Brighton Fringe, England’s biggest arts festival, has just announced the winners of this year’s bursaries scheme to assist in breaking down financial barriers to participation in the arts.

2018 also marks the first Freedom Season devoted to widening access for those with visible and invisible disabilities. Highlights include the return of last year’s sell out hit, Grace Eyre Street, a play written and performed by people with learning difficulties.

Freedom Season audience support includes touch tours, language-free, audio described and captioned performances.

Brighton Fringe champions widening access to the arts with bursaries and new ‘Freedom Season’
4 May – 3 June 2018

This year, a record number of bursaries have been awarded to offer financial support, while the dedicated ‘Freedom Season’ spotlights the work of Deaf and disabled participants as well as accounting for a wide range of audience access needs.

Brighton Fringe work year-round to help people produce creative work through the extensive, free, Fringe Academy workshops, an open access program and over £25,000 in financial support available to local, national and international artists. Seeking to create a vibrant and inclusive community, events are either free or low cost allowing as many people as possible to enjoy them.

Bursary schemes, which support artists and performers with the costs of travel, marketing, accommodation, venue hire, registration fees, props, materials and general living expenses have been awarded in partnership with local businesses and foundations. This allows those with passion and talent to participate without prohibitive costs. Please see below for a full list of the winners.

Window, Brighton Fringe’s in-house bursary and a showcase for rising talent, runs from 4 -10 May. It aims to support and promote artists to help them progress to the next level of their careers. Window is an annual highlight of the Fringe program, attracting industry professionals including venue and festival programmers, development agencies, talent agencies, freelance producers, directors, casting agents for film and TV producers.

The inaugural Freedom Season, dedicated to removing barriers for those with physical or invisible disabilities to attend and perform, sees Brighton Fringe working with participating venues to actively accommodate those requiring wheelchair access, hearing loops and disabled toilets as standard, as well as a range of additional assistance available including captioned performances and language-free. Freedom Season venues include Purple Playhouse Theatre, The Old Market, Brighton Open Air Theatre, Komedia and Sallis Benney Theatre.

Freedom Season includes everything from a relaxed open day at Brighton Buddhist Centre to a surreal, one-man show updating Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as well as cabaret, music and storytelling.

Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe, commented, “We’re really proud of what we do to widen access to the arts. We’ve got some particularly exciting partnerships this year, such as the Fringe Excellence program which brings two of the top shows from Edinburgh Fringe down to Brighton to perform.

“It’s a pleasure to support such rich talent, both locally and internationally, and ‘Freedom Season’, bursaries and Fringe Academy are all really important aspects of this.”

Bursary winners 2018

Brighton Fringe Window Bursaries
Me & My Bee – ThisEgg
Ensongclopedia of Animals – John Hinton
Land of Three Towers: Vol II – You Should See The Other Guy
Luke Rollason’s Planet Earth – Bright Buoy Productions
The Sleeper – Anima Theatre
Form – Rendered Retina
S/he/it Happens – Purple Theatre
Gender Euphoria – James Lorien Macdonald
Fast – Digital Drama
Witt n’ Camp: SWAG – Witt n’ Camp

BN1 Magazine
Grace Eyre Street - Purple Playhouse Theatre

The Pebble Trust Brighton Fringe Awards
Sass, Sex And Sureness - King Sammy Silver
Rice T*ts - Rebekka Turner
A Glass Half Empty - Sophie Pester

Go Think Big Brighton Fringe Bursaries
Spurious - The Bare-Faced Acting Company
Love Songs - Trip Hazards
How To Cope With Embarrassment - Two Pale Ladies
Fix My Brain - Two Surnames
Cultureground - B.fest

Irene Mensah Brighton Fringe Bursary
Louise Reay: Gaslight - Louise Reay
Friday - Alfa Marks
Subira - Subira Wahogo
Creation Song Norse Myths Storytelling - Root and Branch Theatre Company
Boxes - Purple Theatre
This Boy Tom - Natalie Sexton
Grace - Katie Reddin-Clancy
Medea - The Wretched Strangers

Brighton Lions Bursary
Geoffrey Mead's London Road Tour - Geoffrey Mead
I Married An Alien Card Sharp - Anton Binder Magic
Sing For Better Health! - Udita Everett
There was a Ship - Brian Mander
The Final Offensives - Elal Productions