theatre can happen anywhere
In the run-up to Brighton Festival & Fringe, the Nightingale team will pick their five top shows to see this May. This week it’s the turn of Press Manager Nione Meakin, whose choices range from an exploration of grief to an extremely weird clown.
1. Backstage in Biscuit Land, Dome Studio Theatre,May 7 & 8, Brighton Festival
“Jess Thom has Tourette’s which makes her say ‘biscuit’ around 16,000 times a day. You may have heard her doing the occasional continuity announcement on Channel 4 – they’re quite something. I missed this acclaimed show, about ‘spontaneity, creativity, disability and things you never knew would make you laugh’, when it was at Edinburgh last year but it’s different every night anyway. I’m curious to see how things unfold and excited that The Nightingale is working with Jess on a new commission ”
2. Every Brilliant Thing, Paines Plough Roundabout at Regency Square, May 19, 20, 23 & 24, Brighton Festival.
“Dreamt up over pints of Paines bitter in a pub called The Plough, Paines Plough celebrated its 40th year as ‘the national theatre of new plays’ in 2014. Now the touring company arrives in Brighton with a pop-up in Regency Square showing a collection of the new writing for which it’s renowned. I’ve bought tickets for Lungs – and would definitely borrow a child to see Dennis Kelly’s Our Teacher’s a Troll – but Duncan Macmillan’s ‘heartwrenching and hilarious’ (The Guardian) Every Brilliant Thing looks to be a highlight.”
3. So It Goes, Otherplace at The Basement, May 8 – 10, Brighton Fringe
“I usually like shows from the Show & Tell stable, which houses various thoughtful, whimsical and weird comedians, poets, storytellers and theatremakers, and I am reliably informed that this one is unmissable. A wordless exploration of grief, it was conceived by performer Hannah Moss as a means of coming to terms with her dad’s death. It sounds sad and touching and looks beautiful. Needless to say I won’t be going to see it with a hangover (been there, wept down the beer-stained t-shirt at many an Edinburgh Fringe).”
4. The House Project, Locations TBC, May 7 – 10, Brighton Fringe.
“Returning for its second Brighton Fringe, Brighton Laboratory presents an intimate exploration of what ‘home’ really means, inviting audiences to travel though the life and times of a converted council house and Victorian townhouse (at as yet undisclosed locations in the city). ‘House 1’ is for sale – but what is left behind? – while ‘House 2’ toys with house as home and house as capital. At a time when home ownership is a politically-charged topic, I am intrigued by the questions and emotions it could provoke.”
5. GuruGuru, The Warren, May 1 – 4, Brighton Fringe
“A total wildcard, this one – but isn’t that partly what the Fringe is about? GuruGuru looks like some kind of Medieval plague doctor masquerading as a clown, posing in an Old Master painting. He describes himself as ‘a 6’ 10” creature of bulbous presence’ here to lecture audiences on the futility of chasing happiness. I don’t know if he will be funny or nightmarish but the possibility he might be both makes me – a devoted League of Gentleman fan – willing to take a punt.”