Backstage with…Brighton Fringe’s Dutch Season

In a guest blog, Journalism Works’ Hannah Steel meets some of the performers from this year’s Dutch Season.

This year, Brighton Fringe has been lucky enough to reach its connections across oceans, inviting a selection of award-winning performers from Amsterdam Fringe to join in the mayhem and madness.

The Brighton Fringe Dutch Season features a collection of diverse performances, including both shows and workshops, and runs from May 18 to June 4.

Every performance featuring the spoken word is in English, and those that aren’t manage to create a dialogue between the performers and the audience without any form of verbal communication.

Air guitar with a difference

Falk Hübner describes his work as “kind of air guitar, but different.”

His performance, I Will Carry You Over Hard Times focuses on a solo by a percussion player, who does not make any sound live. Instead he mimes playing the various instruments with sounds being played from loudspeakers.

Nerves don’t seem to cross Falk’s mind, despite never having been to Brighton before. Rather, he’s excited to meet the audience and make new friends.

“I guess the common ground is that everywhere there are interesting, interested and inspiring people, with whom one can have truly engaging conversations,” he says.

Falk hopes people will enjoy the show and become wrapped up in the hilarity of it all. However, he also strives to stir up society’s view of a percussionist: “I hope that it will kind of disrupt their idea of what percussion playing, and even playing music in general, can be.”

By not actually playing the piece, he aims to show the precision and training of a percussionist and how much effort it takes for a musician to commit to this kind of experimental practice.

His show promises to throw the audience into a shambles of disruption and joy, ending in an enormous tour de force in which he experiments with the boundaries of what is possible.

“I feel very strongly that different locations, countries and people that connect to the work also enrich it very much, and let it grow over time,” he adds.

Falk will be performing I Will Carry You Over Hard Times from May 18 to 21 at Sweet St Andrew’s, Hove.

Concept of manliness

Igor Vrebac is energised at the thought of bringing his show Macho Macho to the city.

The Bosnian-Dutch artist uses his performance to examine the struggles of men in a modern society, deconstructing the concept of manliness.

Asked whether he was nervous about the upcoming show, Igor said: “Of course not, machos are never nervous! Well, a little bit.”

The show focuses on two men trying to achieve the perfect physique but who are never satisfied. They become caught up in a world of gym selfies, Instagram and wrestling matches. It is this endless vying for attention that pushes the men to realise manliness is not about having muscles, but about having a close relationship with themselves and others.

“I’d like to confront people by making men objectified on stage and bring the audience, via what seems a never-ending journey, to a conclusion that is about being ‘man’ instead of ‘masculine’.”

Igor predicts the audience will find the show strange at first, but will soon surrender to the hilarity of it all, embracing the antics of the machos and joining in with the jokes.

What he’s most looking forward to is the atmosphere Brighton Fringe promises.

“I just love festivals where you’re drawn into the energy of the people coming there with the same reason: showing art.

“Brighton Fringe gives you this overwhelming energetic feeling and it’s up to you to receive it.”

Igor will be performing Macho Macho from May 31 to June 1 at The Old Market, Hove.

For full ticket prices and information, and to meet more of the Dutch Season performers, visit seasons.brighton.fringe.org

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