News - Brighton Fringe Opening

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.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now