20 October 2014


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This Monday, 20 October marks the start of a new year for Brighton Fringe. Everyone is encouraged to take part in England’s largest arts festival, which runs for 4 weeks from 1 – 31 May 2015; incorporating May half-term and both bank holidays.

Online event registration is open from noon on 20 October until 30 January and anyone wanting to showcase their talent at any venue from their front room to a large theatre is welcome to sign up using the online registration form here: http://registration.brightonfringe.org

Brighton Fringe are always looking for ways to make taking part affordable for participants, and this year is no different. Those that are well organised can save up to £30 by taking advantage of the Early Bird discount on registration fees by registering before 15 December.

To help with the cost of putting on a fringe show, Brighton Fringe has secured four funding schemes (with more to be confirmed) to support participants, including the returning Pebble Trust Brighton Fringe Awards, match funding from crowdfunding partners Zequs and IdeasTap bursaries.

Legal & General are also running a revamped bursary scheme, with 12 bursaries on offer to local Brighton Fringe participants over the age of 60. This is the first year of running this new scheme with the aim to engage older people with the arts.

During and after event registration, all participants benefit from professional advice, support and resources offered by Brighton Fringe, including a programme of Professional Development workshops with expert speakers and one-on-one sessions.

Brighton Fringe also runs an Arts Industry Service, which encourages Arts Industry Professionals from across the UK and the world to visit Brighton in May to look for exciting new work. In 2014 over 150 Arts Industry Professionals were accredited, and they attended 158 events. Many Brighton Fringe participants have taken their work elsewhere as a result of this service. The popular Family Guide will also be returning, expected to feature over 150 events just for families as their number continues to increase with the festival including the half term week.

Brighton Fringe are also launching a new Friends membership scheme on 20 October, to now include benefits year-round as well as during the festival period. Friends of Brighton Fringe will receive discounts at their favourite hotels, bars, restaurants and spas across the city on top of the popular 2-4-1 ticket offers, priority booking, paying no booking fees and invites to VIP events. You can become a Friend of Brighton Fringe on our website at www.brightonfringe.org/friends

The ever-popular Brighton Fringe brochure will hit the streets in early March, with the programme launching online at the end of February.

Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe, said: “The beauty of Brighton Fringe’s format is that it is completely open access, meaning anybody can take part, putting on whatever you want to do, wherever you want to do it. This allows for the widest variety of events to be found anywhere in the country. The services that we provide year-round will help you at every step of the way, with ongoing professional development support, funding information and connections with other festivals, venues and events. Ultimately, our role is to help your work be as good as it can be, so you can benefit from all the opportunities that are available to you. The journey starts here and we look forward to joining you.”

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9 October 2014

“Best Venue” The Marlborough Theatre calls for applications to Brighton Fringe 2015

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~ Marlborough Theatre venue ~
Winners of last year’s “Best Venue” award at Brighton Fringe 2014, The Marlborough Theatre, are now welcoming applications for their 2015 programme.

Taking place throughout May at hundreds of venues across Brighton and Hove, Brighton Fringe is England’s largest arts festival and the third largest open access arts festival in the world. Every year the showcase of diverse art forms offers both local talent and artists from across the globe the opportunity to find new audiences and gain valuable media exposure. The Marlborough is at the heart of this fantastic celebration of culture.  

The Marlborough Theatre is one of the best equipped and flexible small-scale spaces on the Fringe. The beautiful proscenium arch stage, complete with velvet curtains, sits above a friendly and eclectic pub and hosts over 30 shows each year during the festival. Throughout the rest of the year The Marlborough continues to present exciting and boundary-pushing work to a diverse public from all walks of life. It’s also the home of Pink Fringe, year-round producers of Queer performance.
Last year’s line-up on the Fringe included “Best Performance” award winning play “Thief” by Liam Rudden, Argus Angel for comedy to Casual ViolenceRosana Cade’s Sister”, named Outstanding Show by Fringe Review, and two sell-out shows by comedy stars of the future Sleeping Trees. In previous years they have also attracted work by the likes of Neil Bartlett and Bette Bourne.  
Outside Marlborough Theatre
The Marlborough Theatre team are now looking for the best fringe theatre, comedy, cabaret and performance to fill their programme. You can find details on applying for their programme here
The Marlborough Theatre’s Autumn Season kicks off on Thursday October 16th, so there are lots of reasons to check out the venue while applications are open! See more here

