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The Songbird Café – In Development

The Songbird Café is our new show in development, under commission from Brighton Festival with a view to being part of the Festival in 2023.

The Songbird Café will be a family-friendly musical that tours to parks. We think it might be a magical cafe that has portals in booths that transport the audience to other worlds in different parts of the park.

The idea behind The Songbird Café is to explore the crisis in mental health, loneliness, and isolation which our members have said is the most pressing theme they want to explore, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. However, The Songbird Café will be a magical, uplifting experience for all the family. We want people to sing and dance together and to have a good night out.

Image credit Rosie Powell

The show was developed by the Creative Team (below) in collaboration with our members from January – June 2022. There are four different artists who are each leading the development of their art form, in collaboration with Naomi Alexander, BPT’s Artistic Director, who is directing the production.

We have just finished a sixth-month period of Research and Development on The Songbird Café which saw monthly and then weekly workshops led by our creative team with our members to co-create the show.

We will have the first draft of the script and songs by September 2022 and will further workshop these with our members.

Image credit Rosie Powell

We are applying for further funding to develop the show in time for Brighton Festival 2023 and will announce details of this once the finance is in place, along with further opportunities for people living in Greater Brighton to get involved with the production.

Find out more about our Creative Team for The Songbird Café below.

[Logo image credit: Julian Howell, BPT Member]

Cast & Creative

Naomi Alexander


Naomi Alexander is the Founder and Artistic Director of Brighton People’s Theatre. She co-directed our first show, Tighten Our Belts. Previously she has worked at Battersea Arts Centre and Old Vic New Voices.

Luisa Hinchcliff


Luisa Hinchcliff is an Arts Producer, working across theatre & dance, supporting a range of artists working to create bold and ambitious works. Alongside supporting independent artists, she has worked with numerous arts organisations The Place, the Unicorn, Watermill and National Theatres, as well as lecturing at Goldsmiths College and Mountview Academy.

Guy Hughes

Composer and Lyricist

Guy Hughes is a composer, musical director, and actor with previous experience working with the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, Cheek By Jowl, Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Everyman. His recent musical, The Lost Musical Works of Willy Shakes, was included in the Telegraph’s Top 20 shows to see at the Fringe 2019.

Kane Husbands


Kane Husbands is a theatre director specialising in movement, physical theatre and choreography. He has his own company, The Pappy Show, and is an associate for National Youth Theatre and Squint Theatre. He was part of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and 2016/17 Re:Bourne, Overture cohort.

Rebecca Manley

Writer and Lyricist

Rebecca Manley is a playwright of national standing. She has been commissioned by National Youth Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Albany Theatre and was a member of the Royal Court Writers group in 2015. Her productions have been performed at The Lowry, Latitude Festival, Soho Theatre and the Arcola. Rebecca is currently on the Women in Film and Television mentoring scheme and has a TV comedy drama in development with Objective and is a participant on the 2018 BBC TV Drama Writers’ Scheme, partnered with Kudos North.

Tim Simpson

Set and Costume Design

Tim Simpson is the Managing Director of Plunge Creations. They make ambitious sets and installations with a number of high-profile clients including St Pancreas Int. Station, Tiffany & Co., London Fashion Week, Kronenbourg 1664, Lego, Argos, Thorpe Park, Cirque De Soleil, Madame Tussauds, and Pixar. Along with an incredibly talented team of makers and designers, Plunge has a range of technologies and a large workshop space to produce large-scale, ambitious, creative design projects.

Lou Cope


Lou Cope is a Performance Dramaturg with over 15 years of experience in working with artists, organisations, and academic institutions to creatively and collaboratively develop both their processes and productions. Shows Lou has worked on have won: 2 Olivier awards, The Benois Prize for Dance, The Critics Choice Award, UK Theatre Award, Total Theatre Award, Amnesty International Freedom of Speech Award, ACTA Eastern Eye Award, Herald Angel Award & a Lustrum Award. She is also Dramaturg in Residence for South East Dance and works as an Organisational Dramaturg to a number of companies. She is an alumna of the Clore Pulse Leadership course.

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