Entering a small room, packed at The Writers' Place for the first day of Brighton Fringe, I found around 25 to 30 people, waiting to hear readings from a group of diverse writers from across Brighton - and a few from other parts of the country - including Catherine Ireton, Sally Jenkinson and Neil Noon.
The event promised a mix of poetry, short stories and spoken word, all centred around the theme of 'Home' - a topic which was interpreted to include ideas of family, memory, and (of course) plenty of feminism! With such a mixed selection, it was a something-for-everyone kind of reading, and while some were more complex in style than the writing that I tend to enjoy, there was that one writer in particular who really took me by surprise.
Her name was Alice. She had green hair and a green cardigan. She took to the stage, with a melancholic smile upon her face, and read the most heartbreaking poem I'd ever heard. It was a poem about depression, and you could really feel her struggle with this cruel mental disorder that affects so many people; her writing was incredible, and it felt that her live performance really added another dimension...let's just say that I was almost in tears.
Alice was the highlight of my evening, as well as the many awesome feminist writers that I would probably marry if I wasn't gay. For me, the short story that was just a bit too complex and hard to follow, but the more hardcore lit fans in the audience seemed to love it. Each event will have different writers reading throughout the festival, so no experience will be the same, but if this standard continues it's well-worth a visit to discover some of the untapped writing talent of Brighton.
6, 13, 20, 27 May 19:45 £6 [1hr 15m]