Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Review: Urinetown The Musical at Brighton Little Theatre

Twenty years of drought have made the use of private toilets verboten in this dystopian satire - poor people have to pay to pee in corporation-controlled urinals - and woe betide anyone who disobeys.
Photo by Miles Davies

Narrator Officer Lockstock (Tony Bright) and street urchin Little Sally (Elsie Lovelock) are our guides through this unappealing future. We meet a succession of low-life characters at Public Amenity No 9, including its manager, Penelope Pennywise played with brio and a sensational voice by Katy Markey (also responsible for the fluid - and where necessary hilarious - choreography). 

The story unfolds, and we soon meet the politically-entangled baddies of the piece - but to give too much away would be to spoil it. Needless to say, with a self-proclaimed "dreadful title" like Urinetown, the story doesn't have a particularly happy ending.

Musical conventions are gently (or not so gently) skewered and parodied throughout the show, but the songs (and especially the lyrics) are on-point even at their most parodic; the cast deliver and then some - the ensemble singing in the bijou space of the Brighton Little Theatre is gorgeous.

It's unfair to single cast members out but highlights for me were the aforementioned Elsie Lovelock, Tony Bright and Katy Markey; the upright and unhinged Caldwell (played by Neil Sellman) nursing a bunny-metaphor obsession (don't ask) and planning his escape to Rio; everyman character Bobby (Ollie Wray) and the charming Hope (Ellie Earl) as the hero and heroine of the piece. 

Emily Hardy and Ernest Stroud play twisted nutcases from a parallel West Side Story and Hari Johnson's hilariously over the top turn as Caldwell"s prancing toady also get a special mention for being hilarious.

The set, sound and lighting are, as always at Brighton Little, superb (as are the band, led by Musical Director Gary Nock). Costumes, make up and wigs are spot on. Director Louis Craig (who also helmed the wonderful production of "A Little Night Music" at Brighton Little) should be rightly proud of this inspired production - the hard work is right there on the stage.

Hopefully after this review you"ll be bursting to go - so get yourself a ticket and find some relief at Brighton Little Theatre, until 20th May 2017. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Gary Cook




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Following this week's blanket media coverage of Born Free Co-Founder, Virginia McKenna OBE's, appeal to the Antiques Roadshow to cease featuring ivory items and the BBC's decision to review its ivory policy, the Horsham-based international wildlife conservation charity, has launched an Ivory Amnesty aimed at people who no longer wish to have any ivory items in their possession.
Pic by Wolf James

Described as “the love child of INXS, The Maccabees and The National”, five-piece To Kill A King return with their first record since 2015 - a collection of semi-mythic, semi-autobiographical tunes.
See Foot Of Article For Photo Credits

Gary Cook, director of the Southwick Players upcoming production of The Turn of the Screw, talks to his producer Anita Jones about the play.
40 Shillings On The Drum Credit Andy Sturmey

Brighton's raucous punk-folk five-piece 40 Shillings on the Drum have joined sextet Skinny Lister, emerging rapper Chiedu Oraka, singer-songwriter Sean McGowan, Brighton punk pop outfit Jetstream Pony, and Hastings' indie rockers Kid Kapichi on the bill of Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival 2018, the UK's largest Mardi Gras celebration.
The Damned (c) John Ingham 1977

Over forty years since their initial explosion across the fledgling London punk scene, and some ten years since the release of their last studio recordings, British punk legends The Damned are set to return in 2018 with both new material and - as part of a UK tour - a date on the South Coast.

Black Deer Festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Eridge Park, Britain's oldest deer park, located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells, and you can expect an array of authentic americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases, storytellings from cultural pioneers, not to mention a line-up of artists across the Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres.  
Paola St George

A brand-new radio show about mental health is being launched by Brighton community radio station RadioReverb as part of their new 2018 schedule. 

There will be no unwelcome re-entry as the promised meteoric rise of Brighton five-piece, 40 Shillings on the Drum, shows no sign of abating. In fact, 2018 is gearing up to be the year of the 'Shillings', as the next twelve months will see them unleash a live album, début studio album and a plethora of live dates.

A 23-year-old man will be donning his running shoes to tackle a 100km run, in a bid to raise more than £425 for Alzheimer's Society. Max Cross will be taking on the South Coast Challenge from Eastbourne to Hove, over two days, on 25 and 26 August 2018.

Lights of Roman numerals illuminate the ice, the Brighton Centre house lights go down, a circular platform glides to centre stage, and a man sat in an armchair watches a video on his projector while a woman dances around him to a romantic tune.

Brighton Festival & The Voice Project are inviting singers (aged over 16) to join a unique new choral project, The Arms of Sleep, as part of Brighton Festival 2018.
Pic by Sam Shaw

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018 focuses on the work of Mozart - each biennial edition of the competition will focus on a different composer or era. 

With tickets for his Brighton Centre show sold out in minutes and a number one solo album packed with top quality tunes, Liam Gallagher is at the toppermost of the poppermost.

On the back of last weekend's gig at Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, in Brighton, Jordan Allen are releasing new single and firm live favourite, R.O.S.I.E.

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