Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

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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Sometimes it's good to be challenged, to be mystified by unfolding events, to be totally flummoxed by the juxtaposition of what's being revealed. But other times it's best to admit defeat and realise there is no mystery, just bitter disappointment.
Photo by Michael Fung Photography

Brighton Festival 2017's Guest Director Kate Tempest made a surprise return to the city on for a secret gig as part of the Festival's Your Place initiative, performing an exclusive rendition of her unreleased new album in full at Hangleton Community Centre. 

Snow Patrol are set to return with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

From an angel and a tennis player to a joyfully paint-splashed lady, Hangleton and East Brighton residents have been creating life-size 'avatars': colourfully painted, cut-out figures that explore who they are or who they would like to be for a Brighton Festival project called Looking Through Each Other's Eyes.

Rituals is the ambitious new album from Australian musician Amaya Laucirica (who played a storming set at last weekend's Brighton's Great Escape Festival). Her work blends the swirling contours of the Cocteau Twins with the wistful melodies of The Go-Betweens and the sonic depth of Yo La Tengo. 

Following last year's success, Byline Festival returns to Pippingford Park, in East Sussex, and once again promises festivalgoers a unique opportunity to recapture the spirit of festivals when they had a sense of purpose. 

John Finnemore has followed a well worn path and is pretty much your definitive BBC Radio 4 comedian; studied English at Cambridge University and cut his teeth in the Cambridge footlights rising to become its vice president in his final year. After graduating, he performed in Sensible Haircut with the Footlights team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2000.

Following band frontman Mike Peters' major undertaking for last week's Record Store Day – which saw him perform at record shops in London, New York and Los Angeles in a three-stop transcontinental trip within twenty-four hours – The Alarm announce the release of their new album Equals.

A special ceremony is being held next month at Woodvale Cemetery, Brighton, to return the gravestone of Thomas Highflyer, a 12-year-old slave boy who was rescued from a slave dhow and died in Brighton 148 years ago.

My first visit to The Spire. As you may have guessed from the name it was once a church (St Mark's Chapel, in East Brighton). This one has been converted to an arts venue. It still looks very much like a church though, just missing the pews and altar etc and of course, it has a stage… and wonderfully, and at least on this night, a foyer with seating and a bar.

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).

A new play by Townsend Theatre Productions relives the extraordinary true story of the Grunwick Strike, a dispute that challenged the way women and immigrants are treated in the workplace.

Brighton based gallery 35 North Contemporary Fine Art is set to host Deanland, a new exhibition of original work by painter Alexander Johnson and photographer John Brockliss. 
Pic by Paul Mansfield

The Rock House Festival 2018 brings together learning disabled bands and upcoming and established music-makers from Brighton and beyond for a day of live music at Green Door Store, Brighton.

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