Best of Brighton theatre – Dec 2015

Weds 2 Dec – Sun 3 Jan

If you had three wishes, what would they be? Could power and riches set your heart free? A lad from the wrong side of the tracks gets a chance to have it all – wealth, greatness and the girl of his dreams. But castles made of Arabian sand have a tendency to crumble, and soon he has to choose between the man he claims to be and the man he really is.

Written by Doug Devaney and directed by James Weisz – the team behind last year’s sell-out show ‘Sleeping Beauty’ – they return to bring their unique spin on another classic, with a little help from their enchanted lamp. Taken from the pages of the ‘1001 Nights’, it’s an exotic cavalcade of dance, laughs, thrills, romance, and the occasional song, guaranteed to tease and transport anyone who has ever believed in magic.

Brighton theatreA CHRISTMAS CAROL 

Fri 4 Dec – Sat 12 Dec
New Venture Theatre

Tight-fisted, old mister Scrooge is probably Dickens’ most famous character. Bah humbug! Now this classic seasonal ghost story is being retold with energy, music and a sense of fun. An embittered business owner finds little joy in the world. Then one Christmas Eve, he is visited by a succession of spirits, each showing him the error of his ways.

Adult NVT members and the youth theatre work as an ensemble to recreate Dickensian London in a timeless tale of redemption and self-realisation. You never know you might leave feeling somewhat more generous to your fellow beings!

Brighton theatreA WINTER’S TRAIL

Fri 4 – Thurs 24 Dec
Theatre Royal Brighton

The winter snow is drifting, the icicles hang like glass – it’s cold, mysterious and beautiful. A teller of tales leads you through this glistening landscape as stories unfold, treasures are collected and magic is made.

This enchanting and very special promenade experience, for adults and young children to share, celebrates the joy of winter and the fun of Christmas time. ‘A Winter’s Trail’ is created by Herringbone Arts, winners of the national Family Arts Festival’s Best Family Event award for ‘The Secret Stairway’ at Brighton Theatre Royal last year.

Brighton theatreCAMP (AS CHRISTMAS)

Sat 5 Dec
The Spire, St. Mark’s Chapel Kemp Town

Peter Kay lookalike Scottee has rounded up some of the UK’s most mediocre talent for a night almost worth the ticket price. An award-winning artist, broadcaster and drag queen, Scottee is determined to annoy audiences with his brash, clumsy and provocative approach to art, performance and light entertainment.

A special festive edition of his now infamous variety knees-up, it’s a mixed bill of camp clichés, limp wrists and naff catch phrases. Everything is smashed together with some cheap tinsel, fizzy wine, a few great group booking deals and lots of good old fashioned light entertainment. With an ever-reliable line-up, this night of antics is more than suitable for mums, the gays and snowball drinkers.

Brighton theatreARABIAN NIGHTS

Sun 6, 13 Dec & Sun 3 Jan

From the adventures of Ali Baba to the tale of Abu Hasan’s giant fart; the tales of wonder told by Sheherazaad have enchanted children and adults alike for centuries. The ancient art of story telling is brought cheekily up to date with this high-energy total theatre experience. Performed by an ensemble of exceptionally talented teenage performers and directed by the award-winning Tanushka Marah, it will captivate the hearts of minds of any audience this Christmas.

Windmill Young Actors, an open youth theatre company based in Brighton and Hove, running weekly classes led by industry professionals for 6 – 19 year-olds.

Brighton theatreHANSEL & GRETEL

Sat 12 Dec
Rialto Theatre

Lantern Light’s exciting new take on the Brothers Grimm tale turns the evil stepmother into a tragic heroine. The hapless woodcutter is also transformed into a harassed father in this story of two awkward kids learning life lessons.

Remaining true to all the elements of the original fairy-tale, this re-imagining brings new wit and character to the family in the myth. With a thoroughly modern sensibility, this is both an exciting adventure and a heart-warming family story. Ultimately the play champions the traditional Christmas values of learning not to be selfish, loving your family and not always getting what you want.


