Seaside filth may be something of a British tradition but, thanks to a packed cabaret programme, Brighton will be dialling up the fun factor throughout May. So who would we see down by the sea?
Bourgeois & Maurice: Sugartits
Sometimes it feels that this twisted sibling duo have been the darlings of the London neo-cabaret scene since Jesus was in shorts. No matter – their latest album Third is a blisteringly witty smiting of malaises both modern (social media) and eternal (intolerance). Come for the glorious outfits, stick around for satire that could bite through a brick.
4 May. 9pm. Brighton Spiegeltent. £15 (£12 concessions). 2 hours.
Lynn Ruth Miller: 80!
Despite just turning 80, this American comedian continues to go from strength to strength with her new show 80! When not flinging sanitary towels around or stripping off, Miller lights up the night with wickedly funny insights into the aging process. Despite appearances, don’t dare underestimate this little old lady: the Fringe veteran walked away from Edinburgh last summer with the top prize for cabaret and thrilled London earlier this year during her Soho Theatre residency.
8-11 May. 6pm. Marlborough Theatre. £9.50 (£7.50 concessions). 1 hour.
Our review of Lynn Ruth Miller’s recent show: “If there’s one thing you must take away from this show, it’s that you’re never too old to talk sex, drugs, burkha-wearing as a pulling outfit and going after what you want in life.”
Eve Ferret’s Fabaret: Hard Rain
From appearing alongside David Bowie in Absolute Beginners to whipping up the crowd at the West End’s Crazy Coqs, Eve Ferret has blazed a trail down the decades with a big voice and a personality to match. As part of her Don’t Be So Shellfish tour which celebrates her debut album, Ferret marries her boisterous sense of fun to an eclectic songlist and throws them both a party to remember.
31 May. 3:30pm. Komedia Studio. £10. 1 hour 30 minutes.
Our Johnny Fox recalls his past meetings with la Ferret: “My favourite memory is of her post-dinner opener, crawling across the table on her hands and knees to grab my starchy boss by the tie and sing, an inch from his face and with her boobs grazing his Black Forest gateau, Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me.”
Barb Jungr: Hard Rain
She may be a newly-minted OAP by the time she turns up at this gig but Jungr is still one of this nation’s most vibrant interpreters of the American songbook. While Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen may be heralded as supreme songwriters, Jungr adds a missing quality to their repertoires that they never provided, namely a superb singing voice. In her hands, their material is taken to new levels of meaning and beauty and fans new and old of Dylan, Cohen or Jungr will undoubtably find something quite special in this latest show.
20-21 May. 8pm. Komedia Studio. £13 (£11 concessions). 2 hours.
We ask Barb Jungr: “what would you do if you had Bob Dylan to yourself for a day?“
Mr B Gentleman Rhymer
What ho! He may be the beloved of Michael Gove but this top-notch chap-hopper is no establishment lackey. His hit video Chap-Hop History has garnered almost a million hits and his legendary rivalry with Brighton-based chap-hopper Professor Elemental has spilled over onto YouTube in the latter’s Fighting Trousers. Open your ears and hearts and welcome in one of the finest musical comedians around.
2-3 May. 10pm. Komedia Studio. £10 (£8 concessions). 1 hour.
The Ladyboys of Bangkok
Not one for the faint-hearted, this show celebrates its Thai origins with fabulous costumes and masses of make-up and glitter. Crashing through normal standards of decorum, The Lady Boys of Bangkok help promote transgender acceptance to a broader spectrum of the population, beyond the usual theatre and comedy shows, in a way more overtly political productions could only dream of. Go and see it, but don’t blame us if you come out as a new person.
2-31 May. 8pm. The Sabai Pavilion. £24-£34 (£14.50 concessions, discounts available). 1 hour 45 minutes. See website for all dates and price combinations.
What did ex-Dexy’s Midnight Runners member Pete Saunders think of the Ladyboys? This.
Showtime at Cabaret Boheme
It looks like the cheeky devils at the Brighton Fringe programming office may have left the best until last. Bringing the curtain down on the festival is Showtime at Cabaret Boheme, a scintillating all killer no filler circus and cabaret show fronted by local hero Veronica Blacklace. The raunchy producer and hostess holds nothing back with floor-melting performances that have rocked London from east to west. We’ve already told you she was one to watch out for this year and now Brighton can see what the fuss is all about.
1 June. 8:30pm. Brighton Spiegeltent. £15 (£12 concessions). 2 hours.
We went, we saw, we loved Cabaret Boheme in 2012: “Overall, this is an exciting show, both sexy and thrilling in parts, which needs to be seen.”
A lap dancing club was a surprise venue to catch one of the most downright thrilling shows last year.
For full Brighton Fringe listings, please see the official website.
Image: Sin Bozkurt