By Federica Purcaro (University of Brighton Press Placement)

Brighton Fringe 2023 is returning this year from May 5 to June 4 with more than 500 events taking place in more than 100 venues across Brighton and beyond.

Brighton Fringe has always vouched for open, diverse and accessible access to the arts. Once again, Brighton Fringe worked closely with national and local organisations to offer bursaries and funding opportunities for participants, this year issuing a whopping 48 bursaries for Brighton Fringe participants.

This year a bursary funding scheme was offered by Bird & Blend Tea, an independent, award-winning tea mixology company that started in Brighton and can now be found across the country. Their mission is to spread happiness while also reimagining tea, a people-focused company at its very best.

Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Two sets of bursaries were presented by Bird&Blend Tea, CommuniTEA and SustainabiliTEA.

The CommuniTEA bursary’s criteria required participants and their events to engage with the local community, be organised by/or benefit a community group/organisation and their event to be connected to something close to the community itself. 

The SustainabiliTEA bursary’s criteria was tailored for participants trying to include sustainability in their event in the following way: connecting with Sustainability within their event, educating an audience regarding sustainability topics and considering sustainability within their event operation(travel, production).

Four winners in total were chosen, two for each bursary. 

For the CommuniTEA bursary, ‘Can I Be Bored Now?’ and ‘ The A Word’ were selected, here is what you need to know about them

CAN I BE BORED NOW? JUNE 3, 4. £10 (Latest Music Bar)

This theatre piece will see two performers leading the audience through dialogues, music and movement on a journey using a visual art installation with projected drawings on screen. The aim is to bombard the spectators with multiple pieces of information, displayed in a similar way that social media platforms incessantly convey endless (un)related posts and news. The unease around it brings queries and doubts about everyday decision-making regarding covering boredom with social media. 

What happens when we put ourselves in the virtual world of social media? Are we seeking to escape from boredom or reality?

An introspective quest through a society where alienation is slowly becoming the norm, despite a desperate want to want to be entertained and swept away from this limbo of feelings.

The constant need to be entertained while losing the ability to focus. Can we be bored again?

THE A WORD, MAY 5, 6 £16 (Latest Music Bar)

The A Word is not a typical portrayal of abuse.

The audience witnesses the subtle psychological manipulation, and the gradual erosion of a woman's self-esteem and identity, as well as bearing witness to her friends' attempts to pull her back from the brink. 

Through the power of theatre, it encourages us to question our assumptions about relationships and encourages us to look more closely at how we react when we suspect something is not quite right.

This play shines a light on issues that often go unheard or unseen in the LGBTQ+ community. It leaves the audience with the knowledge that no matter the circumstances, help and support are always out there. 

The A Word is a fundraiser, with its profits going to Safelives, a charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good.


For the SustainabiliTEA bursary, ‘The Party Clothes Exchange’ and ‘The Puddle at the End of the World’ were the selected winners. 

THE PUDDLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD, JUNE 2, 3, 4 £8 (Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco)

The Puddle at the End of the World’ is Ensonglopedia’s brand new musical comedy, which asks: Water we going to do?!

The protagonists, Jamie and her Nanna have seen their home disappear due to rising sea levels and are now on the search for a way to rebuild their lives and stop climate change. Sound all too familiar right?

A show aimed at ages 6-12 but suitable for all.


The Party Clothes Swap is a zero-waste, circular economic project.

Bring your pre-loved clothes to exchange for tokens to spend at the swap.

You can drop off between 12-2 on the same day. All sparkly, glittery outrageous, clean and in good condition wear is deemed suitable.

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