This revolving showcase of Brighton Fringe’s top comedians sees five different acts performing short sets every night throughout the festival. Acts include snippets from comedians’ solo shows and testing new material, as well as one-off performances from local comedians and headline acts.
Great fun and the perfect opportunity to see an interesting selection of what the Fringe has to offer.
The compere was Lewis Bryan, a seasoned wrangler of audiences across the UK who had the crowd settled and at their ease within minutes. Throughout the show he would become a fantastic act in his own right, his playful banter and well-judged ribbing of the audience keeping everyone in the laughing mood.
The first act was a ‘comedic magician’ called Stu Turner. His magic was unremarkable and a little contrived but he built a good rapport with some of the audience and kept people laughing with a good level of ridiculous silliness. He is appearing through the Fringe in some performances of Huggers, 2 Guys and a Girl, and the Cult of Comedy.
Following quickly on his heels came a fresh faced Brightonian by the name of Alex Lynch. At 23 he was the youngest and least experienced performer on the roster but he had an endearing, awkward charm as he read us the amusingly satirical Thomas and the Red Light about a disgruntled Thomas the Tank Engine, along with observations on what makes Brighton ‘great’ and some wonderfully middle-class rap, all making for a successful performance.
Next up was Sameena Zehra, a veteran of the comedy circuit and favourite of past Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes, provided a blend of warm familiarity and gentle rage that made her an instant hit. Trialling new material for her Fringe show Homicidal Pacifist premiering later in the festival, her comic musing on which members of society are most deserving of a place on her ‘culling list’ along with an innate ability to share the humour she finds in every aspect of her life left the audience genuinely hungry for more at the end of her short set.
The fourth act was Pete Strong, describing himself as a stand-up comedian, writer, husband, Taoist, manic depressive, and a terrible drunk, he began his set with a relaxed air. His laconic and often surreal poetry was a treat, delivered in a calculated deadpan that highlighted its contemplative nature. An act well worth seeing when he returns in the two man show Perfectly Goddamned Delightful later in the festival.
Finally the headliner Iman Hadchiti: this perfectly formed pint sized comedian has an enormous character and the ability to make a roomful of people cry with laughter. Kicking off with his impression of a sexy pirate and a self-obsessed weightlifter, and moving on to a deliciously foul-mouthed depiction of trials and tribulations of the life of a ‘Migger’ (his preferred term for people of let’s say, below average height), he held the entire room in the palm of his hand. Sadly he has no solo show at the Brighton Fringe but will be peddling his particular brand of hilarity at the Edinburgh Festival in August.
Overall, great fun and the perfect opportunity to see an interesting selection of what the Fringe has to offer.