Best of Brighton Theatre – September 2016

Mon 5 – Sat 10 Sept
Theatre Royal Brighton

The wonderful Robert Powell and Liza Goddard take on Alan Ayckbourn’s brilliant comedy of misunderstandings. Beautifully crafted, wonderfully funny and charmingly English, this was his first great West End success and turned the playwright into a household name in 1967.

Although Greg only met Ginny a month ago, he has already made up his mind that she’s the girl for him. When she tells him that she’s going to visit her parents, he decides this could be the moment to ask her father for his daughter’s hand. Discovering a scribbled address, he follows her to Buckinghamshire where he finds Philip and Sheila enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning breakfast in the garden, but the only thing is they’re not really Ginny’s parents.

Treasure Island

Weds 7 – Sun 18 Sept
Brighton Open Air Theatre

The 88 London Road team set sail to Brighton Open Air Theatre with a new production of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classical tale of piracy and daring on the high seas. Jim Hawkins lives with his mother at The Admiral Benbow Inn. One stormy night, he opens the door to a dark mysterious stranger, who goes by the name of Billy Bones, and unwittingly sets in a motion a course of events that change his life forever. Presented by Nathan Potter and James Weisz, who previously brought us The Jungle Book, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and Into The Woods, this is an epic, all singing, all dancing, open-air adventure. It’s a tale of swashbuckling, mutiny and bounty suitable for all the family.


Thurs 8 Sept
Marlborough Theatre

A Chisenhale Dance Space and Marlborough Theatre Small Spaces commission, Shorty has been created and performed by Hester Chillingworth. Your child could do better. A little less chatter and experimentation would improve things enormously. As would standing in the right line and using the right loos. Your child has the potential to be an asset to the group, but needs to learn to put things away and seems not to understand the consequences of failure. Your child is like a cheap rubber ball – neither here nor there, neither this nor that, hard to control and causing problems, blurring lines and asking difficult bloody questions. Please see me.


Fri 9 Sept
The Marlborough Theatre

With a classic soundtrack, a solitary chair and a pint of beer, Danny Mellor presents a youthful and contemporary approach to one of Britain’s most controversial disputes. Undermined is a powerful reminder of how much the British social landscape has and, in some quarters, hasn’t changed. Experience events through the eyes of young miner Dale as he takes his audience through his personal story. Enticing the audience into the action, this one-man show explores the humour and struggles of the miners’ strike through energetic and gripping storytelling. Inspired by the accounts of miners who lived through the strike, this engaging work depicts a year where friendships were strengthened and communities came together.


Sat 17 Sept
The Marlborough Theatre / Fabrica

Part of Brighton Digital Festival, this free event is coming to the Marlborough, Fabrica, Belgrade and Berlin simultaneously, as well as being broadcast online. Sergina is a multi-bodied, trans-bordering drag princess, who sings and performs songs about love in a time of digitalism, both online and in the flesh. This unique happening will see a panel discussion with artist Elly Clarke and Magdalena Tyzlik- Carver at Fabrica beforehand. Everybody’s self, and yet no one’s, Sergina is up for grabs and she is untouchable. She is an image and she is flawed (and confined) by her own flesh/s. She is a self-sculpted c-celeb. Her self is worn on different bodies. She competes with her own image, and usually loses.

The Dresser

Tues 20 – Sat 24 Sept
Theatre Royal Brighton

Ronald Harwood’s greatest play, The Dresser has been nominated for Olivier and Tony Awards as well as an Academy Award for the screenplay of the film. The multi-award winning creative team of Ken Stott (Rebus, God of Carnage), Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen, Inside No 9) and Sean Foley (The Ladykillers, Jeeves and Wooster) bring us an unmissable production of a theatrical classic. Hilarious and poignant, it explores the relationship between two reluctantly co-dependent men. As World War II rages, backstage in a provincial English theatre an ageing classical actor is troubled. The last in a dying breed of great English Shakespearean actors, he’s unwilling to deliver his renowned portrayal of King Lear. It falls to his faithful dresser to rouse another great performance from him, before both show and star fall apart.

