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Two Brighton festival must-sees

Moving true-life tales at this year's Brighton Festival and Fringe

Regular readers will know I’m a bit of a Fringe fanatic so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell you a couple of my favourites that are coming up this week at Brighton Festival and Fringe – both moving one-man shows.

Wot? No Fish!! (Tues 8 and Wed 9 May) is a show with one man, some Tupperware boxes of Jewish snacks (at least there were at my performance) and an overhead projector. It doesn’t sound over-promising but the bittersweet tale he weaves had me in tears and remains one of my all time Fringe favourites.

Danny Braverman inherited a vast collection of cartoons of family life his uncle, a Jewish immigrant shoemaker, had sketched on his weekly wage packets for decades from the 1920s. From comic snapshots of early married life through difficult family times, cultural adjustment and world war. It’s a touching social as well as family history and it all ties up in a moving coincidence at the end. A friend recommended it to me at Edinburgh Fringe the other year and now I’m passing it on to you.

Another weepy but uplifting one-man show is Circled in the Radio Times. (Sat 5 May) I caught this at Brighton Fringe last year and was so glad I did. John Osborne was swept back in a flood of reminisence when he discovered a stack of old Radio Times that once belonged to his granddad. He tells about their relationship, and what the TV programmes his granddad had marked with circles and hearts said about him. Plenty of laughs along the way too, not least from a tale about a childhood joy ride in a police car.

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