Brighton Fringe News & Reviews

This is where you can read recent news articles and reviews of shows in this year's Brighton Fringe


List News & Reviews: By Star Count | By Date


We've launched our 2022 Brighton Fringe Programe! Just in time to make Fringe tickets the perfect Christmas Present!

December 6, 2021   Laughing Horse News

We've launched our 2022 Brighton Fringe Programe! Just in time to make Fringe tickets the perfect Christmas Present!

Welcome to the 2022 Brighton Fringe! Click Here For Article


Jack the Ripper: My Life as a Suspect, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Maggie’s Chamber

August 22, 2021    thereviewshub.com

Review of Jack The Ripper My life as a Suspect

Jack the Ripper: My Life as a Suspect, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Maggie’s Chamber

If you’re looking for the blood, guts and gore story of Jack the Ripper, you’ve come to the wrong place. As a venue, Maggie’s Chamber may effortlessly transport you to the dark streets and tunnels of London in the late nineteenth century, but Jack the Ripper: My Life as a subject is not aiming for the lowest common denominator depiction of murder, scandal and revulsion.

Writer and performer Robert Inston has instead turned a light on some of the suspects and other public figures as they respond to the public concern or accusations against them. Queen Victoria is the first person we meet, and we then descend gradually down the social classes ending at the notorious downtrodden “leather apron”, whose name seemed to be irrelevant to people looking for a suspect who could confirm their prejudices and leave their trust in the upper classes intact.

Inston bookends the show with explanations of his reasons for choosing these characters and how they are developing further, and extending the show’s running time, the more times he plays them. He admits that he’s instinctively drawn to the more well-off flamboyant figures, but it’s as we reach the lower orders that the people and monologues get more compelling.

Before that, there’s a feeling that the characters are reporting the media perceptions of them and claiming them to be wrong, but not really giving an alternative version of themselves or commenting on what the accusations say about the accusers and societies perception of bohemians and outsiders.

It’s only when Inston goes deeper inside the character’s heads, moving beyond their public faces and words and into their internal thoughts and reality, that the show really replaces the salacious with the psychological, and introduces us to people and lives that are normally left out of retellings of the story. When it does, it takes us into a world that you wish could be explored further. Click Here For Review


Eliott Simpson: (a)sexy and I Know It

August 1, 2021   Arts York Webzine

Article about Eliott Simpson: (A)sexy and I Know it

Eliott Simpson: (a)sexy and I Know It

Comedian Eliott Simpson brings his show (a)sexy and I Know It to the Great Yorkshire Fringe prior to a run at the Edinburgh Fringe next month. The (a) is aptly placed, as Simpson’s show centres around his asexuality, and society’s response to this oft forgotten and misunderstood minority.

Simpson is an instantly likeable figure, bounding on stage enthusiastically in an Austin Powers style violet suit and waffle bowtie, and from that moment on the audience feels relaxed in his self-deprecating yet simultaneously self-assured company. Complete with props to aid his cheesy yet well-placed one-liners (plus running commentary of how much they set him back), and PowerPoint which largely serves to project various ‘dick pics’, the laughs just keep on coming. A section on the new-found gay romance between the Babadook and Pennywise the clown is a highlight.

As with any work in progress there are a couple of jokes that fall a bit flat (I’d skip the one about the Glaswegian comic’s advice), but by this point the audience are so in tune with Simpson that it doesn’t matter. Overall, he succeeds in finding the right balance between being both informative and hilarious, personal and universal, with a fominute show that is accessible and inclusive to members of the LGBTQIA community and its allies. Worth checking out in Edinburgh – with this ace show you can have your cake and eat it too.

(a)sexy and I Know It previewed at The Basement, York on the 23rd July 2019 as part of the Great Yorkshire Fringe. Keep up with Eliott and his gigs calendar here. Click Here For Article


Eliott Simpson: (a)sexy and I Know It

August 1, 2021   Arts York Webzine

Article about Eliott Simpson: (A)sexy and I Know it

Eliott Simpson: (a)sexy and I Know It

Comedian Eliott Simpson brings his show (a)sexy and I Know It to the Great Yorkshire Fringe prior to a run at the Edinburgh Fringe next month. The (a) is aptly placed, as Simpson’s show centres around his asexuality, and society’s response to this oft forgotten and misunderstood minority.

Simpson is an instantly likeable figure, bounding on stage enthusiastically in an Austin Powers style violet suit and waffle bowtie, and from that moment on the audience feels relaxed in his self-deprecating yet simultaneously self-assured company. Complete with props to aid his cheesy yet well-placed one-liners (plus running commentary of how much they set him back), and PowerPoint which largely serves to project various ‘dick pics’, the laughs just keep on coming. A section on the new-found gay romance between the Babadook and Pennywise the clown is a highlight.

