Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) has reopened its gates for a 9th summer season.
As Sussex’s only permanent outdoor venue, BOAT occupies a unique position in the local theatre ecosystem. With an open-access programming policy, opportunities are afforded to local, national and international artists, all of whom contribute to a diverse and varied programme.
Last year’s season saw record-breaking figures, as 24,500 audience members saw a total of 146 performances across the summer. This year, BOAT aims build upon its increasing popularity with dozens of original productions, including work from several new companies such as Tethered Wits, The Last Baguette and Circo Pitanga.
Known as the theatre that friendship built, May 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of BOAT founder Adrian Bunting, and in July the venue is holding a special and fun night to celebrate the man and his philosophy of art for everyone. Sublime! will take place on Friday 28th July.
This month there’s the usual eclectic mix of Brighton Fringe shows, including cabaret, circus, ballet, improvisation and poetry.
In June, Funny That’s Summer Comedy Festival returns for the third time, featuring some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy. Other highlights include David Walliams’ Bad Dad in half term, Duke’s Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night, and Identity Theatre’s Under Milk Wood.
July sees Horrible Histories arrive straight from the West End with Barmy Britain, a production of Macbeth from National Production Company, BOAT favourites Sarah Mann Company’s large-scale production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of King George III, and IK Productions start the summer holidays with a bang with their new version of Hercules.
You can soak up the August sunshine with performances from BOAT Patron Simon Evans, a Pride weekend full of Drag, Changeling Theatre presenting two shows in rep, Illyria’s large-scale Peter Pan, and local legends Brighton Little Theatre’s ambitious production of Shakespeare in Love.
There’s no slowing down in September, with TIMT’s Much Ado About Nothing, loads of music, and Show and Tell closing out the season in style with a full week of comedy with Stand-Up Under The Stars.
Will Mytum, BOAT General Manager, said
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome audiences back for our most exciting season yet. This year, our focus is squarely on maintaining accessibility to our programme for as many people as possible. We are acutely aware of the precarious economic circumstances many people currently find themselves in, which is why we’ve made a conscious effort to keep ticket pricing affordable, and a programme of work that everyone should find enjoyment in.
“We have introduced Child prices for Family shows, as well as discounted rates for Groups of 4 across all productions. Bar prices also remain extremely competitive, but as always, audiences are welcome to bring their own food and drink. BOAT exists to serve its community, and we’re confident that 2023’s summer season will offer many opportunities for education, inspiration and escapism.” Brighton Open Air Theatre is at Dyke Road Park, Brighton BN3 6EH. For more details, head to: www.brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk
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