13 things must-see shows over the weekend

Killer Cells

Sweet Dukebox, today to Sunday, 5.35pm

This play is about one of the most traumatic and stigmatised experiences – miscarriages. Using projections and films it follows the stories of four women who suffer repeated miscarriages as they share their emotional experiences.

Killer Cells is inspired by the trauma suffered by Rachel Pedley-Miller, director of the show, who has gone through 11 miscarriages. She said: “producing and performing in Killer Cells has changed my life. I was suffering with anxiety due to the losses but the creative process of sharing the play has given me some control back in my life.

“Meeting other women, their partners and family in person helped me link with others who know the pain, enabling me to feel less isolated and less judged. I can’t wait to link with more people, to break the taboo, to chat about the optimism we feel and how resilient we have been to keep the hope alive.”

Pedley-Miller added that there was a huge stigma around the issue which causes isolation and depression in sufferers. “As soon as you say the word [miscarriage] people go ‘oh’ and don’t know how to respond to it. It leads to some comments like, ‘don’t worry, you’ll have another one’.

“The show is cathartic but there’s still a frustration that this is the only place I can talk about it. The issue can get bottled up and there’s nowhere to go. People can be scared to tell their story. This piece is designed to act as a platform to help everybody in that position.”

Wake Up Alice!

Brighton Open Air Theatre, tomorrow (1pm, 4pm) and Sunday (4pm)

Two youth groups, Brightonshed and The Theatre Shed come together to present this unique performance of Alice in Wonderland. The show encourages the members of the groups to shape their own wonderland by bringing their own experiences to the table, thus merging the boundary between reality and the imagination.

The script was produced by playwright Richard Vincent, who observed the members as they told their own stories and worked out how best to incorporate them into Lewis Carroll’s fantastical plot. The show promises to “shake off labels to explore themes of self-image and society’s unrealistic expectations”, challenging stereotypes of disability, age, gender and more.

Sal Alford, patron of The Theatre Shed, said: “It is delightful to see our members being given the chance to perform at Brighton Fringe. These children and young people come from such diverse backgrounds and face so many limitations and obstacles in day-to-day life. It is heartening to see them being given this opportunity to tell the world their stories through theatre.”

Jerry Sadowitz

The Warren: Main House, tonight and tomorrow, 9.45pm

One of the world’s finest magicians performs a set of trademark tricks and improvisation. Sadowitz has gained a reputation as one of the most offensive stand-up comedians on the circuit but in his Fringe performance he’ll be focusing on his intricate card skills. He has written several books on magic and is always keen to preserve his secrets, asking audiences not to give away details of his routines. Once you’ve seen his show you won’t want to ruin the glorious surprises for others.


Sweet Waterfront 1, today to Sunday, 5.30pm

The people behind this play describe it as an “unconventional, quirky and voyeuristic” love story, so it certainly sounds intriguing. Themes of loneliness, stalking and, most prominently, bereavement are weaved into the story of Jonah, Sophie and a fox called Scruffilitis. Peppered Wit Productions have put on shows at the Edinburgh and Camden Fringes in previous years and make their debut in Brighton this year. They are raising funds for bereavement charity Cruse Bereavement Care.

Hurricane Michael

The Warren: Studio 3, tomorrow and Sunday, 5pm

This one-man comedy show revolves around Michael Fish and his disastrous words before the great storm of 1987. It’s not just about that, though – the production also delves into the inner workings of the BBC and the social context of the 1980s. With in-jokes aplenty it will attract those who grew up in that decade but the uproarious humour means its appeal is universal. In some shows Michael Fish himself has conducted a question and answer session afterwards – sadly not at the Fringe.

Just an Ordinary Lawyer

Marlborough Theatre, tomorrow and Sunday, 9pm

Tayo Aluko presents a solo show based around Britain’s first black judge; Nigerian-born Tunji Sowande, who was also a fine singer and cricket lover. Aluko uses this historical figure as a vehicle to talk about important moments in black history, such as the “black power” salute at the 1968 Olympic games to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Aluko’s follow up to the well-reviewed Call Mr Robeson is a riveting watch entrenched in social context.

Mad About the Boy

Caroline of Brunswick, tonight until Sunday, 6.15pm

Stephanie Laing talks about mental health problems and boys, as she puts it. And, she promises, it is “totally funny and won’t be as awkward as you think”. Having apparently barely met a boy until she was 17 she went through a “I know boys now so I’d better touch them all phase”. After a number of failed relationships Laing tells the audience what it’s like to attempt a meaningful – and not so meaningful – romantic experience when you suffer with mental health issues.

Gerry Cottle’s WOW Circus

Preston Park, tomorrow and Sunday, 2pm

The last chance to see this circus act that has wowed crowds throughout the Fringe. The event promises “death-defying daredevils”, “fast and fantastic acts”, “glitz and glamour” and “incredible illusions”, so a lot to look forward to.

Aaaaand It’s Back! Twig The Pixie’s Funtime Explosion

Komedia, tomorrow, 4.30pm

Twig the Pixie has lost his marbles. His young audience must help him find them in a show that always goes down well at the Fringe. After Twig flies to Brighton from his home island on a seagull, he grows to the size of a man and embarks on all sorts of adventures. Featuring a cameo from Brian Blessed. 

The Grimmest of Grimm Tales

Sweet St Andrew’s, today until Sunday, 3.15pm

Did you know the Brothers Grimm collected together over 200 different stories? Why do we only ever hear about Cinders and Snow White?  In this brand new family show, with music and comedy, The Story Squad introduce a whole new cast of weird and wonderful characters. Meet Godfather Death, Hans the Hedgehog and other lesser known characters from the Grimms’ collection of fantastical fables.

Oskar’s Amazing Adventure

Komedia, tomorrow and Sunday, 11am

Komedia founder Colin Grainger and his family are behind this adventurous show, with song and dance also included. Fun-loving puppy Oskar has been snowbound in the little house on top of the mountain for weeks. Desperate for a game, he goes into the forest to find a friendly animal to play with. But the animals Oskar meets are not at all friendly. He must navigate his way through the intimidating snowy terrain. 

The Wind in the Willows

The Warren: Main House, Sunday, 4pm

A new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved classic by award-winning company Box Tale Soup. The Wind in the Willows features handmade puppets, props, costumes and an original score. From the peaceful pleasure of Ratty’s beloved riverbank to the wicked weasels of the Wild Wood, join Mole and Ratty on their adventures, along with gruff Badger and magnificent Mr Toad.

Woodland Tribe

The Warren, today until Sunday, 10pm to 5pm

A last chance to construct a wooden climbing frame and then, er, climb on it.