2009 is set to be a good year for performance in Brighton, with a whole variety of shows rolling into town. Tamsin Greig (of Black Books and Green Wing fame) will be starring in Gethsemane at the Theatre Royal in April, a show which has been described as ‘the despairing cry of a socialist romantic at the managerial pragmatism of modern government and at the separation of politics from vision’ (Guardian, November ‘08). Although this may sound like a mouthful it promises to be an interesting and gripping exploration of the shortcomings of modern day politics.
If you fancy laughing your way through 2009, then there’s plenty to keep you occupied. On January 23rd, Jimmy Carr will be bringing his dry one-liners to the Dome as part of his ‘Joke Technician’ tour, whilst March will see manic, flare-clad rambler Ross Noble perform his brand new show ‘Things’, the title of which will provide ample scope for his random mental meanderings. For those with a little less cash to splash, Komedia has a monthly new talent night Comic Boom and its weekly Krater Comedy Club showcases the best established talent around, whilst the Coalition Comedy Club is a bargain at just a fiver for a night of top-class entertainment.
But Brighton isn’t just about theatre and comedy, oh no! 2009 will also give us a healthy dose of the best from some of the leading dance companies from Britain and elsewhere. At least for the first half of the year, it seems that the Dome is the place to go for all things dance. In February, the award-winning Henry Oguike Dance Company will be performing its 10th anniversary show, looking back at its best and most popular performances which draw on influences as varied as Italian baroque music and NASA astronaut Steve MacLean’s spacewalk. Then, March sees Tanja Liedtke’s Twelfth Floor come to Brighton. The show includes performers from the Australia Dance Theatre and DV8 Physical Theatre and is a darkly funny physical exploration of human interaction. And with student-friendly ticket prices, the Dome’s giving you no excuse not to go along and discover your inner dance geek.
Then, to ease the pain of exam and dissertation season, the Brighton Festival and Brighton Festival Fringe will invade our seaside town for the entire month of May.
There’ll be all kinds of cultural delights on offer, from the latest new ‘hit’ musical to the best emerging comic talent, to crazy dancers throwing weird and wonderful shapes in an enormous purple cow (also known as the Udderplace). My own personal highlight of the festival is the Artists’ Open House weekends, when local artists open their doors to showcase their work, have a natter with anyone interested, and share a cuppa or a cake or two.