Festivals ’18 – Team TOM’s picks…

With Festivals season lurking around the corner, we’re getting a wee bit giddy to say the least. So to celebrate, some members of the TOM Team have picked out what they are most excited about this season and why…

Helen (Programmer)
The Fabulous Backstrom Brothers is sure to be a giggle! Spymonkey’s outrageous and brilliantly disruptive influence on even the most highbrow art forms is a complete joy to behold. I can’t wait to see how director Toby Parks works with two Finnish opera singing brothers in this musical cabaret that is billed as Richard Wagner meets Johnny Cash in a Ring of Fire!!

Andy (Marketing Officer)
I can’t wait to see Hammerhead, the latest offering from Joseph Morpurgo. He is famed for his razor sharp wit and immense talent for improvisation – if you’ve ever seen his performances as part of the Jane Austen inspired improv group Austentatious then you’ll know how good he is. If you haven’t seen him, he’s unlike any other comic act on the circuit so well worth a watch. I can’t wait (but I’m going to have to…)

Tanya (Operations Manager)
Ooo, there’s a lot I want to see this season! All of the Finnish Season, Benjamin Zephaniah, Fleabag… but I’m probably most looking forward to The Lovers Circus. This is a new venture for us, a really exciting one! There’s going to be some fantastic music throughout the night (love The Turbans particularly) and a variety of entertainment including poetry, VR, workshops and more. Loads to keep you busy partying into the night!

Mark (Marketing Manager)
Just recently, I made my first visit to TOM’s Film Club and had a wonderful evening, so I’m eager to see the next offer – the Nick Cave Double Bill. The atmosphere at the club screenings is unlike any other cinema I’ve been to, so relaxed and welcoming, and I think I’m the only person in my family who hasn’t seen either of these films. Even so, the family are coming with me to see them again! I’m particularly looking forward to One More Time With Feeling, Andrew Dominik is a great director (Chopper anyone?)

Emily (Finance Assistant)
It’s got to be Fleabag. There is sooo much hype for this show, it’s won loads of awards, it’s selling out everywhere it goes (we’re on course for a similar outcome here!) and I loved the BBC3 series. Imagine Miranda, but a really, REALLY bleak version. I think everyone has those moments of social anxiety that they can relate to, and this show breaks it all down in a filthy, yet somehow charming way.

These are just some of our opinions. There’s a lot more on offer, including DollyWould by the wonderfully named Sh!t Theatre (pictured below), David Shrigley’s Problem in Brighton, a collaborative concert with Sarah Jane Morris and Antonio ForcioneThe Great Escape Festival and more, so we’re sure they’ll be something for everyone.

Have a look at our full lineup here, and we’ll see you very soon!

Team TOM x

Hurrah! Pre/Post show meal offers this Xmas!

Get delicious discounts off your Christmas meal with your Cinderella and the Beanstalk tickets…


If you like your panto with a twist, Cinderella and the Beanstalk is the show for you – a fast-paced, bare-knuckled comedy penned by the multi-award winning trio Sleeping Trees and directed by Tom Attenborough. 

To ensure your festive night out goes with a bang, we’ve teamed up with four great restaurants to give you money off your food bill. All you need to do is present your Cinderella and the Beanstalk tickets upon arrival. Discounts are valid between Thu 14 Dec – Sat 6 Jan, and terms and conditions apply at each restaurant – see below for all the details. Happy yule tide everyone!


102-105 Western Road, Hove // sixbrighton.com // 01273 725495 // 150m from The Old Market

Get 10% off your food bill at SIX with your Cinderella and The Beanstalk tickets. Offer applies to advanced bookings only, up to a maximum of 6 people. Book here or by phone. Taking influence from abundant country fields in Europe, SIX combines the freshest ingredients with a passion for bringing out inherent flavours in a contemporary approach to cuisine.

Fatto A Mano
65-67 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2BD, Hove // fattoamanopizza.com // 01273 325400 // 800m from The Old Market

Open everyday from midday – 10pm, Fatto A Mano is a fast-paced eatery, serving up delicious wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. Kids eat for free at Fatto A Mano, making it the perfect place to take the family before or after the matinee show. For group bookings over 6 people, reserve your table by phone, or if there are less than 6 of you, just turn up.

