Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 19 November 2016

Tighten Our Belts: Show Highlighting Cost Of Austerity In The City Previews @ Brighton Dome

From rising homelessness to the increasing reliance of residents on food banks, a new show from a recently formed local company Brighton People's Theatre, Tighten Our Belts,takes as its subject the significant cost of austerity for people living and working in the city. 

Tighten Our Belts is the inaugural show from Brighton People's Theatre, a diverse group of non-professional performers who have created this original performance in collaboration with professional theatre-makers.

Theatre-maker Naomi Alexander, who set up the company, describes the rationale behind it: 

"The philosophy of the company is a belief in, as Joan Littlewood put it, "the genius in everyone". 

"We believe that everyone is creative but that not everyone has opportunities to enable them to realise what they might be capable of. 

"We want artists to collaborate long term with people who might like the idea of being in a show but have never tried it."  

When it came to choosing a subject for their first show, Alexander was struck by the fact that despite living in a city with undoubted wealth and privilege, Brighton has fifteen food banks operating across the city. 

She says"People are suffering, right here, right now, all around us. You can't fail to notice the increase in homeless people on our streets in recent years, but what you don"t see are the struggles that people are going through behind closed doors.  

Massive Turn Out For Anti-Austerity March Brighton 

"People having to choose between putting the heating on or feeding their family. People feeling that somehow they have done something wrong, or that they somehow deserve this. People with no sense of hope for the future. People feeling a loss of dignity. Is this the society we want to live in? I know it isn't for me."

Honest, powerful and tender, Tighten Our Belts is the result of a year-long process ofdevising and developing, working in partnership with Brighton Dome and theBrighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (BUCFP) to recruit performers and ensure that the storytelling is as authentic as possible. 

The performers were given free access to shows at Brighton Dome for inspiration, created fictional characters and infused the stories with the daily struggles that are going on for people across the city. 

Alexander also invited artists such as leading contemporary dance choreographer Gary Clarke and choir leader, choral activist and composer Kirsty Martin to elicit ideas and work with the group to shape and refine it, along with dramaturg Lou Cope to ensure it works as a piece of theatre and takes the audience on a journey.

The People's Theatre performed some material from the show at a work in progresssharing at Brighton Dome in February 2016 where it was met with an emotional audience response.

This month's performance is a preview before the show goes on tour in 2017 and is open to the public on a pay what you decide basis. 

Tighten Our Belts at Brighton Dome on Saturday 26th November 2016. Tickets can be booked in advance from Brighton Dome Ticket Office.

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Southern Fail – The Musical, the big hit at this year's Brighton Fringe, arrives for one last performance this Saturday at Brighton's Sallis Benney Theatre.
Blue Remembered Hills Cast During Rehearsal

Identity Theatre Company are bringing Dennis Potter's groundbreaking play Blue Remembered Hills to the Brighton Open Air Theatre this July.

In just one week this year's Love Supreme Jazz Festival returns to Glynde Place, East Sussex, for a three-day event jam packed with performances from a diverse cross section of jazz, soul and pop talent.

Two key cultural organisations are to unite to create a city-wide hub for creative and cultural learning.
Marie Ellis & Bill Griffiths in Proof, directed by Claire Lewis

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.

Brighton's Brighthelm Centre Auditorium played host to an unsurpassed night of wrestling. Riptide Wrestling not only exceeded expectations from the standpoint of a company running it's first event, it also blew away any independent shows I have seen in the last twenty years. 

Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one year long detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age re-emerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains.

A Hard Day's Month is a book as much about teendom as it is about The Beatles. It's about growing up, generation gaps, mortality, friendships, experimentation, change, independence, love and loss. It's very much the Absolute Beginners of its generation.

As part of a nationwide series of events in honour of Jo Cox MP, local charity Brighton & Hove Impetus is organising a community picnic in Palmeira Square, Hove, on Saturday 17th June from 12-2pm.

Thirty years ago a band from Liverpool achieved three number one hits in the charts and followed it with a million selling début album. Frankie Goes To Hollywood exploded in 1984 and imploded in 1987 leaving Relax, Two Tribes and The Power Of Love as their epitaph.
Pic By Andy Sturmey

It's been 43 years since Kraftwerk changed the musical landscape with their hugely influential Autobahn album in 1974. 

While its primary purpose is to serve as a developmental division for WWE, NXT has come to be viewed by wrestling writers and fans as its own distinct entity - a place for genuine wrestling fans to view up-close-and-personal the next generation of stars.

The 51st Brighton Festival - with recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest as Guest Director - came to a storming conclusion. 

Ultimately, there are so few roles for women, especially queer women in theatre, so Mama Koogs Arts wanted to see more roles created and thus they began to research the untold stories of several women throughout history.

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