After months of waiting, Brighton Fringe opened its doors last night with the launches of three major venues. The glorious sunshine was the ideal weather for the openings of Republic, Sweet Venues and The Warren and the perfect combination of sun, shows and high-spirits made for some splendid pre-fringe entertainment.
It's the beginning of a superb May
In the dazzling afternoon sunshine, Sweet Venues kicked off at the Waterfront venue entertaining the passing throngs with psychic Peter Antoniou, and his astonishing mind-reading and entertaining ad-libs, and musical mayhem from Bang On, whose hand-made instruments ranged from a garden rake to a mooing cow (toy, of course).
Both acts gave us a snippet of their material and with a keen ability to work the crowd, gave some sparkle to an already sunny afternoon. Artistic Director JD Henshaw was in fine form regaling the crowd: ‘All of us here at Sweet Venues are delighted and proud to be part of Brighton Fringe - the sun is out, the temperatures are rising, and we're excited to be bringing so many amazing shows to our Brighton audiences! It's the beginning of a superb May’.
The launch of Republic was keenly awaited later in the evening. Would the much-anticipated beach-side Spiegeltent deliver? With construction still going on, the crowds couldn’t wait to take a sneak peek and after waiting for rigging to come to a pause, we were allowed to finally take a look inside…
… and there were smiles on everyone’s faces as the Spiegletent that Republic have created on Brighton’s beach. The team promised a spectacular venue and have delivered. With some big names on their bill, the next question is can then pack in the crowds for what, by Brighton Fringe standards, is a huge venue. Republic felt confident and with pre-sales looking strong for the opening weekend, they could have rolled the dice with this venue and ended up with a pair of sixes.
With the sun slowly setting, the evening rounded off with the opening of The Warren, next to St. Peter’s Church. An absolute peach of a venue lovingly created with an eye for detail. With a main stage in the shape of a Bowler Hat, roof-top bar, 4 venues and an outdoor space, with perfect opportunities for selfies, this is likely to be a home for many at Brighton Fringe this year. With a programme of first-class shows and a chance to sit, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, if you’re ever looking for the Broadway Baby team, we recommend you try there first.
The Brighton Fringe started Friday 6 May and will continue right the way through until 5 June.