Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 08 January 2019

James McLure's Double Bill Dissection Of Post-Vietnam Relationships Plays @ Brighton's New Venture Theatre

Written just a year apart, Lone Star in 1979, Laundry & Bourbon in 1980, the plays share the same setting, themes and connected characters and, not surprisingly, are usually presented on the same bill.

Both were penned by James McLure, who never achieved major fame, yet his work was well-respected by the theatre community with his other acclaimed works including Pvt.Wars, The Day They Shot John Lennon and Max and Maxie.

In Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star McLure intertwines the lives of his colourful characters with vigour and wit, beautifully observing their post-Vietnam relationships in a way that continues to resonate with audiences: if there is any moral to this compelling take on small town Texas, as the Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington suggests, its "that life goes on in the face of domestic and national tragedy".  
 
Opening on a baking hot afternoon, Laundry and Bourbon sees Elizabeth and Hattie reflecting on their high school days and what life in Maynard has dealt for them since. 

Elizabeth's husband Roy is missing and she's harbouring a secret while Hattie, escaping her 'high-spirited' children, advises her best friend on how best to move forward. 

Enter Hattie's nemesis, Amy Lee, with fresh gossip and news to send Hattie into a tail spin: Bridge is on its way out and a new game is coming to town. 
 
That same evening, Lone Star sees Vietnam veteran Roy and his brother Ray sharing a few beers and some snacks out the back of Angel's Bar. 

Roy is still struggling to come to terms with how much life has moved on without him since serving, while Ray endures his older brother's attempts to show him what war was really like. 

Neither is aware of what the night holds for them, or Roy's prized 1959 pink Thunderbird convertible

Then along comes Cletis, Amy Lee's husband and source of constant irritation to Roy, troubled with a big secret of his own that will ensure Roy's dark mood continues.  

Mark Lester directs his second play for the New Venture Theatre, following Tons of Money at the venue's 70th Anniversary earlier this year. 

Please note that both Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star will be performed upstairs in the NVT's main theatre, and there will be smoking on stage. They are also not suitable for children due to adult humour, language and themes. 

The double bill of Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star plays the New Venture Theatre, Brighton, from Friday 18th January to Saturday 26th January 2019. For tickets CLICK HERE. 

by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Barns Courtney had started his musical journey as part of indie bands, SleeperCell and Dive Bella Dive. He then toured as a singer/songwriter, opening for Libertine Carl Barat but paid the bills by working at PC World. 
Credit Graham_Macindoe

On September 3, 2017, director Mike Mills emailed Matt Berninger (The National's frontman) to introduce himself and in very short order, the most ambitious project of the National's nearly 20-year career was born and plans for a hard-earned vacation died. 

As Brighton Festival 2019 entered its second (and middle) week, reviewer Simon Turner attended the opening performance of Superhoe, at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

To emphasise just how much they are into his new show, Rich Hall's Hoedown, the American comedian's many fans are turning up at venues dressed in a full cowboy hat and cowboy boot ensemble. 
Credit Chris Saunders

This year is a landmark year for songwriter Richard Hawley. Not only is he due to release his eighth studio album, Further, but a musical based on a collection of his songs opens in his hometown of Sheffield. 
Credit: Kasia Rucinska & Andrezj Strazalkowski

“If we can't imagine a positive future, how on earth could we possibly create one?” - Lucy Neal.

Artist Pete McKee, who opens a pop-up gallery in Brighton, this summer, has announced details of his latest book, Council Skies.

In October 1980 three musicians took to the stage in their hometown of Bradford to play a gig under the name New Model Army.

Local artist Jamie McCartney is exhibiting works at the Design Renaissance Gallery in Hove, for the month of May to coincide with Artist Open Houses and Brighton Festival.

Imagine what life would be like in Brighton following a nuclear attack on the UK? The chaos, the anguish, the resilience ..

This month's, Brighton Festival, the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England, announces a new partnership with Worthing Theatres. This move sees three events brought to Pavilion Theatre.

Kneehigh's Production of Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) at Theatre Royal Brighton was to an extent engaging in semi-unusual ways. 

This Saturday, Without Walls and Brighton Festival bring a day of eclectic outdoor performances that address the urgent political and social issues of our time.
Credit David Bracey

Last Saturday Brighton Festival 2019 launched with a riot of colour and creativity as thousands of children took to the streets in elaborate and impressive costume for the annual Children's Parade.

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