Brighton Open Air Theatre launches into its tenth season

Brighton Open Air Theatre launches into its tenth season since opening, with productions from Friday, May 3-Sunday, September 22.
Will Mytum - photo by Peter ChrispWill Mytum - photo by Peter Chrisp
Will Mytum - photo by Peter Chrisp

Founded following the tragic early passing of local playwright Adrian Bunting, BOAT has grown in range and ambition to become one of the UK’s premiere outdoor theatres.

To celebrate, BOAT opens on Friday, May 4 with a new production of Adrian’s Kemble’s Riot, in a co-production with Brighton Little Theatre, who have been at the heart of Brighton’s theatre community for more than 83 years. Kemble’s Riot, based on the true story of theatre price-hike riots in 1809, won the Best Play Award on its debut at Brighton Fringe in 2011 and rave reviews from its run at Edinburgh Fringe in 2012.

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Further May highlights include Brighton Fringe productions Gays & Dolls, Blue Blood and Emotion in Motion as well Homestead, a new version of The House of Bernada Alba, programmed in partnership with Brighton Festival.

June sees The Duke’s Theatre Company once again kick off their UK tour at BOAT with As You Like It before the fifth annual Summer Comedy Festival from Funny That Comedy. Hosted by comedian Stephen Grant, performers this year include A-listers Sara Pascoe, Suzi Ruffell, Zoe Lyons, Marcus Brigstocke, Gary Delaney and Romesh Ranganathan.

Further theatre throughout the summer includes Cue Fanfare’s Brief Encounter, Rather Nifty’s The Count of Monte Cristo, Oddsocks’ Julius Caesar, Changeling Theatre’s Present Laughter, Identity Theatre’s Oliver Twist and Tethered Wits’ Jeeves & Wooster. Tickets on

As always, BOAT hosts far more than just theatre, with numerous music performances, plus opera, dance, circus and the return of Drag in the Park, hosted throughout the year by Brighton favourite Alfie Ordinary and featuring some of the UK’s top talent including Asifah Lahore, Beau Jangles, Yshee Black, Son of a Tutu and Dave Lynn amongst others. As always, there is a bumper Pride Edition as well as a family-friendly Pride show.

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There’s plenty more for families throughout the summer, including IKP’s The Little Mermaid, Let’s All Dance’s Goldilocks, Quantum Theatre’s Jemima Puddle Duck and SISATA’s Peter Pan.

BOAT’s general manager Will Mytum said “It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for ten years, and we couldn’t think of a more fitting way to mark the occasion than with Kemble’s Riot. Our summer programme is the most comprehensive we’ve ever put together, mixing regulars such as Oddsocks, Dukes Theatre Co, Funny That and Drag in the Park with new, exciting companies including Rather Nifty, Tethered Wits, Half a String and ARCANIC. Along with the behind-the-scenes improvements we’ve made over the winter, BOAT’s future is looking very exciting indeed.”

From Friday, May 3 to Sunday, September 22.