Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Brighton Fringe

I am currently in Brighton for the Fringe and for anyone who has never been to Brighton Fringe I highly recommend it. In comparison with the Edinburgh Fringe, it's a lot more laid back, the people are so much more friendly (most will actually thank you for a flyer and not just pretend you don't actually exist), it's far cheaper to stay, and if you live in London it's a much shorter and easier journey! Sure you don't get so many big names here - Marcel Lucont and Robin Ince being the A-listers this year - but I don't really bother to see the big names in Edinburgh, with the exception of Stewart Lee who is undoubtedly the comedian I've given the most money to ever.

I watch mostly free shows in Edinburgh, and I've watched mostly free shows here, the only difference is that here you have less choice, but as most people generally decide upon seeing free shows by convenience to your proximity rather than the actual title and description, it doesn't matter so much. Also the norm here seems to be a three to five show run, rather than the half or full run norm of Edinburgh, so you can see completely different shows on different days in the same handful of venues.

The people here are lovely, and consist mainly of the locals (who love the Fringe as opposed to many of the locals of Edinburgh) and Londoners here for a short stay. Nearly all the shows (the free ones at least) seem to be work in progress / previews, and the audiences really seem to actually like that fact, knowing that they are instrumental in shaping the final show. As an audience member, I'm really not too bothered when a standup is glancing at notes all the time if it means they are going to get the joke right, rather than forget to put part of the set-up in!

As a performer it's nice to know you've got some leeway and you won't get heckled by drunken Glaswegians (it's statistically unlikely at least)! I've had some great audience feedback, but the best feeling is that people have come to the show because they've read or heard about it and want to come, rather than just showing up because it's nearest free one as they usually do in spoilt-for-choice Edinburgh.

I would say the weekends are a bit more lively with many shows throughout the day, rather than the weekdays where most shows start after 6pm, but if you're here for a while that gives you some important time to relax and do something such as sit and write a blog. This is a fringe spanning four and half weeks, taking in five weekends, and two of those are bank holiday weekends. Coincidentally they are the two weekends all of my shows are on, which is particularly awesome...

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