Back once again by popular demand for 2018, our Brighton Bites Q&As offer an, occasionally witty – often hilarious, insight into the acts donning their flip-flops and shades (or high-heels and lippy) to join the line-up of England’s largest arts festival, Brighton Fringe. With 2017 boasting almost 1000 events across 160+ venues and 2018 promising more than 300+ free events to widen access to performances, our Bites aim to give you a taste of what’s in store.
Here, Sasu the Strongman and aerial artist Jenni Lehtinen tell us about their circus double bill Lyydia / Väkevä which they’ll be performing at The Sphire.
How would you describe your show in one sentence?
Jenni: Dynamic, dark and beautiful movement with the odd set of masculine equipment, based on a research of fear and excitement.
Sasu: How does it feel when a man meets the steel?
Why Brighton Fringe?
Sasu: Beautiful town and biggest performing arts festival in UK
Jenni: It’s nice to participate in a large-scale arts festival and I would like to get to know the UK performing arts field a little better. I would also like to get to know new people, meet promoters, see other shows and sell my show.
How did the show get to where it is today?
Sasu: lots of residencies, trying different things keeping some ideas and leaving some ideas behind. Sweat, pain and laughter.
Jenni: It’s like a puzzle inside the brain and it’s there to remind you all the time until it’s solved. Many long lonely hours thinking and testing the equipment. A lot of artistic research with an amazing professional team who wants to achieve the same goal as me. Going through the scenes over and over again and having discussions which way to go next. Having help from the Finnish circus field, colleagues and relatives. Keeping the final destination clear in my mind and heading there with ambition. No shortcuts, hard work.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
Sasu: Very intimate dome will take the spectators very close to the performer.
Jenni: It is a very intimate and honest show where I am so close that the audience could actually touch me if they wanted to. The show is different for every spectator since they sit in a circle around me. It might feel a little oppressive before it sets you free.
What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Brighton Fringe (apart from your own!)?
Sasu: The Nofit State Circus – Lexicon
Jenni: The same!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, or would give, for performing at a fringe festival?
Sasu: haven’t got any advice from anybody, looking forward to performing at fringe.
Jenni: Try to focus on your own work and make lots of follow up and work after the fringe.
Lyydia / Väkevä runs at Brighton Fringe on 4-7 May 2018
Nicole Craft | Image: Ari Kauppila