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    

Whats on in Brighton today


Stone Foundation's new album, Everybody, Anyone, was recorded at Paul Weller's Black Barn Studios in Surrey and features a sprinkling of guest musicians.

Novo Amor, aka Ali Lacey, has unveiled a poignant video for the title track from his anticipated debut album, Birthplace.

The flamboyant world of Brighton in the 1880s and back-street life of the 1930s and 50s are the focus of two new books from community publisher QueenSpark Books.

While touring the UK in November 2016, American songwriter Amelia White viewed the bitterly divisive election season back home via the BBC, and from a promoter's attic began to complete the songs on her album, Rhythm Of The Rain. 

For too long festivals have been too male and now Byline Festival is doing something beyond the usual rhetoric….

Reading the wonderful new Ronnie Lane oral biography, Can You Show Me A Dream?, it would be easy for the reader to be left with the impression that Ronnie's life cycle had been a wild journey with a sad ending. But for Ronnie the journey hadn't ended. The letter had left the envelope, that's all.

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.  

The RPMs new single Let Things Happen raises the bar significantly for this young Brighton band. 
(c) Tom Sheehan 2018

Del Amitri return this summer for a UK tour, the celebrated Glaswegian band's first run of dates since 2014.

Albert Hammond Jr's latest 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. 

Sea Life Brighton has issued an urgent appeal for the public to become more responsible with their waste after collecting a record amount of rubbish on Brighton beach. 

One-hundred years on from the first women in the country being granted the right to vote, Brighton Dome has been officially recognised as one of forty-one buildings across England that were at the centre of suffragette action.

Joan Armatrading is a woman of candour – not to mention can do. She gets straight to the heart of the matter, and she delivers.

The drama and magic of Glyndebourne Festival provide the inspiration for a new children’s book, The Mulberry Bees.

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