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Brighton Fringe Reviews

And that's a wrap!

The Brighton Fringe, England's largest mixed-arts festival, is over for another year.  Here at FringeGuru, our reviewers covered almost 100 shows from the 2012 programme, unearthing plenty of gems in their personal journeys through the Fringe.  On this page, you'll find our most recent write-ups, in publication order.

Looking for a specific show?  Find it in our Reviews A-Z  >>



 
Walk Like A Black Man
Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012
4

4 stars

Laughing Horse @ The Temple (venue website)
Comedy
14-17 May, 5:45pm-6:45pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Suitable for age 18+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

This one-man play is a smart show about race and racial identity. Actor and writer Rafiq Richard has created a moving, funny monologue about a young mixed race man, the child of a Caribbean father and an Indian mother (although actually, he says he dislikes the term ‘mixed race’, as it’s too vague and could mean anything).

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Midnight at The Boar's Head
Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012
5

5 stars

The Hurly Burly (venue website)
Theatre
20 May, 6:30pm-7:40pm, 9:00pm-11:00pm; 22 May, 9:30pm-10:40pm
Reviewed by Naomi Dixon

 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.

Let me take you back in time to Shakespeare’s favourite pub, The Boar’s Head. Dark, gritty and full of colourful locals, you’ll be entertained, moved and amused.  The Fine Chisel production company have sieved through the entire works of Shakespeare, done a bit of jiggery-pokery… and come out with a masterpiece.

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Irons/Dogging
Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012
4

4 stars

The Old Courtroom (venue website)
Theatre
17-19 May, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Reviewed by Naomi Dixon

 Suitable for age 15+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

The prospect of reviewing a show featuring football was, quite frankly, a little intimidating. I know nothing about the sport, and wondered if I would be able to give the play the analysis it deserves. However, Irons and Dogging are a little different. Both plays in this double bill are by Local Girl Productions, and look at the way sport can bring people together and also tear them apart.

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Women of an Uncertain Age
Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012
2

2 stars

The Old Courtroom (venue website)
Comedy
19 May, 3:00pm-3:50pm; 20 May, 7:00pm-7:50pm; 26 May, 5:00pm-5:50pm
Reviewed by Catherine Meek

 Suitable for age 15+ only.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

Let’s face it, promising “something truly alternative” is setting yourself up to fail; this is the Brighton Fringe, after all. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only questionable claim made by Flip Webster and Maggie Bourgein, who also bill themselves as doing away with the stereotype of women over 50. No – they laboured the stereotype from start to finish, as though all women of a certain age are just saddos, dressing too young, even tarty, and lusting after boys they might be grandmothers to.

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Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012
2

2 stars

Iambic Arts Theatre (venue website)
Theatre
22 May, 7:00pm-8:00pm; 23 May, 3:00pm-4:00pm; 24 May, 3:00pm-4:00pm, 7:00pm-8:00pm
Reviewed by Darren Taffinder

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.
 Warning: Contains flashing lights.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a puppet show based on the 1958 B movie – a movie I remember seeing on Channel 4, during a school trip as a late teen. It’s a campy, low-budget story about Nancy, a downtrodden heiress, who gets abducted by aliens while driving through the Californian desert late one night. As a result of her close encounter, she grows in size, and stomps off to seek revenge on her Don Draper-like husband and his mistress. I’m sure there’s a subtext about male fears of female empowerment in there somewhere… but I just really enjoyed the idea of a giant woman wrecking havoc on a small town.

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Twelfth Night or What You Will
Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
4

4 stars

St Ann's Well Gardens
Theatre
10-13, 16-18, 20, 23-27 May, 7:00pm-9:30pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

Twelfth Night!  Surely one of Shakespeare’s more improbable storylines, with its tale of shipwreck and gender confusion in faraway Illyria.  But Peta Taylor’s well-conceived adaptation moves the action closer to home – setting the tale in a no-less-mythical, misty-eyed version of Scotland.  It’s a world filled with tartan, tweeds and Whisky Galore; I was in love with the idea from the moment the minstrel struck up Loch Lomond, and the relocation proved every bit as inspired as I hoped it would be.

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More Lives Than One - Oscar Wilde
Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
4

4 stars

St Margaret's Church (venue website)
Theatre
17-20, 24-26 May, 8:30pm-9:40pm
Reviewed by Alice Ash

 Suitable for age 15+ only.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

In a truly memorable performance by Leslie Clack, this one-man show triumphs with an exciting and energised look at the life and work of the infamous Oscar Wilde. I’ll admit that, arriving at St. Margaret’s Church, I was concerned by the small audience, the sparse set, and the single actor, who it was immediately obvious would be our only company for the night. Perhaps my rash cynicism was a product of my generation, used to being surrounded by flashing lights and women in sequined bikinis. But within minutes my viewpoint changed; instead of being disappointed by the lack of furore surrounding the show, I became excited about what the clearly-visionary Dear Conjunction Theatre Company could make of what they had to play with.

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Balloon
Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
3

3 stars

Laughing Horse @ The Temple (venue website)
Theatre
21-27 May, 5:45pm-6:45pm
Reviewed by Catherine Meek

 Suitable for age 18+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

Twiglets, cheese on sticks, vol au vents and cup-cakes – the table is set for Clive’s party guests, but they’re late. We know they’re late ‘cos he’s pacing up and down looking at his watch, and anxiously rearranging paper plates to hide his idle scoffing of cheesy puffs. There’s no mistaking the occasion: he sports an oversized badge screaming It’s My Birthday, tastelessly clashing with his loud floral shirt.

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Age of the Geek
Published on Sunday, 20 May 2012
3

3 stars

Upstairs at Three and Ten (venue website)
Comedy
18-20 May, 3:00pm-3:50pm
Reviewed by Darren Taffinder

 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

I don’t think of myself as a geek, but I do have geek tendencies. I go to a monthly comic book reading group, I own all four series of Blake’s 7 and I can name all eleven Doctors in order (including Paul McGann). When I was at school, these were things I kept rather quiet about. Now, though, being a geek is nothing to ashamed of – in fact, just look at Mark Zuckerberg – geek is in.

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Down Came The Rain
Published on Sunday, 20 May 2012
2

2 stars

Iambic Arts Theatre (venue website)
Theatre
16 May, 8:30pm-9:30pm; 17 May, 9:00pm-10:00pm; 18-19 May, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Reviewed by Naomi Dixon

 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

Down Came The Rain is a one act play brought to the Brighton Fringe by the Raven Theatre Company. Set in 1968 in a garden shed in Somerset, the play deals with the topics of friendship, trust, and love.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.