La Choza
105 Western Road, Brighton // lachoza.co.uk // 320m from The Old Market

Present your ticket on the day of the show to claim 10% off your food bill at La Choza, Western Rd. Valid for lunch or a pre-show dinner and subject to availability. Offer valid on food only and excludes Friday and Saturday evenings after 7pm. Please note Christmas is a very busy time of year, so advanced booking is highly recommended by email, phone or online bookingLa Choza serves authentic slow-cooked Mexican street food. Recommended by The Guardian and named one of the UK’s best ‘cheap eats’ in the Observer Food Monthly awards, the menu includes fresh tacos, burritos and quesadillas.

Bottom’s Rest
Conquer House, 16 Lower Market St, Hove BN3 1AT // 01273 733513 // 10m from The Old Market

Enjoy food and drinks in Bottom’s Rest, a cosy, hidden gem of a pub, tucked away just behind the venue. Present your Cinderella and The Beanstalk ticket on the day of the show and get 10% off your food bill.  Subject to availability, please note Christmas is a very busy time of year, so advanced booking is highly recommended. To secure your booking, call Bottom’s Rest or email bottomsrest@gmail.com.
Offer excludes: Tuesday 241 burger offer, Wednesday curry night, Thursday wing night, and Sunday roasts. Under 18s are welcome until 8pm.


Do you have a story to tell?

Earlier in the year we launched a brand new podcast series called Wilder Stories.  We invited storytellers from all disciplines to spin their yarns –  with each podcast having a unique theme.

The first podcasts were recorded in front of a live audience during Brighton Fringe and were hosted by poet-musician Chris T-T and scored by Todd Jordan.  After the success of these we’re searching for participants for the next round, with the natural environment our inspiration.

The chosen themes for Wilder Stories series 2 will be;  THE SEA, THE HILLS, and THE WOODS.

If you have a suitable short story, poem, essay or song then we’d like to hear from you! This time, we’ll be recording each story on the move – so can meet you at a chosen location to hear your story, or you can come to us.

How to apply:

– Indicate whether your submission is a story, poem, essay, narrative song or something else entirely.
– Let us know which theme your piece is inspired by (the sea, hills or woods).
– It should be no longer than 5 minutes in length.

Send a transcript or a link to a recording with the subject line: WILDER STORIES 2 + SEA/HILLS or WOOD
to james [at] theoldmarket.com

You can apply to more than one, if you would like to.

The deadline for submissions is Fri 15 Sep and we will let you know by Wed 20 Sep.

Wilder Stories is produced by The Old Market with LoFi Arts and hosted by CJ Thorpe.

Autumn season launch – #TOMtech, TOM’s Film Club and more!

Brighton Digital Festival begins in September and we’re serving up our biggest #TOMtech season ever.

A Technology Takeover?

Throughout Autumn, we’ll be hosting workshops, events and meet-ups that will explore how new technologies are changing the creative landscape, with one burning question – how can the latest developments in tech improve how we experience culture?

We’ll be posing this question and many others to artists, tech wizards and everyone in between during the festival, with some of the findings being podcasted and blogged on the #TOMtech site.

To start the season off, we’re more than a little bit excited that cutting-edge design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast are bringing their interactive musical laser installation Forest to the venue for two weeks, from Tue 29 August.

Made of steel rods and lasers, the installation invites you to play, tap, shake, and pluck the musical ‘trees’. Interacting with the trees causes them to swing and oscillate, creating vibrating patterns of light and sound. Each tree is tuned to a specific tone, creating harmonious sounds spatialised and played in surround sound. As well as Forest, there’ll be other immersive virtual reality experiences to explore, all part of the MLF retrospective: Habitats

Check out the video below to hear and see the Forest in action.

As well as Habitats, other ground-breaking VR experiences include the sensual journey Frogman, the first full length piece of VR theatre, which uses binaural sound to take you into the heart of the coral reef. The sumptuous WHIST takes you on a journey into the unconscious mind. And vrLAB returns to showcase yet more virtual reality experiences following a sell-out run last year.

