The Brighton Open Air Theatre thrives over the summer with a host of shows taking place. Shakespeare is, of course, a fan favourite and now Mark Brailsford, the mind behind The Treason Show, is taking A Comedy of Errors to the stage. Jamie Walker caught up with him to find out more…

It’s clear to see the excitement Mark has for this show from the moment we sit down to discuss it.

He is bubbly and enthusiastic, just itching to say as much as he can to plug the show – without giving away any crucial spoilers or plot points.

Shakespeare is something that Mark knows well.

As one of the minds behind the Brighton Shakespeare Company, he is a man well versed in the words of the bard.

A Comedy of Errors tells the tale of two pairs of identical twins – four people in total for those counting along at home – who are separated at birth.

As expected, this leads to a series of mishaps and madness.

Mark himself is one of the minds behind The Treason Show, a fan favourite performance here in Brighton, and whilst he says there is some influence from the show in this production, he is keeping the plot simple, “We take it right back to the way Shakespeare’s globe’s players would have played it.

“We work with the crowd and the crowd would have been worked with in 1605. We play with them, we drop in different references – obviously The Treason Show comes in – to a degree. We don’t do topical, news-based stuff, but if something’s happening around us we will play with it.

“I put my stamp on it too but I’ve been loyal and true to Shakespeare’s intentions.”

Leading on from this he also adds that sometimes the setting and scenery get a reference, when applicable, “Last year, doing Midsummer Night’s Dream, we made the mistake of doing it during Pride and there was a helicopter flying over us, it was driving me bananas. So helicopter references and seagull poop get a reference.”

This will be the fifth Shakespeare show that Mark, and the Brighton Shakespeare Company, has performed and he says that whilst it may be different from The Treason Show in terms of plot and writing, the premise of comedy remains the same across both forms.

One of the big names involved in the production this year is Paul Moriarty – of The Gentle Touch and Eastenders fame – who plays Duke Solinus, and Marks says that from the off he knew Paul would be the perfect fit, “He read beautifully, his voice is incredible, he’s a brilliant actor, and he’s also bloody funny. So I told him he was a perfect fit and asked him if he wanted to do it and he said he’d love to.

“He’s having a ball and he’s brilliant to work with and it’s great, he’s really good at it too.

“It’s worth seeing just to see him do it and we’re very lucky to having him.”

The show will take place at the Brighton Open Air Theatre. A venue that Mark says is the idyllic location for this type of performance, “It’s wonderful. It’s beautifully built. On a summer evening, to do Shakespeare, outdoors in Brighton is great. One of my favourite things is to be performing and hear the pop of a Prosecco cork going flying over the stage. People are sat back with their picnics having a laugh. It also really suits my style of comedy. We don’t have a fourth wall, we’re running up and down, eating people’s cake. It’s fun and the atmosphere there is built for fun.”

As our chat comes to a close I ask Mark to give the show one final plug. Now let me tell you, this is a man who likes to talk, but when it comes to pushing the show he closes by keeping it sweet and simple, “We’re funny. You will see a guaranteed funny show…particularly in the second half.”