Viva Brighton Issue #81 November 2019

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Come and support your

wonderful Rooks!

Next up at the Dripping Pan:

Sat 2 Nov, 2pm: Chelsea

Sat 9 Nov, 3pm: Hornchurch

Sun 17 Nov, 1pm: Sheffield United

Sat 30 Nov, 3pm: Folkestone Invicta

And remember that anyone under 16

gets free entry to all Lewes FC matches.






#81 NOV 2019



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any omissions, errors or alterations.

What’s the most memorable piece of theatre that

you’ve ever seen? I can still recall every detail

of Before I Sleep – the unforgettable reimagining

of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard – expansively

played out by masters of immersive theatre

dreamthinkspeak in the shell of the grand old

Co-op department store on London Road in May

2010. Truly extraordinary! And, more recently,

Kneehigh’s bawdy and brilliant adaptation of Tristan

& Yseult; my personal highlight of the 2017 Festival.

Wonderful, life-affirming stuff.

There’s nothing quite like going to the theatre to

transport you from the daily grind (and we live in

grinding times). So, as the nights draw in and all

about is gloomy, we’ve slipped behind the velvet

curtain and sought out some of the dream weavers

who make it all happen.

Like Brighton People’s Theatre – the truly inclusive

theatre company who are making sure that everyone

gets to see (or be in) the show, regardless of

their means. We meet the prop makers at Plunge

Creations who can make just about anything you can

dream of. (Or at least give it a very good go.) We go

rummaging at Gladrags – a costume store that serves

the whole community, as well as visiting the state-ofthe-art

Production Hub at Glyndebourne. We look

back fifty years to the opening of the experimental

Gardner Arts Centre, celebrate its recent reinvention

as ACCA and look forward to the imminent opening

of a new performance space in Circus Street. And

Adam Bronkhorst goes backstage at some of our

smaller theatres for his 60th(!) instalment of The

Way We Work.

Now, places please everybody. It’s time to get on with

the show.


29 | 11 | 2019


Follow @cyan.brighton now





EDITOR: Lizzie Lower lizzie@vivamagazines.com

SUB EDITOR: David Jarman

PRODUCTION EDITOR: Joe Fuller joe@vivamagazines.com

ART DIRECTOR: Katie Moorman katie@vivamagazines.com

PHOTOGRAPHER AT LARGE: Adam Bronkhorst mail@adambronkhorst.com

ADVERTISING: Sarah Jane Lewis sarah-jane@vivamagazines.com

ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTS: Kelly Mechen kelly@vivamagazines.com

DISTRIBUTION: David Pardue distribution@vivamagazines.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Alex Leith, Alexandra Loske, Amy Holtz, Anita Hall, Anthony Peters, Ben Bailey,

Charlotte Gann, Chris Riddell, Dexter Lee, JJ Waller, Jacqui Bealing, Jay Collins, Joda,

Joe Decie, John Helmer, John O’Donoghue, Lizzie Enfield, Mark Greco, Martin Skelton,

Michael Blencowe, Nione Meakin, Paul Zara, Robin Houghton and Rose Dykins.

PUBLISHER: Becky Ramsden becky@vivamagazines.com

Please recycle your Viva (or keep us forever).




BRIGHTON ART FAIR at LEWES POSTER.indd 1 14/10/2019 16:55






Joseph Ford

Bits & bobs.

10-29. Have your tickets ready, please.

Anthony Peters opens the show with his

theatrical cover. Actor turned Theatre

Royal proprietor Ellen Nye Chart is on

the Buses; Joe Decie has a dastardly plan

and Alex Leith has a pint (and a singalong)

at Bar Broadway. Meanwhile,

Alexandra Loske is enthralled by

an exotic timepiece; JJ Waller is

mesmerised by the murmurations and

Joseph Ford and Nina Dodd conjure

illusions with knitwear. And much more


My Brighton.

30-31. Historical tailor Zack Pinsent

on dressing up and Brighton’s radical



33-39. Adam Bronkhorst looks back on

five years of photographing Brightonians

at work. What’s your favourite set?


Photo by Adam Bronkhorst



41-45. John Helmer is dropping names

(and rubber rocks), Lizzie Enfield’s

mum skips the show and Amy Holtz

(begrudgingly) reflects on what might have


On this month.

47-59. Ben Bailey rounds up his pick of

the gigs; Simon Yates of Touching the

Void comes to Komedia; Glyndebourne

hosts a fundraising gala for Homelink

(complete with a singing Prison Governor)

and Enter the Dragons is slaying taboos

at Chichester’s Spiegeltent. There’s a

lamentably timely play about football

and racism at the Marlborough; Cinecity

returns for its 16th round of adventures

in World Cinema and Brighton

Philharmonic Orchestra is approaching its

....8 ....



centenary. Plus, Dyad Productions bring a

one-woman adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s

Orlando to Ropetackle and Tim Crouch

puts the audience on stage at ACCA.

Art & design.

61-71. Lily Rigby’s Cornish coastal

paintings at ONCA; Jane Fox and her

exploration of the ‘human trace’ is at

Brighton Art Fair (in Lewes!) and we meet

the makers at Plunge Creations, who are

game for just about anything. (A Dinosaur

made from crumpets, you say?) Plus, a bit

more of what’s on, art-wise, this month.

The way we work.

73-77. Adam Bronkhorst goes backstage at

some of our smaller theatres for his 60th

TWWW shoot.


79-83. A recipe from Riverford Organic

Farmers that puts veg centre stage; Greek

nosh at Nostos; a love letter to Pompoko

and just a few edible updates.


85-95. We find an outfit for every

eventuality at Gladrags community

costume store; visit the state-of-the-art

scenic workshops at Glyndebourne and join

in a theatre workshop at Brighton People’s

Theatre. We get an update on Brighton’s

newest performance space, coming soon to

Circus Street and the University of Sussex

are celebrating 50 years since the Gardner

Arts Centre opened at Falmer with a look

back at the archive.


97. How Shakespeare’s starlings made it to


Inside left.


98. From saltwater pool to casino: the

many incarnations and mixed fortunes of

75 East Street.

Image courtesy of the University of Sussex

Image by Alej ez




This month’s cover artist, Anthony Peters,

is interested in exploring how an artist’s

background influences their work. In his

podcast Know Ideas, he and co-presenter Dan

Walters speak to illustrators, graphic designers,

fine artists and film makers about their process,

inspirational teachers and parents, or “how a

negative childhood can generate a desire to

create things.”

Getting the opportunity to study fine art in

Portsmouth was a pivotal moment in Anthony’s

own life. “I was the last generation that got

a grant to go to university in the late 90s. I

wouldn’t have been able to go, were it not for

that. I absolutely loved it. It was a space to

learn, and to dream, and to think.”

Anthony tells me that most of his heroes say

things “in a very minimal way”. “When I was

at art school I was obsessed with conceptual

art, and I think I still am really. That’s where

all of my ideas originally came from. People

like Yoko Ono, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Beuys

and then the YBAs [a group of Young British

Artists in the late 80s]. In graphic design, I love

people like Paul Rand, Anthony Burrill, Geoff


Anthony put a lot of thought into how he could

represent this month’s theme in as minimal a

way as possible. “The problem is that the theme

of theatre is absolutely rammed with all kinds

of tropes and clichés. From the comedy/tragedy

masks – which is probably the biggest cliché –

through to spotlights and scripts. It’s quite hard

to avoid when visually trying to represent the

idea of theatre.

“I did an awful lot of research in trying to get

around that. I just tried to distil everything

down to what that one moment is. It’s the

anticipation when you get there and when you

get your ticket torn, or when you’re about to go

in. That’s the part where you’re super excited

and ready to go.”




For some drafts of the cover, Anthony printed out

tickets he had designed and photocopied them

multiple times, “to make it look more grimy. A lot

of tickets are digital now, but it’s so lovely when

you’ve got a physical ticket – especially with a

perforated edge that you can rip.”

Anthony is co-curating Look At This Brighton

with arts consultant/curator Charlotte

Parsons, a new festival of printmaking at

Phoenix Gallery from 16th November to 15th

December. “We got together and thrashed out

a dream list of people we’d want involved. And

everybody’s said yes. Stanley Donwood, who

does all the Radiohead sleeves, Anthony Burrill,

Michael C Place (who runs Studio.Build),

Sophie Smallhorn, Hello Marine and more”.

Three pieces by each artist will be on display

in Phoenix’s main space as well as a range of

events, including a Maker’s Store, Printmaker’s

Tabletop Fair and a Printmaking Weekend for


Joe Fuller




Insta @lookatthisbrighton




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Got an idea that could help save the planet?

Plus X Brighton – who launch their new

Innovation Hub in January 2020 – would

like to hear from you.

‘Plus X Brighton champions innovation and

invention…’ says Mat Hunter, co-CEO at

Plus X. ‘Whether you think of yourself as

an entrepreneur and innovator, or just an

optimist and challenger, an artist, maker or

simply a person with a good idea who wants

to make a positive change, we are seeking

Brighton’s most inventive minds!’

To that end, Plus X have been running a

Disruptors competition, seeking local talent

in the field of sustainable product design

and the circular economy. (The closing

date for entries is the 3rd of November, so,

if you’re quick, there’s still time to enter.)

The shortlisted entrants will pitch their

ideas at a ‘Dragon’s Den’-style event at the

Unbarred Brewery & Tap Room on the 12th

of November.

The winner will receive six months free desk

space, access to workshops with specialist

equipment and a placement on the Plus X

mentorship programme at their state of the

art new innovation hub located at Preston

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it to market.

Local business leaders are invited to join the

audience at the competition evening (beer

and pizza included!). If you’d like to be there

visit hub.plusx.space/disruptors and book

your place at eventbrite.



Ellen met Theatre Royal manager Henry Nye Chart while working

as an actress in 1865. They married in 1867, and she inherited

the theatre after he died in 1876.

An article on The Keep’s website explains that Ellen – in her

thirties and with an eight-year-old child to care for – presented

her first series of shows at the Theatre Royal ‘just weeks after her

husband’s death’. She replaced the resident company with a series

of popular touring productions (sound familiar?) and introduced

matinee performances.

Ellen was not only a popular theatre proprietor, but a canny

businesswoman too. She programmed an annual pantomime, with performances every evening from

Christmas Eve until early February. The success of the panto was a key element in turning the Theatre

Royal’s deficit of £6,000 into a profit of £38,000 during her tenure. She was generous, however:

staff and inmates of the Brighton Workhouse – more than 1,000 in total – were invited to a free panto

performance every year.

Ellen died unexpectedly in 1892. A report in the Brighton Herald concluded that ‘so busy and bustling

a spirit should have been extinguished at so early an age… is a source of deep regret to all those connected

directly or indirectly with the Theatre.’ Joe Fuller

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

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Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019



A Prince’s Treasure is now open, and some of

the rooms in the Royal Pavilion look very close

today to what George IV had envisaged and

created in the 1820s. For me, the most wonderful

object, and one of several that brought tears

to my eyes, is one you may miss at first. Partly

because it is so much part of the decorative

scheme that surrounds it, it doesn’t jump out

at you immediately. Look closer though and be

amazed how one beautifully designed object

can pull a whole room together and reflect

everything around it, and more.

The object of my affection is a gilt-bronze

clock that sits on the mantelpiece of the north

wall of the Banqueting Room. It was designed

for this location by Robert Jones, who created

the interiors of the Banqueting Room and Saloon,

and made in c1819 by Benjamin Vulliamy,

with gilding by Fricker & Henderson. In a way,

it doesn’t matter much that it is a clock and its

practical use pales into insignificance compared

to what surrounds it.

Two Chinese figures, one male, one female,

flank the silver-faced clock with its serpent-shaped

hands. Clad in shimmering, heavily

decorated garments (created with enamel




paint), they lean against the clock, or time in general,

in languid theatricality, exuding leisure, beauty and

exoticism. On top of the clock sits a peacock, echoing

the phoenix birds that appear to hold the four

corner chandeliers in the room. Many of the motifs

and colours you find in the Banqueting Room and

elsewhere in the building, such as dragons, sunflowers,

snakes, stars, figure groups, silver, gold, and deep

blues and reds, you find on this object. In many ways

it is both a reflection and a concentrated version of

what is around it: the best of European Chinoiserie,

an invented vision of Asia, a dream of otherness and

distant worlds.

As far as we know Jones never travelled to China, but

he may well have been inspired by French Chinoiseries

of the 18th century, such as François Boucher’s

paintings, or by the spectacular gilt ‘Chinese’ figures

surrounding the mid-18th century Chinese Teahouse

in the park of Sanssouci in Potsdam, Germany. Seated

and reclining figures are also present in decorative

Chinese export ware, with which Robert Jones would

have been familiar.

The clock has a near twin on the opposite side of the

room, a barometer with an integrated thermometer,

similarly surrounded by figures and ornaments, but

painted in different colours, with different motifs.

The arrival of these two magnificent objects gave us a

chance to look at some of the detail of the figures, and

– unsurprisingly – we have found more that links them

to the room, including starburst patterns and possibly

masonic symbols that are also on the canopies above

the fireplace. You will not learn much about Chinese

robes from these figures, but a lot about how George

IV and Robert Jones’ minds worked.