As with any work in progress there are a couple of jokes that fall a bit flat (I’d skip the one about the Glaswegian comic’s advice), but by this point the audience are so in tune with Simpson that it doesn’t matter. Overall, he succeeds in finding the right balance between being both informative and hilarious, personal and universal, with a fominute show that is accessible and inclusive to members of the LGBTQIA community and its allies. Worth checking out in Edinburgh – with this ace show you can have your cake and eat it too.

(a)sexy and I Know It previewed at The Basement, York on the 23rd July 2019 as part of the Great Yorkshire Fringe. Keep up with Eliott and his gigs calendar here. Click Here For Article


Jack the Ripper: My Life as a Suspect

August 1, 2021    BroadwayBaby

Review of Jack The Ripper My life as a Suspect

Jack the Ripper: My Life as a Suspect

henever we think of Jack the Ripper, immediately we think back to Whitechapel and his gruesome victims. Robert Inston's work in progress show Jack The Ripper: My Life as a Suspect explores the people who were seen as suspects at the time, including people such as George Chapman, with well researched historical fact, as well as monologues that indicated the type of people they were according to the media at the time. But what if the newspapers were wrong and they had a voice? This is where Inston's well portrayed characters and concept comes in.

he became each suspect with such ease and dexteriety

The show that I saw showed Inston performing in front of a tiny audience with none of the original costumes he normally uses due to the uncertainty with audience numbers on this occasion. Normally I would say that the costume makes a show like this with strong performances such as Inston's, however the version we saw equally worked without the costumes, as we saw him in his most neutral state as well as the subtle physical transitions as he became each suspect with such ease and dexteriety without going into melodramatic territory. It is easy to assume that anything to do with Jack the Ripper, thanks to previous films (including the more recent From Hell) that the Victorian period was all about big characters and big actions, but as shown today, it was the stillness of each transition as he chillingly became each character that made this particular show engaging and educational.

There were moments of gentle comedy where he channelled a very regal Queen Victoria to show how she viewed these horrible crimes whilst in mourning for her love Albert. He captured her mannerisms well by underplaying rather than overplaying, making her charming and engaging. But it was the sections explaining more about the characters in development, as well as the ongoing historical research that was interesting to listen to and left us asking more about his extensive knowledge about Jack the Ripper after the show. He mixed fact with humerous anecdotes from his experiences so far with living in Whitechapel itself and working as a tour guide for the Jack The Ripper Museum, which added a personalised touch to the journey of self discovery he was on and left us wanting more.

With the costumes in place and further things to be added, Jack the Ripper: My Life As A Suspect looks set for future success and even though right now it has the bare bones of a show, everything about it showcases Robert Inston's incredible talent and intellect. It would be interesting to follow this show on its journey as it grows - especially as the subject is not for the sensitive or faint-hearted. But with the right approach, which Inston seems to be on, this show looks set for further success. Click Here For Review


Interview with The New Current

August 1, 2021   World Premiere Brighton Fringe Festival 2021 Fragile

Article about Fragile

Interview with The New Current

Did you have any apprehensions about writing and performing in a piece that draws from you own experiences?



I firmly believe that writing from your own experience is the best thing you can do. It feels authentic, unique, whole, surprising, and gratifying. I used my experience as an inspiration and then I went deeper. Not everything you will see in the show happened in real life. I took reality and I made it even more honest. I investigated what was underneath the surface and I decided to be brave enough to share it in my story. Click Here For Article


Interview for "Always Time for the Theatre

August 1, 2021   Interview: Agustina Dieguez Buccella Talks New Show, “Fragile”

Article about Fragile

Interview for "Always Time for the Theatre

I’m glad to here it. So “Fragile” is your first solo show following previous theatre and film projects, and it sounds like it comes from a very personal place for you. What influenced you to bring this story to the stage?

Fragile came so organically and effortlessly to me. I found myself writing things that were coming from my heart, in a non-judgemental and cathartic way. I didn’t know at the beginning that I was writing a one-woman show. I was simply allowing what was in my heart to be put on paper. It was later when I was re-reading my notes that I came to realise that I had a story to tell. A one-woman show felt like the perfect medium for it. Click Here For Article


Interview for The Phoenix Remix

June 29, 2021   Camden Fringe 2021

Article about Fragile

Interview for The Phoenix Remix

And now you are returning to the stage!!! How exciting! What are you looking forward to the most?

The adrenaline of live performances! I live for that feeling. And also the response from the audience and the connection with them. Seeing how my show impacts on every person that has decided to give me one hour of their time. The public renews everyday and the audience’s energy is different on every show. That keeps me proactive, fresh and expectant. It’s a challenge I happily accept. Click Here For Article


Playback Impro

August 12, 2015    Broadway Baby

Review of Playback Impro

Playback Impro

he concept of Playback Impro is both a simple and an effective one. Simple because the material used to create its humourous improvised sketches comes directly from audience members’ stories, and effective because this method allows the performers to dodge what is perhaps the most difficult part of creating an unscripted, unplanned performance: coming up with a structure on the spot.

