The Warren

The Warren run their venue hub  at St Peter’s Church.

In the safe hands of the Otherplace Productions team, its programme boasts a rich, diverse and impressive choice of theatre, comedy, cabaret and music. It calls itself a “festival within a festival”.



Essential Links

Visit the web site

Buy tickets

View the brochure

Find the venue

Contact The Warren

AUDIO INTERVIEW: Paul Levy talks to Nicky Haydn about The Warren’s 2018 Fringe Programme



Show highlights and recommendations


I want to see… at The Warren

 

Our  intelligent and intuitive way to find a show or event at The Warren.

I want to see…

.. the world premiere of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion. Then see Persuasion

… an acclaimed comedy duo. Then see The Establishment: Le Bureau De Strange

… an afternoon show for children with comedy and acrobatics. Then see Chores

… a top quality Steven Berkoff play. Then see East

… a new comedy – surreal narratives with playful and interactive comedy. Then see Pelican

… a wild ride, with rhythm, body percussion, singing, stomping, clowning and the spirit of Scotland. Then see Scotland!

… a unique solo theatre piece about how Josh Gardner saved Europe by reenacting Frodo’s journey to Mordor.  Then see The Laud of the Rings

… a magical show for threes and over. Then see Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose

We’ll be adding more recommendations in the run up to, and during the Fringe.



Link Collage

Here’s a different way to find a show at The Warren.

We’ve chosen a few intriguing images from the programme that grabbed us.

Click on an image that draws you and you’ll find a show – then get booking…

  

  

  

  

  

  

  



Keyword Chaos

We’ve selected evocative phrases from the Warren programme.

Click on the ones that intrigue you and you might just find the show you need to see…

“Two maids attempt to overthrow their mistress in a callous murder plot that ends in catastrophe. Consumed by hate and obsession, the girls quickly become victims to their own depraved games”

“She puts the “oh” in “oh my god” and the “ding” in demanding. “

“Imagine if you could sit down in Fagin’s den or share a rum with Bill Sykes while he mesmerises you with cards.”

“a provocative and moving performance that follows one man’s desperate attempt to live out a fantasy. Venture into a world of silly wigs, plastic feet, Serbian border police and Macedonian opera, as reality and fiction collide in an epic retelling of your favourite book/movie trilogy.”

“Are you a feminist if you shave your legs but keep your pits free flowing? Are you a terrible person if you only own a wooden toothbrush so that someone might see it and think you’re a revolutionist? And is it okay to say that most days your only companion in this constantly connected disconnected world is your overpowering body odour?”

“Zora walks on stage for the first time as a woman – it’s time for her to compere a comedy gig on her own.”

 



INTERVIEW

Performer Rachel E. Thorn tslks about Improvsed Play,  Between Us

What’s the theme of your show?

Between Us tells the inside story of one couple’s relationship. Completely improvised from audience suggestions, we discover what makes us fall in love and what makes us fall apart.

What’s new or unique about the show?

Between Us is a play that explores the joy and the pain of being in love. But here’s the twist – it’s completely improvised.

We use anecdotes from the audience to inspire our characters and perform their story.

The drama hinges on the thrill of the unexpected. Each performance is unique because it depends on the audience in that particular venue at that particular time.

How did the show come into being?

Alex and I met performing improvised comedy. We created Scriptless In Seattle, the improvised romcom, which was nominated for Best Improv Show at Leicester Comedy Festival. We had so much fun laughing at love, but it also inspired us to use improv to explore relationships more honestly, more thoroughly. So we created Between Us. The show is always very funny, but it can also be heartbreaking.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Lots of kissing. And eye contact. We work at breaking down physical boundaries so that the couples we play always seem authentic. Often people think we are a couple, but actually I’m married and Alex is gay. We have a great connection as performers, and then we go home to real life.

How is the show developing?

The show develops every time we perform it, as we find new aspects of ourselves to bring to our characters and new ways to fall in and out of love.

How has the writer been involved?

There’s no writer. The whole show evolves from the particular connection between me, Alex and that show’s audience.