I had seen and studied the clock and barometer before,

at Windsor Castle, but seeing them back in the place

they were designed for was a truly moving moment. It

felt as if a final jigsaw piece had been slotted into the

theatrical design scheme of the Banqueting Room.

Alexandra Loske, Art Historian and Curator

A Prince’s Treasure – From Buckingham Palace to the

Royal Pavilion. The Royal Collection Returns to Brighton.

Free with Royal Pavilion admission.

Detail of the Banqueting Room clock.

Photograph by Nicola Turner-Inman

Chinoiserie figures at Sanssouci, Potsdam.

Photograph by Stella Beddoe

Banqueting Room painting by Robert Jones, 1817.

Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove


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Independent magazines are

great for so many reasons,

not least of which is that the

people behind the magazines

are inevitably enthusiastic

about what they do. Another

is that we have magazines in

the shop that cover so many

different interests in so many

different ways. There are still

some themes that don’t yet

seem to be well-covered or, to

put it differently to all hopeful

magazine publishers out there, gaps to fill

still exist. Theatre, the theme of this month’s

Viva, is one of them.

Before cinema (and still sometimes today)

theatre was the place where the audience was

amazed by the stage craft, the scenery, the

lighting and the tricks of production as well

as the acting. ‘Don’t be so theatrical’ came to

mean ‘Don’t be so over the top’.

In this sense, a number of our magazines are

definitely theatrical. Because they are independent

– ergo less restrained by budgets or a

narrow imagination – they

can do things other magazines

can’t or won’t, often in

ways that surprise us, like the

theatre still can.

Take Buffalo Zine, for example.

There’s no point looking

for that recognisable cover

each time a new issue comes

out because the size, format

and presentation are always

different. You’ll often hear

us wondering what the next

Buffalo Zine is going to look like.

This new issue is no exception. It’s almost

indescribable. Elise has just said that each

spread feels like an experiment. She’s right. It’s

colourful, unpredictable and sort of crazy. It’s

very visual and has fashion as a component but

definitely isn’t a fashion magazine. It covers so

much ground and you won’t have seen anything

quite like it. Come and have a look, sit down

in our front-row seat and be prepared to be

surprised. Let the curtain rise.

Martin Skelton, Magazine Brighton


We couldn’t agree more. Just in case you needed a

reminder, you will always be enough.

We’ve been spotting this heartfelt message on the back

of bathroom doors across the city (and beyond) lately

and get a little lift every time we do.

But where did we find this lavatory love letter?

Last month’s answer: North Laine Brewhouse



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I approach Bar Broadway, on

the corner of Steine Street, just

off St James’s Street, at about

10pm on a Tuesday, knowing

that an open-mic piano singalong

will be in full swing. I’m

not sure I’m particularly looking

forward to the experience.

From its name, and a glimpse of

its glitzy exterior, you can guess

what’s coming when you walk

through the door: plush red

walls, black ceiling and floor,

framed posters and photos of

musical stars of the stage: Liza

Minnelli, Judy Garland, John

Travolta. It’s full without being

brimming, mostly with men,

mostly of a certain age. On a

mini-stage at the back, framed

by red velvet curtains, a fellah

in glasses, accompanied by a

pianist, is singing A Spoonful of

Sugar, from Mary Poppins.

I’m ushered in by the compere

of the night, who shows me

a pile of songbooks (I spot

Abba, and The Carpenters)

and tells me I’m welcome to

sing a song if I can find one

that I like. I order a pint of

Kozel lager from one of the

two friendly young barmen,

dressed identically all in black,

in Bar Broadway-logoed polo

shirts: it’s service with a smile,

and a complimentary bowl of

hot salted popcorn. I warm to

the place… it’s impossible not

to. The singer switches to Those

Magnificent Men in their Flying


I wonder how long some of

these old fellows have been

coming here. Bar Broadway was

originally The Queen’s Head,

which dates back to at least

1849. Not surprisingly, given its

name and location, it became

one of Brighton’s foremost gay

bars in the 70s – with a portrait

of Freddie Mercury on its

sign – before, after the turn of

the millennium, converting to

The Three and Ten, a bar/club

which opened till 3am. A mini

theatre was introduced upstairs,

for intimate performances of all

sorts of genres.

The theatre’s not open tonight:

all the action is on the stage

downstairs. I’m not tempted

to sing a song myself, but I do

join in a couple of choruses,

particularly when the compere

launches into Anything Goes.

I’ve only planned to have a pint

here, but another beer is in

order. I eventually leave after

applauding a show-stopping

performance, by a chap in his

nineties, of Little Man You’ve

Had a Busy Day, which I later

learnt was released in 1934. Is

that a tear in my eye? Alex Leith

10 Steine Street




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‘The curtain is now up on Brighton’s greatest free show,’ writes JJ Waller.

‘The annual evening starling murmuration is back in the skies over Brighton; an

unpredictable, captivating experience that never disappoints. Pure theatre.’






Have you ever wanted to disappear into the

background? If you have, you might want to

enlist the help of an unlikely and obsessive pair:

Joseph Ford who loves creating and capturing

optical illusions with his camera, and Nina Dodd

who loves to knit peculiar things. Combine the

two and you get Invisible Jumpers: a collaboration

that began in 2014, when Joseph met Nina on

a photographic assignment that called for some

inventive knitting.

Joseph was taken with a jumper that Nina had

made to match the upholstery on a Brighton bus

and suggested that they photograph it onboard.

As expected, the carefully chosen model blended

gratifyingly into the seat. One jumper led to

another and the Brighton-based duo have collaborated

on a series of increasingly challenging

knitting illusions ever since. ‘I work on the principle

that if it’s conceivable, it must be knittable!’

writes Nina.

The results are captured in a beautifully produced

book, recently published by Hoxton Mini Press.

While the 25 images look effortless, each took

weeks, sometimes months in the making, with Joseph

carefully scouting the locations and models

before giving Nina a plan for the image. Together

they matched yarns to the colour and texture of

the backgrounds and Nina deftly knitted up the

garments – some taking upwards of 90 hours to

complete and incorporating 24 different colours.

Finally, Joseph returned to the locations, meticulously

positioning the models and knitwear and

hoping that nothing too much had changed in the





The images are extraordinary. Graffiti artists

become part of their paintings; a flame-haired

hipster lays camouflaged against a tiled Tokyo

stairway; a woman becomes part of a ragged cliff

edge; teenagers merge into a messy bedroom

floor, strewn with records and Rizla. There’s no

computer trickery. No CGI (Joseph describes

knitting as ‘the ultimate analogue process’); just

the visual intrigue created by Nina’s meticulous

knitting and Joseph’s careful camera angles.

‘I love this kind of attention to the absurd,’ writes

Norman Cook (aka Fat Boy Slim), who appears

(or rather disappears) in the book, against a

six-metre Acid House smiley face, ‘Right up my

street.’ Ours too. Poring over the images offers a

soothing diversion from our increasingly digital

world: equal parts homespun labour of love and

mind-bending marvel of patience.

Lizzie Lower

£12.95, hoxtonminipress.com






Your future.








The Creative Future Writers’

Anthology is fast becoming a

fixture of literary life in Brighton.

The anthology collects the

winning entries from the Writers’

Award Competition, which invites

submissions from those who lack

opportunities due to mental health

issues, disability, health or social

circumstance. The awards come

under six headings – Platinum

through Bronze to Commended

– and comprise packages with mentorships,

retreats, Faber Academy and Poetry

School courses, and various books. There’s also a

swanky launch in London, and a chance to meet

judges and fellow winners.

Matt Freidson, Deputy Director of Creative

Future, outlines this year’s theme: ‘For 2019 we

asked: what does ‘home’ mean?’ Out of over

a thousand entries the winning pieces in their

various categories are evenly divided between

poetry and prose pieces, with a section of work

from this year’s judges at the back of the book.

The standard is high. Gary Evans’ Hefted is

about a farmworker trying to get a ewe that’s

lost her new-born lamb to accept another ewe’s

lamb: ‘A rejected lamb’s only got a couple of

hours.’ The language hurtles along: ‘Moka

pot gurgles. Coffee’s done. Fetch Bunk and

McNulty from the barn.’ The race against time,

the brutality of the farm, are brilliantly done.

Iqbal Hussain’s piece opens: ‘I was fourteen

years old when my parents sold me into slavery.’

This is the plight of the narrator’s mother, and

what follows is a classic portrait of an immigrant

family, held together by a matriarch who resents

her early marriage, but not her

family: ‘But look what I have now.

I am the wealthiest woman in the

world.’ Susan Hunter Downer’s

piece also explores estrangement

in The Space Between Words: ‘I were

a woman once… I’m a rain cloud

now.’ The device of woman-into-cloud

allows Downer to convey

with poetry and grim humour

life in a ‘hostile environment’. I

was also impressed by Michelle

Perkins’ The Out, whose narrator’s

alienation is conveyed in a striking idiolect of

her own: ‘People all about and I an unseen.’

This unorthodox syntax is skillfully sustained

throughout the piece to moving effect.

The poets are equally powerful. Sallyanne Rock

uses the structure of a recipe to contrast domestic

abuse with the contentment of home cooking

in You Are Not Nigella Lawson: ‘Soften onions in

oil on a low flame.../Reflect on the last time you

felt scared.’ Natalia Theodoridou creates a little

road movie of migration whose title is a little

poem in itself: ‘After the Backdrop of Pale Men,

Under the Fake Rain, After We Left For Good.’

Sally Davis’s poem In my imaginary house, I’d have

imaginary parents is a series of striking images

that ends on the most beautiful image of all.

And Lauren Robinson offers a prayer every poet

will recognise: ‘Moon Be My Mother’.

But what order, you might be asking, do these

pieces come in? Which are the Platinum, Gold

Silver entries? Reader, you’ll have to buy the

book to find out.

John O’Donoghue

Home, Creative Future, £6 creativefuture.org.uk









Sunday 5 April 2020 at 3pm

Book now at:


A one-off charity concert featuring

a stellar line-up of world-class

British singers performing popular

arias and ensembles from opera

and musicals.

Compère: John Suchet

Louise Alder

Barry Banks

Sophie Bevan MBE

Allan Clayton

Dame Sarah Connolly DBE

Yvonne Howard

Painting by Amy Sherratt, a member of the Meath community

Photo by Restyler/Shutterstock.com

Jacques Imbrailo

Sally Matthews

Danielle de Niese

Mark Padmore CBE

Brindley Sherratt

Sir John Tomlinson CBE

All the performers are donating their

services and the proceeds from the

concert will go to The Meath Epilepsy

Charity (registered in England and

Wales no: 200359).

Give the gift of song

this Christmas with tickets

to this stunning concert




Photo by Paul Demuth

If you’re not familiar

with the Purple Playhouse

in Hove, you’re

not alone. But you are

almost certainly missing

out. Henry Bruce, its

theatre and events manager

talks Viva through

the story of one of the

city’s true hidden gems.

We’re based on the

first floor of the Grace

Eyre Foundation, a four-storey converted

church at the corner of Montefiore Road and

Old Shoreham Road. There’s been a theatre

here since the 50s. Historically it was used

as part of Grace Eyre’s day service. But that

meant it wasn’t being used in the evening or at

weekends, which seemed a shame because it’s

a cracking space. So in 2011 we spent a lot of

money bringing it up to speed. It was at that

point we started using it commercially to raise

funds for the charity, which helps learning disabled

people in Brighton and Hove with housing,

employment and independent living.

Now we put on a regular programme of

shows. There’s a stand-up comedy night every

third Thursday of the month featuring brilliant

local acts such as Jo Neary, Victoria Melody and

Hannah Brackenbury and we often have theatre

on and sometimes live music too. Then there’s

the monthly Purple Clubhouse, a nightclub for

people with learning disabilities. We hire learning

disabled DJs, who are paid to perform, and

people with learning disabilities help to design

and steward the club. We’re fully accessible and

everyone is welcome.

The Playhouse is definitely

a hidden gem but

once people discover it they

come back again and again.

It’s a beautiful venue, with

a wooden floor and vaulted

ceiling and a large stained

glass window above the

stage. Performers love it

because it’s a really flexible

space, with a full-width mirror

and an excellent lighting

and PA system. But it’s also quite intimate. We

can only sit 60 – or 80 standing – so it’s a great

place to see shows up close. There aren’t many

venues of this size left in Brighton now.

One of the aspects people really like is the fact

that when they come to the theatre, whether as

a punter or a performer, they’re contributing to

our charity. Companies hire out the venue from

us and then keep whatever they make in ticket

sales. People often use the venue for parties and

meetings too.

We will run a bar where appropriate and even

the profits from that go back to Grace Eyre. I

think it’s one of the things that sets us apart from

other small theatres that are commercially run.

The easiest way people can support what we do

is just to turn up for one of the shows we put on.

Aside from the next Purple Comedy Night on

November 21, I’m really looking forward to seeing

Redwood Productions’ It’s A Wonderful Life:

a live 1940s-style radio broadcast of the classic

Christmas film that’s taking place on November

29th. Nione Meakin.

Purple Playhouse, 36, Montefiore Road, Hove





Photo by Adam Bronkhorst




MYbrighton: Zack Pinsent

Period Tailor

Are you local? Yes, Brighton born and bred. I

was born in the Trevor Mann unit and grew up

on Hartington Villas by Hove Park.

