Phew, what a weekend!

Brighton Fringe and Festival kicked off on Saturday as always with the wonderful children's parade representing 83 schools.

The costumes and paper sculptures in association with Same Sky were spectacular and perfectly set the tone for the festivals that embrace arts and culture in all its forms.

Later that same day, the Marlborough pub celebrated its 220th birthday, a claim very few can match. The event was marked with a street party where the back drop was the impressive, almost surreal outline of the Pavilion with Tarik Elmoutawakil, one of the Managers dancing for the cameras and steel drums, which were playing uplifting beats.

Over on the pedestrianised New Road, Fringe City took off with performances, an art gallery on a bus, the English Disco Lovers rocking through, a Cuban holiday competition and a human fox hunt.

The Argus: Tarik at The Marlborough Street Party

To join in the fox hunt participants enter as teams in a live role-play game, dressed accordingly with FoulPlay costumes.

Human foxes steal swag from rubber chicken, sausage and cider farmers whilst being chased by teams of Hunters and Hounds who are after their fox-fur tails.

A Bookie and a Butcher run proceedings from a stall in the New Road, taking bets, chalking scores and dealing goods, whilst umpires marshal the game. More hunts are organised for 7, 8, 13, 14, 23, 24th May at 12pm & 1.45pm. 

The Argus:

Over at the Spiegeltent, outside the tea dancers came out to do a flash Charleston Stroll for You Tube and groups of friends gathered to drink in the pop up beer garden.

Inside on Sunday morning Herbie's Jazz Breakfast was packed out with coffee and croissants available at the bar, nice.

The Argus:

On the seafront Tight Modern had a steady stream of visitors for their art exhibition representing the Disability Arts.

The only stipulation was size of submission with a response ranging from felt, flat relief work, acrylic and original drawings sent for inclusion.

Simon Powell, the organiser told me his mission is to create a route all the way from homelessness to gallery. Previous success stories include two artists who are going on to degree level from the same Creative Futures workshop.

The art is definitely worth checking out with some very thought provoking pieces. I loved it and meeting Simon was the highlight in a weekend dominated by sunshine and good times. 

The Argus:

Meanwhile 200 venues across Brighton and Hove are making final preparations for the shows they will be hosting during May 2014.

With around 750 shows to choose from there really is a show for everyone. The amount of music, theatre, dance, art and comedy available is mind-boggling and also why the Brighton Fringe is so exciting, mind enhancing and exhausting!

In the past I've seen some brilliant shows and appeared in a couple (kind of), last year's Kate Bush Experience (amazing) and The Lady Boys of Bangkok (I've danced with them on stage).

So, with the Fringe speeding onwards here are a few shows I'm looking forward to next week:

Herbie's Jazz Breakfast, Venue: Brighton Spiegeltent, Category: Music
11, 18, 25 May, 1 June 11:00 £10 [2hrs]

Herbie Flowers really is a living legend and what a great way to start a Sunday. Playing well known tunes with his BFF (best friend forever) Malcolm Mortimer on drums, Herbie intermingles smiles and bass playing with some great banter as only a seasoned pro can do.

Half a Cod a Day, Company: Parrabolla, Venue: The Old Courtroom, Category: Theatre
8-11 May 21:15 £8 (£6) [1hr30mins]

Based on the true story of three generations of Hastings fishermen, this is about a fisherman's daily quota of half a cod a day.

One fisherman's annual quota can be picked up by a trawler in one day. It's a big issue and one I'm really interested in finding out more about.

Harriet Walter in New Play, Company: MOOT - music of our time, Venue: St Nicholas Church, Category: Theatre
9 May 19:30 £15 (£12) [2hrs]

One night only and taking place in the ancient setting of St Nicholas church, the Norman church dating back to 1091 above Churchill Square.

This is a read through of a play by Jessica Duchen and inspired by Quartet for the End of Time by Messiaen. I heard this piece of music a few years ago and the ending stunned me. I later found out that it was composed in a prisoner of war camp. The Ether Quartet will play the composition in the second half.

Bonny Boys are Few, Company: Enormous Yes, Venue: The Old Courtroom, Category: Theatre
8-11 May 19:45 £10 (£8) [1hr]

Written and acted by people from Northern Ireland it is the story of a lad growing up in a boarding house in Northern Ireland, surrounded by surrogate father figures in the absence of his own dad.

Using comedy and fable the piece merges fact with a fictional tale of a Spanish conquistador, an eel who eats misery, Harry Styles and featuring a live band, storytelling and a film. I'm intrigued.

For more Brighton blogging previews and reviews check out http://modernbrick-a-brack.blogspot.co.uk/.