IF THESE walls could talk...

We’ve all heard the saying but cabaret performer Meow Meow is taking it to new levels by staging a musical history of Theatre Royal Brighton. Playing at the theatre on May 20 as part of the festival, Meow Meow told The Argus she was “obsessed” by the memories such venues hold.

“Often theatres have marble angels as decoration and I find myself wondering what they have seen. In these places you feel all the performances that have taken place there over the years – it’s very special.”

Meow Meow has performed similar shows at other venues but was taken with the atmosphere of the Theatre Royal Brighton, having performed there a few times in her career. In her festival appearance, she will tell stories from over two centuries, from the time the theatre was built in 1807. “I love this project because it means I can do all the research that fascinates me,” she said.

The singer’s main aim is to emphasise the importance of history and create a link between the past and present. She is “obsessed with the fact we all forget things”. She said: “The show is about memory and cultural amnesia. “There’s something about making a song that triggers people to find out more. It’s always fun to play with the ghosts of the past.” Among the tales Meow Meow has researched is that of 1800s French actress Sarah Bernhardt whose leg was amputated due to a long-term injury.

It’s a matter of contention where the initial affliction took place but Meow Meow said it could have been Brighton. “Her ghost is said to be at the Theatre Royal,” she said. “Apparently that’s where she took her famous leap and the errant stage manager forgot to put the mattress down.

“Then, the local doctor came and he was so filthy he wouldn’t let him touch her. But other people say that accident happened in South America. Even this famous figure has different theories around her. There are always different versions of what happened.” Another story Meow Meow tells is of a group of ballet girls fainting at once in the 1800s, only for Martini the clown to step in and save the day. “It’s much more about the less famous stories than the famous ones,” she said.

Her interest in the theatre was sparked by images she found of Brighton two centuries ago. “I found all these fantastic pictures of Theatre Royal Brighton, when it was being built. “Everyone was living in fear of French invasion and that Napoleon would come through Brighton. Those human emotions are the kind that are found in the theatre to this day.”

For more information and tickets visit: brightonfestival.org