What do you do? I’m a period tailor. Making

men and women’s bespoke clothing from the

1660s to the 1910s.

What drew you to that? I’d always been interested

in making things, and vintage clothing. I

started making a few bits for myself, and then one

or two pieces for friends.

So the impulse for you to make your own

clothes came first, and the business sprang

organically from that? Exactly. Friends of

friends were saying “can you make me such and

such?” and I was going “yes I think I can!” It

started off more as a hobby making the stuff, as I

was researching and practising and learning my

craft. To a point where it’s now a business, which

is daunting. I have now got a global scope, where

I’m going over to America to see clients and I’ve

got clients specifically flying from other countries

to see me. It’s nothing like I ever thought it

would be.

Did that popularity come from the BBC

News video this summer? No, it was all sort

of doing fine before then. The BBC piece has

actually made me known more in this country,

bizarrely. I was already known quite well in

America. Now I’ve got more UK clients, which

is wonderful. On just the BBC platforms, such as

Facebook and Instagram, it’s had over 60 million

views, which is a little bit mad. At one point

apparently, I was trending on Japanese Twitter.

It keeps astonishing me why people are so

interested in all of this. I don’t see myself as necessarily

doing anything special, I’m just being me

and doing what I enjoy. I’m wearing something

that I’m completely, 100% comfortable in. And

truly myself in. And if you’re confident in yourself

then you’re laughing really.

Are you a theatregoer? I saw The Lover/The Collection

by Harold Pinter with David Suchet and

Russell Tovey. It was amazing, really wonderful

pieces. I then hung around backstage and got to

meet one of my absolute heroes, David Suchet,

and Russell Tovey. I’ve always loved Poirot, and

Tovey was also in one of the early episodes. It was

funny thinking ‘ah, he’s there!’

What do you like about Brighton? I love that

Brighton is unapologetically itself, and not afraid

to change. Some people say “Brighton’s not the

same anymore”. Yeah, but that’s always been

Brighton. Brighton’s never been the same, it’s

always changed and evolved. I think that’s really

important. When you think of its past, it started

off as a fishing village and then became a royal

playground. It’s always been open to change. It’s

always been dressed up. I believe that Brighton is

the Pavilion. It’s that whole madcap eccentricity.

Brighton is a bit of a bubble. A wonderful

bubble that I absolutely adore. 99.9% of people

in Brighton are genuinely lovely. It’s fantastic.

This atmosphere is completely different to other

places I’ve been in the country. I can’t imagine

going or being anywhere else: London’s great but

it’s not Brighton. It’s not home.

Interview by Joe Fuller



Sea differently



Prints | Books | Cards

brightonphotography.com | 52-53 Kings Road Arches | 01273 227 523



Adam Bronkhorst

The way he worked

Adam Bronkhorst has been Viva Brighton’s

‘photographer at large’ since our fourth

issue, March 2013. Back then

he’d shoot our ‘My Brighton

portrait most months but,

in November 2014, we

asked him to photograph

the first ‘The Way We

Work’ series for the

magazine. This month

marks his 60th assignment

on this, one of our

most popular features.

I’d always wanted to

find a personal photography

project – something to

run alongside my commercial

and corporate portrait work.

‘The Way We Work’ presented

an ongoing reason for people

to have their photograph taken. I

never thought it would last this long,

but I could carry on indefinitely.

We started with shopkeepers five years

ago, and I haven’t missed a month. It’s a

great document of Brighton and the jobs and

careers that people have now. Say it did carry

on for another 20 years, we might look back

and realise that some of these jobs aren’t around

anymore. It really is a documentary of the way

people work.

I’ve kept a spreadsheet of all of them: we’ve

done everyting from adventurers to window

cleaners so it’s not quite an A-Z of jobs, but

almost. Most of them are a series of five, but

sometimes we shoot six, so to date we’ve photographed

326 local people for the project.

I’ve got to see a whole side of Brighton that

I wouldn’t have otherwise. We’ve been up in

the power station, in the cutting room of the

Duke of York’s, up in the dome of Brighton

Dome, and backstage at the Theatre Royal.

And we’ve been in some fantastic

homes and religious buildings.

The logistics are taken care of

by wonderful people at Viva

– first Rebecca Cunningham

and now Kelly Mechen –

who are instrumental in

making it happen. Nothing

is off limits so we could be

going anywhere.

I use a 50mm lens

because it’s flattering

and easy to use. I’ve

had a loose set of rules

since we started: I generally

like to shoot the whole of

the person, quite centrally

framed, using the background

to tell a story about who they are

and what they do. That’s harder

with some jobs than with others.

Photographers often talk about ‘available light’,

but I also like the idea of ‘available darkness’,

so, sometimes, I turn off all the lights, and I try

to get everything in camera, using very little

editing. I’m really proud of the images. I like the

uniformity of each set.

I don’t really have a favourite. It’s a really

exciting and interesting thing to do: going to

a different industry or profession each month

and meeting the people that work in them. I’d

like to thank everyone who has agreed to be

photographed so far. If it wasn’t for them, there

wouldn’t be a project. As told to Lizzie Lower

Visit Adam’s website to see the project in its entirety.





Brighton Racecourse July 2016




Bakers October 2016




Top row to bottom: Hair colourists February 2019; Scientists at the Millennium Seedbank July 2019; Head teachers September 2016; Shops in the arches June 2018




Top row to bottom: Food producers October 2017; Florists July 2018; Religious leaders April 2017; Techies January 2017





Body builders February 2017


John Davis

MA BACP(reg)

Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy

Based at Coach House Clinic in the centre of Lewes,

I offer therapy to those experiencing particular difficulties

or individuals feeling somewhat lost in life.

Please feel free to get in touch.

Call: 0780 135 4803

Email: jd-therapy@outlook.com


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John Helmer

Rocks off

Illustration by Chris Riddell

“You fwoo my wock!”

It’s 1994. I’m in the stalls at the Theatre Royal,

Brighton for a performance of the panto

Aladdin, and my two year-old son is furious with

me. Earlier we were given a cuboid of foam

rubber, to be hurled at the villain, Abanazar, on

instruction. Come the critical moment, Freddy’s

attention being distracted by a girl in the row

behind us who was graphically and noisily being

sick, I took it on myself to throw the rock,

leading to this furious exclamation.

“Freddy, I’m sorry I fwoo—I mean, threw your

rock, but you weren’t really paying attention

and if we hadn’t attempted to stone the villain

to death just at that moment in accordance with

the pantomime laws… look, life is all about

timing, Freddy. You snooze, you lose. Especially

in the Theatre.”

Far from pacifying the lad, this inspires a

paroxysm of rage that can only be kept under

control with immense quantities of chocolate

and ice cream. Hours later, when the grown-ups

are drinking wine back at the mother-in-law’s,

I catch Freddy darting furious glances in my

direction, still.

“If I’d known it would matter so much

to him…” I say to my wife Kate, slightly


“Weren’t you ever two?”

I think back to my first Panto, at the London

Palladium in 1967. I was a fair bit older than

Freddy and, Beatles/Stones fan that I was, had

developed a certain pickiness about music. The

star, Engelbert Humperdinck, played his current

hit Dance to My Ten Guitars, which interrupted

the dramatic flow somewhat, and even to my

eleven year-old ears seemed not the strongest

song in an oeuvre I was already beginning to

consider a bit mouldy and crap all together. No

rocks were given out at the performance, but if

they were I would have flung one. Theatre itself

was beginning to seem a bit mouldy and crap

to me then. Heresy I know; but I was a child

brought up on film, TV and rock music.

Now, in 2019, I feel differently as I slip through

a side entrance at Oxford Circus tube into

Argyll Street and pass the Palladium, recalling

not only Engelbert’s panto but also a night

in the 1980s when I performed on that stage

myself. It was a charity benefit, with a big bill of

comedians. I remember standing in the wings

close to Rowan Atkinson and Peter Cook as they

welcomed Frankie Howerd off the stage after

his slot. Three generations of comedy royalty.

It was Howerd’s comeback after years in the

wilderness: a moment whose significance was

impossible even for me to miss.

Heavy names to drop. But the memory feels as

weightless as that foam rock in my hand; so light

it is impossible to get any force behind. I watch

as it plunges uselessly into the stalls, three rows

forward. How dared I fwoh his wock?



Waldorf School




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and Christmas shopping

The Gnome’s Grotto

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Lizzie Enfield

Notes from North Village

Illustration by Joda (@joda_art)

“Did you enjoy the play?” I ask my mother

who had been to the theatre with a friend.

“It was dreadful,” she replies. “We left

during the interval.”

My mother is able to do this. When my

father was alive, they were forever leaving

plays before they were finished – something

I find hard to do.

If I’ve paid hard earned cash for theatre

tickets, I like to get my money’s worth.

Even if the first half is bad, I reason, the

second could be amazing. Plus, it seems

rude. I imagine the lead actor looking out

into the audience in the second half, seeing

empty seats and being thrown entirely.

My dad felt none of this.

“If you leave before the interval,” I recall

him gloating, “you save all that money

having to buy a drink you don’t really want

– and about two hours of your life!”

“You can save even more of your time in the

cinema,” he continued. “You can walk out

after ten minutes and go home.”

My mother has a different policy for films:

“Wait until the film is shown on television,

then you can switch it off more or less

immediately and save the bother of even

going in the first place.”

I can only remember walking out of the

cinema once and that was because the

film was shot with a handheld camera. My

husband and I had been out for dinner

before the film and, about ten minutes in,

began to feel queasy.

“Do you think it was the fish?” we began

whispering to each other.

Turned out the whole of the front three

rows were feeling queasy and they’d not all

been to the same fish restaurant as us.

“Cinema motion sickness” a friend said

authoritatively some time later. “Your

eyes think you are moving but your ears

don’t. Your brain senses the incongruity,

concludes that you are hallucinating and

may have been poisoned and urges your

body to get rid of the poison.”

“It’s the content that makes me feel sick,”

my Mum says of her cultural consumption.

“Plays are full of obscenities or just banal,

and modern actors can’t act and I can’t hear

them. Most of the actors I like and can hear

are dead now.”

She has quite firm views about things, so,

as a rule, going to the theatre is never a

great idea, but one of her ninety-something

friends had tickets for something in

Chichester so I called to ask if she’d

enjoyed it.

“How was the play last night?”

“I don’t know,” she replies. “We didn’t see


I wonder if, in her recently widowed state,

she’s adopted a new policy of walking out

before the play even starts.

“When we showed them the tickets. They

told us we should have been there the week

before. So, we drove home again and saved

three hours of our lives!”






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Amy Holtz

The truth is, I’m a Minnesotan

There’s nothing like the heat

of the lights, the cloying smell

of hairspray and greasepaint.

Excited, nervous laughter

and the flamboyant running

of scales by someone who is,

today, only in the chorus,

but knows their time is nigh.

And in the blackness behind

velvet, the hammering of your

heart is a roaring train that

drowns out the voices beyond

the curtains. The word, your signal – a step,

then two, a shower of light – and then... your

parents... waving frantically at you from the

fourth row.

I was, dear reader, a theatre kid. In a long ago,

faraway time, I had... moments... scuppered

largely by one thing. And if you happen upon

me now on a Saturday night, at Bar Broadway,

there shimmers the only slightly bitter

spectre of a once-grasped dream, like Norma

Desmond, gin-soaked and wafting about the

tiny stage with the residue of what once was

coursing through her bulging, aged veins.

It all started when I, attention-hungry and

nudging actual ability, tried out for a talent

show. Actually... no, now that I think about it

that one didn’t turn out so well. Dressed as one

of Annie’s orphan pals (basically, in a sack),

I mounted the stage to give my two-voiced

rendition of Maybe, alto saxophone dangling

from my weedy 11-year-old neck and panicked,

spotting my dad smiling broadly behind the

show’s director, giving a discreet thumbs up.

I faltered. I tried to shake the rising panic,

but moments later broke into a fit of hysteria,

shouting at my beaming father,

“Stop it! You’re making me


something to that effect, before

clomping down the steps and

galumphing into the bathroom,


Anyhow, they say this sort of

experience makes or breaks

you and it wasn’t the worst

thing that ever happened to me

onstage (probably top three).

Things got better. Sophomore year, I was

‘chosen’ to do the spotlight for Into the Woods

(vital, but sweaty work; no one brought me

flowers), but then, a year older, my box step

and jazz hands widening, style and certitude

settling, I finally made it: as a wood nymph

– with a SOLO – in Camelot. I was a village

wench the rest of the show but complain? Moi?

Dad was allowed to come along and sit near the

back. That’s where he sat too when I was Liesl

in The Sound of Music and a window fell over

the top of me (a few scratches/mild concussion)

but I was told I carried it well.

When I actually won something once and had

to sing for my prize, I relented and let Dad sit

nearer the front. He looked nervous, fidgeting

with his hands, and I couldn’t help but think,

‘Good gracious, here we go again…’ But of

course, the show must go on. Midway through

On My Own from Les Misérables, the mezzo

opus us theatre nerds were wont to belt down

the hallways between classes, I forgot all the

words and had to improvise. (Really, though,

who needs the right words when you have

feeling?). I’m not saying it was his fault, but...



Tue 5 Nov



Fri 22 Nov

05.11 | The Greys

Tiny Ruins

08.11 | The Rose Hill

Peter Broderick

16.11 | The Rose Hill

Mega Bog

19.11 | Komedia


22.11| Unitarian Church

Erland Cooper

26.11 | Komedia

BC Camplight

10.12 | Komedia

Dawn Landes

10.02.20 | The Old Market

Anna Meredith

26.02.2020 | Komedia


Francis Leftwich


23.11 | St George’s Church

Kilimanjaro Live presents



w Francesco Turrisi

29.11 | St George’s Church

Live Nation presents


13.02.20 |St George’s Church

DHP present

Sam Lee

Tickets for shows are available from your local record shop,

seetickets.com or the venue where possible.



Thur 7 Nov


Wed 4 Dec

box office 0844 847 1515 *


*calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone

company’s access charge

SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2019 / 2.45PM

Christian Garrick

& Friends with

the Brighton



Programme includes Poldark

theme tune, John Dankworth’s

jazz Violin Concerto, Piazzolla’s

Four Seasons and Libertango

and more

TICKETS £14.50-£42.50



01273 709709







Ben Bailey rounds up the local music scene

Photo by Rory Barnes


Fri 8th, Concorde 2, 7pm, £13.50

The last

time Yonaka

appeared in

these pages

we said they


be gigging

at venues

like the Green Door Store for much longer.

Since then they’ve played at arenas and festivals

around the country and are now coming back to

Brighton to headline the Concorde 2. Indeed, the

band’s anthemic electro rock seems purpose-built

to fill big spaces, with all the bombast that

implies. Smoothing out such quirks as Theresa

Jarvis’ hip hop inflections and the spiky guitar

lines, the album presents Yonaka’s music as a

radio-friendly behemoth of hooks and power

choruses. We wouldn’t be surprised if their next

homecoming show was at the Brighton Centre.


Sun 10th, Concorde 2, 6pm, £8

Their first ‘mini-fest’ in July was such a success

they’re doing it again, combining a bunch of top

local music with street food vendors and beer

tastings. Los Albertos are the main draw musically,

providing an upbeat and raucous mix of ska,

punk and klezmer for the Sunday night diehards.

Throughout the evening the entertainment is

pretty diverse with garage rockers The Bods

sharing the bill with psych-folk duo Greenness,

riot grrrls Pussy Liquor and guitar popsters

Fragile Creatures. To top it off there’s live art by

Cassette Lord and IOT, and even some comedy

from local stand-up Charmaine Davies.

Photo by Joel Smedley


Thu 14th, Chalk, 7pm, £13

After years of incessant touring Blood Red Shoes

came close to burn out in 2014. The duo parted

ways for a time with singer Laura-Mary Carter

escaping to the US while drummer Steven Ansell

remained in Brighton on an extended bender.

Somehow they managed to pull it back together,

revive their friendship and forge a new sense of

purpose. The result was this year’s album Get

Tragic which features confessional songs about

the band’s rift and unveiled a new electronic

direction that was prompted by Carter switching

to synths after breaking her arm in a motorbike

accident. After all of that, they’re back on tour



Mon 25th, Komedia, 7.30pm, £7

Having put out a

couple of confident

singles last year,

Yakul released

their debut EP this

August to much

acclaim from those

with an ear on the

neo-soul scene.

James Berkeley, who

leads the band on vocals and keys, is backed by

three super-smooth musicians who help create a

fresh blend of R&B, soul and jazz – with inevitable

snippets of hip hop. Inspired by the likes of J

Dilla, D’Angelo and Hiatus Kaiyote, the Brighton-based

group are all about woozy summer

vibes smothered in vocal harmonies. Though it’s

bound to be a cold November night, Yakul might

just convince you otherwise.




Simon Yates

A life in high places

In 1985 a mountaineer called Simon Yates was

forced to cut the rope on his climbing partner

who was dangling helplessly over a cliff above

a crevasse. Miraculously, both men survived.

Their remarkable story was told in the awardwinning

2003 documentary Touching the Void.

After a lifetime of expeditions to far-flung

peaks (most of which went perfectly to plan)

Simon comes to Komedia this month to talk

about the extraordinary places he’s been to.

What’s the focus of your talk? It’s a blend of

all sorts of things. The climbs I’ve done, the

places I’ve visited and the people I climb with.

It’s a presentation really, because I show a lot

of photos and video footage of my climbs. You

almost can’t fail to take good pictures on a

mountain! There are some incredible images,

and a lot of them are unique in that these

mountains have never been climbed before.

What were your best climbs? The things I’ve

done in Pakistan I’ve been particularly proud

of: the first ascent of a couple of mountains

called Laila Peak and Nemeka. I was also

involved on a huge climb on the Tower of

Paine in Chilean Patagonia. That was a very

memorable moment. There’s lots of things.

I’m increasingly drawn to mountain wilderness

now, places that are beyond the margins of

human habitation.

The stage adaptation of Touching the Void

is in the West End now, have you seen it?

Yeah, I went to the opening night. It’s very

interesting and quite thought provoking. It’s

really about why people climb. Why do people

do this? What can you possibly gain from it

that outweighs the risks involved? That’s a big

question that people ask all the time. For me

personally, as well as the technical and physical

aspects, a lot of it is about place. Mountains for

me are the most compelling landscapes, they

are very special places.

Most people would probably agree, except

for the small matter of falling... I think that’s

partly why people come and see me! The sort

of stuff I’m involved in is very physically and

mentally demanding. Your natural instinct in

these places is to be scared. That’s a survival

tool in all of us. In order to be in those places,

and to do what you have to do, you have to

manage that fear. In a sense that might be

similar to the military or something like that.

If you’re fully frightened you can’t function


What about stage fright? I did find it quite

nerve-wracking when I first started doing

this. But what’s the worst that can go wrong?

People tell me they find the talks inspiring,

which is quite nice if it gets them away from

their phones and encourages them to go and

do something. Hopefully they find it enjoyable,

there’s quite a lot of dry humour in there as

well. I don’t take what I do too seriously. At the

end of the day they are only mountains, aren’t

they? Interview by Ben Bailey

Simon Yates: My Mountain Life

Komedia, 11 Nov, 7pm




The singing prison governor

Homelink Gala at Glyndebourne

What do comedians Eddie

Izzard, Steve Coogan

and Zoe Lyons, presenter

Katie Derham, writer Simon

Fanshawe, and actors Toby

Stephens, Nimmy March

and Sophie Okonedo have in

common with the governor

of HMP Lewes? The answer

is they’re all appearing at Glyndebourne this

month to help raise money for local charity


The charity, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary

this year, works to provide permanent

housing for those who are homeless or at risk of

losing their homes. Liaising with Lewes District

& Eastbourne Borough Councils – as well as with

other organisations, such as job centres, women’s

refuges, children’s services, the Sussex Rough

Sleeper Prevention Project, and Southdown

Housing in Lewes Prison – Homelink provides

interest-free loans to hundreds of people

each year who are homeless or facing eviction,

enabling them to move into private rented

accommodation in the Sussex area.

The Homelink #homes4homeless Anniversary

Gala takes place at Glyndebourne on Sunday

17th November and will feature a host of homegrown

talents, including the aforementioned

celebrities (all of whom have links to the area)

and Lewes Prison Governor Hannah Lane (pictured).

She and a group of her colleagues have

formed a choir, and, under the tutelage of local

musical director and conductor John Hancorn

(also pictured), are preparing to perform at the


“When we were approached to get involved, I

thought it was a great idea,” she says. “We’ve got

strong connections with

Homelink, as it’s a local

charity and helps many of

our residents who don’t

have anywhere to go when

they are released. Around

30 per cent of our men are

officially ‘of no fixed abode’

when they leave here, and

many end up staying with friends or family and

‘sofa surfing’, so the service Homelink provides

is vital. We wanted to support that – and I also

thought it would be a good opportunity to

mythbust what prison staff are like, as we’re all

different and from different backgrounds. Then

I got roped in to take part myself!”

The Lewes Prison Staff Choir is made up of

staff from a range of positions, Hannah adds,

including officers, teachers, admin staff and

chaplains. “We haven’t decided what to wear yet,

but the consensus is it would be nice to wear our

belts and chains, so that there’s the identification

with the prison.”

There’s something else unusual about the group.

The members’ differing shift patterns mean that

the choir won’t have the opportunity to sing together

as a whole until the Gala itself, making the

Glyndebourne performance truly a one-off.

“Before this, I hadn’t sung since primary school!

It’s a great opportunity – to be able to sing at

Glyndebourne and to raise money for a really

good cause. We’ve got our slot, plus the Grand

Finale, when everyone will be on stage together.

It’s going to be amazing. I just hope we don’t

let anyone down, as the standard will be very

high...” Anita Hall

Glyndebourne, 17 November, 3pm. For tickets,

see glyndebourne.com. leweshomelink.org.uk




01273 678 822


Award-winning independent

3 screen cinema

Next to Lewes station

Pinwell Road, Lewes BN7 2JS

01273 525354




Bop against racism

Getting the Third Degree

“Every time he was late, he was fined. But he

loved dancing all night, so was often still asleep

when he was meant to be on the training field.

Happily, he found a way round the problem…”

Playwright Duncan Blaxland is telling me

about the footballer Laurie Cunningham, one

of the first black players to get a professional

contract in England, with Leyton Orient in

1974, when he was still just 16 years old.

“He was such a good dancer he would win all

the competitions he entered, and he used the

prize money to pay the fines. In those days

training was all about jogging around the pitch:

he always saw the dancing as his real training,


Cunningham danced on the pitch, as well. He

was often described, Blaxland continues, as

the ‘English Pelé’. “He was an extraordinary

player: elegant, elusive and electric. I first saw

him playing against my boyhood hero, Bobby

Moore. He made him look like a carthorse.”

The young winger was transferred to West

Bromwich Albion, becoming one of ‘The

Three Degrees’. Professional black footballers

in the 70s were a rare sight; there were three in

that West Brom team.

“Unfortunately, they were playing in a

context of extraordinary racial abuse. Britain

was in political turmoil and the National

Front were taking advantage to foment racist

hatred. There were monkey chants, bananas

thrown onto the pitch. Laurie responded in an

incredibly dignified way: he let his football do

the talking.”

In 1979 Cunningham became only the second

black player to represent his country, but

he was rarely called upon by the English

management, who preferred more hardworking,

physical players. He fitted the bill

better in Spain, where he moved that same

year, to play for Real Madrid. “They loved him

in Spain, where he became known as ‘La Perla

Negra’ [the black pearl].”

Cunningham, by now a millionaire, embraced

the new lifestyle. “There was a Renaissance

quality about him. He loved good food,

literature and philosophy. He painted, and

wrote poems. He oozed graciousness and

gentility. He really broke the mould.”

Unfortunately, injury blighted the latter part

of his career and in 1989, aged just 33, he was

killed in a car crash in Madrid. His legacy,

says Blaxland, is enormous. “So many of the

black players who have followed him into

professional football cite him as a role model.”

Blaxland’s latest play, Getting the Third Degree,

features three actors playing a multitude of

roles to a backdrop of groovy seventies soul

and disco music. It was commissioned by Kick

It Out, the organisation – headed by one of

Cunningham’s former team-mates Brendon

Batson – set up to counter racism in English

football. “Unfortunately, racism is on the rise

again, in football and beyond,” says Blaxland.

“Which means, I’m sorry to say, that the story

of Laurie Cunningham’s struggle against racial

abuse on the terraces has never been more

relevant than it is today.”

Alex Leith

Marlborough Theatre, Nov 16th




Enter The Dragons

The Mighty Boosh meets the WI

Image by Georgia Apsion

Ahead of their debut at Chichester Spiegeltent,

Viva talks to performers Abigail Dooley

and Emma Edwards of A&E Comedy about

confronting taboos via mythology, false

moustaches and nudity.

Enter The Dragons is a show about

women and ageing; how do you tackle

those themes? We chose to liken the process

of ageing to an epic mythological quest!

Banished from the land of the young, our

protagonist sets out to defeat the God of Time,

Kronos. We wanted to make a show that was

empowering, joyful and celebratory, as the

portrayal of ageing and the menopause is often

so negative.

You’ve put paid to the problem of older

women not being cast by casting yourselves

in a show you’ve written yourselves. That

said, do you think things have got any

better for women? It’s improving slowly as

this generation of women over 50 grew up

with punk and is simply not going to fade away

quietly. But it’s still a battle to change people’s

conceptions of older women. We made Enter

The Dragons because we weren’t seeing this

kind of work on stage and that’s the message

we are taking to our audiences: empower

yourselves, be the change you want to see.

I love the description of the show as

‘The Mighty Boosh meets the Women’s

Institute’. What

else has influenced

this piece? Apart

from The Mighty

Boosh we are massive

fans of Vic and

Bob and we also

channelled a lot

of fabulous older

women in the

piece, from Patti Smith to Iris Apfel. We

love surreal humour, strange costumes, false

moustaches, wigs and ridiculous props! We’ve

got everything from a giant dragon claw to an

inflatable swan king – you know, the normal

sort of menopause / ageing show…

You’re not averse to getting naked in your

shows; does nudity feature in Enter The

Dragons too? We challenge a lot of taboos

about how women are expected to behave and

look, including nudity. Owning your body,

showing it in the way you want, even making

people laugh with it is incredibly empowering.