Elsewhere, there’s cutting edge automated performance in Macondo and REMOTE where you, the audience, steer the show.

TOM’s Film Club continues…

We’ve got some real corkers coming up for our AUTUMN season. Including The Love Witch, a special #TOMtech and Brighton Digital Festival screening of Ex_Machina and the supernatural horror, Under the Shadow.

We’ve introduced a bundle offer where you can buy tickets for two films for £10, or a season pass for all films for just £24! Individual tickets are still priced at £6 each.

Want to know more about the rest of the season? Film Club creator, Michael McDermott talks to Culture Calling about the origins of the club and what films are coming up.



A show to get your teeth in to this Halloween…

We’re super excited to announce the return of Exeter based comedy troupe, Le Navet Bete. They’ll be bringing the funny this Halloween with their very own take on Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula.

The troupe are no stranger to TOM, with last year’s rendition of Dick Tracy and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2015), both hailed by the critics. Dracula: The Bloody Truth promises to have the vampires back in the ground and will leave you flying high! Check out the full length trailer below for more giggles, you can fang us later…

May is wilder than you know…

Are you sitting comfortably? We’ve been busy sharing our own stories down in the basement, to warm up for our brand new storytelling night Wilder Stories

Story Mash #wilderstories

The TOM team and friends spinning yarns.

At the heart of any arts festival is the sharing of stories, so we’ve brought together artists, academics, musicians, poets and raconteurs for three nights in May during Brighton Fringe, to share their stories with us. Wilder Stories: Rhapsodies in Colour promises bold, beautiful, grotesque and intricate story-telling, with each night inspired by a different hue: Blue (Sun 7 May), Red (Sun 21 May) and Green (Sun 28 May).

Included in the evening line-up so far are 2017 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award winner, Christina Sanders (BLUE), musician Nick Harper (RED) and Brighton based musician and writer, Cess Greenness (GREEN).

Wilder Stories will mark the launch of a live podcast series, hosted by poet-musician-activist Chris T-T, and scored by Todd Jordan. Tickets are just £5, and £3 each if you buy a ticket for more than one Wilder Stories event. To get the ball rolling, we got together to share some of our favourite tales in front of the camera.

Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan

Here’s our rendition of an excerpt from scientist Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. Written in 1994, Sagan was inspired to write after urging the crew of Voyager 1 to take an image of Earth during a mission on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft travelled to the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned around to take a photograph. The resulting image, with the earth a speck less than 0.12 pixels in size, became known as the ‘pale blue dot‘.  Sagan’s writing asserts the sheer vastness of space, and our undeniably-small place within it.

‘Pale Blue Dot’ the image is part of the first ever ‘portrait’ of the solar system taken by Voyager 1 (NASA/JPL) / Artwork by Hannah Broadway for Wilder Stories – Rhapsodies in Colour: BLUE

Check out the full info for Wilder Stories:

As part of TOM’s venue pledge, we are working with community groups across the city to promise that for every ticket bought for this specially curated series of live-lounge podcasts, we will donate a ticket to someone who can’t afford to go to the theatre.

Staff highlights from 2016 & picks for 2017

2016 is nearly over, and although we’ve lost national treasures and witnessed countless political U-turns, it hasn’t been all bad – at TOM we found bliss in the performing arts.

So, for all you list-lovers out there, here’s a round up of highlights from the year that saw TOM host over 160 events and go digital (#TOMTech). Our wonderful team also share what they’re chomping at the bit to see in 2017. Enjoy.

Tanya  – Operations Manager

“Hmmmmm…. theatre like this is a must for feel good endorphins.
Amazing acrobatics, laugh out loud wit, strength and grace from the performers. Just pure pleasure from start to finish.”

2017:  THRIVE
“I am really looking forward to Thrive in March – an interesting promenade piece for, and about, young adults dealing with emotional trauma.
I’m curious to see how this will address sensitive issues and how young adults react to them. It’s great that a promenade piece has been created where young adults have an opportunity to become completely immersed in the action. I will definitely be bringing my teenage daughter – if her school doesn’t bring their group along!”