Perhaps Playback Impro's strongest selling point is that it allows us to indulge ourselves in our memories and stories. Through it we are allowed to share the things that make us laugh, or make us proud, and see them brought to life by a talented cast of performers.

With that issue sorted out by our keen, active audience, the four-person company A Drunken Sailor were able to concentrate on delighting us with a friendly, inclusive and, most importantly, hilarious performance. Some of the stories tackled included Oyster-card theft, goal-scoring, topless singing and a desperate search for water. This diverse range of subjects was explored through an equally diverse range of genres and styles that the performers dipped into for comic effect. A soliloquy of classic Shakespearean grandeur was performed off-the-cuff, sinister strings were strummed to create a Hammer horror-like atmosphere and they even succeeded in working in a biblical chorus.

As is the risk with most improvisational theatre, the occasional awkward moment crept into the performance. Sometimes even the most fertile mind can't come up with an entertaining way of presenting a teeth brushing scene. The show's opening, explanatory section wasn't as smooth as it could have been, with the cast seeming to give each other example stories that were extremely difficult to dramatise in a funny way. For a few brief moments, it seemed like it wasn't going to work, and that we were about to inch through 50 excruciating minutes before, thankfully, the performers began to gel. This is an occupational hazard. To avoid it, the company would have to prepare material beforehand, which would betray the concept that breathes so much energy and humour into the show.

Perhaps Playback Impro's strongest selling point is that it allows us to indulge ourselves in our memories and stories. Through it we are allowed to share the things that make us laugh, or make us proud, and see them brought to life by a talented cast of performers. Their greatest strength lay not in their performative skills or even their improvisational bravery but in their skill in including us as an audience and gauging our mood. They were not scared to go for a cheap laugh when they felt we needed lifting, and that was beneficial to the mood of the room. They were not scared to openly communicate the genre or method they were about to use to the audience, which helped to bring our multinational and mixed age group to a common understanding that made the experience an entertaining and enjoyable one. In fact they had very few fears at all.

There can be no spoilers here, but it seems safe to guarantee an energetic, funny and thoroughly enjoyable performance that will let you laugh. I'm not making it up.



Andrew Forbes
By Andrew Forbes @Forbesan14 Click Here For Review


Playback Impro

August 20, 2014   The Mirror

Article about Playback Impro

Playback Impro

A real standout from all the stand-up, this is comic improvisation theatre-style. Four actors each take it in turn to direct a narrative supplied by the audience.
It can be anything from a mundane event on the way to the theatre, to a traumatic childhood experience. The interaction is fun, compelling and very imaginative.
And the the quick-witted troupe step into your story, giving it a genre and treatment in seconds – making it very slick. A show that will keep you coming back for another unrepeatable performance.' Trevor Davies. 20/08/2014


Playback Impro

May 12, 2014    Broadway Baby

Review of Playback Impro

Playback Impro

By Johanna Makelainen | 12th May 2014 | ★★★★
Five actors in their pyjamas create a show from audience anecdotes, bringing them to life with their expressions, postures and words. The idea of playback impro is simple: audience members tell stories and which the actors reflect back to them in a particular style. Production company A Drunken Sailor made it seem like an easy task. But how do you become an angry wasp? You grab a stool, place it on your forehead and start chasing the target with it of course. The performance was spontaneous, ingenious and thoroughly entertaining.

One hour was way too short for this treat.

The cast proved to be solid professionals. The five strong London-based group were Julia Munrow, Kelda Holmes, Chloe Conquest, Nathan Allenby and Roderich Millan – a good mix of experience and playful enthusiasm. If I had to pick a favourite, it was young Chloe. The performance of the night goes to Kelda for her hilarious drunken Irish women, but there are no weak links. It’s evident from the quality of the performance that group have been working together for over a year.

Different formations and styles kept it interesting and soon we got used to the impro lingo: ‘short form’ is a brief moment in life, ‘free form’ means the actors decide the style and so on. We had normal chorus, diamond chorus, split chorus, pairs, and what not, with styles ranging from horror to opera. I still feel out of breath just thinking about it. Wearing identical pyjamas was a stroke of genius. It acted as an ice-breaker, dissolved gender and age, and guided the audience to the world of bedtime stories.

We were fortunate to have a selection of really funny stories from the audience - a 21st birthday party where a guy dressed as a caterpillar decides to drink a bottle of expensive perfume. Or a girl who cuts off her great grandmother’s plait with scissors and places the hair on her doll. The loose theme seemed to circle around childhood misdemeanours. The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.

Those audience members who don’t like to be involved can rest easy as well. There is no hackling or pressure to perform. But most were more than happy to see their memory played back to them. This was one of the few shows at the Brighton Fringe that I really didn’t want to end. One hour was way too short for this treat. There are still two more chances to catch the show at the Quadrant. It’s free and the afternoon matinee time means that kids can go too. So what are you waiting for? It doesn’t get any better than this.



Johanna Makelainen
By Johanna Makelainen @JojoMakelainen Click Here For Review