A one-woman play written and performed by Katryna Thomas-Shell, this piece tells the story of a feisty, single young woman living and working in Brighton. We follow Kat as she deals with unplanned pregnancy, sudden unemployment, and a severe chronic illness, which leads to body altering and life changing surgery. This production will make you laugh out loud, cry ugly tears, and maybe even have you dancing in your seat. At times, you will want to cover your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears, but you will leave informed and with a sense of hope and triumph. This is a story of resilience and strength.
Fri 10 Feb
Wildheart & Lyric return to Brighton with another fine slab of absurdist humour and compelling storytelling, throwing audiences into an irreverent world of dirty deals and mistaken identity. Wolf Meat subverts well-known characters and turns morals on their heads in this dark, sexy, raucous hour of theatrical anarchy. Grandma is the undisputed drugs queen of Croydon, but Detective Dawn Taylor will go to any lengths to bring her dirty dealing family to justice. The play is continually deconstructed as the actors drop in and out of character and plot, and take audience interaction to a jaw-dropping new level. Join Grandma, Red, Wolfie and Luna for a raucous ride that subverts well-known characters and flips virtue upside down.
NOT DEAD ENOUGH
Mon 13 – Sat 18 Feb
Theatre Royal Brighton
Award-winning actor Shane Richie and leading television presenter Laura Whitmore star in the world premiere of the next thrilling Peter James stage adaptation. The third novel in the award-winning Roy Grace series now becomes the third play in this box office smash hit and critically acclaimed stage franchise. On the night Brian Bishop murdered his wife, he was 60 miles away, asleep in bed. At least that’s what he claims. But as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace continues to deal with the mysterious disappearance of his own wife, he starts to dig a little deeper into the chilling murder case and it soon becomes clear that love can be a dangerous thing.
MYSTERY AT FRANKENSTEIN CASTLE
Weds 15 – Fri 17 Feb
You have one hour before the lightning strikes to bring The Creature to life. Part of Brighton Science Festival, this new immersive and interactive game/theatre experience demands you step beyond the edge of your seat. Using basic scientific experiments and the participants’ problem-solving skills to push the narrative along, they work their way through a series of clues to reach the game’s conclusion. You are in an abandoned lab, with a storm brewing and a monster to bring to life. Solve brand new puzzles. Do experiments. Have you got what it takes? With five shows on each day of the run, afternoon performances cater to families with teenagers on half term holidays, and a scarier adults-only version takes place in the evening.
Thurs 16 – Sun 19 Feb
Brighton Dome Founders Room
As you are about to discover, Chester isn’t your ordinary tree mole. In fact he is one of a kind! He likes wearing jumpers and sitting in his armchair, but most of all he loves adventure. Told with puppets, original music and imaginative antics, and nominated for Best Production For Young People at the OFFIES Theatre Awards, this show is full of humour, thrills, spills and great escapes. You can also have your very own adventure, with the chance to meet the woodland creatures and explore their dens after the show. Sunday sees both a touch tour, where blind or visually impaired audiences get tactile introductions to the set, props or even actors, and a show for audiences who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment.
Fri 17 Feb – Sat 25 Feb
New Venture Theatre
Directed by Chris Dangerfield, this reworking of a Federico García Lorca classic has got it all – generational conflict, a look at gender roles, brutal physical and emotional isolation, repression, avarice and abuse of power. It’s inspired by a Spanish wedding which ended in tragic circumstances. Lorca, both a great lyric poet and a theatre director, fuses all of the elements of the stage — language, movement, ritual, colour, lighting, and music — into a single drama and investigates subjects which fascinated him: desire, repression, ritual, and the constraints of the rural Spanish community. Here Ted Hughes’ version fuses Lorca’s vision to his own, resulting in a powerful poetic text which perfectly captures all the violence and pathos for an English-speaking audience.
