Best of Brighton’s Theatre this October

Heading off to one of Brighton’s many theatres this month? Here’s what’s on…

Tues 4 Oct
Marlborough Theatre

All aboard the voyage of verse! Sail over oceanic soundscapes to worlds old and new with Caribbean-British poet John Agard’s Roll Over Atlantic, a quirky and satirical revision of the notorious New World enterprise of Christopher Columbus.

After a successful stint at Brighton Fringe this year, Agard brings his unusual show to Brighton one last time before taking it on a tour of the UK including London’s Southbank Centre. In Roll Over Atlantic, the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry winner takes on the voice of Columbus, The Atlantic Ocean, a native shaman and The Mighty Mosquito, mixing the subversive tides of cabaret and calypso in a one-man show like no other.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tues 4 – Sat 29 Oct
88 London Road

The iconic thriller of the Demon Barber is back in Brighton for October thanks to the production team at 88 London Road. Based on the original book by Hugh Wheeler, barber Sweeney Todd returns to London after 15 years in exile to exact revenge on the corrupt judge who banished him from the city.

Armed with a sharp razor, the Demon Barber wreaks havoc on Fleet Street with his co-conspirator, the baker-next-door Mrs Lovett – who is in desperate need of meat for her pies. The stakes are high and there’s plenty a close shave in the classic tale directed by Nathan Potter (88 London Road’s Into The Woods and The Jungle Book). We just hope you like your meat pies bloody…

Fri 7 – Sat 15 Oct
New Venture Theatre

Written by Tom Basden and directed by Nicholas Richards, Holes captures three ill-matched colleagues en-route to a work conference in Australia. A mysterious plane crash, office politics and the fate of mankind are just some of the themes that the marooned bunch of misfits explore on a deserted island. They find themselves crashed in the tropics with teenager Erin, whose parents died in the accident. But there’s no time to mourn Erin’s loss when there’s sunbathing to be done and other passengers’ suitcases to loot for goodies. As they wait to be rescued, a series of unfortunate events threaten their view of the world, and eventually, each other. But, while it begins as a comedy, it soon gives way to something much more sinister.

Mon 10 – Sat 15 Oct
Theatre Royal Brighton

Written in 1908, this elegant comedy is widely recognised as one of the finest novels of the 20th century, and spawned an award winning Merchant Ivory film adaptation in 1985. Now Felicity Kendal leads a cast of vivid characters, in a stage reworking by Adrian Noble and Simon Reade. Lucy Honeychurch is touring Italy with her prim cousin Charlotte, who is quick to step in when Lucy makes the mistake of fraternising with the lower class. When she witnesses Lucy kissing someone, she has no option but to whisk her away to Rome. Back home Lucy becomes engaged to the eminently suitable Cecil Vyse, and Charlotte has sworn her to secrecy over the kiss. But guess who has moved into their village…

Tues 18 Oct
Sweet Dukebox

The Joneses are hosting one of their soirees, but it’s a full moon and something sinister is afoot. With only your wits and a copy of Burke’s Howlage to help you, you must discover whether the blood of werewolves runs in your veins in this interactive theatre experience from Firecat Masquerade.

As part of Brighton Horrorfest 2016, this game for up to 30 players will challenge your wits in a tale of treachery, investigation and negotiation; can you survive an evening of vol-au-vents, keeping up with the Joneses and fighting the beast within? A game of middle-class monsters where you may end up sharing a cab with a lycanthrope – but have you seen cab fares lately?

Weds 19 Oct
Marlborough Theatre

“I am making a show about my dad, but I don’t want him to see it.”

In Hard Graft, David Sheppeard investigates how much can change between one generation of a family and the next. He explores the lengths we go to bridge the divide between reluctant fathers and wayward sons. Set against the backdrop of the occasional mining disaster and the fading industrial landscapes of south Wales, Hard Graft is an elegantly and cleverly structured piece of theatre that strikes the perfect balance between self-referencing and the universally relatable.

Produced by Faith Dodkins and mentored by Stacy Makishi, Hard Graft engages audience with an intricate and complex journey between father and son. Don’t miss out.

