BN1 lists what’s happening in theatre, this April.
This classic French farce by Georges Feydeau has been hilariously adapted by John Mortimer. There’s plenty of obsession, suspicion, mistaken identities and plotting, as a genteel Parisian social circle gets turned upside down. A suspicious wife sets a trap to expose her cheating husband who bears an uncanny resemblance to a drunken porter. When circumstances conspire to bring the two men together at the Hotel Coq D’or (the golden cockerel?) all hell breaks loose.
This fast-paced and bawdy romp of sexual manners promises an evening of rib-tickling hilarity, high jinks aplenty and a satisfying denouement. Full of snappy entrances and exits, this tale is frantic and scandaous in equal measures, with a liberal amount of bed-hopping.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, Devonshire Park Theatre, Tues – Sat 7 April
The winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the Academy Award-winning film. Now this Broadway’s smash-hit comes to the UK. Starring Hayley Tamaddon, it takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in NYC. Back then, ‘moderns’ like our flapper protagonist Millie Dillmount were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines and rewriting the rules of love.
Millie is determined to become a success. But, is she the real deal, or just another girl from a small town with a head full of impossible dreams? Thoroughly Modern Millie delivers a brilliant evening of madcap merriment, spectacular dance routines, great songs and a swinging eight piece live-band.
Tipping Point, Brighton Dome, Thurs 5 – Fri 6 April
The masters of aerial theatre, Ockham’s Razor present another exhilarating new show – Tipping Point. Staged with the audience drawn in close, five performers transform 5m metal poles into a rich landscape of images, as the action veers from near catastrophe to mastery.
Backed by a multi-layered soundscape composed by Adem Ilhan & Quinta, these poles are balanced, lashed, climbed, swung from and walked along. They become forests, crossroads and pendulums. This astonishing show pits feats of balancing and physical prowess, against the ever-present forces of gravity. As the performers cling to this teetering world, should they rail against the chaos, or let life tilt towards the tipping point?
FLASHDANCE, THEATRE ROYAL BRIGHTON, MON 9 – SAT 14 APR
A true masterpiece of high-tempo musical theatre comes to Theatre Royal Brighton this month. An inspiring and unforgettable modern fairy tale, Flashdance follows the determined Alex – a welder who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. When romance complicates these ambitions, she harnesses the feelings to drive her dream of attending Shipley Dance Academy.
Prepare to be blown away by an astonishing musical spectacle and phenomenal choreography. Flashdance includes an iconic score, peppered with smash hits like Maniac, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and of course the sensational title track – What A Feeling. Sparks will fly, and you’ll dance like you’ve never danced before!
THE PRODUCERS, THE OLD MARKET, TUES 10 – SAT 14 APR
A seedy producer and his neurotic accountant realise there’s money to be made by creating a sure-fire Broadway flop. By overfinancing this production, they can pocket the investors money after an early closing. Finding something suitably awful is tricky though, until they discover Springtime for Hitler.
Written by an unrepentant Nazi, the piece is a musical comedy attempting to portray Hitler and his partner as misunderstood by history. Employing the world’s worst director and a substance-addled leading man will surely make this all a disaster? Based on the 1967 Mel Brooks film, this bawdy musical is a classic tale of perseverance – no matter how ridiculous or dangerous an idea might be..
BEING BRAHMS, RIALTO THEATRE, WEDS 11 – FRI 13 APR
Multi award-winning playwright Gail Louw blends a universal, heartfelt story about fathers and sons with the wondrous music of Johannes Brahms in this new one-man drama. We follow hapless Anton (Andrew Wheaton) on a turbulent journey through the traumas of 20th century Europe, as he tries to make sense of a world turning upside down. No wonder it seems the only way to make sense of reality is to escape it.
It’s a heartless, tough old world – what with the Nazis, internment, a loveless marriage and a son he can’t communicate with. Being 19th century romantic composer Johannes Brahms is a much better option. Bathing in wondrous lullabies with the lovely Clara Schumann, it’s an existence where everything seems so much clearer.
TURN OF THE SCREW, CONNAUGHT THEATRE, WORTHING, WEDS 18 – SAT 21 APR
A young governess agrees to look after two orphaned children at a seemingly idyllic country house. But shortly arriving, she realises they are not alone. There are others – the ghosts of the house’s troubled past. She must risk everything to keep the children safe, even if it means sacrificing herself. Years later, confronted by the past, she’s compelled to account for what happened to her and the innocents under her protection.
A dynamic, thrilling adaptation of Henry James’ much-loved and genre-defining ghost story, Turn of the Screw was the inspiration for The Woman in Black. It allows the audience to develop their own conclusions about the events at Bly – and where guilt ultimately resides.
WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER? THE MARLBOROUGH THEATRE, FRI 20 APR
This is an account of one woman’s life-long love for Billie Holiday’s music, for the stars, and for her lost baby brother. It’s about camping holidays and friendship; about learning how to sing so that you can sing to the stars; about loss and memory; and turning memory into myths of Amazon princesses sailing the skies.
Cheryl Martin is a unique voice in today’s theatre, both in her own performances and the work she makes with others as a director. In both she examines experiences most people are afraid to talk about, approaching them with humour, warmth, and raw honesty – drawing audiences in and allows them to fearlessly explore with her.
THE WINSLOW BOY, THEATRE ROYAL BRIGHTON, MON 23 – SAT 28 APR
From the producers of the critically acclaimed Jeeves and Wooster and The Dresser comes a major new revival of Terence Rattigan’s classic family drama. Tessa Peake-Jones stars as Grace Winslow wife of Arthur Winslow, played by Aden Gillett, a father who embarks on an extraordinary campaign to seek justice for his son.
Having been expelled from the Royal Navy College for stealing a five-shilling postal order, young cadet Ronnie Winslow’s entire family are pulled apart by the repercussions of this charge. Based on a real-life event, The Winslow Boy is a courageous and often delicately humorous window into the class and political hypocrisy of Edwardian England.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, DEVONSHIRE PARK THEATRE, TUE 24 – SAT 28 APR
The master of comedy, Oscar Wilde’s work makes a welcome return to Eastbourne in this wonderfully witty, deliciously decadent and compelling revival. It stars national treasure Gwen Taylor as Lady Bracknell, Thomas Howes as Algernon, Peter Sandys-Clarke as Jack and the delightful Susan Penhaligon as the hapless Miss Prism. Jack wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin – the beautiful Gwendolen. First, he must convince her mother, the fearsome Lady Bracknell, of the respectability of his parents and his past. This is not as easy as it sounds, having started life abandoned in a handbag at Victoria Station. This is a brilliant and wildly funny story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.
Also on this month:
Fat Cabaret, Marlborough Theatre Friday 6th April
Cabarave, Rialto Theatre Saturday 7th April
T.Rextasy, Theatre Royal Brighton Sunday 8th April
Notes on Camp, The Marlborough Theatre Saturday 14th April
The Rubyyy Revue, The Marlborough Theatre Sunday 15th April
Son of a Preacher Man, Theatre Royal Brighton Tuesday 17th – Saturday 21st April
VooDoo, the Old Market Thursday 19th April
The Tempest, The Old Market Tuesday 24th April
Dan & Phil – Interactive Introverts, Brighton Dome Saturday 28th April