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    


A play about the life of Manchester Arena bomb victim Martyn Hett is set to come to the Brighton Fringe almost one year since the tragic event.
Pic by Andy Sturmey

Riding the wave of success and universal critical acclaim for their most recent album, F.E.A.R, Marillion graced the stage at Brighton Dome last night (16/4/18) and served up an epic and confident display of prog.

Superorganism is a London-based, eight person collective of international musicians and pop culture junkies from Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, who have, in just eighteen months, amassed a global fan base and acclaimed début album. 

Spymonkey's Stephan Kreiss will join Scottish actor Pauline Knowles in the world première of Problem in Brighton, a brand new alt-rock/pop pantomime written and directed by Brighton Festival 2018 Guest Director David Shrigley.

He's still the undisputed champion of Superbike; the most successful rider ever in the sport's history. Now Carl Fogarty is fifteen years into a retirement that has seen him be crowned King of the Jungle and trek across Patagonia, but, as for any former champion, giving up the sport that made him a household name has been no easy task.
(c) Delaram Pourabi

TT, also known as Theresa Wayman, vocalist and guitarist of Warpaint, has unveiled lead single I've Been Fine, in the run up to début album, LoveLaws

Brighton's Sallis Benney Theatre is set to showcase Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution, the thought provoking film that aims to encourage local students and residents to consider their current attitudes and behaviour towards sex, consent and gender.

The first glimpse of Brighton Festival 2018 is to be unveiled at Fabrica this weekend, in the form of David Shrigley's interactive installation, Life Model II.

Isaac Gracie's eponymous début album is the sound of an artist bit-by-bit breaking through the hype and the seeds of doubt that stem from the heavy expectation that greeted breakthrough song Last Words.
Photo by Bryan Kremkau

It was always a pleasure for The Brighton Magazine to host The Beat's Dave Wakeling, when he performed in the city as part of the 3 Men & Black collective (alongside Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers and Pauline Black and Nick Welsh from The Selecter).

Singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid, who recently played The Greys, in Brighton, has teamed up with award-winning filmmaker Brett Harvey for a music video/short film based on the poignant true story of Bill Conner, a father who lost his daughter and cycled 1,400 miles to hear her heart beating again in the body of its recipient. 

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, Falkirk's iron and steel industry bore the town three primary exports: carronades, pillar boxes, and buses. 

When people who have 'made it' are asked what they can thank for their transformation, few people would cite cancer, near poverty or isolation.

After setting up her label Seahorse Music to publish records by like-minded women and help make them more visible in a male-dominated industry, Bryde finished up her debut LP, Like An Island, flitting, between London and LA. 

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