Every week throughout May we’ll be posting reviews of gigs, shows and events from Brighton Fringe Festival. Here’s some reviews from week one.
Hove Lawns, Saturday 4th May 2013
Stretched along Hove Lawns with live music all day, Foodies certainly had a true festival feel. Sadly, the curse of Glastonbury weather was also present. During the brief bursts of sunshine, attendees supped ciders and wine on haystacks and gorged their gourmet lunches on deck chairs. However, an unfortunate amount of time was spent searching for shelter, but at least some comfort was in found the tasters of free food and drink. Thankfully, the various demonstration areas, which included a children’s cookery theatre, were all under cover. If you go next year, make sure you’re well prepared. Bring an umbrella, some sun cream and money because there’s a huge variety of international and local tasty treats ranging from artisan breads to speciality cheeses, alongside several bars serving cocktails and champagne, that will tempt you into parting with your cash. (AJM)
Marlborough Theatre, Sunday 5th May 2013
Told through the parallel monologues of schoolgirl Kirsty (Nicola Coughlan) and 20-something layabout Joe (Josh Mayes-Cooper), Chapel Street offers a snapshot of disaffected youth. It’s a typically chaotic Friday night and both seek escape with a dangerous mix of shots, beers, vodka, Jack Daniels and energy drinks despite longing to find something better. It’s an upsetting reminder of Britain’s binge-drinking epidemic but it’s delivered with enough humour to offset the tragic undertone. Despite its subject matter, Chapel Street firmly remains a comedy – a very good one, too – rather than a tiresome moralistic lecture. This isn’t a celebration of hedonism, but it’s not a condemnation either. Instead, it’s an interesting insight into the crossed paths of two wanderers. With its cocktail of wit and poignancy, Luke Barnes’ debut play may well be one of this year’s most memorable dramas showcased at the Fringe. (AJM)
Why Don’t We Kill Ourselves?
Caroline Of Brunswick, Sunday 5th May 2013
Patrick Lappin’s work in progress show is an hilarious insight into his depressing life. Okay, that doesn’t sound like the kind of thing you go to a comedy show to laugh at, but Patrick executes it in a way that brings out the funnier side to life events such as a harsh breakup, the loss of a relative, being an Aston Villa fan and running away from a wedding crying whilst shouting about women staying at home to wash their tits. The bits that he warns us aren’t supposed to be funny genuinely aren’t, but a couple of great callbacks, musical interludes from artists that killed themselves, the greatest/worst hype-man in the world and some relatively heavy drinking put the smiles back on everybody’s faces. Pretty rough in parts, much like Aston Villa’s season, but definitely a show to keep an eye out for if you’re heading to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. (CB)
Sarah Angliss: Horlicks And Armageddon
Old Police Cells Museum, Tuesday 7th May 2013
Deep underground, in the dank cellars of the Town Hall, musician, historian and robot-builder Sarah Angliss (pictured) is reawakening our Cold War fears. Often found at the Fringe with her group Spacedog, Angliss’ show for this year is an autobiographical study of growing up under the threat of the bomb. Swooping compositions for theremin, musical saw and the multiple-belled carillon are interspersed with tales from Angliss’ early life and her own research into nuclear survivalists and electronic sound. The evening is continually surprising, tying together Radiophonic music, military tragedies and girls’ horror comic Misty with the help of friends both human and robotic and, to the consternation of some in the front row, actual radioactive material. It’s a loose first night as Angliss and actor Colin Uttley struggle to manoeuvre around the confined space, but the haunting music, thought-provoking narrative and warm doses of humour make for an enthralling show. (SH)
Words by Amy Jo McLellan, Chris Biggs and Stuart Huggett
Photo by Gaynor Perry