GRIM HISTORIES: VICTORIAN SCIENCE OF MURDER
Sun 19 Feb
Get ready for some Crime Scene Investigations action, albeit Victorian style. Head down to Sweet Dukebox for a virtual tour around the British Isles, discovering the people and inventions that helped solve some of the most infamous murders in history. It explores the fascinating leading edge science of the period, including the use of fingerprints, the art of detection, post-mortem analysis, and much more. It also examines some of the most outrageous and notorious crimes of the 19th century. The Victorians had a rather unhealthy fascination with murder, and there was certainly an abundance of grizzly tales to keep them titillated. Not suitable for those of a weak constitution and recommended for ages 12 and above – you have been warned!
GERMAN CORNEJO’S TANGO FIRE
Wed 22 Feb
International dance superstar German Cornejo’s dance troupe, The Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires, are a true global phenomenon and the world’s leading tango company. This dance form has never been so superb and dynamic, with multiple sell-out performances across the globe over the past 11 years and a YouTube audience of over 19 million people worldwide. Cornejo’s extraordinary choreography and vision has captured the world’s imagination. Tango Fire encompasses and defines all that is Argentine tango and sizzles with sensuality. It’s accompanied by the unforgettable music and song of the great masters, including Piazzolla, Pugliese and Gardel. This exhilarating show combines rawness and sophistication with the seductive and sultry side of late-night Buenos Aires.
Weds 22 – Thurs 23 Feb
The Old Market
Following sell-out runs everywhere, The Pretend Men’s critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning, comedy blockbuster is back for another romp through the cop genre. A young police officer vows to avenge his dead brother, but then he’s forced to work with a renegade colleague. That’s the basis for a host of action movies, but you’ve never seen it played out like this. It’s a joyful homage to 70s and 80s buddy cop movies, complete with massive overacting, a dumb villain and an unspoken homoerotic understanding between the protagonists. It’s an action-packed hour of adrenaline-fuelled physical comedy, cinematic style, and uncompromising facial hair.
A PLACE CALLED HAPPINESS
Thurs 23 Feb
Debs spent a year thinking about happiness. It brought her down. A year in the making, this piece is Debs’ response to society’s seeming obsession with happiness. She began an experiment to discover the secrets of happiness and found herself drowning in a sea of self-help that wasn’t helping. Needing to drag herself off the sofa of apathy, she started to say yes to things, anything, to get her out into the world. The situations she found herself in challenged her thoughts on happiness and ultimately gave her hope. An honest and real, funny and engaging show, it’s filled with stories and secrets shared, as we follow her journey off the sofa into the world in the pursuit of something called ‘happiness’.
Sat 25 – Sun 26 Feb
Notorious ‘anti-drag queen’, performance artist, avant-garde cabaret artist, singer, actor and comedian, David Hoyle presents an evening of painful truths, unyielding love, and his own characteristic lacerating wit. Springing to prominence in the 90s as the Divine David, his lacerating social commentary targeted both bourgeois Britain and the materialistic-hedonistic gay scene. Labelling the latter as “the biggest suicide cult in history”, this is offset by breath-taking instances of self-recrimination and even self-harm. After killing his alter ego off he disappeared for a while, popping up again on the seminal Nathan Barley five years later. Now he’s back on the stage, wowing with his biting satire, bravura costumes, wicked comic timing and compelling charisma remained intact. It’s larger than life and twice as bright.
HOW TO DIE OF A BROKEN HEART
Sat 25 Feb
Brighton Dome Founders Room
Heartbreak changed Femi’s body and her life forever. Full of uncomfortable moments, full of truths, full of laughs, she ‘loves’ her way through life, all the while developing a chronic illness. Through stories of her failed relationships, both the beauties and the dangers of loving someone are illuminated. This autobiographical one-woman show backs up the anecdotes with scientific research, demonstrating the very real effects heartbreak can have on our well-being. This isn’t how a traditional love story usually unfolds, but it is a realistic portrayal of the most human of journeys. What it does show is that there’s no time limit on grieving, but it is possible to survive a breakup as a better person.