Brighton Open Air Theatre, Brighton, Wednesday, July 25

SCIENTIST Frankie (Neelam Parmar) sets the dystopian scene of 2040, with a monologue on the catastrophic results of climate change, antibiotic resistance and genetic disorders, asking “Where are your Gods now?”.

This is a modern re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece by John Foster, in collaboration with Brighton-based Sisata.

The play’s “monster” Angel, a humanoid with artificially accelerated evolution, emerges from the laboratory only to cause more carnage.

Angel rejects her pre-programmed female gender and implanted memory bank.

Emily Rowan performs with evocative physical theatre, dance and song to express Angel’s strength, suffering and alienation.

The cast of four tackle many themes including the ideal of human perfection, identity, and transgenderism.

Artificial intelligence and whether such a being could have a soul and emotions is questioned as Angel becomes moved to tears.

The play also touches on the ethics of stem cell research and eugenics as well as abortion and miscarriage as pregnant Frankie describes her “breasts filling with unwanted milk”.

With simple props such as a white sheet, and basic but effective music produced on drums and scrapers by the cast, there is minimal dialogue, a part from Frankie’s speeches.

All four characters including scientists Xero (Seth Tonkin) and Eris (Frank Leon) wear white masks for much of the play, which augments the dystopian feel.

They are all passionate and animated but their web of sexual entanglements adds the confusion.

The complex script successfully deploys Frankie’s poetic narration to clarify occurrences.

However despite Angel’s ultimate vengeance on her creators, the challenges of its vast dark themes couldn’t settle in to a satisfactory conclusion.

Tania Deaville

High School Musical


The Old Market, Hove, Wednesday, July 25

BRIGHTON Theatre Group Youth time their punchy production of Disney’s High School Musical to perfection as schools break up for summer.

Boasting a big cast, great voices and even better dance moves, this energetic and professional production of High School Musical aims high and scores.

School cliques clash for brainy new student Gabriella Montez and basketball star Troy Bolton, who have to choose between keeping to their well-worn paths of science genius and sports whiz and following their love for each other and taking the lead roles in the school musical.

By doing this, not only will they be going against everyone’s expectations of them, they will be dashing the star-studded dreams of the drama queen herself, Sharpay Evans, finally ending her lead role reign in the school productions.

It’s a feelgood musical pushing everyone to be themselves and follow their dreams, one that’s well loved by generations of high schoolers.

It’s another hit for Brighton Theatre Group Youth and the cast shine at their brightest in the ensemble numbers with slick choreography, endless energy and clear vocal skill.

The two-hour production ran without a hitch under the direction of Michael Burnie, and although not every comedic moment hit the spot, every musical number was on point, ranging from macho basketball inspired songs to sweet and beautifully delivered duets and glitzy show tunes.

In short, a truly impressive display of Brighton’s young theatrical talent.

The sizeable company enjoyed not one, but two standing ovations after a high- energy medley of the show’s hits to wrap up the night.

While school may be out for most, it’s still very much in session for this talented cast from Brighton Theatre Group Youth, who make their production of High School Musical an easy recommend for families and young theatregoers this summer.

Lois Zoppi