Brighton Fringe: Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man

Sweet Werks, Middle Street, Brighton

May 27 to June 2

Jamie Walker speaks to Chris Brannick, the man behind a Fringe show about a dominatrix and the devil

Hi Chris, this is your third Brighton Fringe. What are you looking forward to most?

It’s so open and welcoming.

The variety of acts and shows is amazing.

The people at Sweet Venues are particularly wonderful.

I think it’s also important to get a chance to compare yourself with what else people are doing. It keeps your own standards high and is a permanent challenge to be at least as good as the shows you’re going to see.

And there’s nothing quite as wonderful as going to see someone else’s show and then it just sparks something like a new idea, or a line you hadn’t thought of,and then you’re off with your next show.


Your show is described as “not death but a negative lifestyle outcome”. What is it about?

It’s a comedy drama about Maggie Taylor, an ageing dominatrix who seems to have the perfect life.

But she’s not expecting Death to drop in unannounced.

And he’s been told that he needs a rebranding.

It’s his own fault for getting the management consultants in.

As he tries to persuade Maggie that she really has to dance with him, and she tries everything she can to resist, they find they have more in common than they thought.

The story is punctuated by the songs of Annie Lennox and Eurythmics.

What was the inspiration behind this devilish tale?

All our shows have been based on Eighties pop stars. Get Fit With Bruce Willis was based on the music of Jimmy Somerville, Painted Love was Marc Almond.

We decided it was time for a female legend, and who better than Annie Lennox?

So I looked at the sort of songs that I’d like to feature and loosely drew up a plot around them. Multiple tweaks later, we had Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man and of course, the first song is I Need A Man.

I’ve also always been fascinated by euphemistic management-speak and the way we use it to avoid dealing with issues that we really need addressing.

The idea of Death having to rebrand itself as a positive life experience seemed like an obvious source of humour and to provoke some thought along the way.

What will people take away from this show?

I hope they will laugh, I hope they’ll be provoked into thinking, I know they will love the songs.

Although we’re above the average age of the Brighton Fringe audience, I still think people will identify with the characters. They are eternal problems that they face.

And I hope someone will take away an idea of where we could put the show on next.

So why is this the show to see this Fringe?

It’s warm-hearted, it’s thought-provoking and it’s funny. You’ll care about the characters.

It’s got Karen Kirkup [who plays Maggie] in a Basque and killer high heels and I get to wear a purple suit and bowler hat.