Character Flaw - Phillipa Dawson

Highlight shows for Brighton Fringe 2024

The annual fringe festival is set to take place across the city from 3 May – 2 June 2024.

Brighton Fringe offers a vibrant mix of performances spanning various genres, including theatre, comedy, dance, music, cabaret, circus, and spoken word. From avant-garde experimental pieces to classic Shakespearean plays reimagined in modern settings, there’s something to suit every taste – and it’s time to #FindYourFringe. 

For Brighton Fringe 2024, there will be over 700 events taking place at more than 110 venues, stretching from the city centre to Shoreham-By-Sea and Lewes. During the festival, you will discover performances and events by your next-door-neighbour, as well as internationally acclaimed theatre-makers from as far afield as Australia, Canada and Ethiopia. You will also discover a cost-accessible festival, with over 80 events that are free to attend and over 100 ‘Pay What You Want’ events – where the minimum price has been set by the performer and you can pay an amount suitable for your budget. You can also ensure you’re getting the best value for money by purchasing a Friends of Fringe membership which entitles you to 2-for-1 tickets on participating events, no booking fees and other perks. 

Brighton Fringe events take place in a wide variety of venues. There are theatre spaces that host a wide range of performances, from plays and musicals to dance recitals and comedy such as The Lantern Theatre (77 St James’ Street)and The Actors Theatre (4 Prince’s Street). 

Geneva Convention - Mark C Hewitt

The Lantern plays host to the international premier of Geneva Convention (27 – 29 May), a ritual drama that flips between the sublime and the ridiculous, and The South of Somewhere Else (30 May – 2 June), a comical mime duet exploring the cultural differences between two beach towns. 

The Actors has built a reputation for hosting queer comedy and theatre and has expanded its programme to 50 events in 2024 including Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence winner Character Flaw. Character Flaw (9 – 12 May) is an unapologetically neurodiverse and queer show, navigating the challenges and celebrating the joys of life with ADHD. The Actor’s Lamb Comedy Weekender (25 – 26 May) also plays host to award-winning queer comedians Kathy Manura and Selena Mersey alongside others. 

Selena Mersey - Helena McCormack

You can also enjoy events in alternative spaces such as schools, community centres and iconic seafront buildings during the festival. Take Shelter! (11 – 19 May) returns to Brighton Fringe 2024, offering fascinating tours of one of the only remaining World War Two bomb shelters in the UK, preserved at Downs Junior School (Rugby Road). Woodland Tribe (31 May – 1 June) takes over the garden at Hanover Community Centre (33 Southover Street) with a highly engaging and creative experience for the whole family through exploration of constructive play and physical construction suitable for children. You can also explore an iconic seafront landmark with the Embassy Court Tours (4 – 26 May), a walking tour where you can discover the building’s fascinating history. 

It would not be Brighton Fringe without catching the next best up-and-coming comedian in the back room of some of Brighton’s most iconic pubs. Laughing Horse host the very best comedy across their 5 venues (The Walrus, The Quadrant, The Windmill, The Tempest & Caroline of Brunswick), including TV’s Henning Wehn with his Das Neuen Materialen Nacht (12 – 24 May) and award-winning Sara Barron with her stand-up hour Anything But You

Henning Wehn - Henning Wehn

Half A Camel Productions have also taken over several venues across the city (The Caxton Arms, Off-Broadway, Presuming Ed’s, The Snug, Three Jolly Butchers, Bleach – Above The Hare & Hounds) with a programme of comedy, theatre and magic. Carlos Sandin, a graduate of Brighton’s SpyMonkey Clown Creation School performs Pull My Finger (29 May – 2 June) with his fresh take on a modern classic character, James Bond at Presuming Ed’s (114-115 London Road), whilst Venezuelan clown Medicine Woman (15 – 18 May) takes to the stage at The Caxton Arms (36 North Gardens). 

During Brighton Fringe, pop-up venues spring up across the city, transforming outdoor spaces into temporary performance venues and glorious beer gardens. This year Fringe-favourites Head First Acrobats bring their venue Fool’s Paradise (next to St Peter’s Church) to Brighton. After smash hit runs at Fringe’s across Australia, the team are bringing their free-to-enter site to Brighton for the first time. With bars, food stalls and even a doughnut stand, it should be the perfect festival time hangout in the shadow of St Peter’s Church.

Showcasing their own sell-out circus shows GODZ (3 May – 2 June) and award-winning Arrr We There Yet? (4 May – 2 June) they are also hosting award-winning events from around the world like the aptly named Fool’s Paradise (27 May – 2 June). Catch Fool’s Paradise at Fool’s Paradise, the Pebble Trust International Touring bursary and FRINGE WORLD award-winner, and enjoy Britt Plummer’s bittersweet long-distance love story.

Discover the Normandy Weekender (24 & 25) and discover the best Normandy has to offer in cabaret, music, food and drink right here in Brighton. La Sirene a Barbe (The Bearded Woman) will showcase the most show-stopping cabaret talent, with drag queens and performers set to travel to Brighton for their UK debut. Alongside this event, there will be a host of free music events and club nights as well as sampling of traditional food and drink from the region. 

