Brighton Open Air Theatre

Congratulations to Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) which will open its 2024 season with a new production of the hit play Kemble’s Riot to celebrate its 10th Summer Season anniversary and its late founder, Adrian Bunting.

Written by Adrian, Kemble’s Riot uproariously dramatizes the 66-night riot in 1809 when, having rebuilt the Covent Garden Theatre after a fire, its manager John Kemble and his sister-star Sarah Siddons put the entry price up by sixpence to pay for it. 

Kemble’s Riot won the Best Play Award on its debut at Brighton Fringe in 2011 and rave reviews followed from its run at Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. Sadly, Adrian died in 2013, but his dream of a permanent open-air theatre in Brighton was realised by his friends as a result of his legacy, and Kemble’s Riot subsequently closed BOAT’s inaugural Summer Season in 2015. 

This new version is a co-production between BOAT and Brighton Little Theatre (BLT), who have been at the heart of Brighton’s theatre community for over 83 years. BOAT’s General Manager, Will Mytum, said “We’re delighted to be able to work on our first ever co-production with the outstanding Brighton Little Theatre. They are ideally placed to approach Kemble’s Riot with a fresh perspective and align with Adrian’s enduring values of open access and community-first approach. Our tenth season promises to be our biggest yet, and this is the perfect way to kick it off, with a reminder of where it all began.”

Kemble’s Riot is the ideal play for outdoor performance. The audience is actively involved in the story, and the script leaves plenty of room to utilise the unique performance space to fully submerge them in the world of the play. The themes of corporate greed, cancel culture and artistic gatekeepers are as relevant today as when it was written, and the communal nature of the play makes it a truly immersive theatrical experience.

There are many other wonderful performances to choose from this season, with fun for all ages. The Wizard of Oz, Suspiciously Elvis Goes Pop, Goldilocks and Blueblood, How to Kill Your Way to the Top are some of the shows to look out for. BOAT is the perfect way to spend a warm summer’s evening, bring blankets, a picnic and something to slurp on while you are entertained by some of the best shows in the UK. 

Kemble’s Riot will play at BOAT from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May 2024 To book: brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk.

Photo by Marc Brennan

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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