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Shakespeare for Breakfast
Published on Wednesday, 29 June 2011


The Master Mariner
21, 28-29 May, 7:00pm-8:00pm; 9-11, 17-18, 24-25 May, 8:00pm-9:00pm

 Suitable for age 18+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.

Arguably, Nobel laureate Dario Fo is under-appreciated here in the UK; he’s a prolific, often political, playwright, and his fast-paced satirical style seems particularly suited to the Fringe.  In The Open Couple, which Fo penned together with his wife Franca Rame, a middle-aged man encourages his partner to discover a new side of life… by enjoying a few extra-marital affairs.  What could possibly go wrong?

To some, it’s a commentary on sexism and liberation; to others, it’s just the story of a couple who care for each other more than they care about the rules.  Whatever your view, Fo and Rame together wrote a witty and fiery script, which challenges convention head-on.  And flushed from her success with last year’s Importance of Being Earnest, director Nicola Haydn has risen to the challenge with an equally unconventional venue.

This time, it’s Brighton Marina: expect to be caught in the crossfire of passionate discord, as you eavesdrop on the protagonists in a waterside bar.  It’s a surprising choice of spot, maybe, but an exotic style of marriage deserves an exotic location.  And the paradox of the Marina – where wealthy boat owners bob up and down within a stone’s throw of a drive-through McDonald’s – makes an interesting muse to work with.  We think it’s worth the sortie along the Madeira Drive; at the terminus of the electric railway, this just might be an electrifying play.

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