Have you always been feminists? Has your

definition of the word changed as you’ve

got older? Absolutely we have always been

feminists. Why wouldn’t you want everyone to

be equal? But there is definitely a strength that

comes with age and a feeling of ‘f**k it’ which

is incredibly powerful. We are less willing to

compromise and put up with bullshit. But we

also know what we find joyful and we can say

yes to new experiences without fear of what

others think or expect of us.

What do you love most about working with

each other and what drives you mad? Writing

alone is hard, but writing together is a joy and

we laugh a lot. What drives us mad? We talk too

much, spend too much time ‘researching’ funny

things on YouTube, and turn up at meetings

wearing the same


Which famous

double act are you

most like? Statler

and Waldorf from

the Muppets. NM



Nov 12




The Juniper Tree

Portrait of a Lady on Fire


Around the world in 90 minutes

Berlin Symphony

Cinecity, which bills itself as ‘the South-east’s biggest

film festival’, has been going for 16 years now,

and with screenings on offer in seven different

venues, including the Depot in Lewes and ACCA

in Falmer, it’s never been bigger.

But it’s the geographical range of the films on

offer that’s really striking. Because, once again, the

festival’s strapline is ‘Adventures in World Cinema’

and it offers the chance to watch a carefully curated

collection of fine movies from all over the world,

from Palestine to Georgia, via Afghanistan and

Australia. As well as the best of British, of course.

One highlight – timed to coincide with the 30th

anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall – is a

remastered version of Walter Ruttmann’s influential

1927 documentary Berlin – Symphony of a Great

City, a contemporary box-office success despite

its avant-garde nature, which compresses a day in

the life of the German capital into a beautifully

composed hour. The film will be accompanied by

a new score, performed by musicians Simon Fisher

Turner, Klara Lewis and Rainier Lericlorais.

East Side Story gives an interesting glimpse at pre-

1989 Eastern Bloc culture, examining the world

of big-budget Soviet musicals, with extracts from

classics such as Tractor Drivers (USSR), Holidays

on the Black Sea (Romania) and Stalin’s favourite

movie, which he is said to have watched over 100

times – Volga, Volga.

Rather more enigmatic and serious is The Juniper

Tree, based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, a little

known but highly rated 1990 movie by the late

American director Nietzchka Keene. This slowpaced

black-and-white tale was shot in Iceland and

features the screen debut of a 23-year-old Björk

(pictured above).

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, meanwhile, is a rich

2019 period piece by Céline Sciamma, set in the

18th Century, with an all-female cast, that won

the Queer Palm and the Best Screenplay at this

year’s Cannes Festival. It stars Noémie Merlant

as a young artist commissioned to secretly paint

a portrait of an increasingly reluctant bride-to-be

(Adèle Haenel).

The festival is topped and tailed with local premieres

of much-anticipated American films, which

have made an impact at Cannes and other festivals,

which you would otherwise have to wait till 2020

to watch. The festival opener is Robert Eggers’ The

Lighthouse, a black-and-white psychological drama

starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as

two men who get to know each other rather too

well while manning a lighthouse on a remote rock

off New England. And the closing feature is Taika

Waititi’s dark offbeat comedy Jojo Rabbit, about a

lonely Hitler Youth cadet, whose best friend is an

imaginary version of his Führer; the lad is faced

with a number of choices when he discovers his

mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic. Think

The Producers meets Moonrise Kingdom. For the full

schedule see cine-city.co.uk

Dexter Lee

















Tickets on sale now!

cft.org.uk 01243 781312

Photo by David Gerrard

Brighton Philharmonic

An interesting opener…

For an orchestra to be approaching its centenary in

these days of cuts to the arts is quite some achievement.

And yet the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

is doing just that. Founded 95 years ago, Brighton’s

professional orchestra has been based for all but two

of those in the Dome.

As the 2019-2020 season begins, Chairman Nicolas

Chisholm is coming to the end of his five-year

tenure, but it’s clear that optimism is high at the

BPO. He admits their concerts regularly attract

over 1000 people, but the aim is to “improve on

that and be even more exciting and innovative.

Brighton is vibrant and diverse. We want to present

programmes that appeal to a wide audience.”

This month’s concert, featuring jazz violinist

Christian Garrick and Friends with the Brighton

Philharmonic Strings, promises to be an interesting

opener to the season. It’s a programme of

tango, jazz and gypsy-folk music and includes Astor

Piazzolla’s ‘sizzling’ Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

(billed as ‘Four Seasons of Brighton Aires’). It’s

exciting stuff. But does that mean the orchestra is

moving away from its classical roots? Chisholm

says not at all. For example in December the

programme includes two Haydn symphonies,

Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Vaughan

Williams’ The Lark Ascending – “very much our

core repertoire,” he explains, “and our New Year’s

Eve Gala concert is practically a Brighton institution,

pretty much selling out each year.”

But alongside this there are distinct signs that the

BPO is determined to stay ahead of the game.

“We want to do unusual things.” Chisholm is

enthusiastic about a new initiative to showcase the

different sections of the orchestra. February’s concert

is given over to Brighton Philharmonic Brass

with music from the sixteenth century to the

present, including Chris Hazell’s Four Cats Suite.

Chisholm acknowledges that today’s audiences

often appreciate, even expect a visual element

to complement what they’re hearing, so that it

becomes not unlike theatre. “We want people to

go away thinking ‘wow, that was a real musical

experience.’ Later in the season we have virtuoso

piano duo Worbey and Farrell returning with one

of their own programmes, Rhapsody, which they’ve

performed all over the world. They’re showmen

as well as fantastic musicians. Many audience

members will have seen nothing like it.” This is

true – look them up on YouTube!

Things are looking good for a bumper centenary

celebration in five years’ time. It’s clear

that Chisholm is immensely proud of the BPO’s

achievements and the quality of its programmes.

“People often don’t realise this is the city’s professional

orchestra – all the members play in other

orchestras and come together as the BPO. It’s a

real jewel in the crown for Brighton.”

Robin Houghton

Christian Garrick & Friends with the Brighton

Philharmonic Strings, Brighton Dome,

Sunday 10th Nov, 2.45pm


Offenbach’s favourite, sung in English

La Belle Hélène

Live opera fully staged: French fizz and foolery

set to deliciously immortal music: outrageous fun

NSO Chorus, St Paul’s Sinfonia, c.Toby Purser,

d. Jeff Clark, with Hannah Pedley & Anthony Flaum

Town Congress Chequer Old Bloomsbury

Hall Theatre Mead Market Theatre

Lewes Eastbourne East Grinstead Hove


Nov 13 Nov 17 4pm Nov 28 Dec 1 4pm Dec 5


A collaboration with Opera della Luna. NSO charity no. 1185087




A Woolfian romp

Actor Rebecca Vaughan of Dyad Productions

talks to Viva about the company’s touring

one-person adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s

‘unstageable’ novel Orlando.

Orlando is a bit crazy as a story. An

immortal poet who’s male and then female?

You definitely have to get an audience to go

with you. A few years ago we created another

adaptation of Virginia Woolf, Dalloway, and in

some ways this show is the other side of that

coin because Dalloway all takes place in one day

and this takes place… over 400 years [laughs].

But actually, although it’s a beast, once we got

a handle on Woolf’s language and what we

wanted to do with the piece it all started to fall

into place.

While a lot of people focus on the

character’s gender transition – which Woolf

does without any explanation – there’s a lot

more to it than whether Orlando is male or

female. It’s a device that allows Woolf to talk

gloriously about the lot of women, especially

in the 19th century, but the novel is also about

Orlando becoming older and wiser. While the

gender is shifting back and forth, they are just

learning more and more about what it means to

be human.

One of the reasons we wanted to do it, apart

from the fact we’re huge fans of Virginia

Woolf, is that the novel feels so modern.

It’s not just about gender fluidity and duality,

but also about trying to find a place in the

world whilst remaining true to yourself. These

days, with social media and the public-private

elements we have to manage with our personas,

it felt like a show that would speak to an

audience. It’s also a glorious romp, which isn’t a

phrase people tend to associate with Woolf. It’s

very funny.

As a company, we are very interested in

history told from a female perspective,

mainly because it’s an under-represented

viewpoint. We like the idea of clasping hands

across the divide of time and finding new

relevance in these classic novels. When we did

Jane Eyre we didn’t want to just give people the

adaptation they thought they would get, we

wanted to offer something new – and it’s the

same with Orlando. We didn’t want it to feel

stuck in aspic. Woolf was forward-thinking in

the way she wrote it, so without inventing too

much, we wanted to bring it up to date to make

it about the audience’s experience today.

The show is more like the novel than even

a film adaptation because you’re not sitting

passively watching it, you’re actively engaged

as you would be reading a novel. We’re using

the book’s incredible, poetic

language to really ignite the

audience’s imagination so

that when it’s over you

feel you’ve experienced

it rather than watched

it. Nione Meakin

Orlando, The



Nov 17




Photos by Eoin Carey

Total Immediate Collective

Imminent Terrestrial Salvation

Different every time

Playwright/actor Tim Crouch is showing me

a beautifully illustrated book, in Marwood

Café. Some of Rachana Jadhav’s illustrations

fill whole pages, while others are smaller comic

book panels. In Tim’s new play, Total Immediate

Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, each

audience member is sat on stage and given a

copy of the book to read – which also features

stage directions and dialogue – whilst also

watching actors perform. “We spend time as an

audience, collectively, studying illustrations.”

The plot concerns “a group of people who’ve

been led to a place in South America on the

understanding that the world will end.” Tim

performs as Miles, the leader of this group and

the author of the book. Audience members are

invited to read out loud if they choose to, but

it’s not obligatory.

“I wanted to make a play that invited the

audience to share the reading. That was a formal

beginning; the narrative beginning was me

wanting to write a play about belief. Seeing

parallels in the belief that exists in the theatre

– where a group of people comes together




and commits to the beliefs of a play – with

groups of people coming together and

contracting into sets of political or religious


A lot of thought has clearly gone into how

audiences will experience and enjoy the

play. Tim explains that they are using sound

design “to lift the stories off the page”,

including the sound of ice cracking in a

pivotal scene, to ramp up tension. “They

could spend the whole show reading the

book, or they could go from book to action.

Sometimes the action will correspond with

what’s described in the book, sometimes

it won’t. So I’m asking the audience to fill

in the gap, and square the contradiction

between what they see in the book and what

they see in the action. In a way, it’s another

way of telling a story, one that gives an

audience greater authority.

“Some people really dig that… but

somebody in Edinburgh said ‘this is not a

library, it’s a theatre’.” TICITS has played

at Edinburgh International Festival, Royal

Court Theatre and Dublin Theatre Festival

before its ACCA run. I ask Tim if the

performances have varied much so far. “Well

every time there’s a new audience, it’s like a

whole new cast. The play can run longer or

shorter depending on how people respond

to the text.

“I’m trying to question the notion of the

virtuoso, and how we venerate performers.

There is an element of cult in it, which I get

very uneasy about. From people autograph

hunting to worshipping celebrities… I’m

trying to dismantle what’s in that. To give

as much to the audience as possible. Every

audience brings a different energy to it. So

it’s different every time, even though every

word is scripted.” Joe Fuller

attenboroughcentre.com, 6-9 Nov


01444 405250 | @NymansNT | @NymansNT


Credit: Quentin Blake: A P Watt at United Agents on behalf of Quentin Blake.



Focus on:


by Lily Rigby

Oil on canvas,

100cm x 100cm

In April I did a ten-day

residency in Manaccan,

a very beautiful village on

the south Cornwall coast.

It was a very inspiring time

and one I won’t forget. I will

be exhibiting some of these

works at my solo show What

the Water Gave Me, this month

at ONCA Gallery.

I loved my time on the

residency, and the chance to

completely immerse myself

in my work. But when I first

got there, I found that I had a

mental block, and the painting

wasn’t coming naturally.

After a couple of days, I went

to the Tate St. Ives and I saw

a painting by Peter Lanyon

that I fell in love with. That

unlocked something in me:

I went back and produced a

whole body of work.

I didn’t spend my whole

time in the studio, of course.

I went for long walks along

the coast, usually in the rain,

and took photographs and

created quick paintings in my

sketchbook. These images act

as a starting point for some of

my paintings, triggering off a

response, and influencing the

colours and perspective.

While I have been

influenced by abstract

artists, like Sam Lock and

Mark Rothko, I’d say my

work is somewhere between

figurative and abstract. It

isn’t always clear what my

paintings are about, and I

like that. I want people to

have their own response and

experience to each painting. I

guess they are also about me:

all my emotions, memories

and experiences come out

onto the canvas when I paint.

I painted Tidal in one go,

in a couple of hours. I had a

lot of pent-up energy, which

I needed to get out of me.

It’s very much a spontaneous

painting. However, other

paintings can take a lot

longer to form. I can spend

months on a painting and they

become built up with lots of

layers. These paintings have a

very different feeling.

One of my most useful tools

is a ladder! Since I came

back, I’ve had a whole studio

to myself, which I have loved.

I have produced a lot of largescale

work and I hope people

will become completely

absorbed in the paintings. I

want my paintings to have an

impact on people in the same

way the landscape can.

