Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 19 June 2017

Review: Proof @ Brighton’s New Venture Theatre

In Chicago, 25-year-old Catherine (Marie Ellis) has put her college education on hold to care for a dying father, Robert (Bill Griffiths). Robert was an academic genius, specialising in complex 'beautiful and elegant' mathematical proofs, now suffering from both loss of focus and madness.
Marie Ellis & Bill Griffiths in Proof, directed by Claire Lewis

Following Robert's death, Catherine finds herself doubting her own sanity as she rattles around her father's house. Robert's remaining notebooks are being combed through by eager would-be boyfriend Hal (Robert Purchese); For Robert, Claire and Hal, the clarity and perfection of pure maths is something higher, a music of the spheres. 

When Claire's smug yuppified sister Claire (Bridgett Ane Lawrence) arrives, and begins machinations to try to get Claire to move to New York, questions begin to creep in - does Claire want to protect Catherine from her own incipient madness? Is Hal looking to steal some of Robert"s past genius from his notes?

The play is wonderfully funny, while being poignant and touching - a feeling of aching melancholia runs through the relationships - it is a beautifully constructed piece. 

Scenes of Catherine's immediate past with her father in the second half illuminate what we have seen in the first. This switch between past and present is never gimmicky, and never detracts from the tender relationships between the four characters.

The New Venture Theatre's studio space is used perfectly, the enclosed porch setting could look claustrophobic, but remains warm and open, and the actors make the most of the floor; their conversations never appear static, even when it"s just two of them seated. 

None of the characters fall to cliche; Aubern's dialogue is so natural and well pitched that the two hour running time flies past. 

The plot's turns include a classic jaw-dropping revelation at the end of the first half, and leaves the audience with plenty to think about. It's unfair to single any actor out in what is a sucker-punch of a "4-hander", suffice to say that they all truly excellent.

Director Claire Lewis sums up the production thus - "trust, fear, family, mania, genius, love, validation, sacrifice" - as good a summary as any for this gem of a production.

Proof runs at Brighton's New Venture Theatre until Saturday 24th June. CLICK HERE for more details.

by: Gary Cook



Related links

New Venture Theatre

Share    


"We're from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around." Soul II Soul mainman Jazzie B remembers the lengths he and a school friend used to go to play dances with their first sound system when they were just thirteen years old.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller's first album, In The City, which he released with The Jam in May 1977.

In anticipation of International Women's Day and to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act - which gave many women the vote in UK for the first time -  Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, will host a panel debate on women in creative leadership.  

Brighton's contemporary art gallery Fabrica has launched a crowdfunding appeal to rescue its finances in light of recent funding cuts which threaten the organisation’s future. 
Peace Pic (c) Jonnie Craig 2018

Indie rock quartet Peace have released stand-alone track, Power, a unifying anthem between the band and their fans at their notoriously raucous and tribal live shows; this is Peace 2.0; new label, new tunes and a sure fire statement of intent from the four-piece.

The Netherlands has been chosen as the lead international partner for The Great Escape who will be working alongside the Dutch Music Export to highlight the country's most prominent rising stars.

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, the UK's only major greenfield jazz festival, today announces a host of acts confirmed to perform at this summer's event, which returns to Glynde Place in East Sussex from June 29th – July 1st 2018.

Split Britches present an up-to-the minute topical interactive show which takes unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in us all - particularly elders – and tries to uncover it. 

Albert Hammond Jr's new album Francis Trouble explores a deeply personal topic – the stillborn death of his twin brother, Francis, and the lingering effects that event has had in his life and music. 

Punk. Funk. Rock. Soul. The main ingredients in a potent witch's brew that the Bellrays have been mixing for a long time now.

Brighton Unitarian Church has been awarded a grant of £227,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore its endangered classical Greek frontage, which dates from 1820, and is one of the city centre's finest landmarks.

Star of BBC's Live At The Apollo and The Mash Report, Geoff Norcott takes to the road with his new show following a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd