame Fanny du Thé, who, unhappy with the expectations thrust on a young Georgian lady, has travelled, learnt much and is now back to share her new findings with you.
King Lear – Theatre
Fri 10th May 4.15pm (Preview £7)
Sat 11th May – Sun 12th May 6pm (£12)
After a hiatus of touring, award-winning independent production company Oddbodies are back with their new show, King Lear. Presented from the point of view of the fool, this is an inventive take on this classic play, delivered with the team’s trademark physical ingenuity and visual flair.
The Man Without a Past – Theatre
Wed 15th May – Fri 17th May 7.45pm (£12)
This is one man’s journey from anonymity to salvation. Adapted from the Cannes Grand Prix award-winning film, the lives of people in shipping containers are turned upside down when a man arrives with no memory of who he is. Get perspective and expect the unexpected from production company New Perspectives, who are here to provoke thought and excite your imagination.
Showmanship – Theatre
Sat 18th May – Sun 19th May 8pm, Wed 22nd May 6.15pm (£12)
Lucy Roslyn has many talents. Actor, writer and illustrator, she never fails to amaze. Her writing debut resulted in critically-acclaimed play The State vs John Hayes. She now stars in Showmanship, as a psychic in the 1930s who invents readings on the spot, delivering hope to her clients, hope she herself does not have.
A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) – Cabaret & Musical Theatre
Tue 7th May (Opening night £10)
Wed 8th May – Sat 11th May 8pm, Sun 12th May 4.15pm (£14)
In Silent Uproar’s own words, they are “telling stories to make the world less sh*t”. Their work is “theatre for geeks”, and they like big ideas. Join the glittery experience of their lively cabaret musical about depression, where they explain that it’s okay not to be okay. Written by Olivier award-winner Jon Brittain.
Timpson: The Musical – Musical Theatre
Sat 11th May – Sun 12th May 7.50pm (£12)
The origin story of shoemaker Timpson, involving the warring houses of Montashoe and Keypulet. This musical was such a success at Edinburgh Fringe 2018 that it is now showing at the King’s Head Theatre in London to rave reviews.
Witch-Hunt – Theatre
Tue 21st May – Thu 23rd May 8pm (£12)
Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards are breaking stereotypes. Their sell-out, award-winning show, Enter the Dragons, tackled the subject of female ageing and won them Best of Brighton Fringe 2017 and Best Show Edinburgh Fringe 2018, and they have also written scripts for film and TV. Now they bring you Witch-Hunt, where you will find out if witchcraft can take down the patriarchy.
Until Sunday June 2nd 2019. The Warren, Victoria Gardens, Brighton.
Visit The Warren online for the full programme. Brighton Fringe 2019 runs concurrently.