Date & Time: Sat 4 Mar, 6pm & 8pm

Laura – Box Office Manager

2016: GOLEM
“My 2016 highlight was 1927’s production of Golem. It was just the sort of theatrical experience I needed to wash away those January blues. I loved its clever mix of the visual, the emotional and the lyrical. I adore seeing productions that pay so much attention to detail. It blended the wickedly absurd and darkly comical with some real Kafka-esque existentialism thrown in for good measure. Wonderful.”

“I’m looking forward to a lot of shows in 2017, but the one that keeps saying ‘come watch me’ and won’t leave me alone is Near Gone by Two Destination Language. I’m intrigued by its Balkan flavour and fusion of emotion, words and languages, and its internal story of survival and the power of the human spirit. It sounds beautiful.”

Date & Time: Wed 29 – Fri 31 Mar, 8pm

Sam – Marketing Manager

“There have been so many highlights, but my absolute favourite show has to be Dick Tracy (March 2016), a ludicrous day-glo slapstick adaptation of the classic comic strip, featuring Exeter’s favourite physical comedy troupe Le Navet Bete. I can honestly say I’ve never laughed so much before, and my friend sitting behind me laughed so hard she spilt her wine all over my head. Needless to say we’re now Le Navet Bete fangirls and we can’t wait for their return to TOM in 2017… watch this space!”

“To continue the theme, I have to say I need light relief more than ever after the 2016 we’ve had, so I’m most looking forward to more physical comedy silliness. This hilarious genre parody from up-and-coming company The Pretend Men has had sell out runs around the world, won numerous awards and picked up five star reviews like nobody’s business, but to be honest, it had me at the name – which will resonate with many Simpsons fans out there: Police Cops. What’s not to love?”

Date & Time: Wed 22 – Thu 23 Feb, 8pm

James – Development Manager – #TOMtech

2016: vrLAB
“During September’s Brighton Digital Festival, we launched #TOMtech – a programme that celebrates artists who use emerging technologies.  A highlight for me was vrLAB – a four day event featuring 25 different virtual reality experiences.  From the magical woodland world of In The Eyes of The Animal to the intensively high octane racing game, Radial-GvrLAB took over the whole building! The tech team completely re-purposed the venue in an extraordinary way and we think it was a first for a UK arts venue! So cutting edge.”

2017: #TOMtech
“#TOMtech continues for 2017 with new shows, experiences and labs.  One very exciting event will see the return of the excellent Marshmallow Laser Feast, completely re-imagining our venue as a natural habitat with a digital twist.  It’s all under wraps until we launch next year, but I can guarantee you will not believe you are in the same The Old Market.  I can’t wait.”

NEW SEASON: Autumn 2016

This season, as well as our usual menu of theatre, comedy, music and special events, we’ve created a brand new programme called #TOMtech, where we ask theatre makers and tech experts what entertainment looks like right at the edge of new technology.

Adam Buxton’s BUG: David Bowie Special (#TOMtech)
Thu 8 Sep, 7:30pm
Adam Buxton presents a very special BUG show celebrating some of David Bowie’s incredible music video and other on-screen appearances.
More Info & Tickets


vrLAB (#TOMtech)
Fri 16 – Sat 18 Sep, various times
Taking over the whole building, this is your chance to get hands on with the new generation of virtual reality content. With over 15 different experiences join us for a three-hour session and be one of the first people to experience a world unlike no other.
More Info & Tickets


Full #TOMtech listings

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
Wed 5 – Fri 7 Oct. 7:30pm
Looking for something the whole family can enjoy? The South-West’s much loved physical comedy theatre company Le Navet Bete are back this season with their sell out successful take on the classic tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
More Info & Tickets


Soul Casserole & Club Click
Sat 29 Oct, 9pm
Soul Casserole and Club Click come together for a night of dirty disco, freaky funk and sweet soul, plus live music from the sensational 10-piece band The Soul Steppers.
More Info & Tickets


The Boy With Tape On His Face is TAPE FACE
Thu 10 – Sat 12 Nov, 7:30pm
Stand-up comedy with no talking, drama with no acting and punch lines with no words. Tape Face is currently wowing the judges and audiences in America’s Got Talent.
More Info & Tickets


Lake Street Dive + Basia Bulat
Sun 13 Nov
Lake Street Dive return to Europe following sold-out Dublin and London shows, and performances on Later… with Jools Holland and The Late Late Show.
More Info & Tickets


Full Autumn Listings



SEASON: Summer 2016 at The Old Market

Summer is here! We’ve got lots to look forward to including two exclusive south-cost dates from Wild Beasts, theatre from George Dillon in Stunning The Punters and the Poets VS MCs: Youth Team will be battling with words at BOAT (Brighton Open Air Theatre).

