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The Brighton Fringe is here again!  Running throughout May, England's largest arts gathering is going from strength to strength, drawing together the city's already-vibrant cultural scene and cementing its position among the leading Festivals of the world.  Informal and manageable, all events are within easy striking distance of London - or if you're coming from further afield, Gatwick's a short train ride away.

The Brighton Fringe is four weeks long this year.  In a change from previous festivals, events run from 4 May right through to 2 June - taking in both May's bank holidays, as well as school half-term.



 
I Can Make You A Mentalist
Published on Monday, 29 April 2013
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The Warren (venue website)
Cabaret
24-25 May, 7:30pm-8:30pm

 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.
 Warning: Contains flashing lights.
 Suitable for age 16+ only.

Over the last couple of years, mind-reader Doug Segal has certainly planted himself in the Fringe’s collective consciousness, winning a slew of five-star reviews and thoroughly bamboozling sell-out audiences both here and up in Edinburgh. His style of mental magic invites comparison to Derren Brown, but his personality couldn’t be more different: expect chipper patter, friendly joshing, and a warming dose of happy-go-lucky charm. And also, for this brand-new show, expect something quite remarkable. Because if all goes to plan, Segal will spend the whole hour on stage without actually doing any mind-reading at all.

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Horlicks and Armageddon
Published on Wednesday, 24 April 2013
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Old Police Cells Museum (venue website)
Events
7-8, 13-15 May, 8:00pm-9:45pm

 Suitable for age 18+ only.

Nuclear Armageddon. It feels a quaint concept now; something people used to fuss about, a generation or two ago. But for more than three decades, the threat of fiery apocalypse was simply all too real – and this one-of-a-kind show promises a sideways look at those days of paranoia, in the appropriately bunker-like basement beneath Brighton Town Hall.

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The Maternal Instinct (by Monica Bauer)
Published on Tuesday, 23 April 2013
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The Dukebox Theatre (venue website)
Theatre
29-30 May, 8:00pm-9:30pm; 31 May, 1 Jun, 7:30pm-9:00pm

 Warning: Contains strong language.
 Suitable for age 18+ only.

We admit – we’re taking a chance today, and recommending a play we’ve never actually seen. In fact, it’s having its UK premiere here in Brighton. But there’s no disputing its pedigree: playwright Monica Bauer’s previous work earned our top rating in Edinburgh last year, while director Chris Hislop has consistently impressed us both in Brighton and in London. And with a topical jumping-off point leading into a genuinely intriguing plot, our hopes are high for another stand-out performance.

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Hanover the Musical
Published on Monday, 22 April 2013
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Sabai Pavilion (venue website)
Theatre
7-9, 15-16 May, 9:00pm-10:30pm

 Warning: Contains strong language and nudity.
 Warning: Contains flashing lights.
 Suitable for age 16+ only.

Some shows at the Brighton Fringe have travelled across oceans; this one has simply rolled down the hill. An irreverent satire based on Brighton’s “Muesli Mountain”, it scored a hit with our reviewer Darren Taffinder last year – who enjoyed both the creative local riff on Passport to Pimlico, and the well-crafted, laugh-out-loud send-ups of a host of well-known songs.

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The Big Bite-Size Breakfast
Published on Thursday, 18 April 2013
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Theatre Royal Brighton (venue website)
Theatre
4, 28-29 May, 10:15am-11:15am; 5, 12, 19, 26 May, 11:00am-12:00pm; 9-11, 16-18, 23-25 May, 10:15am-11:15am, 11:30am-12:30pm; 30-31 May, 1 Jun, 10:15am-11:15am, 11:30am-1:00pm

 Warning: Contains strong language.
 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.

Small is beautiful, the maxim insists… and on the evidence of The Big Bite-Size Breakfast, we’d surely have to agree.  It’s a Fringe institution – boasting five-star acclaim and an Argus Angel award – and it’s back this year in a prestigious new venue.  What’s more, its civilized late-breakfast slot fits nicely into the packed Fringe timetable, with a snappy format that makes a good warm-up for a busy festival day.

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This Time Next Year
Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013
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Varndean School Car Park (venue website)
Theatre
11, 18 May, 12:00pm-1:00pm, 1:30pm-2:30pm, 3:00pm-4:00pm, 4:30pm-5:30pm, 6:00pm-7:00pm

 World Premiere.
 Suitable for age 18+ only.

It’s been a hidden highlight of the last two Fringes: intimate, intense, and occasionally profound. So we’re excited about the return of the This Time series, which sets a sequence of two-handed theatrical vignettes in the cramped confines of ordinary cars. They’re everyday, nondescript vehicles, and they don’t even go for a drive… yet through pitch-perfect acting and compelling plot, this mundane environment comes to feel as thrilling as any abandoned mansion or historic tower.

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The Girl With The Iron Claws
Published on Tuesday, 16 April 2013
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The Warren (venue website)
Theatre
21 May, 7:30pm-8:30pm

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.

Is this a show for kids, or is it meant for grown-ups? Perhaps we shouldn’t care. Returning to the Warren for one night only, The Girl With The Iron Claws is a vividly-enacted fairytale – complete with a princess, a Troll Queen, and giant bear. Thanks to its bare-bones set and enthralling puppetry, it’s earned praise wherever it’s travelled, including a five-star write-up from us on its last appearance in Brighton.

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Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking
Published on Monday, 15 April 2013
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The Nightingale (venue website)
Theatre
5, 12, 19, 26 May, 5:00pm-6:00pm

 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.
 World Premiere.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? Explained in an hour-long play? An hour-long play with songs? It might sound a trifle implausible. But if anyone’s up to such an ambitious challenge, it can only be John Hinton – whose similarly tuneful canter through Darwinism, The Origin Of Species, won five-star plaudits and a coveted Stage Must-See award on its debut back in 2009.

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