Notes to Editors
-          The Marlborough Theatre won “Best Venue” at The Latest Festival and Fringe awards 2014, and “Thief” by Liam Rudden won “Best Performance”. You can see a full list of awards here: The Latest 2014 awards
-          Application details: DrinkinBrighton Marlborough application
-          Autumn programme: Marlborough Autumn programme

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30 September 2014

Brighton Art Fair 2014 at the Brighton Corn Exchange this weekend - 26,27 and 28 September

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Absolutely fabulous, the number of artists, the high standard, the diversity of art last night was incredibly impressive.  

at Brighton Art Fair 2014
As a fan of art I was almost hopping with joy as I found yet another piece of art to fall in love with and yet another artist to speak to about their work.

From canvas to ceramic sculpture, photography to screen printing there was a huge variety on display.

At the time I felt I took loads of pictures, this morning I feel like I have hardly any and certainly not enough to fully represent the fabulous art at the fair.

What I can guarantee is that if you are a lover of art, at £6.50 to go in and check it out for yourself, you will not be disappointed.

Brighton Art Fair is the largest annual art exhibition on the South Coast of England, who select over one hundred of the most talented painters, printmakers, photographers and sculptors along with artist groups and Sussex based galleries.

Included in this post are a few of the artists who kindly allowed me to share their work, although the pictures don't do any of them justice.

If you go, let me know what you think!
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
A Sussex landscape by Jonathan Smith at Brighton Art Fair 2014
Guy Holder ceramic sculpture inspired by eighteenth century stories and sculptures
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
Guy Holder with one of the stories he has written, sealed in wax to accompany his sculptures
at Brighton Art Fair 2014

Dong Li-Blackwell origami hearts made from fashion magazine paper
at Brighton Art Fair 2014

The Pink Poodle House by Polly Finch
at Brighton Art Fair 2014

Oil painting by Tom White of the much loved Hand in Hand pub in Kemptown
at Brighton Art Fair 2014

Formations IV by Jaykoe, social community project in Ecuador
at Brighton Art Fair 2014

Frances Doherty's beautiful ceramic sculptures
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
Franjipani Tree with 24 carat gold leaf by Tim Slatter
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
Just one of the artists from bipArt, Kemptown
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
Referencing deja vu, Julie Ball uses printed images on fragmented porcelain,
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
A Tree of Life, with personalised messages by Karen Jones
at Brighton Art Fair 2014

Ceramic stoneware angels by Lilia Umana-Clarke
at Brighton Art Fair 2014
  • Friday, 26th September 11:00 am - 7:30 pm
    Saturday, 27th September 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Sunday, 28th September 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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29 September 2014

The Common Land returns to Brighton 1 - 4 October 2014

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When a Brighton Fringe Reviewer who has already seen a play likes it enough to go and see it again, then that's a good sign, in fact it's a really good sign.

The play in question is The Common Land and news is that it is great.  I'm excited.

Returning to Brighton after receiving accolades during this year's Fringe they are back for four nights this week at the Broadway Bar (formerly Upstairs at the Three and Ten).

So, to fill us in with a bit more info here's Greg to tell us about the show.

Having met while they were living and studying in Brighton for three years, Kyle Ross and Joel Samuels formed Fine Mess Theatre in 2013. They are back in town with the company’s production of ‘The Common Land’. Part love story and part revenge tragedy, the play is a one-man show performed by Joel as the character of Tom Head. Tom is bullied at school and abused at home, his life is one long streak of misery until a chance meeting with a girl called Leah leads to him making a friend and plotting his revenge.

Joel (writer and performer of the Common Land) trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts with a Leverhulme Scholarship. He previously studied Drama and English at the University of Sussex. The Common Land is set in the Fens in East Anglia where Joel spent half his childhood and much of the scenery of the play is directly lifted from real life locations.

The show previously appeared in Brighton as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival, where it won ‘Pick of the Fringe’ and a transfer to the Rose Theatre, Kingston as part of the International Youth Arts Festival. During its run in Kingston it was awarded ‘Best of the Fest.’ The show also features original music from the Melodic – a Brixton-based afro-folk foursome who also spent a lot of time in Brighton as students and is directed by up and coming young director Anthony Lau – currently in rehearsals at the Young Vic in London.