As told to Alex Leith

ONCA Gallery, Nov 9th-17th




Jane Fox

An artist who walks

“I think of my practice as different pathways

that I’m navigating,” says Jane Fox, a visual

artist whose work also includes video, sound

and performance. “I don’t plan the outcome

so what emerges is often a surprise for me but

it either makes sense or it doesn’t. I have this

little compass that keeps me on track.”

The theme of walking comes up a lot over the

course of our conversation because while Fox

is not a land artist, she is “an artist who walks”.

She was tutored at what was then Brighton

Polytechnic by the land artist John Holloway

– “So I was nurtured in that sensibility even

though at the time I butted up against it and

started making figurative work. It got into me.”

When she graduated, one of her first paid jobs

was working with rangers on the South Downs,

clearing footpaths, cutting back trees and

renovating ponds.

Today, walking informs her work both directly

– the bent-over hawthorn trees she noticed

during a recent meander on the Downs appear

in recent pieces – and indirectly. “I’m interested

in the human trace. You touch something and

it marks and it’s changed. That’s why I like

walking on the Downs because you pick up

chalk on your feet but at the same time you’re

wearing away a path and that translates really

directly to an etching plate, that process of

leaving marks and erasing things.”

Fox describes her artistic practice as “a real

hybrid”. Her CV takes in everything from a

faux fish-slapping festival during her years with

Brighton’s Carnival Collective to “midnight

processions, celebratory cake making,

collaborative installations and drawing from




memory.” It’s an approach informed by her teenage years

soaked in the DIY spirit of punk. “That period really

radicalised me,” she says. “I felt I was on a conveyor belt

to housewife boredom but I became politicised, I realised

there was another way of living and I became massively

industrious. It was really inspiring and set a steer for

me around cracking on with the thing you want to do –

whatever that might be.”

For the best part of the last decade that has been

printmaking – including Fox’s part-time job as a

senior lecturer at Brighton University. She works

predominantly from her base at Brighton’s Phoenix

Studios, where she has been since the 90s when she

was a member of artist collective Maze, who joined

Red Herring artists at the Waterloo Place site. It’s her

etchings, drawings and screenprints that will feature

on her stand at this month’s Brighton Art Fair, many

taking in motifs from the natural world and shadowy

figures. “I’m interested in that sense of coming and

going and nothing being permanent, so there’s been

a lot of stuff recently about loss. I also like memories,

ephemeral materials, poetry and fragments of text.

My work is incredibly varied but certain ideas always

remain.” Nione Meakin

Brighton Art Fair at Lewes, Lewes Town Hall, November

30-December 1. Brightonartfair.com

Cissbury (detail)


Surf and Turf

Artists Christmas Open House

Renowned for a huge variety of Artists and

Makers under one roof and a chance for

coffee and cake. Amongst our sellers you will

find Ceramics, Knitwear, Mosaic, Photography,

Lino cut prints, quirky accessories and

decorations, Perfume, Floristry and Plant

terrariums, leather handbags and much more.

Open Sat/Sun 23rd/24th/30th November

and 1st/7th/8th December, from 11-5pm

FREE PARKING at 38 Braemore Road,

Hove, BN3 4HB


British Painting and


We look forward to welcoming

you to our gallery in Hove.

Please visit our website for

further details.


CCA_VivaLewes_Advert_66x94_June2018_v1.indd 1 17/06/2018 09:08




In town this month...

Care(less) – the first VR work by Lindsay Seers – is currently

on display at Fabrica. The six-minute, 360-degree film plays

through a virtual reality headset, allowing visitors to experience

what it might feel like to be in the body of an older person facing

a gradual reduction in capacity. The artwork and accompanying

programme of talks, film screenings and activities investigate

prevalent attitudes to ageing, the nature of caring relationships

and the care system. Continues until 24th November.

Care(less) by Lindsay Seers, Fabrica, Brighton.

Photographer Tom Thistlethwaite

There’s big news this month. Brighton CCA – a new

interdisciplinary arts organisation – has recently opened at

the University of Brighton. Comprising two gallery spaces

and a theatre (formerly the Sallis Benney) at Grand Parade,

as well as research galleries and project spaces at Edward

Street, Brighton CCA is free and open to all and will offer

five exhibitions per year alongside a programme of film,

talks, events and research. Inaugural exhibitions by Franz

Erhard Walther and Dog Kennel Hill Project (pictured) kick off a programme of world-class

shows from emerging and established international artists.

MADE Brighton returns to St Bartholomew’s Church on the 22nd and

23rd (10.30am-5.30pm, £5), with dozens of the best makers in the country

showing their stuff. Whilst you’re visiting, drop in at Atelier 51, the home

of Tutton & Young, just opposite the church. [madebrighton.co.uk]

Cecile Gilbert

Anthony Burrill

Don’t miss Look at This – a Festival of Printmaking at Phoenix Art

Space (16th Nov-15th Dec, Wed-Sun 11am-5pm). This month-long

celebration of contemporary printmaking (co-curated by this month’s

cover artist) features work by leading artists, illustrators and designers

who together have shaped contemporary visual culture, exhibited

across the UK and beyond and worked with some of the world’s biggest

brands. All prints are for sale to raise funds for Phoenix. Events include

a Printmaker’s Tabletop Fair (23rd-24th Nov) and a Printmaking

Weekend for Families (7th-8th Dec). [phoenixbrighton.org]






Brighton & Hove, along the Coast

and over the downs to Ditchling

23rd November >

8th December 2019


16 November - 15 December

Open Wed – Sun, 11:00 – 17:00



A month long celebration of contemporary

printmaking, featuring a curated exhibition of

work by leading artists, illustrators, designers

and printmakers from the UK and beyond.

Plus FREE events including

Printmakers Tabletop Fair - 23 & 24 November

Family Printmaking Weekend - 7 & 8 December



10 -14 Waterloo Place, BN2 9NB



Alej ez

On the Seafront, the West Pier Centre has an exhibition of works by Alej ez (the creator of our

April cover). As well as his meticulously observed local vistas, the show also features new works

depicting London landmarks. Continues until January 2020.

Sitting in the Sun

This year’s Christmas

instalment of Artists’

Open Houses gets

underway on the

23rd November and

continues until the 8th December. Take the

opportunity to visit artists and makers in their

homes and studios and get creative with your

Christmas shopping. Pick up a brochure or visit

aoh.org.uk for details of this year’s trail.

Also, in Lewes, from

the 6th-24th, Chalk

Gallery is home

to an exhibition by

Hove-based artist

Emily Stevens.

Featuring a collection

of paintings, sketches

and drawings inspired by her time as Artist

in Residence at Lewes’ Pells Pool, the pieces

capture Emily’s love of light and colour, outdoor

swimming and the tranquillity of being by the

water in both sunshine and rain. You’re invited to

a ‘meet the artist’ event on Sat 9th (2-4pm).

Jana Nicole

Out of town...



continue at the

Dome’s Corn

Exchange, Tutton

& Young’s longrunning


Art Fair decamps

to Lewes this year. On 30th of November

(10.30am-6pm) and 1st of December (10.30-

5pm), upwards of 60 local and national artists

will exhibit their work at Lewes Town Hall

(see pg 64). Join the private view on Friday

29th Nov (6pm, £20) or buy general admission

tickets for £5 until Nov 14th (£7.50 thereafter).

Purchase a Sussex Saver for £8.50 and gain

entry to both days plus MADE Brighton.

[brightonartfair.co.uk] FYI, trains to Lewes

won’t be running, so a free vintage bus has been

laid on for Art Fair ticketholders, departing

from behind the station every other hour from

10am. (Non-ticketholders can purchase tickets

onboard and the regular 28 and 29 Brighton

Bus service will get you there too.)

The Magical Wunderkammer pop up shop is at Lewes’ Paddock

Studios with handmade festive curiosities by Samantha

Stas, Emily Warren and Chiara Bianchi (30th Nov-1st Dec

11am-5pm). Art 7 celebrate 20 years of promoting and selling

Russian and Soviet paintings with an exhibition at Lewes House

(5th–23rd). And Depot cinema host Women x Football = Art; a

solo exhibition by Jill Iliffe of paintings and drawings celebrating

women with a passion for football (16th Nov-1st Dec).


Towner Art Gallery

David Nash 200 Seasons

29 September 2019 – 2 February 2020

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ

www.townereastbourne.org.uk @townergallery

#200Seasons #EastbourneAlive

David Nash, Nature to Nature, 1985. © Jonty Wilde, courtesy David Nash. Tate Collection

“Every time you spend money,

you’re casting a vote for the kind

of world you want.”

Anna Lappé




Out of Town (cont...)

At Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft you’ll find Disruption, Devotion

and Distributism, an exhibition drawn from a major acquisition of

pamphlets and posters from St Dominic’s Press. The private press

published a wide range of material including books and pamphlets for

The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic and other artists and thinkers

sharing their philosophy of craftsmanship and life. Over 100 objects

have been brought together, including never-before-seen pieces,

that illustrate the underlying ideas and beliefs which led artists like

Edward Johnston, Hilary Pepler and Eric Gill to Ditchling.

Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic safe door,

painted by David Jones. Image by Tessa Hallmann

Deborah Manson

Charleston hold

their festive Designer

& Maker Fair on 23rd

& 24th November

(11am-5pm), with

30 carefully curated

stands selling a wide

variety of goods

from local and regional makers. Enjoy a

warming winter lunch, boozy hot chocolate,

hot toddies and mince pies at the café. (£4 in

advance, £5 on the day.)

BRINK: Caroline

Lucas curates the

Towner Collection

opens on the

23rd at Towner.

Selecting from

the 5000 works

in Towner’s

permanent collection, Caroline’s choices reflect and

resonate with her passions and interests. Showing

alongside 200 Seasons by David Nash, the two

exhibitions have a shared environmental interest.

Image: Tirzah Garwood, Hornet with Wild Roses, 1950. Towner Collection.

© Estate of Tirzah Ravilious. All rights reserved, DACS 2019.

Inspired by the amazing botanic collection at

Wakehurst, this year’s Glow Wild explores the

resilience of trees. Wind your way through

the winter treescape and willow tunnels, spot

installations and seed shaped lanterns and be

mesmerised by Jony Easterby’s arboreal-inspired

projections. Brighton’s creative sound artists Ithaca

provide an audio backdrop. Nov 21-Dec 22.


Nymans exhibits the work of Sir Quentin

Blake, featuring illustrations from his

self-penned stories, including The Story of

the Dancing Frog and The Green Ship. Join in

with a programme of creative events, visit a

recreation of Sir Quentin’s studio, practise

your drawing technique and follow a trail of

frog sculptures into the gardens. Continues

until April 2020.

Photo by Jim Holden


Images courtesy of Plunge Creations



Plunge Creations

You name it, they’ll make it

“We’ve created a sculpture of a dinosaur

using crumpets, a model of Buckingham

Palace using Pimms & lemonade jelly and

a costume for a performer

so they looked like a

giant turd,” says Sarah

Mead, Director of

Plunge Creations.

“It’s quite difficult

to surprise us these


Plunge started out

as a Birminghambased


production company

in 1997, before

relocating to the

Big Smoke to

crack the West

End theatre

scene. After

a few years – and a number of critically

acclaimed productions – the company

decided to move away from shows and

broaden its horizons to create, well,


So now, Plunge apply their experience

in theatre production to help PR,

entertainment and advertising clients realise

their creative visions. Problem solving is

core to what they do. “Our clients come

to us because they can’t get what they’re

looking for elsewhere,” says Sarah. “It

may be because of the scale of what they

are trying to create or just the technical

wizardry required to get what they need to

happen to happen.”

Plunge’s extraordinary design capability

comes from collaboration between its highly

skilled, imaginative workforce. The team of

seven permanent makers come from diverse

creative backgrounds: there are painters,




sculptors, carpenters and welders. When

approaching a new brief, each maker gives

their ideas about which processes and materials

will work best. “Depending on the specialism

required for the job, in the busy months we

can swell by around 20 to 30 freelancers,” says

Sarah. “Sussex is a real hub for makers. I’m

regularly blown away by the talented people

who pass through our workshop and studio.”

These days, Plunge Creations works its magic

from the old brewery buildings of Portslade’s

Old Village. As well as a sun trap of a courtyard

(where the makers are partial to a sunny

Friday beer at 5pm), here they have the space

for metalwork, carpentry, sewing, fibreglass

sculpting and more. “The workshops are

sectioned off and there’s a work flow between

them, starting with the fabrication and more

messy work in the first two and finishing off

with the fine finishing.”

In the past, Plunge has conjured costumes and

props for theatre shows. These have included

masks and costumes for the stage production

of Madagascar as well as costumes and props

for Cartoon Network Live. Is it tricky to make a

2D character materialise? “There are definite

challenges in it – there are things a 2D

character can be shown to do that are difficult

to recreate in a 3D form,” explains Sarah. “The

key thing is capturing that special something

that makes the character feel correct. It could

be a sparkle in the eye or the way it moves and


Back in Brighton, Plunge is the creative force

behind the Snowdog and Snail sculptures for

Martlets Hospice. They have to keep pretty

schtum about projects in the pipeline, but

Sarah says: “We’ve got a number of fantastic

costumes in a TV series airing early next


Rose Dykins


Jubba Ltd/Matt Alexander/intu


28 September 2019 to 12 January 2020 • Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Royal Pavilion Garden

Brighton BN1 1EE

Free with admission

Open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

Closed Mon, 25 & 26 Dec


03000 290902


This month Adam Bronkhorst went behind the scenes at some of the

city’s smaller theatres. He asked the people he met there:

'What's the most outstanding piece of theatre you’ve ever seen?'

adambronkhorst.com | 07879 401333

Daniel Finlay. Lantern Theatre

‘A performance of Eduardo de Filippo’s Filumena in the 80s.

