Brighton Fringe Festival 2011 is packed full of comedy! Victoria Nangle offers her tips on picking the right shows
Saying that there’s something for everyone at a Festival or Fringe has become quite hackneyed. Yes, there’s loads on offer, but how to get to the one that is the precise something for you can be an arduous task. So here are some tips to get you to the right show, and what some of the rights shows might be…
Firstly, ask around at your favourite venues. If you find that one location keeps you coming back it could be that you have similar tastes to the bookers of the venue. With that in mind, find out what they’re looking forward to seeing, what’s selling fast, or simply trust your programmer and pick something at random, knowing they’ve not done you wrong in the past.
With regards to comedy, let me recommend investigating Upstairs at Three and Ten (www.otherplaceproductions.co.uk), Latest Musicbar (www.thelatest.co.uk/musicbar), Laughing Horse (www.laughinghorsecomedy.co.uk) – this year expanding to cover three venues after 2010’s success – and Komedia (www.komedia.co.uk/brighton).
There are quite a few others around though, so gravitate to your own favourite. Also, if you’re by the box office it’s worth asking about any late bookings of shows, as some may not have made it into the Fringe guide.
Secondly, take a punt! Some of these shows are free and all of them have a lot of work go into them. This is the best time to take a gamble and spin a penny onto the comedy pages and see where it lands.
One of the best shows I saw last year was on before a show I’d planned to go to but arrived too early for. It’s well worth shuffling in to see the show before rather than staring desolately into the bottom of a pint of lemonade for an hour.
Thirdly, ask around. It won’t take long for a buzz to generate around certain shows. Check the reviews (we’ll be posting reviews at www.thelatest.co.uk/7 the very morning after we’ve seen shows throughout the Festival, hoping to exceed last year’s total of 168 posts) and ask your friends and your colleagues. If you see someone laughing as they come out onto the street, quiz them about what they’ve just been to see.
Now book some tickets and enjoy this year’s Fringe!