Weds 16 – Thurs 24 Dec (except Sun)
The Spire (St Mark’s Church, Kemptown)

A classic Christmas tale for all the family comes to a new venue in East Brighton. Adapted and staged by critically acclaimed actor/director Gary Sefton and performed by a professional cast, the tight-fisted, money-grabbing Scrooge of Dickens’ masterpiece is brought to life.

With carols, candles, delicious mince pies by Marmalade, mulled wine from Butler’s Wine and plenty of ghostly goings-on; it’ll be a show to remember. Can three visiting spirits change the self-centred ways of an embittered old man? Will the true meaning of Christmas lift everyone’s hearts? Will Bob Cratchit get any recognition from his employer? I think we all know the answers!


Thu 17 Dec – Sat 2 Jan
Theatre Royal Brighton

The world’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll musical is back by popular demand, once again thrilling everyone with frothy fun and naughty moments! Following over 40 years of worldwide productions, Richard O’Brien’s non-stop party now presents Diana Vickers as Janet, Ben Freeman as Brad, Paul Cattermole as Eddie/Dr Scott and Kristian Lavercombe returns as Riff Raff.

The show follows the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids whose car breaks down outside a rather strange house. This leads to an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits. See website for exact times.


Sat 19 Dec
The Old Market

A rock opera set in Death’s waiting room, after an unnamed man is brutally mugged and left for dead in the street. While his fate is being ‘processed’ he meets the Angel of Death, who encourages him to reflect on his life thus far. Accepting his legacy leaves a little to be desired, the protagonist realises he must sing for his reincarnation. Can he persuade the Angel to allow him one more chance and what will be the price of re-admission?

The titular ‘trim tab’ is a small part on ship rudders, used here to represent the power of an individual to make wider change. With an epic rock soundtrack, it combines great theatrics with a thoughtful message. Both of the show’s performances are raising money for good causes, the earlier supporting Green Party and the later aiding the Red Cross European Refugee Crisis Appeal.

Brighton theatreJACK & THE BEANSTALK 

Sun 20 Dec – Sun 3 Jan
Ropetackle Arts Centre

Who wants some magic beans? It’s not a false election promise, but the subject of a fabulous Christmas show from the producers of Ropetackle’s previous sell-out pantomimes. This year they bring another mighty magical classic, performed by a fantastic cast and the cream of Shoreham’s very own local children’s talent.

Jack Trott and his ‘glamorous’ mum haven’t got a single bean between them. When they come up with a plan to help pay the rent, Jack’s ensuing adventure leads to all sorts of trouble. With magic, puppets, a stellar cast and a hilarious story, LP Creatives are back with their biggest show yet. It’s on an unforgettable magical journey. Get down there and see a giant of a show.

Brighton theatreGOLEM

Tues 29 Dec – Sat 16 Jan
The Old Market

The award-winning theatre company, 1927, return with their stunning new show ‘Golem’, following its world premiere at Salzburg Festival in 2014, sell-out seasons at the Young Vic Theatre in London and Paris’ Theatre de la Ville and a London West End transfer. It’s a follow up to the multi-award winning, critically acclaimed ‘The Animals’ and ‘Children Took To The Street’, which toured to 28 countries over three years.

Like a giant graphic novel burst into life, it invites audiences into a dark and fantastical tale of an extraordinary ordinary man. Blending 1927’s handmade animation, claymation, live music and performance, ‘Golem’ is a dystopian fable for the twenty first century. It cleverly and satirically explores one of the great questions of the modern world – who or what is in control of our technologies?


Mon 4 – Weds 6 Jan
Rialto Theatre

The Fertile Theatre Company are ready to take you on a journey to the whimsical town of ‘WHOOterville’. Its inhabitants are holding their obligatory Christmas celebrations, but nothing is ever simple.

Phineas Grouch is a young man with a broken spirit and a heavy heart. Cindy Boohoo is a little over-emotional. Minnie is desperate to keep everything perfect for the festivities. Richard doesn’t care much about anything or anyone apart from himself; and Ethel Ann is just desperate to be in the show! It’s a festive tale full of love, laughter and sheer calculated silliness. A real treat for all the family, it’s joyful and triumphant (and perfect if you’re trying to avoid the traditional panto!).

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