WATCH: Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) re-opens its gates

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Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) re-opens its gates this April for its ninth summer season.

Will Mytum, BOAT general manager, said: “As Sussex’s only permanent outdoor venue, BOAT occupies a unique position in the local theatre ecosystem.

With an open-access programming policy, opportunities are afforded to local, national and international artists, all of whom contribute to a diverse and varied programme. Last year’s season saw record-breaking figures as 24,500 audience members visited a total of 146 performances across the summer.

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This year, BOAT aims to build on its ever-increasing popularity with dozens of original productions, including work from several new companies such as Tethered Wits, The Last Baguette and Circo Pitanga. Known as the theatre that friendship built, May 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of BOAT founder Adrian Bunting, and in July the venue is holding a special and fun night to celebrate the man and his philosophy of art for everyone. Sublime! will take place on Friday, July 28.”

Will Mytum - photo by Peter ChrispWill Mytum - photo by Peter Chrisp
Will Mytum - photo by Peter Chrisp

Will added: “We’re incredibly excited to welcome audiences back for our most exciting season yet.

“This year, our focus is squarely on maintaining accessibility to our programme for as many people as possible. We are acutely aware of the precarious economic circumstances many people currently find themselves in, which is why we’ve made a conscious effort to keep ticket pricing affordable and a programme of work that everyone should find enjoyment in.

“We have introduced child prices for family shows, as well as discounted rates for groups of 4 across all productions.

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“The season opens on Friday, April 21 with music from Joe Stilgoe, followed by weekend family shows and even some Bank Holiday wrestling action. In May there’s the usual eclectic mix of Brighton Fringe shows, including cabaret, circus, ballet, improvisation and poetry.

“In June, Funny That’s Summer Comedy Festival returns for the third time, featuring some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy. Other highlights include David Walliams’ Bad Dad in half term, Duke’s Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night, and Identity Theatre’s Under Milk Wood.

“July sees Horrible Histories arrive straight from the West End with Barmy Britain, a production of Macbeth from National Production Company, BOAT favourites Sarah Mann Company’s large-scale production of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of King George III, and IK Productions start the summer holidays with a bang with their new version of Hercules.

“Soak up the August sunshine with performances from BOAT patron Simon Evans, a Pride weekend full of drag, Changeling Theatre presenting two shows in rep, Illyria’s large-scale Peter Pan, and local legends Brighton Little Theatre’s ambitious production of Shakespeare in Love.

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“There’s no slowing down in September, with TIMT’s Much Ado About Nothing, loads of music, and Show and Tell closing out the season in style with a full week of comedy with Stand-Up Under The Stars.”

The season opens on Friday, April 21 and closes on Sunday, September 17.

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