In the week or so since I saw Relationship Status: Desperate I have been forcibly reminded of the sheer power of getting off your butt making something happen. Beth Symons, as well as being my new stepdaughter, is also an actress with absolutely natural comedic chops. In partnership with her fellow actor and writing partner Emily Mawer, they staged their show in the Purple Playhouse during as part of the Brighton Fringe. The play was called Relationship Status: Desperate and as its name suggests the play was about online dating. Beth and Emily’s characters having a series of outlandish dates with a series of horrific boys played with gusto by fellow students Bradley, Martin, Matt, and Grant. The girls had two good houses, did somewhat better than break even, and even picked up an encouraging notice in The Brighton Argus. The play had been their final year dissertation piece at college and here it was, a few weeks later, attracting a real audience in the Fringe.
For creative people of all kinds there are often moments when power drains away from you. As a writer it lurks in those moments when you have sent off your manuscript and what happens next is out of your hands. For actors it is waiting for the callback or just for the phone to ring, and for some of the Open Houses artists of Brighton it is waiting for one or two of the tide of visitors to turn into a purchaser. I am a firm believer in taking control and doing things yourself. Frankly it is the only way to stay sane. The Fringe as a whole is frequently a celebration of those mavericks who are pioneering ideas and approaches to see if they fly. Naturally there are a few duds, but The Brighton Fringe is an exhilarating time – and for creative people of all disciplines it is a laboratory of where all kinds of valuable experience can happen. Just one reason why Brighton’s Fringe is so exhilarating.