Poets vs MCs: Youth Team at BOAT (Brighton Open Air Theatre)
Fri 8 July, 7pm (doors 6:30pm)

What could be more summery than putting your best sun hat on, rounding up your family and friends, and heading over to one of Brighton’s most delightful new outdoor spaces to watch the next generation of rappers and poets tear proverbial chunks out of each other? Poets vs MCs: Youth Team is a cheeky and irreverent competition between artforms, coming soon to Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT).

More Info  & Tickets


Stunning The Punters
Thu 14 Jul, 7:30pm (doors 6:45pm)

The long-term theatre aficionados amongst you might remember the astonishing debut of young Brighton actor George Dillon 26 years ago (“The best example of someone to watch how to perform” Steven Berkoff), in a triple bill of world premieres. For one night only, Stunning the Punters returns to Brighton. If you haven’t seen it, don’t miss this rare chance to see what all the fuss was about.

More Info & Tickets


Wild Beasts
Thu 28 & Fri 29 Jul, 7:30pm (doors)

We’re thrilled to have Wild Beasts play a very exclusive south-coast two day residency here, marking the announcement of new album Boy King, their most personal and direct to date, with a dark and apocalyptic take on the human psyche.

More Info & Tickets

Otherworld: Cloud Forest
Wed 29 Jun – Fri 1 Jul, 4pm & Sat 2 – Sun 3 Jul, 11am, 1pm, 12:30pm & 4pm

Combining puppets, music and interactive storytelling with sound, video and reactive technology, Otherworld is an inclusive and immersive experience designed specifically for children and young people with complex additional needs.

More Info & Tickets

Also from Same Sky & Different Planet Arts…

Otherworld: Multisensory Cinema Evening
Sat 2 Jul, 6pm (doors 5:15pm)

A series of short films for families where you step into the rainforest, set up camp, search for animals and experience a thunderstorm. This multisensory experience lasts one hour can be enjoyed by 0 – 8 year olds as well as people with complex additional needs.

More Info & Tickets

Edinburgh Comedy Previews in TOM’s Bar

Double Bill: Jo Neary & Fraser Geesin
Mon 20 Jun, 8pm (doors)

Join a “hilarious, off-kilter talent” (Sunday Telegraph) and one of the most modest* men in the comedy scene for a night of laughs in this Edinburgh Comedy Preview. (*maybe)

More Info & Tickets


Anna Mann’s Shenanigans
Mon 27 Jun & Wed 20 Jul, 8pm (doors 7:15pm) 

Top Character Comedian Colin Hoult (Derek, Life’s Too Short, Murder in Successville) unleashes his favourite creation Ms Anna Mann onto you the people of Brighton.

Mon 27 Jun – More Info & Tickets
Wed 20 Jul – More Info & Tickets


Double Bill: Dan Cook & Fin Taylor
Tue 28 Jun, 8pm (doors 7:15pm)

Award winning comedian Daniel Cook brings a work in progress show in the vain attempt to improve the world. Whilst Taylor the “filth maestro” (Time Out) takes on the ickiest thing there is…Being white!

More Info & Tickets


Double Bill: Mat Ewins & Holly Burn
Mon 25 Jun, 8pm (doors 7:15pm)

Critically acclaimed character comic Mat Ewins will workshop his new material and Holly Burn as the voice of Generation Y wonders why the life that’s due to her is eluding her?

