Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 06 February 2018

Trump, Brexit & Climate Change On The Agenda At UK Premiere Of Unexploded Ordnances

Split Britches present an up-to-the minute topical interactive show which takes unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in us all - particularly elders – and tries to uncover it. 

Legendary performance duo Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver evoke the Cold War paranoia of Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove to seek solutions to the problems keeping us awake at night, as the audience counts down the final hour to doomsday on their phones.

On a stage that echoes the film's iconic War Room, with a round table and doomsday images projected onto screens, Peggy and Lois adopt the characters of a bombastic general and ineffectual president, lacing the performance with both playful urgency and lethargy and encouraging discussion about the political landscape. 

Speaking about the show Lois Weaver said: "We've always used performance to help us through our personal challenges — about being butch and going through menopause, being femme and feeling invisible, or being an artist during the Reagan-Thatcher era. 


"Now that we're older we use performance to help us think about age. We started this project before Trump was elected and before Dr. Strangelove became as relevant as it is now. 

"We drew from the doomsday urgency of the film, that something horrible is going to happen unless we do something. But it's really about the urgency of time as an elder as well." 

The twelve eldest audience members are invited to enter the Situation Room and become a Council of Elders to discuss the global issues of the day from Trump, Brexit and Climate Change to the challenges of the ageing baby boom generation – as the company weave in satirical insights and spirit-lifting humour, resulting in a production where each show is unique. 

Developed over two years through residencies with older people in London, Los Angeles and on New York's historical Governor's Island (where real undetonated civil war bombs lie buried beneath the surface), UXO is the latest show from the groundbreaking duo whose work is characterised by experimentation in form and political content, as well as plenty of pop culture references. 

Unexploded Ordnances at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, University of Sussex, Gardner Center Road, Brighton, on 13th & 14th March 2018. CLICK HERE for more info.


by: Mike Cobley




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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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