Tighten Our Belts

Tighten Our Belts will be an honest, brave and tender show.

Expect singing and dancing. Expect characters so real you could be sat next to them on the bus to Churchill Square.

We’ve been so busy MAKING ART that we haven’t had time to write about it.

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So, here’s a quick update on what we’ve been doing:

We have been working intensively with a group of non-professional performers twice a week at the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project and at the Brighton Dome. We have:

  • explored the question: What is the cost of austerity to people in the city?
  • researched the cost of austerity (chatting to people, reading local newspapers, reading books and online articles)
  • developed original songs, movement sequences (with Gary Clarke), characters and scripts in response to the research
  • watched shows for inspiration – the group has seen Fake it till you make itMen in  the Cities, Brainstorm and The Time of Your Life.
  • agreed a ‘gesture’ for the piece – what we are trying to do to our audience
  • structured some of the material into a narrative arc we can share with an invited audience
  • begun work rehearsing for a work in progress sharing to get audience feedback so we can develop the show

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We’re sharing what we’ve made so far with an invited audience at the Brighton Dome Studio at the end of February.

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As if this wasn’t enough, we’ve also been talking to some inspiring theatre makers around the country to understand better how they work with non-professionals. We’ve talked to:

  • Bryony Kimmings about how she gets such honest performances from the non-professionals she collaborates with
  • Ned Glasier at Islington Community Theatre about how he took a group of young people on a journey from doing R&D about the teenage brain to performing their show Brainstorm at the National Theatre
  • Alan Lane from Slung Low about how he works with large groups of non-professional performers to create epic outdoor theatre and what theatre is really for
  • Evie Manning from CommonWealth about devising work with non-professionals and paying them equity rates to perform in a show
  • Simon Casson from Duckie about working over the long term with people and working to ensure people have a good night out

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We’re busy writing all this up and developing a radical plan for how Brighton People’s Theatre will thrive in the city as an essential part of the city’s civic and artistic life.

We’ll upload details as soon as they’re ready!

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