Brighton actor and director seeks licence for new theatre

Posted On 05 Dec 2011 at 7:32 pm

Brighton could have a new theatre if councillors grant a licence for the premises at a meeting next Monday (12 December).

Actor, writer and director Mark Brailsford has applied for a licence for the venue – The Theatre in The Lanes in North Street.

Mr Brailsford, 46, aims to bring a long empty and derelict basement back into use and create 15 jobs in the process.

A report to Brighton and Hove City Council Licensing Committee said that the proposed venue would be “a new theatre for the presentation of new writing based theatre shows, comedy and music in an upmarket sophisticated 200-seat theatre with fine dining”.

It added: “Alcohol is part of the theatre plan in the same way The Dome and Komedia serve alcohol for their shows with a small point of service bar from which customers can order their food and drink then return to the auditorium to sit and watch the performances.

“The majority of audience members will be seated with food and alcohol.”

The report notes that the council operated a similar system itself at the Pavilion Ice Rink.

The report also said: “The customers of the venue will be attendees of live performances of plays, musicals, comedy and music and ticketed accordingly to eat and drink in a civilised and sophisticated theatre environment.”

Mr Brailsford has a long track record of putting on shows in Brighton, having run The Treason Show for 11 years.

The monthly topical comedy show is currently based at the Pavilion Theatre and previously played at Komedia.

Mr Brailsford said that he was aware that his proposed new venue was inside the council’s “cumulative impact area”.

He said: “I was glad to note that the council recognises that a small restaurant or theatre may be considered ‘exceptional circumstances’ under this policy.

“The audience that we have attracted for years is the kind of mature and sophisticated audience that makes it easier for the council to meet its own licensing objectives.

“I’m fully in favour of the licensing aims of preventing crime and disorder, promoting public safety, preventing public nuisance and protecting children from harm.

“No one has ever been arrested after a night watching The Treason Show and we’ve never had to deal with violence, drunkenness or noise problems.

“We can’t take all the credit for that – it’s a reflection of the sort of audience that we attract.

“And that’s exactly the pattern that we expect to continue with a modest new venue 200 yards from where we currently perform.”

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