Shakespeare and Little Prince smash bottles to open BOAT’s second year

Posted On 05 May 2016 at 2:23 pm

Brighton’s newest theatre celebrated the opening of its second ever season with the smashing of not one, but two champagne bottles.

Brighton Open Air Theatre in Dyke Road park was built as the legacy of late Brighton playwright Adrian Bunting, who left his life savings to be put towards realising his dream of an al fresco performance space.

Last summer, just two years after his death, that dream came true and on Saturday, April 23, the theatre looked back on a successful first year, this summer’s season and many more years to come.

Chair Steve Turner said: “This is year two of our 25-year lease. Over the winter we have done quite a lot of things. After taking advice from the Globe Production Manager who took me aside and said you have to do this, that and the other, we  have done this, that and the other – mainly improving access and acoustic enhancements.

“We have got a lot of good people getting involved and it can only get better through the next 25 years.”

Programme highlights by month

May 2016

As part of Brighton Fringe, B.O.A.T. welcomes three family shows: The Secret Garden, BrightonShed’s adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s book (May 8, 4pm, £8 / £5); interactive bird-focused “eggsperience” Flying The Nest, by Handmade Theatre (June 1 – 3, £8 / £5 conc / £22 family) and the UK premiere of Spanish company The Amateurs’ A Little Prince, an enchanting adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Expury’s 1943 story (May 20 – 22, times vary, £8 / £5 concessions / £22 family). Brighton Festival stages two shows at the venue; The Globe On Tour’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona (May 25 – 29, times and ticket prices vary) and Laurie Anderson’s Music For Dogs, two performances especially for four-legged audiences and their owners (May 10; 6pm & 7.30pm, FREE)

June 2016

Ancient and modern folk tales are brought to life in hilarious, exhilarating musical fashion in Cornish band 3 Daft Monkeys’ self-titled show (June 9, 7pm, £8/£5), and Heritage Opera return to BOAT after the success of last year’s Madame Butterfly with a new production of Don Giovanni (June 10, 6.30pm, £22 / £20).

Lifeboat is a special family event created in response to the refugee crisis and featuring some of best-loved authors and illustrators in children’s literature including Emily Gravett, Axel Scheffler, Anthony Browne, Polly Dunbar, A.F. Harrold and Tim Hopgood hosting performances, puppetry, poetry, painting, comics and more. All proceeds go to the School Bus Project which funds full-time teaching in Calais refugee camp ‘The Jungle’. (June 19, 1pm, suggested donation £10) And don’t miss: The Pantaloons’ Canterbury Tales – the whole of Chaucer’s timeless tales in under two hours – and their version of classic Jonathan Swift satire Gulliver’s Travels (June 22 & 23 respectively, 7pm, £12 / £10). The Marlowe Papers, which tells the tale of the double-life of Kit Marlowe, the most successful playwright in Elizabethan England. (June 25, 7.30pm, £14 / £12). Tight Squeeze’s family-friendly, toe-tapping Midsummer Ceilidh (June 26, 2pm, £10 / £5)

July 2016

Taking place in BOAT from July 2 – 17, Starboard Festival is a new festival of performance for, by and with children from ages 0 – 21. See shows by local schools and companies alongside national work over the three weekends of the festival. (July 2 – 17, dates and times vary, visit Brighton Little Theatre stages Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (July 22 – 24, 7pm & 2pm performances July 23 & 24, £10  / £8) followed by Sisata’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of theD’Urbervilles, an enigmatic tale of virtue, love and injustice (July 26 – 30, 7pm & 2pm performance July 30, £8.50 / £6.50).

August 2016 

The cream of Brighton companies come together at BOAT this month, startingwith Illyria’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore (August 7, 3pm, £15) and followed by Much Ado About Nothing, a joint production from Brighton Shakespeare Company, The Treason Show and the Rialto Theatre (August 10 – 14, 7.30pm plus 3pm performances August 13 & 14). Droll & Folly’s production of George Bernard Shaw comedy Heartbreak House is set on a Sussex estate where rules are suspended, lovers switched and hierarchies reversed (August 16 – 21, 7pm plus 2pm performances August 20 and 21, £14 / £12), and Brighton Little Theatre returns with classic Gothic tale Frankenstein (August 25 – 28, 7pm plus 2pm performances August 27 and 28, £10 / £8).

September 2016 

Prepare for swashbuckling family fun as production company London Road sets sail for BOAT with their Treasure Island, another all-singing, all-dancing adventure from the creative team behind Emporium’s The Jungle Book, Sleeping Beauty and Into The Woods (September 7 – 11 & 14 – 18, 7pm plus 2pm performances September 10, 11, 17 & 18, £15 / £12). The pace switches with a radically reimagined staging of Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy opens on September 21 fusing club culture, drag and black comedy in a story of rivalry, sexuality and bloody revenge (September 21 – 23, 2pm & 7pm, £10 / £5). Old Herbaceous is a moving platonic love story centred on a man in the same gardening job for his whole life (September 24, 3pm, £14) while the season goes out on a high with the arrival of 24-piece vocal ensemble The Soweto Singers who will see out the summer with ‘an exhilarating towering of joy.” (September 28 & 29, 7pm, £15 / £10).



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