How have you experimented?: We’re always trying new methods of connecting with each other, whether that’s physical exercises, Meisner exercises or breathing exercises.

Where do your ideas come from?

We wish we knew! The well of creativity is endless and the subconscious is a fascinating place. The great thing about improv is there’s no time to check yourself or judge yourself. We just access what feels right for the story we’re telling in that moment.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

When we watch our shows back we obsessively analyse how we made each decision, how the themes of the show tie together and why we created what we created. This is fascinating because there’s no space for that level of reflection in the moment while we’re performing.

What are your future plans for the show ?

We are currently applying for summer fringe festivals and studio theatres. Watch this space! Well, watch our Facebook page, anyway.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

We love great improv, especially Phil Lunn and RH Experience. Of course I love CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation too…but then I’m in it so I would!

Show dates, times and booking info

Venue: The Warren, St Peter’s Church North, York Place, Brighton BN1 4GU
Dates: 4th & 5th May 19.30. 6th & 7th May 13.30. (60 minutes)
Tickets: £8-£9.50
Book here

Company web site: http://www.facebook.com/betweenusimprov



INTERVIEW

Solo Actor Richard Canal talks about Cry, Blueberry

What’s the theme of your show?

It is November 16th, 1932. The Depression is at its greatest, and vaudeville – the roaring heartbeat of the ’20s – has ceased to beat. Isaac Solomon Loew, a Jewish Mississippian, performs on Broadway as Blueberry, a happy-go-lucky Pierrot. Wrestling with guilts of times bygone, he frequently flees from his pain not only into performance, but also into sex. His increasingly addictive escapes have finally lost him his wife, at the same times as he loses his employment. He enters his dressing-room for the last time; and as he pours his heart out to the audience, shedding his painted mask, he wrestles with his memories, mistakes and misdeeds – either to their conclusion, or his own.

After two critically acclaimed runs at the Cockpit in London, Richard Canal’s CRY, BLUEBERRY comes to the Brighton Fringe at the Warren (Blockhouse). Drawing from his own experiences—and touching upon themes including sex addiction, racial injustice, the accountability of bystanders, the profundity of clowning and the ethics of repentance and forgiveness – Canal’s intimate confessions wipe off the make-up to reveal the face of himself, his persona and the United States’ first decades into the 20th century.

What’s new or unique about the show?

Solo work can often fall into the trap of navel-gazing; CRY, BLUEBERRY is strictly wary of this. To write as a white male about difficult issues such as sex addiction and one’s place in the perpetuation of prejudice is a contentious task. As the writer, I have endeavoured to make it a reconciliatory piece based on confession and honest introspection, a sincere apology that carries not with it an expectation of forgiveness. Members of society are having, and have always had, a deep existential struggle with confronting their place in the ill workings of the world, closing off access to truth and reconciliation. Solo plays have great potential to lay the one character raw and bare in front of an audience so that, through their revealing, the community may reach some sort of resolution, and perhaps even a degree of revelation.

Respect for works like Spalding Gray’s SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA and Simon McBurney’s THE ENCOUNTER prove audiences are willing to take the risk for raw, self-revealing art. Confessional, forum theatre pieces are important. Theatre is at its noblest not only when it is honest about what we experience, but also when it is candid about what we have done. Betrayal; being a bystander to racial violence; the use of women, including sex workers, for pleasure and escape—these, and his involvement in them, are things Isaac must grapple with for the rest of his life, out of a need for healing and without conditions of forgiveness. It is important for artists to start talking about their, and their characters’, own agency and responsibility, even culpability, in the workings and ways of the world.

Additionally, CRY, BLUEBERRY stays true to its roots in the United States, but still branches out to touch on universal themes. And in such divisive times as we live in, with the current political situation and the deep political and social polarization—where people refuse to confront their own guilt and also ability to become better—CRY, BLUEBERRY is a piece not only for 1932, but indeed for 2018.

How did the show come into being?

