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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2011
Kemble's Riot
Published on Monday, 11 April 2011


The Old Courtroom (venue website)
13-15 May, 7:30pm-8:30pm

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.
 World Premiere.

Kemble's Riot logo

With the arts convulsed by funding cuts – and the merest scent of social upheaval in the air – it’s an auspicious time to recreate Kemble’s Riot.  Two centuries ago, a Covent Garden theatre saw 66 days of popular uproar, all kicked off by the failings of big business and the price extracted from the common man.

It seems to us, now, a curious thing: that night after night, the public would pay to go to the theatre and boo the actors off the stage.  You can study the affair in academic detail on the Kemble’s Riot web page, but the experience promised by this brand-new show is more hands-on.  In Brighton’s historic Old Courtroom, contempt will be positively de rigueur – with the modern-day audience encouraged to jeer, clap or even dance in sympathy with their Georgian forebears.

It does all sound like riotously good fun, but what’s really drawn our eye to this play is leading man George Dillon.  Claimed to be Steven Berkoff’s favourite actor, he’s certainly one of ours; we cracked out all five stars for his last appearance in Edinburgh, and the title role here should suit him just as well.  With a strong supporting cast, and a playwright with a proven penchant for innovation, we're expecting this stramash in the stalls to make plenty of noise this May.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2011.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.