Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 12 March 2017

Broken Air: Tragic Death Of Landscape Painter Inspires Solo Brighton Fringe Show

Broken Air, a dynamic, imaginative solo physical theatre performance inspired by the tragic death of Cornish landscape painter Peter Lanyon, is coming to Brighton Fringe for the first time. 

The show marks a return to the city for actor and former Brighton resident Paul Attmere,now based in Lithuania where he runs a theatre company with his partner Erika. 

Although regarded as one of the major 20th-century British painters, Lanyon's life and work has not been represented and celebrated on stage until now. 

After a gliding accident near Dunkeswell airfield in Devon in 1964, the Cornish artist sustained a minor injury to his back that put him in hospital. 

After three days he was ready to leave and return to his life and work when a blood clottravelled to his brain and killed him at the age of just forty-six.

 Paul Attmere says: "Although the show doesn't shy away from the tragic circumstances of his death, I wanted Broken Air to be a celebration of Lanyon's lust for life, his mischievous sense of humour and his rebelliousness. 

Peter Lanyon (8 February 1918 -- 31 August 1964) 

"Aside from his creative genius, he was an irrepressible and fascinating man which gave me so much raw-material to work with, including the posthumous poem "The Thermal Stair"- written by his friend WS Graham- from which the show takes its name."

 The show comes five years after Paul, his partner and 2-year-old daughter, left Brightonto live in Lithuania, to build a straw house and make theatre. 

Erika Useviciute (Director) added: "At the time Paul was adjusting to his new life in Lithuania and making this performance was very personal - a sort of love letter home to Cornwall, where his family originates from. 

"He's really excited to return and perform in Brighton and be part of the Fringe and we're also fortunate that One Church is such a wonderfully atmospheric venue."

Broken Air delighted audiences at last year's Barnstaple Theatrefest and Stroud Theatre Festival with its lively mixture of mime, dance and slapstick.

Broken Air - by Third Knock Theatre Co. - at One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton, on 26th/27th May and 1st & 3rd June at 7.30pm. £8.50 or £7 Conc. To book tickets visit or call 01273 917272.

by: Mike Cobley


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