It runs in Brighton at Otherplace's Broadway Bar (formerly Upstairs at the Three and Ten) from October 1st - October 4th 2014.

Tickets: Buy tickets at Otherplace

written by Greg McEwan, director at Butterfly Effect PR

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24 September 2014

Beyond the Bright Black Edge of Nowhere at Brighton Digital Festival 2014 by Rosie Davis

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In 1959 eight students from Magic Valley Liberal Arts College in Idaho, America went missing, along with their science teacher. They were never found and the investigation into their disappearance was closed. On 1st September 2014 in Brighton, England, Producer Simon Wilkinson stood in front of a packed out theatre and screened his telling of the mysterious tale. Rosie Davis reviews, Beyond the Bright Black Edge of Nowhere.  
Beyond the Bright Black Edge of Nowhere at BDF 2014

TOM (the Old Market Theatre) signed up as one of the venues taking part in the Brighton Digital Festival 2014, and wisely so, as I was welcomed by a queue of people at the ticket booth. It turns out it wasn’t only me that had flicked through the programme and found myself shivering, fearful yet drawn in by the simple, but effective blurb on this event. The people of Brighton obviously can’t resist a good conspiracy theory, and combined with live visuals and music, it was a must-see.

TOM was the ideal venue for Wilkinson’s multimedia show, the screen was in clear view of every ticket holder and the sound was faultless. The lighting and music were vital parts in creating the right atmosphere, and the technicians at TOM, should receive a gold medal for their seamless abilities.

Simon Wilkinson, the show’s Director stepped forth on the stage and explained how this project came about, and why he chose to focus on this unexplained mass disappearance. Simon is also the Director of Circa 69, a Production Company based in Brighton, where he works as an AV/Performance/Installation artist, and Beyond the Bright Black Edge of Nowhere brings this to light.

The project was commissioned by Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia where it was first performed. When Simon was asked to produce an artistic installation to be screened or performed at the square, his fascination with this haunting story was reignited. His first encounter with this story was as a teenager when his mother bought a copy of Mysteries of the World. The stories were always concluded and the mysterious events explained, except with this story. The explanation didn’t sit right and Simon never accepted that it was an alien abduction. Over 20 years later the story still had him thinking, and he embarked on a mission to find out more. What he discovered was more than he bargained for, with no archives from the police or records of the mass disappearance, the mystery deepened.

Simon turned his back on the audience and stood behind a desk that looked like it could’ve controlled the Starship Enterprise. The film began and the mysterious mass disappearance is told through a montage of B-movies,‘50s black and white films and commercials. The film includes sub-headings and a narration, but it is the combination of electronic and live classical soundtrack, which really created the atmosphere. The musical scores created an eerie vibe and along with the footage, Wilkinson illustrated this true story more vividly than a documentary could have done.

In order to bring this unfinished story to life Wilkinson had arranged for 8 actors to partake in his show. Each actor read out a monologue; a part of a letter, which had been written by the students.

When Wilkinson went searching for more information on this story, he discovered that 15 minutes away from where the Magic Valley Liberal Arts College had been was the Burley Historical Society. They had managed to obtain the 8 letters that the students had left, neatly laid out in a 12ft x 12ft box which had been found in the Great Basin Dessert 14 days after their disappearance. To check out the Burley Historical society website about the disappearances visit www.beyondthebrightblackedgeofnowhere.com.

Simon’s production and overall delivery of the piece was perfect. It caused a stir and left everyone thinking, but in a creative way. Simon had delivered the story in acts, cleverly conveying to me a sense of deception and corruption without making these conclusions explicit. Ultimately it was left for the audience to make their own minds up about what had really happened.

As the show ended I caught the odd sentence from passers by; “I wouldn’t have drunk the water.” People were attempting to piece together the unfinished story. I grabbed a moment with Simon after the event to gain more insight and shared with him the snippets of conversation overheard. He told me that that was what he had wanted.

This is the kind of show that would’ve worked brilliantly at White Night, so it's great news that the Brighton Digital Festival has now taken on the mantle of the odd and mysterious alongside supporting digital creativity. I hope this show gets shown at TOM again!

