Unlike the more bustling venues of the fringe, concentrated in town at The Warren, The Spiegeltent and throughout Brighton's famous lanes, you need to travel a bit to go and see this promenade performance by city-based Wired Theatre. It takes places in a beautiful house, in a residential quarter just on the hill into town. 41 Hollingbury Park Avenue is a cosy place, warmly furnished, with plenty of light spilling in from the windows and the veranda.
As you walk in, you became part of the show and are pulled straight into the action. Indeed, this is a promenade show. The house is the stage and the audience can enjoy close proximity with the actors. No rigid barriers distance the audience from what is happening in the house. Audiences spill from a room to the other, from the kitchen to the bedroom upstairs.
Everything takes place on multiple levels spatially, but also temporaly. As I move through the house, not only do the scenes change, but I travel back and forward in time. The play covers the life of a family; from the childhood of the youngest, to the funeral of their father as they grow older. The storyline plays with flashbacks and challenging themes.
I witnessed how complicated family relationships can be. Maternal love\hate, coming out and secrets hidden in the house are some of the themes. The actors were able to shift easily in different contexts; from playing with each other as children, to being able to tell your mother you have moved from Charles to Carol.
Promenade performances are notoriously challenging, and such proximity completely changes how the audience experiments and shares with the characters' emotions emotions, they rose to the challenge well. The integration of music in pivotal points was also very precisely planned.
7, 14, 21, 28, 30 May, 4 Jun 16:30 7, 14, 21, 28, 30 May, 4 Jun 19:00 8, 15, 22, 29 May, 5 Jun 14:30 8, 15, 22, 29 May, 5 Jun 17:00 £8.50(£7) [1hr 15m]