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Our Editors' Choice Awards for the Brighton Fringe 2012

FMN awardThe last few acts of the Brighton Fringe have played themselves out, and all eyes are starting to look to Edinburgh.  But before we head north, we've some important business to complete... as we reveal our Editors' Choice awards for Brighton 2012.  It's a pleasure and an honour to be able to recognize those shows that left the strongest impression on our reviewing team.

These awards are different.  They don't automatically go to the most technically-accomplished of this year's shows - that's what our five-star ratings are for.  Instead, we've picked out those acts which delivered something more: something heart-warming, something quirky, something filled with promise... or just, indefinably, something Fringe.  So without further ado, here - in no particular order - are our Magnificent Seven from the Brighton Fringe 2012.


I Have Never Cared For Sunsets

It was staged on a table in the storeroom of a pub - with a ragtag collection of puppets, one musician and a talking tennis ball.  But somehow, I Have Never Cared For Sunsets embodied all that's wonderful about the Fringe: an eccentric plot, whimsical humour, and a smattering of philosophy, too.  The joke-filled printed programme, with biographies of the puppets instead of the human cast, summed up the appeal of this endearingly modest show.  Full review >>


Hanover: The Musical!

An affectionate parody of Brighton's "alternative" way of life, Hanover The Musical proved that locally-rooted theatre doesn't have to be second-rate.  With tightly-scripted, finely-sung numbers putting new words to familiar songs, it captured life on Museli Mountain with laugh-a-minute satirical finesse.  Even the real-life pub landlord played his part, in a show that reminded us all that the Fringe has its heart in the community.  Full review >>


Puppet Paramour

You can't have missed the bathing machines which trundled round the Fringe this year, and our favourite from the line-up was Puppet Paramour.  It's a simple, delightful idea: to spend a few minutes thinking about your loved one, and emerge with a quirky keepsake that reflects what they mean to you.  For a moment of quiet beauty in the madness of the Fringe, local artist Boogaloo Stu wins our next award.  Full review >>


Ragnarok: The Weird Of The Gods

It's the end of the world... but not as we know it.  Local man John Hinton put a double twist on the Apocalypse in this daring new show, first by tackling the complexities of Norse mythology and then by setting the whole thing to music.  It's an imaginative act, delivered with immense energy and aided by a whole load of hats.  Witty, engaging and occasionally surreal, the end of days has never seemed so entertaining.  Full review >>


In My Shoes

In a Fringe full of reflections on the subject of mental illness, In My Shoes stood out.  Recorded in the style of a radio play, and heard through headphones on a walking tour of seaside Brighton, it subtly used its outdoor venue to help its audience settle into its protagonists' minds.  It wins our award for its superb production values and, most of all, for making a difficult topic just that little bit easier to understand.  Full review >>


Gerry Howell's Parrot Fashion Accessories

Shambling and chatty, stand-up comedian Gerry Howell impressed us with his smart and self-deprecating set.  His stories were silly, sometimes touching, and consistently very funny; his material's highly distinctive, though it's strikingly underplayed.  If you caught him this Fringe, you're in an exclusive club - but we're sure you'll hear a lot more of him in years to come.  Full review >>


Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Built around the real-life experiences of its young performers, Rolling On The Floor Laughing combined impressive modern circus tricks with mesmerising animated video.  Filled with both sadness and joy, its series of well-designed vignettes proved constantly surprising, and effortlessly fresh and new.  For giving its young stars the best possible showcase for their talent, The Circus Project earn our final award.  Full review >>

Congratulations to all our award winners.

FMN awardFringeGuru is proud to be part of the Festival Media Network, a trade association dedicated to building and improving standards for independent media at the Fringe.  Our Editors' Choice award winners are entitled to use the FMN Award logo.