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Brighton Bites: In the Shadow of the Black Dog

After an amazing response last year we have once again resurrected our Brighton Bites mini-interviews. These short and snappy Q&As offer an, occasionally witty – often hilarious, insight into the acts strutting, sailing, surfing (insert preferred form of transport here) in to join the line-up of England’s largest arts festival, Brighton Fringe. 2018 was a record-breaking year for the Fringe with over 575,000 people attending the festival; and with 2019 promising to be more inclusive than ever, our Bites aim to give you a taste of what’s in store across the 4,500+ events and performances that are on offer.

Next up, All The Pigs tell us about their show In the Shadow of the Black Dog which they’ll be performing at Junkyard Dogs: The Doghouse.

Describe your show in one sentence?
An endearing raw comedy about Alquist, a man suspended in an adolescent mindset trying to start life over, leading him to challenge his beliefs about what it means to be a man.

Why Brighton Fringe?
Brighton Fringe sets out to stimulate, educate and entertain. Which is exactly why we want our show to be part of the Brighton Fringe.

How did the show get to where it is today?
The catalysts for writing In the Shadow of the Black Dog are based on true events. My best friend died. Soon after, I became ill and was sitting in a hospital emergency room, alone and scared believing I wouldn’t have long to live. I felt unable to call anyone for support to be with me. Months later, I was chased down by two men on a moped, wielding knives, threatening to kill me and I narrowly escaped. After the experience of these events a thought has stayed with me I haven’t been able to shift: I don’t know if I can save myself. I eventually reached out to my mates and found we were all harbouring the same fears about being a man or not a good enough one.

What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
Our show is about confronting fear, embarrassment and pain, learning it doesn’t work if we keep avoiding the root causes and staying quiet. We can’t just put on a mask and convince ourselves everything will be OK. The way to break this cycle of hurt and suffering and to be able to move on is to be willing to ask questions, address the underlying reasons for our unhappiness and engage with others so we can better understand ourselves. Only then can a better life be possible, as we stop trying to survive each day and start to live.

What show do you not want to miss at this year’s Brighton Fringe (apart from your own!)?
Owen Roberts: Anglerfish

Please go see this man, he is a genius and his shows are beyond funny.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, or would give, for performing at a fringe festival?
Don’t leave anything to the last moment. And just enjoy the experience.

With the theme of this year’s festival being ‘DARE to Discover’, we’d like you to tell us a TRUTH – something about you or the show that fans may not know.
As a child, I had a pet duck called Dinamo that would sit at the table with me and share my breakfast before I went to school.

In the Shadow of the Black Dog runs at Brighton Fringe from 29 May – 1 June 2019. Brighton Fringe continues until 2 June 2019;

Nicole Craft | Image: Contributed

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The Reviews Hub

The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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