It’s May 1st in sunny Brighton and I’ve drawn up my spreadsheet for things I’d most like to see at the Brighton Fringe and beyond. At the moment there are 80 shows, but cutting out the doubling up and shows that I just can’t fit in it leaves me with a schedule for about 50. At the Leicester Comedy Festival earlier this year I saw 22 in a week, 7 in one day, so it’s doable – hurray!
(A word of warning: when I came back from Leicester I had “flu” for 10 days.)
If you’d rather just have some guidance to “must-sees”, here’s my humble opinion and sorry to those I’ve left out – I’m a philistine. In no particular order:
Pat Cahill: Panjandrum, 13 May, 21.00 Komedia, £8.
A nominee for Best Show at Leicester 2016. A Beatles effect on the female judging panel. Prepare to wet yourself laughing or throw your knickers – either way you’re in for a good time.
Jo Neary Does Animals and Men, 10-12 May, 22.00 Hobgoblin, FREE.
Another nominee for Best Show in Leicester 2016 for a different show, Faceful of Issues, which was a simply hilarious delight which also featured Centre Partin’ Martin. I’ve loved Jo Neary for a very long time, but I’d only seen her do short sets. When given an hour she transports you Willy Wonkalike to a world of imagination and you wonder what on Earth you been doing all these years. I felt things – emotion and green fabric.
David James: Precisely, 28 May and 4 June, 17.30 Komedia Studio, £10.
Thigh-slappingly good. A traditional anecdotal stand-up, he’s been compared to Jack Dee and Stewart Lee but he reminds me of Dave Allen.
David James appears at the Brighton Fringe for two nights only with his new show, Precisely. Photo: Ed Moore
Sarah Kendall plus support, 12 May, 20.00 Komedia, £10.
5 stars in Edinburgh, a Mick Perrin act, say no more.
Mat Ewins and John Kearns: 12 May, 21.00, Republic, £10.
It’s John Kearns innit?
The Alasdair Beckett-King Mysteries 27-28 May, 23.30, Caroline of Brunswick, FREE unticketed.
NATYS award-winner. Brilliant, original and does a fabulous impression of John the Baptist. He was on at Charity Chuckle with previous NATYS award-winner Joe Wilkinson. I asked if the award had done anything for their careers. “No, nothing.” Get on board, comedians, it’s a Crazy Mouse to hell!
Sara Pascoe: Animal, 14 May, 19.30, Corn Exchange, £13. Part of the #BrightonFestival
Currently sold out, but you can always buy the book. Click here for Waterstones.
Brighton Goes Gospel, #FeelGoodWithBGG, 21 May, 15.00 and 19.30, Roedean Theatre, £12.
Search for Gospel on the online ticket shop or pick up tickets from the Dome Box Office.
Singing Bob Marley, The Beatles and special arrangements by choir director Daniel Thomas, if you love The Blues Brothers you’ll love this. (Yes, I’m in it.)
Other recommendations from the Brighton Fringe: Tina C, Cassette Boy, Suzy Bennett, Athena Kugblenu, Icons (le Gateau Chocolate), Sean McLoughlin, Abandoman, John Hastings, Jessica Fostekew, Joz Norris and Casual Violence – among so many others – and there’s also a rumour that Leicester Best Debut winners Dude Looks Like a Lady are performing at The Warren on 1st June, but hey, you’ve only so much you can do and I know you’ve also got to see King Lear and Ghostbusters.
And this isn’t even including our Brighton locals Aidan Goatley, Fraser Geesin, Rob Dumbrell, Joe Foster, Rich Perry, Michael Fabbri, Zoe Lyons (Bent Double) and the Jill Edwards New Act Night – all ace.
I hope this helps. If not, just nip to Wahaca and have a guacumole with pork scratchings. That’ll sort you out. A margarita and guac if you’re veggie. It’s also the Brighton Fringe hub, so if someone is picking up flyers and makes the staff laugh – follow them.
Happy Bank Holiday! See you soon, maybe at Romesh Ranganathan on the 2nd May and Gordillo in June at the Caroline of Brunswick – there’s some amazing #Edfringe Previews coming up too. Have fun!