reviews and recommendations

Eight Shows to Watch at the Brighton Fringe

The Brighton Fringe kicks off on 5th May, with a packed programme. Amongst the comedy listings, you’ll find plenty of comics with Funny Women connections (cheeky plug: grab your tickets for the Brighton heats of the Funny Women Awards NOW), from semi-finalists to award winners, plus some promising new talents.

If you’re baffled by the sheer amount of choice, here are some of the shows to earmark for 2017.

CHARACTER COMEDY

Bryony Twydle: Twaddle

12th-14th May, 19:00, at The Warren – Theatre Box. £8.50 (£7 concessions), one hour.

Bryony Twydle Comedy

Character comedian Bryony comes with serious semi-finalist pedigree: New Comedian of the Year 2016 semi-finalist, Funny Women 2015 semi-finalist (plus a ‘One to Watch’ in 2016). Twydle is the queen of accents, so her characters feel distinct and fresh, especially super-serious speed awareness course leader Vicky Spuvell. When not performing solo, Bryony is one fifth of award-winning sketch group The Jest. If you need further incentive, she was once mistaken for a sad Ellie Goulding…

Cassie Atkinson, Kat Butterfield and Charlotte Pearson: Northern Power Blouse

22nd and 29th May, 19:30, at Laughing Horse @ Caroline of Brunswick. Free, non-ticketed, 45 minutes.

Northern Power Blouse Comedy Credit Matthew Highton

Sketch comedy from a feisty bunch of Northern women (Funny Women and BAFTA writing award finalists; Sketch Off semi-finalists 2017) who aren’t afraid to bring back shoulder pads, flammable 80s shirts and killer earrings that would make Pat Butcher jealous. Sit tight for a full-on 45 minutes with plenty of songs, ukuleles à la George Formby, and larger-than-life characters.

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Alice Devlin: Extra-Curricular

27th-29th May, 15:30, at The Warren – Studio 3. £9 (£7.50 concessions), students £6.50, 55 minutes.

Alice Devlin Comedy

Alice Devlin figures the ‘special skills’ section is one of the weirdest parts of writing your CV. This is her chance to celebrate the unusual skillset – think hula-hooping, tennis and tap dancing – which became her bread and butter whilst training at the prestigious Jacques Lecoq. If your own ‘skills and hobbies’ are as dull as your pen-pushing job, you’ll feel truly inadequate, but inspired to do a little more clowning around in your life…

Siblings: Siblings

24th-25th May, 2nd June, 21:30, at The Warren – Studio 3. £9 (£7.50 concessions), students £6.50, 50 minutes.

Siblings Comedy

These two sisters with showbiz in their blood (mum is Ruby Wax, dad is Ed Bye) have spent the last year indulging their love of sketches. What began as a free comedy cabaret turn in Edinburgh has now taken them to comedy nights across London, and now their debut hour hits Brighton. Expect plenty of absurdist clowning, owing to Maddy’s training at École Philippe Gaulier, and some dramatic flair from Guildhall-trained Marina. Oh, and possibly some sausages.

FAMILY VALUES

Bisha K. Ali: I Don’t

12th-13th and 19th-20th May, 15:00, at Blue Man. Free, ticketed, one hour.

Bisha K. Ali Comedy

Bisha was a Funny Women Awards finalist in 2013, just one year after her career began. She now juggles festival appearances, such as Leicester and Edinburgh, with prolific podcasting. ‘I Don’t’ talks weddings – not the Pinterest-perfect kind, but the real-life, messy kind, including interracial relationships and very enthusiastic priests. This is Bisha’s debut at Brighton Fringe, a work-in-progress glimpse of her trademark straight-faced and sharply observational storytelling.

Sindhu Vee: Iguana Mum

2nd-3rd Jun, 19:00, at Blue Man. £5 (£4 concessions), 50 minutes.

Sindhu Vee Comedy

Sindhu Vee (2013 Funny Women finalist; BBC New Comedy Award finalist, 2016; Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year finalist, 2017) is a PHD-holding ex-banker and mum of three, who happens to be effortlessly funny. She talks Danish and Indian parenting styles, married life, power-hungry Wall Street and, erm, prison.

STORYTELLERS

Maisie Adam: Living on the Edge – LIVE

17th May, 21:00; 21st-23rd May, 22:30, at the Rialto Theatre. Free, ticketed, one hour.

Maisie Adam Comedy

Maisie Adam only started gigging last year, but is playing the Bath Comedy Festival this April, plus Fringe festivals in Camden, Guildford and Southend. She shares her backpacking anecdotes, her lack of holiday romance, postcard stand etiquette, and her interpretation of Theresa May’s worrying posture. Plus, she’ll identify what’s so wrong with Brits abroad.

Georgie Morrell: A Poke in the Eye

24th-26th May 20:00, at The Warren – Studio 3. £9 (£7.50 concessions), students £6.50, one hour.

Georgie Morrell Comedy

Generally speaking, disability isn’t funny, but some comedians tackle it with aplomb. Georgie, who went blind for a year in her early twenties and is now partially sighted, is one of them. Her one-woman show, performed at Edinburgh and the Soho Theatre in 2016, finds humour in the most unsettling situations – applying for benefits, meeting doctors, and binge-drinking. It’s now being developed for radio, so catch it on stage while you can.

See you at the Brighton Fringe!