I think it was in Baltimore?’


Stephen Evans, Brighton Little Theatre

‘The English National Opera production of Philip Glass’ Akhnaten

at the Coliseum.’


Lauren Varnfield, Rialto Theatre

'Scorched, performed by Robin Berry (Inside Number 9) at Greenside

at the Edinburgh Fringe.’


David Sheppeard, The Marlborough Pub & Theatre

'Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music performed

at the Barbican as part of LIFT Festival.'


Ben Roberts, Brighton CCA (formerly Sallis Benney)

'All That Fall. A rare production of the Samuel Beckett radio play

performed at the Jermyn Street Theatre.'




Greek hospitality in Hove

My friend Joanne and I

are seeking respite from

the onset of Autumn,

so one particularly

wet and wild Monday

evening we head for

Nostos on Holland

Road. The bright

white walls and pared

back contemporary

furnishings are more

in keeping with a slick

city bistro than a Greek

taverna, but the menu is

full of traditional dishes

that conjure memories of summer holidays.

Moussaka, kleftiko and sea bream cooked in

a salt crust all feature. There’s a catch of the

day and plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten

free options, too.

We’re in the mood for sharing some meze, so

we build our own from the starters, sides and

mains. First to the table are lentil keftedes

with tzatziki avocado (£6.50). The three

generous falafel-type balls are crispy on the

outside and soft on the inside. They are full

of herby flavours which marry well with

the smooth avocado and yogurt dip and are

delicious. Next to arrive is the spanakopita

(£6.50) – the classic spinach and feta filo pie

is one of my favourite Greek dishes. This

one is served as a large slice and the filling is

certainly tasty, but I prefer my pastry with a

little more crisp and crunch. Joanne orders

kalamarakia (£7.50) and reports that the deepfried

squid is perfectly cooked. It’s served with

smooth aioli and a spicy chilli chutney to add

a spike of heat. Add to this the plates of rich

and garlicky tzatziki

(£4.50), marinated

olives (£3.50) and pitta

bread (£1.90) and the

table is getting busy,

but we’ve ordered one

more dish to share, and

so make some room

for the yemista (£11).

The roasted peppers

and tomatoes – stuffed

with rice, pine nuts,

raisins and herbs –

are perfectly tender

and a true taste of

the Mediterranean. They’re surrounded by

melt-in-the-mouth chunks of roasted potatoes

which have soaked up the flavoursome juices.

I wash it all down with a glass of Ionos – the

very drinkable house white wine (£4.95) –

which is crisp, dry and distinctively Greek.

The service is attentive but relaxed and the

atmosphere congenial and family friendly.

The place is pretty busy for a wet Monday

evening and there are several tables of what

appear to be regulars, a young couple with

a baby and a group of friends celebrating a

birthday party (we all join in to sing ‘Happy

Birthday’ in a moment of taverna-style

bonhomie). Joanne and I haven’t seen each

other for a while, so we take our time over

our meal, enjoying some unhurried Greek

hospitality in this busy corner of Hove.

Too full for dessert, we pay up and head out

into the distinctly British weather.

Lizzie Lower

63a Holland Road

01273 713059







Tasty kale, and minty carrot

Stephen Spears from Riverford Organic Farmers,

on how to make simple vegetables into seasonal stars

At Riverford we’re mad about fresh, organic,

ethically sourced, seasonal vegetables and

other delicious produce. The company has

grown over the last 30 years from one man

with a wheelbarrow into a national concern;

I serve the area from Hastings to Shoreham,

from Brighton to Haywards Heath, and

everything in between.

What you can rely on, when you get a

Riverford veg box, is that our produce is

100% organic, that it has been ethically

sourced (nobody has been exploited in its

production), and that the varieties have

been grown with flavour in mind, rather

than how long the produce can stay on the

shelf. Most of the vegetables have been

picked and boxed on our own family-run

farms in Devon, and delivered pretty much

straight to your door, with no middlemen,

and thus no time sitting in a warehouse,

losing goodness. It will also compete,

pricewise, with buying organic veg at your

local supermarket.

I’m a great believer in cooking vegetables

in an imaginative way that makes them

the stars of the plate, rather than just an

accompaniment to the protein element.

Kale and carrots are two staples of

our autumn and winter boxes, and the

wonderful taste they offer can really be

brought out with the imaginative use of a

few other simple ingredients. In the picture

they accompany a mushroom tart, but they

could go with anything, really: I often don’t

bother with a fish or meat element, and just

make four different vegetable dishes.

Method (feeds four).

Wash (don’t peel) and top and tail eight

carrots, then chop them into irregular-sized

chunks. Drop chunks into a pan with half

a cup of boiling water, with a teaspoon of

Bouillon (or other vegetable stock) mixed

in. Add a drop of oil, too. Boil off the

liquid, making sure the carrots don’t get

too soft. Slightly caramelising and charring

them will add taste. Meanwhile, chop up a

handful of mint (coriander or parsley will

do), and a clove of garlic, and mix up with

a big squeeze of lemon juice and a slug of

extra-virgin olive oil. Stir the carrots into

this mix.

In the meantime, cut the stems from twelve

black kale leaves, and set them aside (these

can be boiled or stir-fried in another dish).

Finely chop two white onions, and gently

fry till caramelised, adding a teaspoon of

sugar if desired. Stir the torn-up kale leaves

into the onions until wilted down – this

should take three or four minutes. Just

before bringing off the heat, add the magic

ingredient – a slug of balsamic vinegar.

That’s just two ideas! Our weekly

boxes come with a newsletter from our

inspirational founder Guy Singh-Watson,

which always includes new recipes for the

produce you’ll find in the box. There are

also loads of ideas on our website. Getting

imaginative with fresh organic vegetables

can really make you change the way you eat

and help ensure a healthy diet. Enjoy!

As told to Alex Leith





Coal Shed have launched an all new £10 weekday lunch menu





An eternal flame

This is both the hardest and easiest food review that I’ll ever have to

write. Having dined at Pompoko hundreds of times – it’s perfect for

a quick post-work meal before catching a show – I know the menu

intimately, but baulk at the idea that I can possibly do the place justice in

240 words.

Alice goes for the eternally popular Tori Chilli Don (£5.50 inc. rice). The

chicken in ‘spicy tangy’ sauce has just the right level of chilli kick, with

tasty breadcrumbs too. I love their sweet katsu curries, and currently

favour the breadcrumbed pumpkin option (£5.70 inc. rice).

The affordability means that we cost-conscious diners can go sides-berserk in a way that we cannot

elsewhere. We indulge ourselves with edamame (£2.50), delicious chicken and vegetable gyoza (£3) and

some tender, sticky, honey bbq spare ribs (£2.80).

There’s something comforting about the permanence of Pompoko. It feels like it’s open 24/7 – its hours

are actually 11.30am to 11pm, seven days a week – and the exceptionally quick service means it’s one

of the fastest options in town, even with a queue outside. I don’t recall any significant changes to the

menu in the nine years I’ve been eating there, although there are rotating specials. The service is always

friendly, the portions always generous, and we are always given a sweet before we exit: a sugar jolt

before the curtains open. Pompoko, don’t ever change. Joe Fuller

110 Church Street, pompoko.co.uk

Photo by Joe Fuller

See the full menu: www.coalshed-restaurant.co.uk | 8 Boyce's Street, Brighton BN1 1AN | 01273 322 998



A-news bouche

Congratulations to the team at Rathfinny

Estate’s Tasting Room, who recently made it into

the Michelin Guide. Open Monday to Sunday,

11am to 5pm, go to rathfinnyestate.com to view

menus and book. Taking over the space vacated

by Silo, 640 East are launching their shipping

container concept in Brighton this month, if all

goes to plan. After successful openings in Canary

Wharf and elsewhere in

East London, the Brighton

branch will focus on coffee,

brunch and small plates by

day, and beers and wine in

the evening.

All the ingredients

for a 100% organic


Brighton & Hove Food Partnership recently

ran a Veg City Challenge, where chefs and

caterers were asked to create an innovative

‘grab & go’ recipe that’s packed with veg, to

appeal to Brighton teens. The competition

will be settled at the Community Kitchen

on 6 Nov, where an expert panel – including

Michael Bremner from

64 Degrees/Murmur –

will pick a winner, judged

on taste, ease of eating

and portability.

Veg, meat & all the trimmings

delivered free to your door

01953 859980


Worthing FC are hosting Worthing’s first ever

community craft beer festival: Brewition. A

£5 ticket includes a festival glass you can keep,

and a programme. Local craft breweries will

be on show alongside national

and international ales, and there

will be a local pub team six-aside

football tournament to

keep you entertained whilst






Costumes galore

Gladrags started 25 years ago, in Bristol.

I was working in Community Theatre as a

costume designer, always with the tiniest

budgets. I never hired a costume because the

costs were prohibitive, but I collected my own

resources – mainly from charity shops and

car boot sales – and started lending them out.

I wanted to offer an affordable costume hire

service for groups who would benefit, so – in a

very pre-digital way – I started contacting local

schools and community theatres and it grew

from there. We moved to Brighton in 2005. At

that time, it all fitted in a small lorry. Now it

would be a different story.

I estimate that we’ve got around 7000

pieces. A whole range, though mainly

historical outfits through the ages, from

Stone Age through to modern day. We’ve got

children’s sizes, uniforms, animals, fantasy...

not the sort of costumes you would buy online,

but everything you need to build your own.

Our costumes from the 1930s onwards are

largely made up of vintage pieces and we

focus on authenticity. We supply to fringe

and amateur theatres, community projects

and school productions, as well as hiring out

costumes to film companies and outfits for


Most of our costumes are gifted and we are

making a special effort to preserve their

stories. People donate sentimental things that

are quite hard to let go of. One man donated

his Grandmother’s Women’s Air Force uniform

and, when he came in, he started telling me

all about her. When this happens, we log

the details, curating the stories to use as a

reminiscence or teaching resource. The clothes

then have a continued life, rather than being

stored in the attic.

We use costumes to put together

curriculum resource boxes for local schools.

Today, someone took a Henry VIII Tudorstyle

jacket and some objects that will help the

teacher to explore History in a sensory way. We




have evacuee suitcases if the topic is WWII

and lots more. We also facilitate reminiscence

workshops with a group of elderly local

residents. Some are socially isolated or living

with dementia, and the vintage costumes

and artefacts trigger memories and start

conversations. We’ve learned that you can have

fun dressing up at any age. Costumes can be so

transformative; we see that all the time.

We’re a charity and we make it work

thanks to our amazing team of around

20 volunteers. Many of them have fashion

or textile backgrounds and bring specialist

skills, others just love being in a creative

environment. We also offer work experience

and supported placements for people with

additional needs. The money we get from

professional hires helps to keep costs really low

for schools and community groups and we hold

occasional vintage sales to thin out our stores

and to raise funds. We’ve got one coming up

in November. You can find the details on our

Facebook page. As told to Lizzie Lower



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Brighton People’s Theatre

Theatre workshop

I haven’t performed

in front of people

since I was at school

and the very thought

of it fills me with

dread. But I keep

hearing that it’s

good to do things

that scare you, so

I’ve signed up for

a workshop with

Brighton People’s Theatre.

Now I’m stood in a circle with 20 perfect

strangers, at the Brighthelm Centre. I’d say

the youngest of us is around 20 and the oldest

somewhere close to 70. We all shift a little


Facilitators Luan and Tanushka set out the

rules of engagement: Be kind, be brave and

be yourself. This is a safe space to play. Yikes.

Holding eye contact with strangers and

pretending to be chewing gum are outside

of my normal comfort zone but we’re all in it

together and the fun soon outweighs the fear.

We play Grandma’s Footsteps, pass imaginary

objects and cackle like witches. We weave

around the room, responding to unspoken

cues, sometimes moving in unison, sometimes

not, falling into line, gathering together and

splitting apart, moving in silent co-operation.

I’m aware this all sounds pretty peculiar, but I

recommend that you experience it for yourself.

“We’re moving like starlings” someone

observes, reminded of the seafront

murmurations. I know what they mean. I think

of my awkward morning ritual on the busy

station concourse, eyes down, jostling and

sidestepping the crowds. Watching this group,

I’m struck by how beautiful the random flow

of movement looks and how quickly it seems

to tell a story. This

group of strangers is

starting to look like an


The workshops are part

of a new programme

for Brighton People’s

Theatre: the brainchild

of Naomi Alexander

who started BPT in

2015 with the intention

of creating an inclusive and representative

theatre company for the city. The programme

– which includes play reading and writing

sessions and a show-going theatre club – is

open to anyone aged 18+ living in the BN

postcode area who’s not a professional artist.

