The cast of the film, Brighton. Photo credit: Toby Shaw/Three Wise Monkeys Productions SUS-191204-111012001

Movie called Brighton filmed almost exclusively in Hastings and St Leonards

A film about two middle-aged couples taking a day-trip to Brighton was filmed almost exclusively in the Hastings area.

By Alex Watts
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 10:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 8:50 am

Brighton - adapted from Steven Berkoff’s 1994 play Brighton Beach Scumbags - stars ex-EastEnders actor Larry Lamb, Phil Davis, Marion Bailey and Lesley Sharp, and is now showing on digital platforms. It tells the story of how two ageing teddy boy/girl couples first met during a weekend trip to Brighton in the 1960s. They drive down to Brighton 40 years later on a nostalgia jaunt to reminisce about how they found love. However, except for a passing shot or two of Brighton’s pier and pavilion, there is very little evidence of Brighton on show. The whole movie is pretty much filmed in St Leonards, with some scenes shot in Hastings.

In the first of the 60s flashbacks, friends Dinah (Marion Bailey) and Doreen (Lesley Sharp) head off to Brighton on a bus from London. The bus is seen pulling up at the Alpha Cafe outside St Leonards Warrior Square railway station. They sit on the promenade on St Leonards seafront, with Hastings Pier in the distance, and meet teddy-quiffed Derek (Larry Lamb) and Dave (Phil Davis). They are later filmed smoking cigarettes outside the White Rock Theatre in Hastings.

The film then moves forward 40 years, to 2005, where the two now married couples - Dinah and Derek, and Dave and Doreen - drive down from London for a seaside jaunt in Brighton. Dinah and Derek pull up outside their favourite old Brighton boozer (actually The Royal in St Leonards, with St John Road seen in the background), then head off to sit on the deckchairs on the seafront (filmed near the Goat Ledge cafe on Lower Promenade, St Leonards).

The couples meet up and Dinah heads off to buy them burgers. She is seen wandering around Kings Road, St Leonards, frantically looking for a burger bar, with shots of the Dandelion Deli and Kings Fish Bar in the background. Later, Derek kicks a man sitting on a deck chair. He is later attacked by the man’s friends while walking down Bottle Alley, and ends up in hospital. With a couple of other plot twists thrown in, one that involves a scene at the Chapel to the Former Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, in Magdalen Road, St Leonards, they all return to London with a story to tell. Director Stephen Cookson said they filmed location shots in a number of towns along the south coast, from Margate to Brighton, and decided to shoot it in Hastings and St Leonards because “Brighton is a bit too modern now for the time period the movie is set in.”

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