Monday 22nd December

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Monday 22nd December

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» A laughing matter

Victoria Nangle is proud of our very own Brighton Comedy Fringe

It’s all well and good having the big guns come down to Brighton once a year – and don’t think we’re not grateful to the Paramount Comedy Festival for their annual migration – but some of the cream of October’s comedy comes from a group that sits by the seaside all year round.

“During this one-day course, they’ll teach the core techniques used in improv comedy”

Eyeing up the local talent and checking out the shining fringe acts in Edinburgh, these guys work hard for you to get some of the cream of the up-and-comings, and indeed some of the already arrived, such a good reputation have they acquired. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s that marvellous lot down at the Marlborough Theatre, and their Brighton Comedy Fringe kicks off this Friday (19th).

Last year saw the likes of Josie Long and Stephen Grant treading the boards of this beautiful theatre (with a capacity of just 50 people), giving you an intimate performance you’re unlikely to get with such stars elsewhere. This year they haven’t disappointed either. Jo Neary’s Little Moments is playing two nights, just as BBC3 snaps her up, up and away from the live scene. And Zoe Lyons brings some friends from the circuit for our amusement – and grand friends they’ll be after she was nominated for the if.comeddie Best Newcomer Award (formerly know as the Perrier) at the Edinburgh Festival a couple of months ago.

If you fancy having a go at comedy yourself – it’s such a buzz, man – there are two separate workshops you can sign up for – stand-up and improv. The Jill Edwards Stand-Up Workshop gives you a taster of her sell-out term-long course she runs at the Komedia, teaching you about comedy writing, performance skills and also having a brilliant time. Past graduates of Jill’s include Jimmy Carr and Shazia Mirza, as well as local talents like Toby Whithouse and Seann Walsh.
Jo Neary
The other course comes in the form of The Maydays Improv Comedy Workshop. You may have heard of The Maydays as they won an award for Best Comedy Show at this year’s Brighton Festival, they feature in the Paramount Comedy Festival programme and are really rather good. Well, this premier improvisation group is offering to teach a one-day course in making up comedy. Using games, they teach the core techniques used in improv comedy. I’m definitely signing up for this.

Darn it! I’m running out of space. I’ve still got to say about Mark Allen returning with his Quite Good Britain show from last year and a brand new show of ‘Mob Logic’. Plus the UK’s only deaf comic Steve Day. Plus Edinburgh Festival favourites Andrew O’Neill and Terry Saunders. Just check out the website – www.brightoncomedyfringe.co.uk – and cherrypick your favourites. Oh yeah, and it’s half the price of the main festival. Who could ask for anything more?

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