The Brighton Theatre scene is one of the most active in the country and home to some of the best entertainment in the industry. Theatres like the Brighton Theatre Royal and Komedia are mainstays and offer some of the best in theatre shows, comedies and musicals. For a memorable night of the best theatre in Brighton, be sure to check out these four venues.
Brighton Theatre Royal
Brighton Theatre Royal first opened its doors in June of 1807 after the Prince of Wales gave Royal Assent to have the theatre built. Shakespeare’s Hamlet was the first performance to take place in this historic United Kingdom theatre.
Theatre Royal saw its fair share of ups and downs before being sold to actor Henry John Nye Chart in 1854. With the help of architect Charles J. Phipps, redevelopment and programme expansion began. The theatre would go on to become one of the most respected venues in the Brighton area.
The Ambassador Theatre Group, or ATG, purchased the Theatre Royal Brighton in 1999 and invested heavily in the building’s infrastructure. Today, theatregoers are treated to high quality productions that are made for new audiences in Brighton, embark on national tours and even play in the West End. The theatre’s café The Parlour, located on New Road, is also open from early morning until early evening. The café serves fresh coffee, tea, pastries, cakes and snacks. The Parlour is the perfect place to stop on your way to an early show.
Brighton Theatre Royal also boasts creative partnerships with the Brighton Festival, the English Touring Threatre Company and the Rambert Dance Company. If you’re looking to spend a night out at the theatre, Brighton Theatre Royal is your go-to venue.
Brighton’s Komedia theatre opened in 1994 and started out as a dream for owners David Lavender, Marina Kobler and Colin Granger. The trio wanted to open a new arts venue that offered a wide range of entertainment, bars, food and great service. Komedia began as a theatre and a cabaret bar in a former billiard hall in the Kemptown area of Brighton.
The theatre served as a platform for many young performers in its early days, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Graham Norton, Johnny Vegas, Jack Dee, Time Vine and The League of Gentlemen. In 2000, Brighton Komedia relocated to Gardener Street and expanded into three buildings: Komedia Downstairs, Komedia Upstairs and Studio Bar. The theatre also boasts a street-front café and a box office. In 2012, Koemdia Upstairs was replaced by Duke’s At Komedia, a two screen cinema.
Brighton Komedia is one of the best venues in town for comedy, theatre, music, cabaret and club nights. Full menus are also served during most seated shows in the venue. Meal deal tickets can be purchased in advance. Food will not be served at Studio Bar shows or standing shows.
The Brighton Dome Studio Theatre
The Brighton Dome Studio Theatre was once known as the Pavilion Theatre. The building is a part of the Bright Dome complex and was first built in 1935. Originally a supper room, the building was later converted into a theatre. The Dome Studio Theatre can accommodate an audience of up to 232 seated and 350 standing attendees.
This intimate theatre is the best place to preview some of the best new theatre and dance productions from both national and international companies. The theatre is also a popular live music venue for up-and-coming artists and, at times, serves as the venue for chamber recitals.
New Venture Theatre
If amateur and community theatre is what interests you most, the New Venture Theatre is your venue of choice. New Venture Theatre first opened in 1956 and has developed a reputation for putting on quality shows. A variety of shows can be seen in both the small upstairs space and larger downstairs theatre space.
Although New Venture Theatre cannot compare to other stellar theatres in Brighton, like the two theatres listed above; however, it is still an excellent way to spend an evening. As a nice added bonus, the theatre’s little bar serves up drinks before and after the show. The charitable organization frequently puts on shows, especially during festival season. If you love amateur theatre, New Venture Theatre should be at the top of your venue list.