Rosie Davis - follow on Twitter @RosieDavisred

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21 September 2014

Color Run Brighton 20 September 2014

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~ Color Run Brighton 2014 fuscia pink ~
  6,000 of you, shouted the man on stage, are going to enjoy the happiest 5k run in the world. Perhaps he didn't exactly say that, but as I stood amongst the crowd, dressed in a white t-shirt and allocated number, that's how it felt.

Taking place on an unbelievably hot September morning, my eyes squinted in the brightness of the light.  Ahead was an arch of balloons to mark the start and above us stood another fella, this one from South Wales to marshal us through in waves.

5k, or rather 3 miles took us along the very familiar Madeira Drive, now transformed by arches of different colours with stations of people waiting to cover us in coloured powder.  Fuscia pink, cornflower blue, sunshine yellow and Dutch orange in turn was chucked at us, choking us in dust.

~ Color Run Brighton 2014 orange ~
I ran-walked the course, enjoying the fabulousness of the occasion.  As the finish line approached we fell into a jog, Hold my hand, said my Cardiff fella. I smiled back and we crossed the finish line together, where we were each handed a packet of coloured powder.  To our right pop-drum-n-bass had the crowd of powder-coloured runners jumping to the music with their arms raised.  On the bank below Lewes Crescent, spectators gathered and participants joined friends.

Behind the stage Save the Children were inviting volunteers to help paint by numbers an enormous face of a girl helped by the charity.  One of the girls told us £20,000 had already been raised by Brighton. Unsure whether any of the entry fee had gone to the charity, she told me none of it had. I've now made my donation and if you want to as well, please click on Save the Children and follow the instructions.
Meanwhile runners continued to stream in and join in the dancing. The man on stage urged the crowd, Wait for it, wait for it, on the count of three release the colour. Above their heads, colours exploded, merged, grew faint and fell on everyone.
Color Run Brighton 2014, Madeira Drive

Color Run Brighton 2014, warm up

Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014

Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
Color Run Brighton 2014
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19 September 2014

Slash / Night at Brighton Digital Festival 2014 by Amber Gregory

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Yesterday I got an email from Brighton Writer Amber Gregory that read, " I had no idea what I was getting myself into last night and it was very explicit! How PG does my review have to be?"  
Well, thought I, that sounds intriguing, a couple of hours later this is what Amber sent through.

Slash / Night
An evening of slash fiction featuring talks and readings from Chris Parkinson, Muffy Hunter, James Burt and others.
Location  Komedia: Studio
Calendar  17 Sep 2014 - 7:30 pm

Ignored by the mainstream and despised by the canon, Slash fiction is living its life underground in the creases of the internet. The term now refers to any fan fiction involving a relationship between same sex characters, but originally the genre was specifically reserved for a sexual relationship. Some fans also distinguish a female focused sub-genre called Femslash. It's generally agreed that the origins of flash fiction began in the 70's with Star Trek, when fans started reacting to the underlying sexual tension they perceived between Kirk and Spock.

It was a pretty ordinary Wednesday night when I dragged an unsuspecting and uninformed friend to night of Slash fiction. Neither of us had any prior knowledge of the genre and having got a bit of garbled information from the internet before we left, I have to admit to feeling a bit sceptical.

My scepticism increased when we'd settled in our seats and been told that Slash fiction has just as much literary merit as any other genre. “Really, we'll see” said a snobbish little voice in my head. But as the evening progressed my doubt was largely stifled by laughter.

We had Jarvis Cocker engaging in a steamy affair with the Tyrannosaur, while a Velociraptor hungrily listens in on the phone. Like many of the pieces this was intentionally hilarious, dipping into a realm of absurdism not commonly associated with erotic fiction. From then on in we covered different sub-genres from an avid and knowledgeable fan. I learnt new words and I found out many things I didn't ever want to know. By the way the word Millicest describes a kind of fiction involving Ed and David Milliband. I'll leave you to work out the rest.

But what I loved about the night was the total sense of liberation. Why shouldn't writing be about reacting to a demand – however strange that might be? There are anonymous forums where you can post the most specific and obscene guidelines for a story, and if you're lucky someone will write it for you. Surely there is a cathartic effect knowing that you're not alone in imagining Shakespeare's Mercutio and Benvolio locked in a passionate embrace?

Don't go if you're a prude, prepare for heaps of obscenity and don't leave your sense of humour at home. If you manage these three things you'll be in for a weird and wonderful night to remember.

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