Revengers tradegy

Weds 21 – Fri 23 Sept
Brighton Open Air Theatre

The third production in their 2016 Season ‘Little Deaths’, Brief Hiatus recount Thomas Middleton’s tale of embittered rivalry, vicious sexuality and bloody revenge with a radically reimagined staging. The twisted intrigues of the vengeful Vindice and the tainted Italian court of Middleton’s original become the outline for a production that fuses electronic club culture, sex and gender ambiguity, drag performance and lip-synch. It shows a desire for revenge can too often descend into deception, obsession and irrationality. Black comedy, camp cabaret and tragedy are slammed together in a production that will make you question everything you thought you knew about Jacobean drama. Peppered throughout is uncontrollable, destructive, and consuming lust, meaning the production contains some scenes of a sexual nature.

Until You Hear That Bell image

Weds 21 Sept
Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

Commissioned by and developed at Battersea Arts Centre, it’s spoken word artist and member of the Roundhouse poetry, Sean Mahoney’s first solo show. Taking place within timed rounds, it describes his years as an amateur boxer. His father first introduced him to the sport as a kid. Through the performance we learn what it is to train and to hit and be hit. The piece also examines Mahoney’s relationship with his family and the experiences of a normal teenager. He has since won Literary Death Match twice, performed on Channel 4’s Random Acts and co-hosts the monthly poetry night, BoxediN. Now he presents a physical and extraordinary masterclass in storytelling, allowing us to grow with him.

Layla's room no text crop 1

Thurs 22 Sept
Brighton Dome Studio Theatre

For Layla, every day is a battleground. The pay gap, the thigh gap, over-sexed pop music and edited selfies – these are just part of the world she lives in. But this world is about to change. While breaking out of her bedroom – and with drama, comedy, poetry and music as her weapons – Layla deconstructs and makes sense of the realities, difficulties and absurdities of teenage life in the UK today. Collected from a bespoke national survey, writer Sabrina Mahfouz brings to life the voices of a thousand UK teens. Their ambitions, concerns, role models and regrets are woven together in this hard-hitting, yet hopeful, story of a girl trying to find her place.

Pattern Recognition

Fri 23 Sept
The Old Market

This visually arresting new work melds the talents of choreographer and Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate, Alexander Whitley (2015 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award nominee) and digital artist Memo Akten (Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica winner). They’re bringing the cutting edge of dance and motion-responsive technology to the #TOMTech season and Brighton Digital Festival. Commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and co-commissioned by DanceEast, the piece uses a system of moving lights, which can track and intelligently respond to the dancers it observes. In turn this opens up questions about learning and memory in relation to the technology of artificial intelligence. It also features a score by critically acclaimed electronic composer Scanner and Southbank Centre artist-in-residence cellist Oliver Coates.
9 To 5

Thurs 29 Sept – Sat 1 Oct
Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

Based on the 1980 hit movie, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, and book by Patricia Resnick, Worthing Musical Theatre Company take on one of the most upbeat musicals of all time. Follow Violet, Judy and Doralee, as these three unlikely friends take control of their office and learn there is nothing they can’t do, even in a man’s world. It puts the role of women in large corporate offices under the microscope. But when there’s such a dastardly boss, great characters and upbeat songs, you’ll almost forget it’s dealing with some weighty and important issues. So get ready to have a great time, as this slightly screwball comedy sweeps everyone along with its joyous energy.

Gamblers Guide to Dying 4

Thurs 29 Sept – Sat 1 Oct
The Old Market

Winner of The Scotsman Fringe First Award in 2015, Gary McNair once again asks; ‘what are the odds of living an extraordinary life?’ This is the story of one boy’s granddad who won a fortune betting on the 1966 football World Cup. When he’s later diagnosed with cancer, he gambles it all on living to see the year 2000. Written and performed by McNair and directed by Gareth Nicholls, this comic and heart-warming multi-award winning show had a sell-out season at Edinburgh Festival, as well as in Australia and the United States. It’s a layered, earthy and genuine feeling look at the nature of storytelling itself. Beautifully written and deceptively simple, this intergenerational tale explores what people live for and what we sometimes leave behind.

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