More Info & Tickets


Double Bill: Paul Jones & Penelope Solomon
Tue 26 Jul, 8pm (doors 7:15pm)

Paul Jones – the Nerdfather, presents his guide to parenting for nerds and Penelope Solomon wrestles with the highs and lows of her acting ‘career’, cultural identity and parenting

More Info & Tickets


Full Event Listings


INTERVIEW: Playwright Henry Naylor (lead writer of Spitting Image) on Echoes

Echoes tells the stories of two women, born 175 years apart. A student jihadi from London – the other a Victorian member of the Fishing Fleet (women who travelled to India to be brides men who were setting up the Empire). Henry Naylor tells us how his ideas for two different plays became one, the importance of strong female roles and his shift from comedy to dramatic writing.


What made you realise that student jihadis and the Victorian members of the Fishing Fleet (the women who travelled to India to be brides of those men who were setting up the Empire) had a lot in common, and why did you decide to write a play about the parallels between them?

It’s weird, but I kind of stumbled into writing Echoes.

I originally had the notion of writing two separate plays. One about the British occupation of Kabul, and one about Jihadi brides.

I’d been obsessed about the British occupation of Kabul for nearly 15 years after visiting war-ravaged Afghanistan in 2003 (I was researching another project – a play called Finding Bin Laden)

My fixer out there proudly told me that the Afghans had kicked the Brits’ backsides. That they slaughtered our entire occupying force. And he took me on a tour of the ruins of the British cantonment.

I’d never heard of the story. We Brits had kind of written it out of our history. Not so the Afghans. It was a huge source of national pride…

It’s an extraordinary tale. The Empire sent a garrison of 15,000 to Afghanistan in 1839, to protect the trade routes to India. The Brits pissed off the locals – there was an insurrection – and only one Brit escaped alive. It was brutal.

I thought it was an extraordinary story – I’d been reading up about that for yonks. And was going to write a play about that.

But last Feb, I got obsessed with the Jihadi bride phenomenon. I decided I wanted to write about that for the Edinburgh Fringe.

I thought it was an unrelated story. Again I got obsessed; I couldn’t understand why smart, Westernized schoolgirls would want to flee to Syria, to become housewives in a basement. And so I started obsessively researching their psyche.

So I was researching the two different projects at once.

I only made the link between the stories, when I read an account of the British colonial pioneer-women. It was a book about the Fishing Fleet. The Fishing Fleet were a group of young, often school-age, girls who were given free passage to India on the condition that would make themselves available to be wives of the Empire builders. They were single, often religious, with a keen spirit of adventure. They were usually naïve about the brutality required to set up an Empire.

I suddenly realized that there was an extraordinary parallel between the religious colonialism of ISIS, and the British pioneers. And wrote one play instead of two!

A lot of writing is like that. You set out to write one show – end up writing something completely different.


Did you find it difficult to write from the point of view of two 17-year-old women? 

No. I often get women who are surprised that a man has written Echoes. It has a strong feminist message. And the characters feel real. But I’m surrounded by strong women in my personal life. So it wasn’t too difficult to create the roles.

In all honesty, playwrights should be able to empathise with, and create any person, whatever the gender – or race – of the character. It’s their job to create ‘real,’ living people.

Besides, if you’ve done your work researching a project, you’ll know the characters so well, that they’ll gradually take over, and begin writing itself.,

I think it’s an indictment of our industry that people should be surprised that a man is writing decent parts for women.

It’s one of the biggest – and legitimate – complaints in showbiz, that there aren’t enough decent roles for women.

I don’t know why more male writers don’t create more substantial female roles. Perhaps they find it easier to ‘write what they know about’ – i.e. themselves. Or perhaps they’re too lazy to do the research. Or maybe it’s that old bugbear sexism.

But with decent research, a male playwright should be able to create decent female roles.


You’re known both as a playwright and the lead writer of the satirical TV show Spitting Image. The Guardian said that you “daringly go for jokes in Echoes, despite the darkness of the subject.” Did you find it difficult to incorporate humor into a play with such a serious subject? Did your experiences as a Spitting Image writer help?

One of the funniest people I know is a war correspondent. He’s seen horrors you and I can’t even imagine. His coping mechanism is to laugh about what he’s seen.

I think humour is essential in dealing with dark subject matter. The show would be unremittingly gloomy without it. Unwatchable, even. Frequently, the more serious the event, the more an audience wants some kind of release.

Besides, humans are inherently ridiculous. The more we take ourselves seriously, the more comical we become. We are just apes with delusions of grandeur, after all.