Returning for their third year at Brighton Fringe, The Rotunda Theatre will be popping up once again in Regency Square. The Rotunda Theatre have secured themselves a great reputation for their groundbreaking theatre programme and high-quality children shows. This year’s highlights include the award-winning theatre show And I’ll Blow Your House Down (16 May – 1 June) about society’s treatment of disability, and the heartwarming Crockodogpig (6 – 26 May), a puppet show soundtracked by beatboxing. 

The Rotunda will also bring a high-quality workshops programme designed for children and their families including the Create A Performance workshop (25 – 26 May) facilitated by Coppice Theatre, who perform in the main space with their heartwarming show How to Catch a Bookwitch (24 – 26 May), an open-hearted story about a little girl trying to save a library.

With over 700 events taking place during this year’s festival, alongside what Artist Open Houses, Brighton Festival, The Great Escape Festival, and Brighton Spiegeltent have to offer, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to pick what to go and see. 

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To make it easier for families, Brighton Fringe has produced a Family Guide, available to collect from the Brighton Fringe Box Office (inside The Ledward Centre, Jubilee Street) and libraries across the city. Here you can read about all the weird and wacky events the whole family might enjoy. 

Brighton Fringe have also produced a listings booklet for those who find it too difficult to browse and book on a computer or smartphone. Again, these are available to be collected at the Brighton Fringe box office and libraries across the city. 

Brighton Fringe have also added a ‘Starting Soon’ page on their website, for those of you who like to be spontaneous and book the next show that’s about to start. You can also toggle settings to use the ‘Nearby Now’ option, so that you don’t have to venture too far from home to enjoy some culture. 

This year, Brighton Fringe are asking you, the audience, to #FindYourFringe, with so much on offer, there really is a Fringe for everyone. To help you find it, Brighton Fringe have divided their programme up into several categories that will help you explore the programme depending on your mood. Brighton Fringe wants to help you find your funny, weird, escape, story, groove, thrill or talent during this year’s festival. 

Find your weird with Luke Rollason’s alternative comedy bursary winners. Disney+ star Luke Rollason has financially supported four up-and-coming alternative comedians taking part in Brighton Fringe and all will perform at his comedy showcase at Komedia (24 May).

Escape the city and travel back to 1990’s Manchester with fringe cult-heroes Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name (23-25 May) at Fool’s Paradise. Hot off the back of sell-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe and Soho Theatre, multi-award-winning Police Cops return with their latest comedy blockbuster. A gritty kitchen sink drama turns into a vampire-slaying horror epic. 

Discover a brand new story at The Westgate Chapel, Lewes with Lewes Curious’ Outspoken Word (3 May), a collection of poets and storytellers will come together to perform bold and brave new work. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you could enjoy Lost to the Sea (4 – 17 May) at The Lantern Theatre, a brand new storytelling performance interwoven with Orkney mythology and cello accompaniment. 

Get into the groove with Tina, Queen of Rhythm (31 May) at The Brunswick fronted by Ruby Rose, Sussex-based soul Diva extraordinaire, who boasts a stellar career spanning many years. Ruby is backed by a band of the crème de la crème of seasoned musicians who will get you dusting off your vocal chords and dancing in the aisles.

Experience a new thrill with the whole family as Germany’s Champion of Comedy Magic, Rene Magic, brings his laugh-out-loud show The Magic Wand With Three (!) Ends (28 May – 2 June) to Presuming Ed’s.

Or perhaps you’d like to explore a new talent with TAP (18 – 19 May) and BN1 Arts (New England Road), a percussive dance performance, that will leave you hitting, thwapping, slapping and stamping the floor. TAP is part of the Culture Connex Festival Season, a programme of events created in collaboration from Brighton Fringe, urbanflo, Pan-African Creative Exchange, Brighton Pride, Ironworks Studios and Brighton Pride. 

Interim Managing Director of Brighton Fringe Limited, Amy Keogh, said “We’re so excited for this year’s Brighton Fringe. We have unbelievable local talent taking to the stage alongside performers from across the whole country and around the world. We have hundreds of venues taking part and we’re delighted to have several involved as far as Lewes and Shoreham as well as those here in the city. 

We’re delighted that so many people in Brighton support Brighton Fringe, and the wider local arts scene. That support ensures we can keep delivering this festival year after year. We’re asking you to find your fringe this year because we really believe there is a fringe experience for everyone.”

Brighton Fringe Ltd., the charity behind Brighton Fringe the festival, offers artists at every stage of their career to be involved in a festival bigger than themselves, with the opportunity to reach audiences they might not normally have access to. The festival is open-access, meaning there is no artistic criteria, accolade or level you must reach to be invited to participate, there’s a different line up every year hosted by a different combination of weird and wonderful venues. The small team at Brighton Fringe Ltd. work year round to support and develop artists through their Fringe Academy programme, bursary schemes, showcases and awards alongside the administration of the festival.

By buying tickets to a Brighton Fringe event, or attending a free one, you are supporting the arts and art-makers in Brighton, the UK and beyond, alongside the Brighton Fringe team, ensuring the festival continues to happen in the city. 

It’s time to #FindYourFringe, there’s one for everyone. 

Brighton Fringe runs from 3 May – 2 June 2024.

For tickets visit: www.brightonfringe.org or call 01273 91 72 72

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