Getting to grips with my first Fringe

My experience at Brighton Fringe was so full-on and varied, a rollercoaster if you will, that it's hard to really convert this in words. Here are just some of the vibes from the Fringe.

Getting to grips with my first Fringe

I was very excited to go to Brighton Fringe, since I started planning with the Arts Award crew way back in Winter. It didn't matter if it was months away, it's been our first Fringe festival of the season and it felt like a breath of fresh air. Walking along the seaside from Hove to the Brighton Laines, I just kept thinking how lucky I was to be there. The beaming sunshine for opening weekend helped to boost the mood in Brighton, and not just for Fringe-goers; everyone seemed to be making the most of even small breaks in the sun.

Even though it was incredibly fun, Brighton Fringe was also a challenging experience as a reviewer, especially coming first-time to a Fringe. Orientating myself in a new city and quickly moving from venue to venue was daunting. However, it is easy to get comfortable and set your rhythm in this friendly city, if you're willing to reach out. I found that it helped so much that I wasn't afraid to ask for information; festival staff, volunteers, bus drivers, even one friendly lady in a cafe (who did, albeit, hugely misjudge the times she gave me!). I was helped about almost everything, from where to find a socket, to where to sit for a coffee on a short break. It may sound silly, but these are the kind of things that can really change how smoothly the day runs.

After you begin to recognise the key venues and move around a little easier without a map, you can actually immerse yourself completely in the Fringe. What Brighton creates in this month is an alternative world, where art forms dominate the city. I have learnt that every corner can be converted into a venue: from posh hotels to private houses in the hills, from the communal gardens to the main theatre at the Warren. Several bars and pubs host smaller shows as well, and they all come with their own merits. My best memories are connected with Bar Broadway, where I felt very emotional hearing Jason Thorpe's fantastic renditions of famous songs from musicals. This was definitely my Fringe highlight.

You might think that reviewing shows by yourself is a lonely experience, but very often it turns out to be the opposite. Walking around alone in the city and seeing different shows gave me the opportunity to interact with people more than I expected. I often had enjoyable chats with producers of the shows and exchanged thoughts with other members of the audience. It is very hard not to miss this creative hub, not to feel the void afterwards. Nevertheless, I like to think that Brighton Fringe has left a positive mark on me. I am now even more eager to keep on hunting out art on the fringes, and of course, to head back to B'ton next year.

Brighton Fringe runs until 5 June 2016.


Elena Losavio

Elena Losavio Voice Reporter

Elena is a recent Master's graduate in English Studies. She writes about theatre, film and contemporary art. She is specialised in women's roles within media and the arts, and she creates A View from the Other Side, a monthly column on this topic. She occasionally writes short stories about her wanderings in Asia and never says no to new adventures.

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  • Bhavesh Jadva

    On 31 May 2016, 18:50 Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team commented:

    All so true! How enjoyable a city it is just cant be estimated. It's something everyone should give a go.

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