Brighton Fringe has launched its 2013 programme online, offering a huge variety of 685 shows (and counting) with 3275 performances and 210 premieres in 178 venues with 38 international acts and 220 home-grown Brighton shows which makes it the richest and largest yet. Not only this but this year England's biggest arts festival lasts longer, running an extra week from 4 May to 2 June to incorporate both spring bank holidays and half term. During that time every conceivable space in the South Coast city is transformed into a place of creative celebration. Throughout the merry month of May, Brighton positively buzzes with activity. From theatre to dance, comedy to music, visual art to literary events, high flying installations, dance and circus, there is something for everyone throughout the day and long into the spring evenings for what is always a highlight in the UK's arts calendar. And true to Brighton's slightly rebellious nature there will be plenty of surprises that could only happen in Britain's favourite seaside city.
This year the circus comes to town with a great programme of cabaret and big top action. The acclaimed No Fit State pitches up on Hove Lawns and the international hit La Clique struts its stuff at The Famous Spiegel Garden (returning to Brighton Fringe after a six year gap). Other big events include The Pride Gala featuring legendary performance artist Jonny Woo and the glorious Ceri Dupree live and unleashed in her most awe-inspiring costumes and wigs and One Way Theatre Solar Powered Cinema in the gardens of St George's Church, (Kemp Town).
As always, theatre is integral to Brighton Fringe with highlights including Tanglehead's production of Terry Johnson's adaptation of Charles Webb's cult novel The Graduate, Black Venus which imagines the details of the alleged dinner during the Nazi occupation of Paris between Hermann Goering and legendary Josephine Baker, Buzzcut at Supper club in which Glaswegian festival Buzzcut and The Basement's staple night Supper Club collide to offer a fantastic social evening of intriguing occurrences and unexpected encounters and The Trench inspired by the story of a miner who became entombed in a tunnel during WW1.
Comedy of course plays a crucial part. Some of the acts taking part in this year's Fringe are The Dog-Eared Collective, Mike Wozniak, Phil Kay, Diane Spencer, Late Night Gimp Fight and Kevin Dewsbury. Brighton Fringe is also delighted to welcome the famous PBH Edinburgh Free Fringe with a 2 day mini-festival of FREE Comedy.
The Paralympic effect can also be felt at this year's Brighton Fringe with more than double the number of disability arts events taking place in the city during May. These include 23 year-old Nicholas McCarthy who played at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games as part of the 18-strong Paraorchestra, in a programme of music by Bach, Scriabin, Schubert, Richard Strauss and Liszt, Get It Right, a disability rights performance which includes live music, poetry, creative movement and drama and My Map of Brighton, a multi-media project led by people with mental health issues to explore the places that make us feel happy.
The Brighton backdrop has always been an important element of the Fringe and this year is no exception. Site-specific shows include The Sun That Casts No Shadows, an immersive adaptation of The Outsider by Albert Camus which takes audiences from beach panorama to sea-front to be told the story of a murder and what happens when a man refuses to lie and Doing What It Says on The Tin, a tragi-comedy about the building trade which takes place at Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project. Once again Hendrick's is a vital part of Brighton Fringe. This year they take over the splendid regency opulence of Angel House in Hove to present Hendrick's Carnival of Knowledge, a travelling parlour of enlightenment that combines exceptional experts & erudite amateurs in a fiesta of learning & fine cocktails. ?
What is a festival without music? Brighton Fringe can boast a rich array of melody and rhythm in this year's programme with mini festivals, bands, choirs and orchestras filling the air with sweet sounds. The music and arts festival Meadowlands, set in the heart of the beautiful South Downs and boasting outstanding views all around, once again takes place on the late May bank holiday weekend within the grounds of Glynde Place. A rich mix of music is set to blast from The Brunswick. Antonio Forcione hits town as does Barb Jungr and Nick Pynn. The Folk Off Session showcases alt-folk, blues & roots musicians featuring some of the UK's top emerging acts. Legendary vocal roots group The Abyssinians are at Komedia and Carnivalesque, an extravaganza show with festival vibes, presenting sounds from electro swing and Sam and the Womp plus many more musical talents on show throughout Brighton Fringe!