Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 07 June 2021

Bareback: Comedy Duo Write Brighton Fringe Show Three-Hundred Miles Apart

In March 2020 character comedy duo Horseplay (Kathy Maniura and Derek Mitchell) were poised for a big summer. Kathy had just won Leicester Square Sketch Off. Derek had been granted an 'Exceptional Talent' visa by the Home Office.

They had dates confirmed at The Warren, Brighton Fringe and Underbelly, Edinburgh Fringe for Bareback, an absurd character comedy set in a sexless afterlife. 

Development was in full swing after work-in-progress shows in summer 2019 at the King's Head Theatre London"s new writing festival Playmill, the Camden Fringe, and Bedlam Late Night in Edinburgh. 

This followed their first hit show, Witch Hunt, which toured London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Barcelona in 2018-9.

Then, two things happened: the pandemic hit, and the UK Home Office lost Derek's 'Exceptional Talent' visa. 

Derek was trapped over 500km away from Kathy in Amsterdam. 

The duo had a good cry and then spent the year reworking Bareback daily over Zoom, attempting to make the most of the time forced on them by the circumstances. 

The intense highs and lows led them to incorporate confessional, personal storytelling into their trademark absurd comedic style.


Now, finally, they are back in the same country - indeed living together (risky?) – and ready to present the reworked labour of love that is Bareback. 

The show follows a kaleidoscope of characters as they navigate life after death – including a self-help guru, a failed actress, an artisanal dildo maker and a talking anus and vagina. 

In this wild ride through musical numbers, quick changes and wigs galore – and as the stability of the afterlife starts to unravel – it turns out maybe everyone isn't as happy as they pretend to be.

Rewritten in lockdown, the show is no longer just about highy performative characters. 

Now it's about the blurry boundary between those characters and the truth. 

In a Covid world, the questions of sex (who is allowed to have it), performance (literally restricted) and death feel all the more relevant. 

After the past year, the story provides the escapist comic relief that we so desperately need, while addressing these ideas in a way that resonates.

The team are excited to bring the new and improved Bareback to the Brighton Fringe - indeed they can imagine no better place to step back onto the stage given the city's thriving student and queer communities

The show resonates with those keen to both laugh at and identify with the contradictions of modern life.

"There's nothing I want to do more than perform now. Screw the pubs (and the Home Office)… I've waited over a year for this moment and I'm thrilled to be back in Brighton." - Derek Mitchell, writer/performer

Bareback at The Warren: The Oil Shed, Victoria Gardens, Brighton - 17 & 18 June, 10 July, 22.00 (60 mins), £10 Get Tickets Here

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


The First Release of Brighton Fringe events will feature comedy from Paralympic, World Championship and European Championship dressage medallist Ricky Balshaw; Love and Money, a play by internationally-acclaimed writer Dennis Kelly and the return of award-winning comedy actress Joanna Neary with a show based on her comedy podcast Wife On Earth.

On the 21st December hundreds of people will walk 5k to support the NSPCC. Landmarks across the UK, including the BA i360 in Brighton and Lancing College Chapel are also supporting the charity by lighting up and turning the NSPCC's trademark green colour.

Creative Learning at Theatre Royal Brighton runs a programme of workshops, performances, talks, tours and events alongside the shows on its stage. 

Mr Bruce - former frontman of The Correspondents - marks the start of his solo career in spectacular style with the release of Race To Nowhere [Part One], and a date at Brighton's Green Door Store.

Following last year’s virtual sing-along, Brighton Festival Chorus (BFC) returns to the stage for its annual Christmas Concert at Brighton Dome on Sunday 12 December at 4pm. 
Credit Vicki McManus

Budding young circus performers are preparing to take to the stage at Brighton Dome this December, with help from professional artists from Circolombia.

When the lights go up at the start of the performances of Riverdance: The New 25th Anniversary Show at The Brighton Centre next month, the excitement will be palpable, not just from the audience but very much from all the performers too.

The Beatles famously turned their back on touring towards the end of their career but The Bootleg Beatles, due to Covid, as with the rest of the industry were forced into an unwanted hiatus. 
Credit David-Geli

Komedia has teamed up with leading independent comedy promoters Little Wander for a fresh take on their weekend stand-up comedy offering.

After years spent living on opposite sides of the Atlantic world events threw Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Brighton's Blood Red Shoes back together into what has become the must fruitful era of their 17 years together. 
Florin and Charlie

Over one-hundred Brighton residents have been offered full or part time roles on-site at the £120 million Edward Street Quarter development as part of an ongoing social value commitment to support the local community.

The South-East's largest charity supporting vulnerable young people, YMCA DownsLink Group, has launched its Christmas fundraising appeal
Credit Vic Frankowski

Brighton city centre will once again be filled with a sea of colour and creativity as thousands of school children, teachers and volunteers celebrate the return of the Brighton Festival Children's Parade after a two-year gap on Saturday 7th May 2022.
Credit Rosie Powell

This year, Towner Eastbourne invited members of the LGBTQIA+ community in East Sussex to take part in a unique creative project, exploring personal responses to artworks in the Towner Collection, through a queer lens. 

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd