The Five Most Surprising Things About Brighton By Brighton Newbie & Bus Boy Writer Izzy McDonald

Many of us will have walked the streets of Brighton a thousand times. We've stared at the wondrous and exotic creations in the windows of of Choccywoccydoodah, we've shopped at Infinity Foods and eaten brunch at Mange Tout. We've probably walked the circumference of the globe the amount of times we've been up and down the pier and we know that summer is the time for BBQs on the beach - or for avoiding the tourists. However, for many people bringing shows and exhibits to Brighton Fringe, they will be stepping foot in Brighton for the very first time.

I was told by a friend who has travelled all over Europe that out of all the places she has been, Brighton was by far her favourite.

Izzy McDonald is Co-Artistic Director of Rorschach Beast, a theatre company who have the simple ambition of wanting to perform good stories that are well told. They've brought their show Bus Boy (24th May-27th May, The Warren) with them all the way from Australia after exceedingly good reviews at Perth's Fringe World in 2017, where they won an incredible three awards. Bus Boy tells the story of a boy who rides a bicycle, but dreams of buses instead. When he meets Jerry, a young woman stuck in transition, they strike up an immediate friendship which results in them sharing secrets, achieving dreams and getting into and out of trouble.

We caught up with Izzy, who like many of the Fringe's international artists, is visiting Brighton for the very first time, to discover what surprised her most about the city we know and love so well:

1. Brighton's super supportive community

There are multiple Facebook groups offering advice and help, plus the Brighton Fringe organisational crew have been incredible. This has also been especially true of our venue, The Warren. They've just been so supportive, which is an incredible feat considering the size of the Fringe. It's quite daunting coming so far to a whole new country with new audiences, so that level of support was a really nice surprise.

2. How much Brighton feels like home

I live in a place called Fremantle in Western Australia, which is a small coastal city with a long maritime history. It has beautiful old buildings, fresh sea breezes and everyone goes to the beach. It has a great arts and music scene (maybe not as big as Brighton) and just has a lovely feel about it all.

3. Brighton's ride sharing bicycle scheme

I just think that's so cool because we have nothing like that at home! Or at least on that large of a scale.

4. How beloved Brighton is

I was told by a friend who has travelled all over Europe and has been to lots of renowned and beautiful cities, such as Prague, Barcelona and Paris, that out of all the places she has been, Brighton was by far her favourite.

5. That Brighton has a pebble beach

What's up with that! The beaches back home are mostly all sand, and in some places its so soft and fine it squeaks under your feet! At least the wind doesn't blow it in your eyes though, but I thought that was pretty surprising.

Related Listings

Bus Boy

Bus Boy

Written by Izzy McDonald (dir. Girl in the Wood) and directed by Geordie Crawley (writ. Girl in the Wood), 'Bus Boy' tells the story of Jerry, a young woman stuck in transition, and how her life changes irrevocably when she meets 'Bus Boy' on a trip to Rottnest... 

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