And with a ‘pay as you can afford’ price scale

and assistance with travel expenses on offer, it’s

accessible to anyone with an interest in theatre.

For the final exercise of the evening, we break

into smaller groups and share stories from

our lives. Then, together, we tell one of the

stories to the wider group, taking it in turns

to speak in the first person with the intention

of carrying it off as our own. We’re not telling

my story, so I find I’m far less nervous than

I expected to be. In fact, I’m really enjoying

telling someone else’s tale, feeling that I need

to do it justice, to recall the detail and add

nuance to make it more believable. There’s an

exhilarating freedom in being someone else

for a while but it also feels a little deceitful –

trying really hard to pass for someone I’ve only

just met. Then I realise that’s the whole point.

Doing my best to be convincing is part of the

gig. I’m acting. And it’s really good fun.

Lizzie Lower

Visit brightonpeoplestheatre.org for the full

programme of events.


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Paul Brown

Head of Props and Scenic Workshop, Glyndebourne

I’ve been Head of Props for

15 years. It’s a position you

keep hold of – there have only

been six of us since the Glyndebourne

Festival started in

1934. But until this year, there

was a big problem we had to

deal with: there wasn’t enough

space to do all the things we

needed to do.

That’s not an issue anymore,

because the company has just

had a state-of-the-art production

hub built on site, and the

whole of the bottom floor is

dedicated to our department.

We now have more than three

times the space we used to

have and the whole process has

become much more efficient.

We make stuff. Or rather we

make, source, adapt and buy in

all the stage props and scenery

needed for the shows. And

with all the Tour shows as well

as the six Festival operas every

season, that’s up to nine a year.

And it’s not just the current

season we’re thinking of. As

well as working on repairs and

maintenance for current shows,

we’re planning two years in

advance for future events. Each

one has a different director

and different designers, and we

have to adapt to their different

ways of working. It’s a good

challenge to have.

There’s no end to the

variety of props we deal

with, from huge things like

giant chandeliers, period cars

or three-metre-high peacocks,

to tiny details like sugar-tongs

and plastic ice cubes. The main

eye-catcher in the assembly

room as we speak is a 1940s

Photo by Alex Leith




Photo by Graham Carlow

Photo by Graham Carlow




Photo by Sam Stephenson

MG 1500 sports car which has been converted

into an electric vehicle. That’s for Rigoletto.

The assembly room is the central hub

around which all the other studios radiate.

There is a mould-making room, a fabric space, a

woodwork studio for small-sized items, a wood

workshop for bigger-sized items, a paint shop, a

room for fibre-glass work and a metal workshop.

Before, we had to perform most of these

activities in the same space, which wasn’t ideal:

sawdust flying into newly-painted props, and

that sort of thing.

It was important to choose a good, flexible

architect to build the new hub. What we do

here is very odd, when you think about it, so the

process was extremely consultative: we all had

a say in how it would look and work. Nicholas

Hare Architects did a great job. The old building

was demolished in December 2017, and we were

back here in February of this year.

Upstairs there are different departments,

like the costume department and the wig

department. It’s good to have them so close,

as there’s a lot of crossover. For example, we

recently had to make 400 rubber fish for the

sleeves of a costume for Mozart’s Magic Flute.

Including the dress rehearsals, I get to see

each opera that’s performed four or five times.

My favourite Glyndebourne Festival show, over

the years? It’s got to be The Turn of the Screw.

As told to Alex Leith





The Dance Space

A new performance venue for the city

I’m a big fan of the Circus

Street development. It’s very

high density but it’s also

transforming the east side of

Victoria Gardens. There’s a

new street you can visit right

now to see the quality of

the design and, when I went

down it recently, I was really

impressed. Yes, the street is

narrow, but our city is full

of narrow streets and lots of

the accommodation here is

student housing. Students

have different needs compared

to flat-buyers. They don’t

need balconies and lots of

light; they need to be close

to town and the university.

It’s already a quirky and

interesting scheme and there’s

a lot more to come. Combined

with the new cycle lanes and

re-organised roads around the

area, things just seem to be

getting better and better.

Most of all, it’s pretty exciting

to have a new performance

venue in the city. I’m not

sure when the last one was

completed (maybe Komedia?)

but it’s been far too long for

a creative city like ours. The

Dance Space – a central part

of the development – is going

to be a fantastic new asset

and a new home for South

East Dance. Alongside that

it’s going to be the greenest

performance space in town,

sustainability being at the

core of the design. Low

energy fittings, taps that

use a minimal amount of

water, solar panels on the

roof and a highly insulated

building combine with a

seriously green attitude to the

interior. You will see recycled

and upcycled products and

equipment and no single-use

plastic anywhere. Given these

credentials, surely Caroline

Lucas has to be lined up for the

opening (currently scheduled

for summer 2020), or maybe

our new Duchess of Sussex?

Cath James, Artistic

Director at South East

Dance, is eagerly awaiting its

completion. “Our vision for

a green and sustainable home

for dance and dance artists

that is accessible to everyone

has been more than a decade

in the making, so we are over

the moon to see it taking

shape. At South East Dance

we know that dance makes

life better – bringing people

together and helping us to

be healthier and feel better

about ourselves. Every penny

invested brings us closer to

bringing dance to the heart of

Brighton & Hove. We’ve got

the bricks and mortar, now we

need the equipment – we’re so

close but we still need help to

get us over the line!”

South East Dance has just

over £100k to go to reach its

funding target of £6.6 million,

and a seat sponsorship

campaign has just been

launched. So, if you want to

be a part of this brilliant new

venture, now’s your chance…

Paul Zara


Image courtesy of Shed KM Architects




From Gardner Arts to ACCA

Looking back with an eye on the future

Fifty years ago this month, Britain’s first

campus-based university arts centre opened

its doors at the University of Sussex.

From the outset the Gardner Arts Centre –

now the Attenborough Centre for the Creative

Arts – was intended to provide a more avant

garde experience for audiences.

Contemporary dance, edgy and political

dramas, experimental music, international

and arthouse film and other events that defy

boundaries continue to inhabit the brick

towers of the Basil Spence-designed building

at Falmer.

Laura McDermott, the centre’s creative

director, was well aware of this history when

she took on the job in 2016. The centre,

which closed in 2008 when it lost regular

funding from the local authority and from

Arts Council England, had undergone a £8m

refurbishment paid for by the university,

grants and donations and was reopened

and renamed in honour of film director Sir

Richard Attenborough, the university’s former


“So many of the founding principles of the

University of Sussex were about trying to




do things differently,” she says. “From the

bold architecture, to the interdisciplinarity

of the curriculum; it was about providing an

alternative to the traditional forms of higher


“The arts centre was fundamental to this

experience. It recognised the arts as a

key component in a rounded educational

experience – nourishing your soul and

developing your personal creativity. It was

described as ‘the yeast in life’s solid dough’.”

While it has certainly enhanced campus life,

the centre has also been a boon to the wider

community, not just as a venue for annual

events such as Brighton Festival, Cinecity

and Brighton Digital Festival, but as a space

for local artists, performers and musicians to

rehearse and develop new work.

One of the towers that once housed an

electronic music studio has been given a

21st century makeover to become a new

digital recording studio. Named after the

late Professor of Music, Jonathan Harvey,

the facility is for students during term time,

but will be used for other projects during

evenings and weekends.

To celebrate the centre’s half century, Laura

and her colleagues are devising a 50-day

advent calendar featuring treasures from the

archive – counting down from 12 November

to 31 December. “We’ll have photos of

people who have appeared here, such as Doris

Lessing and Nigel Charnock, recordings of

past gigs (like Animal Collective in Brighton

Festival), and pictures of the space in its

various states of construction and renovation

through the years.”

They are also recreating the first concert

given by the University of Sussex Symphony

Orchestra in 1969. The event on 7 December

features novelist and former student

Ian McEwan reading from his original

programme notes, and international pianist

and composer Shin Suzuma (also an exstudent)

playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto

No 3 on the Steinway grand piano donated to

the university by Tony Banks (the keyboard

player from Genesis – another alumnus).

“Bringing current students together with

illustrious alumni in this way feels like the

perfect way to celebrate – looking back but

with an eye on the future,” says Laura.

Jacqui Bealing





Shakespeare’s Starlings

Three Act Tragedy

Illustration by Mark Greco

Hey y’all, I’m mailing in this month’s Viva article

from my vacation at Bodega Bay on the foggy

Pacific coast of California. It may be all organic

coffee, art galleries, surfer dudes and flip-flops

but this quaint coastal community is notorious

for being the location for a most sinister film:

The Birds (1963). Alfred Hitchcock has long gone,

but flocks of the film’s stars still sit ominously

perched on telegraph wires as if unaware that

the portly director yelled “cut” 56 years ago.

But unlike the local hummingbirds, phoebes

and chickadees these particular birds look

reassuringly familiar to me. They are Sturnus

vulgaris, the European Starling, the same species

we see wheeling around Brighton’s West Pier

in their dramatic amoeboid murmurations.

And, like me, they don’t really belong here. The

Starlings are here thanks to Henry IV. Well,

‘Henry IV Part 1’ to be precise.

Act I: London, 1597. William Shakespeare

scribbles the word ‘Starling’ in his epic tale of

power and treachery. With that feathered flourish

of his quill Shakespeare would unknowingly be

the author of an ecological catastrophe that would

play out until the present day.

Act II: New York, 1877. Enter stage right

Eugene Schieffelin, a socialite who would

later be remembered as “an eccentric at best,

a lunatic at worst”. He chaired the American

Acclimatization Society, a group which, despite

their nationalistic sounding name, were very keen

to welcome foreigners. In fact their aim was to

import animals of economic or cultural interest

from the Old World to the New. Schieffelin,

a big fan of Shakespeare, had a dream: to

populate America with every bird mentioned in

Shakespeare’s writings. And so the bard’s birds

were boxed up in England and brought to New

York where Skylarks, Pied Wagtails, Bullfinches,

Nightingales, Chaffinches and many more were

‘liberated’ into Central Park. The majority of

them died. But on March 6, 1890, 60 Starlings (a

bird mentioned only once by Shakespeare) were

released in Central Park and they fared better.

Much better. Today there are around 200 million

of them across the United States.

Act III: United States, present day. The story

of Schieffelin’s Shakespearian motivation may

just be an urban legend but the legacy of his

misguided American Acclimatization Society is

very real. Today European Starlings are widely

vilified by Americans as aggressive pests that have

destroyed precious ecosystems and turfed out

native species. Which is pretty rich coming from

a bunch of invasive Europeans who have been

doing just that for the past few centuries. And

don’t start me on their current leader – a lunatic

at best – who is busy dismantling environmental

regulations that protect wildlife, the landscape

and our planet. But sure, let’s blame the birds.

As Mr Shakespeare (almost) once wrote, “The

fault, dear Brutus, is not in our Starlings, / But in

ourselves”. Michael Blencowe, Senior Learning and

Engagement Officer, Sussex Wildlife Trust




It’s January 1929, and information pertaining to

the imminent demise of this beautiful building –

designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, no less – is

writ large on a billboard on the wall.

‘Brill’s Baths’, reads the poster in the middle of

the image, ‘this exceptional site to be let on lease’.

Brill’s, at 75 East Street, had been open since

1869, named after Charles Brill, who masterminded

and funded the project. Its main feature

was a circular ‘Gentlemen’s Bath’, at 20 metres

in diameter the largest indoor pool in Europe,

filled with seawater pumped in from Hove. There

was also a reading room, a billiard room, a barber

shop, and a viewing gallery seating 400 people.

By 1929, however, leisure tastes had moved on

and the baths were losing money. The site was

bought by Associated British Cinemas, the building

was demolished, and an art deco cinema – the

Savoy Cinema-Theatre – was built in its place.

The project cost £200,000 and the building

wasn’t immediately popular, nicknamed ‘the white

whale’. It was a top-spec operation with a Westrex

sound system designed to showcase the new

‘talkies’: the first films shown were Loose Ends and

Not So Quiet on the Western Front. The complex

also housed two restaurants, two cafés, a dance

hall and an underground car park.

The Savoy enjoyed mixed fortunes in its 69-year

career as a cinema, as its plush Oriental-inspired

interior gradually grew tatty and tired. It was hit

by an incendiary bomb in the war (the show went

on); it was smashed up by Mods and Rockers in

1964; and it changed hands several times, being

renamed, in turn, the ABC Cinema, the Cannon

Cinema, the Virgin Cinema, and then the ABC

again, before closing in 1999. The building is

now run by Stadium Capital Holdings as a ‘mixed

leisure development’ with a casino, a bar, a nightclub

and a restaurant, mainly geared towards the

tourist market.

This photo, sourced by Kevin Wilsher from the

James Gray Collection, shows a selection of interesting

billboard posters, including a number for

other Brighton theatres including The Regent,

The Palladium and The Hippodrome. Top of the

bill at the latter establishment is a show entitled

26 Wonder Midgets; the Palladium counters with a

screening of The Sinister Man, a German-directed

silent movie adaptation of the Edgar Wallace

story. Alex Leith

With thanks to the Regency Society for letting us

use this image from the James Gray Collection.


The 20th and final Brighton and Hove Calendar

The Original. Loved by locals, sent to friends around the world.

£8.99 or 2 for £15

With 67 images

from the previous

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and this year.

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