Creating Isaac Solomon Loew on paper and in person was a journey rife with borderline panic: for, though his story is historically placed and not my own, Isaac is in truth an extension of myself. If I were to enter a cave, exclaim my inner secrets, the distorted, magnified, amplified echoes reverberating back would be Isaac’s. I have been haunted by memories of things I should and shouldn’t have done; been stuck in a vicious cycle of depending on temporal happiness; come close to ending my life. And, just as for Blueberry, the stage has been my house among clouds. Pulling the curtain off his Oak of Sorries and putting it on full, naked display was, therefore, a disrobing act—both for Isaac, and for me.

But Isaac is an extension, I hope, of the human state, too. His tale is relevant beyond myself. We all have our joys and crises, haunts and misdeeds. Who has not been crushed by their own Great Depression? Who has not had, no matter how long or short, their own Roaring Twenties? Who has not attempted his or her own escapes from pain, only to find it forever clinging to one’s shadow? Who does not harbour regrets, misdoings, and guilts untold?

In presenting Isaac’s state (and mine), then, I hope I can reach out to those who bear what can be an oftentimes difficult human state. My inspiration was my own guilt; this piece is, for me, a cathartic one. As Isaac opens his heart, I open mine; and I hope he who em- bodies Isaac, they who read him, and those who see and hear him will be moved to open their own, too.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

During the development process, George Goodell (my director and good friend) and I would spend our rehearsals putting what I wrote onto its feet. The overarching objectives were to give Isaac emotional breadth – ranging from the highest levity to the deepest gravity – and to help his manner of speaking maintain balance between the lyrical and the everyday.

Research into the life in early 20th-century United States was, of course, fundamental to giving the show a genuine feel. We also spent time reading and watching a wide range of solo shows, including Doug Wright’s I AM MY OWN WIFE, Colin Teevan’s THE EMPEROR and William Luce’s THE BELLE OF AMHERST. Sean Bruno and Luke Dixon’s CREATING SOLO PERFORMANCE, too, proved a faithful guide in experimenting.

Here it is important to thank both Amy Gwilliam and my mentor, Patrick Wilde, for their much-appreciated guidance throughout CRY, BLUEBERRY’s nascent stages.

How is the show developing?

It is going well! After taking both critiques and praises into consideration, there have been edits made since the last performance in order to make the characters Isaac introduces throughout his narrative more three-dimensional.

How has the writer been involved?

I am both the writer and the performer!

How have you experimented?

Before the run at the Cockpit in August 2017, we tested the piece at two readings, which helped the development of the piece very much indeed.

Where do your ideas come from?

For CRY, BLUEBERRY, I drew truths from the United States’ history and from my own experience, and tried to make sense of the convolution being human can be. Being my first play, it was a very frightening risk for me to take.

As a playwright, though, I am very interested in the theme of confession. I am currently writing new solo shows – one about surrealist godfather Salvador Dalí, another about the infamous Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi, and a third about adored Belle Epoque courtesan La Bella Otero – that all grapple with this theme of unveiling oneself before an audience.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

By being honest – one of the scariest things I can think of doing – in my acting, writing and being.

What are your future plans for the show ?

Aside from the Brighton Fringe, CRY, BLUEBERRY is going to be performed at the Brighton Open Air Theatre in September – and perhaps in another London venue, sooner than that. We would also like to take the production on tour in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Of the many I could choose, the first that comes to mind is Yaël Farber’s production at the National Theatre of Lorraine Hansberry’s LES BLANCS. I was awestruck by how brutal and uncompromising it was in wrestling with horrid legacies left behind by violence. Theatre that is honest, without compromise, is theatre I want to make.

Show dates, times and booking info

CRY, BLUEBERRY
May 11th 2018 – May 13th 2018. 7.45pm
90 minutes
The Warren, St Peters Church North, York Pl, Brighton BN1 4GU £12/£10.50 (concessions)
The Warren (otherplacebrighton.co.uk/3321/cry-blueberry), 01273 987516

Book here

Company web site: http://www.cryblueberry.wix.com/cryblueberry



We’ll be adding more recommendations in the run up to, and during the Fringe