Weds 19 – Thurs 20 Oct
Rialto Theatre

Written and performed by Alison Skilbeck, this production tells the story of a remarkable woman. The wife of President Franklin D Roosevelt, Eleanor campaigned for social justice and helped create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In October 1942, she took a dangerous trip to wartime Britain, to visit US troops, and see how British women are coping. Whilst bringing this wonderful subject to life, we also get some portrayals of English VIPs from the period, including the Queen Mother to Winston Churchill. Nominated for a Best Female Performance Offie Award, and granted special permission from the Roosevelt Estate to use Eleanor’s writings. Skilbeck’s one-woman show explores the public and hidden life of a key figure in 20th century history.

Fri 21 Oct
Marlborough Theatre

A cabaret-style evening of delightful performances from Brighton’s hottest display of new puppetry, Punched is back in town again after three sell out years at the Marlborough. This year, visitors can expect the same tears, laughter and horror from the show’s previous outings, with the addition of new work from a range of fabulous artists including Daisy Jordan (Barely Human Puppets), Annie Brooks (Colossal Crumbs), Fran Malone (Herringbone Arts), Joni-Rae Carrack (Beardog) and more.

Showcasing the incredible worlds of Brighton’s puppetry scene, Punched promises more than enough visual treats, surprising stories and emotional encounters to liven up your evening, overseen by your host, the drag ex-marionette Miranda. Think you know puppetry? Think again.

Sat 22 – Weds 26 Oct
Sweet Dukebox

Victor Frankenstein has disappeared from the castle laboratory on the night of a big storm. Solve the riddles and conduct experiments in Frankenstein’s lab in this immersive theatre experience, which comes to Dukebox as part of Brighton Horrorfest 2016. You have one hour before the lightning strikes to help Igor with his mission and bring the monster to life – but is everything as it seems?

With both family-friendly and adults-only options, everyone can enjoy the mysteries of this interactive puzzle room. Booking for this immersive theatre show is essential, with only six participants per session. Patrons are requested to note that there will be a briefing of the show 15 minutes before the beginning of the production.

Sat 22 Oct
Theatre Royal Brighton

In celebration of its 10th birthday, the unstoppable Magic of Motown arrives at Brighton’s Theatre Royal as part of its sensational nationwide tour. Join the party and revel in this incredible era as the scintillating show plays hit after hit, continuing the legend of artists The Supremes, Temptations, Jackson 5, Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie and more.

All-new for 2016, the captivating concert oozes the style, sophistication and musical brilliance of these megastars, with more than 36 classics revived by a huge cast amid a flurry of glittering costume changes – starring all the dazzling moves and musicianship of the original artists and bands.

Sat 29 – Sun 30 Oct
Sweet Dukebox

“A dark room with flickering candles. Two veiled women face each other. Hundreds of years have passed.”

To say the synopsis for Three Ribbons – Two Sisters is enigmatic is a bit of an understatement; there’s certainly a lot of mystery surrounding this puppetry performance at Dukebox at the end of the month. Rust & Stardust Productions curate the show, shining a light on what we can expect from the performance. With the company’s passion for storytelling, folklore and mythology, it comes as no surprise that Three Ribbons travels through two folk tales of ritual, revenge and rebirth in the darkest time of the year, with ageless magic spread across table-top and shadow puppetry. And as for the rest? You’ll just have to see.

Tue 1 – Sat 5 Nov
Theatre Royal Brighton

Dickens himself considered his novel A Tale Of Two Cities the best story he had ever written. It interweaves one family’s intensely personal drama, in an epic story of love, sacrifice and redemption amidst horrific violence and world changing events. In an era of regime changes and citizen protest around the world, this bold new dramatic adaptation by Mike Poulton (Fortune’s Fool, Wolf Hall) set to rousing original music by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman (The Cider House Rules, Beloved) seems more relevant than ever. Social inequality is rife throughout both England and France. Amidst this, a member of the ruling class attempts to escape his heritage and a daughter tries to reconnect with her father at the dawn of the French Revolution.

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