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Brighton Year-Round 2019

The Other 1% Live

Simon Moorhead, The Other 1%

Genre: Contemporary, Fringe Theatre, New Writing, Storytelling, Theatre

Venue: Sweetwerks 2, 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton


Low Down

From Simon Moorhead’s The Other 1% five new stories, three already recorded, are directed by Sorcha Brooks with Moorhead as technical supervisor, in Sweetwerks 2. Props are minimal. A lamp, a table: Jackanory for naughty Millennials.


This is the tip one might say of the Titanic’s iceberg. What lurks beneath is infinitely vaster and its creators would say, darker. We’re just brushed with a kiss of ice this evening.

Simon Moorhead’s had a remarkable career as an award-winning producer in film and TV. When he created a radio podcast company, he set himself the task of producing an original radio podcast every Friday. He first drew upon TV writers he knew, then a range of new talent centred around, but not exclusive to Brighton. Both communities stream in stories, both recorded and here acted. Some are filmed too. Look up The Other 1%.

It’s about the 1% of phenomena that can’t be explained, after all the hoaxes, hallucinations, phenomena that can be quantified and false memory are cleared away. There’s a lot of that, 99% in fact. But that hard core of 1% is where we’re headed.

As creator and curator of The Other 1% Live Moorhead was due to host a set a year ago, though illness intervened. Back here five new stories, three already recorded, are directed by Sorcha Brooks with Moorhead as technical supervisor, in Sweetwerks 2. Props are minimal. A lamp, a table: Jackanory for naughty Millennials. And we are showered with sweets.

A Joel Gray from the dark side, Jon Campling ‘The Velvet Duke’ more than presides around each story, or throws sweets. His long-face demeanour his cackling on the side of burlesque and his own recited verses from memory set a jocular uneasiness throughout. It’s no disrespect to the excellent readers to say he’s the consummate star of this production. And he does make you sing what you might not want to….


Mr Gunn by Gareth Strachan

Eva Savage read the first, whose clear narrative from the naïve point of a gun, as it were is grippingly faux tale of a poor gun taken from his cardboard and glass display heaven and having little guns loaded into his barely-belly as Strachan expresses it, and wants to discharge these irritants. The ink man who discharges them isn’t to his taste either. But help can be triggered.. There’s a podcast. Go to it. Savage read with appropriate, wide-eyed childish malevolence.


Angel Islington by Laura Lockington and Grant Gillespie

This is a new piece by the writing team who als produce the alst story. Russell Shaw inhabits the tube driver with his dayglo jacket to perfection. A man in front of, under his tube. But he saw him pushed. There’s a slow build to this, an incremental mass of details, though like the next story it’s related to police officers. And they have doubts.


The More Loved by Neil Noon

Read by the renowned actor Shirley Jaffe, this is a tale of another kind of curator, a lobbing one telling the police by roundabout routes how a famous artist dies collapsing down stairs. And why did she detroy his only figurative paintigns no-one ever saw? And in what state was his dead wife when she modelled for them. Did she even know, and what are the consequences? Why did this stalwart and occasional lover feel she had to protect both painter and wife? And will anyone believe what she saw happen?


Garbage Man by Vladimir Moriozov and Gareth Strachan

THre’s mutations, as read by Matt Beaumont gives a gaunt, thoroughly convincing portrayal of a man living on plastic and aluminium. And he’s not alone. Strachan returns collaborating with one of his Russian writing students to bring forth a take out of Putin’s Russian where infected dogs and a novel way of cleaning up has unexpected consequences. It’s a brief evocative snapshot of St Petersburg too. Hopefully Strachan will produce more from this source.


Delicacy by Laura Lockington and Grant Gillespie

This has proved a firm favourite with discerning listeners, but makes rather a lot of people lurch out of the room. Philippa Hammond gives a reassuringly consummate performance of a woman on the dark net producing a podcast on extreme cooking. If you follow he guidelines on some dangerous means you’ll survive. But the various animals certainly won’t. Orang-utans fried with just a hint of orange in palm oil, various sucking pigs pulled from their sow and roasted, milk adding just a piquant flavour. There’s other animals still alive dropped into vats. And this means songbirds chirping…. But there’s something else this woman’s finally venturing on. Anyone know Swift’s A Modest Proposal? This exceeds it, in a very different way.

This is the finest story, and the preceding is as concise and evocative. Together with Mr Gunn, which doesn’t seem too much longer, their concision scores in punch and surprise over length. But all are worth hearing again.

Don’t worry if you’ve missed this. The stories are up, or will be. Not for those of – oh go and listen!