When I used to write for Spitting Image, I used to set myself the challenge of trying to ‘find the funny’ in the darkest places. I’d be the writer penning jokes about the IRA, for instance. For me, it was a badge of pride.


Was there a specific moment when you decided to switch from comedy to dramatic writing, or was it more of a gradual shift?

I kind of stumbled into it. My first tragic-drama was about the Abu Ghraib atrocities, called The Collector. I was originally trying to make a comedy about it. But in the middle of writing, I realised that I was genuinely very angry about what had gone on. And that I did so much research that the characters became 3-dimensional. I owed it to the characters to make them ‘real.’


What’s the best piece of advice you can give aspiring playwrights?

If it’s hurting, it’s working. Writing can be really unpleasant. A test of your nerve and character. I find that when I’m doubting myself the most – when I’m feeling the most insecure and uncertain – I end up writing my best stuff. Pride and fear help focus the mind.


“Naylor and two beautifully nuanced performances give equal emotional weight to two disparate victims of religious colonialism in this hugely impressive play.” ★★★★ The Guardian Read Full Article

“A clever and subtly nuanced piece that examines the plight of women across time, through the lenses of sexual inequality, religious duty and betrayal.” ★★★★ Broadway Baby Read Full Article

Come and see Echoes on Tuesday 29 March. It will be followed by a set by Such Small Hands, an electro-folk/pop project derived from the melancholy writings of Melanie Howard.

Find out more and book tickets here



INTERVIEW: Life’s Short – Be Silly! Le Navet Bete on Dick Tracy

It’s been nearly four years since Le Navete Bete last took Brighton by storm, with Napoleon: A Defence.  Now they return with the slick, fast-paced but seriously silly comedy show Dick Tracy.

What can audiences expect from Dick Tracy?

Audiences can expect a show which may be the silliest, most ridiculous and wildest thing we’ve ever made, but that is visually stunning. Set in a comic book world that pops with vivid colour and shapes, the set of the show is something we’re really proud of.


What about the show do you think Brighton audiences are most going to love?

Our work is rooted in the ridiculous. We take a serious genre of film, the cinematic imagery of ‘Film Noir’ and then turn it completely on its head throughout the show. It’s really good fun for us as performers and that translates to the audience – we have an absolute blast performing Dick Tracy and we reckon you’ll have a blast watching it!


What have you been up to in the four years since you were here last?

Well, last time we were in Brighton the five of us were touring and sleeping in an old luton van but since then we’ve received a number of Arts Council Grants and produced six new indoor touring shows and three outdoor shows so this time around we’re pleased to be staying in a hostel!


What makes you different to other theatre shows and companies?

The company is formed of just five of us, one Production Manager and four performers and between us we do everything. It’s always been that way so when audiences come and see us they get the same familiar faces but playing a brand new character and that means we develop fans like a band might, we’ve even performed at one super fan’s wedding! We’re best mates and that closeness allows us to get away with taking risks on stage because we always know that one of the other boys will help you out should it go wrong (or they’ll all walk and stage and join in with the audience laughing at you but then we are a bunch of clowns)!


Nick Bunt, co-artistic director of Le Navet Bete says:

We’re absolutely thrilled to be coming back to Brighton. We’ve been touring Dick Tracy all over the country to full houses so can’t wait to finally unleash it upon Brighton. Last time we were in Brighton with Napoleon it was during the fringe festival and we had such a great response, it’s unbelievable that it’s taken us so long to return. With companies like Spymonkey coming from Brighton the history and legacy of contemporary clowning is steeped in the city and we hope we can bring some of our own inimitable style with Dick Tracy.

Reviews of Le Navet Bete:

Hilarious and utterly engaging; if all theatre was this good we wouldn’t need TV” BBC Radio 6 on Extravaganza

Absolutely and deliciously bonkers” British Theatre Guide on Serendipity

You’ll leave feeling that you’ve drunk tequila and swallowed the worm as well!” Theatre Bristol

Come and see Dick Tracy here at The Old Market on Friday 11 or Saturday 12 March at 7:30pm
The show is suitable for both adults and families (recommended ages 7+)
Find out more and book tickets here