Rough Night

Still recovering from the weekend? As usual, you get online and start flicking through social media to see what have your friends been up to. If all you see is baby pictures, housing renovations and dinner arrangements, consider entering a website titled ‘Had a rough night?’ This is the starting point to the lives of four friends, Declan, Liv, Jamie and Sarah. All you know about them is that they just had a really rough night this weekend.

A good example of the ongoing immersive story-led theatre trend.

Consider these facts: Liv thinks she’s got a great acting job overseas but something went wrong and she was rejected. Jamie has just flown back home for good, but knows there are too many memories to haunt him. Declan wakes up on a beach, with more money on him than he had yesterday. And worst of all, Sarah has gone missing. According to her friends, she just walked into the night. Sarah’s last post is that she’s ok, but nobody should try to contact her. Sarah is emotionally unstable and her ex-boyfriend Jared might have something to do with it. So, who is Jared and how can you find his feed?

Some people have made stalking their friends on social media an art form, but the Tempest Theatre Co makes it the centrepiece of their multichannel narrative. Leaning towards the Hangover films, Rough Night urges you make friends with the characters, snoop around their social media accounts and follow the events around and after the fatal night Sarah went missing. You are encouraged to interact with the characters and just like your friends, they may reply, if they feel like it. The outcome of the performance is impacted by your decisions as to participate in unravelling the mystery.

Rough night explores how we build our identities on social media. Can we make an impression on people just by looking at their social media feeds? It is scary how quickly you stick labels on people based on their posts and retweets. Musician into self-help. Actress wannabe and sci-fi geek. Unstable party girl. Politically oriented wanderer. And in no time, you’re hooked. The New Zealand based Tempest Theatre Co does a great job in uniting character-based storytelling and real-time interaction between people. You search through tweets, discover new characters and look for hidden blogs and passwords.

Rough Night is a good example of the ongoing immersive story-led theatre trend. You are very much an active participant in tracing the characters’ steps to unveil the story and solve the mystery. Somewhere between a play and a game, narratives like this question our digital personas and demand us to examine our own appearance on social media. The downside of interactive theatre is that its success is purely dependent on audience participation. At the time of writing this, there isn’t any other activity to show for than the characters’ own social media posts. So, whatever happened to Sarah? Nobody knows yet, we have to continue searching the feeds to see how the story ends.

Reviews by Johanna Makelainen

Brighton Fringe Streaming

Rough Night

★★★
Komedia Studio

How Eva Von Schnippisch Saved Hollywood

★★★★
The Rotunda Theatre: Bubble

Please Hold

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco / The Warren: The McElderry

Privates: Great Ideas by Geniuses

★★★
The Rotunda Theatre: Squeak

The Trials Of Galileo

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent: Bosco

Man of a Thousand Farces

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

We've all had rough nights, but this one is one of the roughest. Declan woke up in a ditch. Liv is never drinking again. Jamie's had an existential crisis. And Sarah is missing. Retrace their steps. Learn their stories. Find their friend. After an end of summer house party goes awry, the world of four close friends are utterly changed. In this part-theatre, part-installation, explore the online lives of these people and discover what happened that night. Stalk their social media. Reply to their messages. Become part of their world and shape where the story goes across the duration of the Fringe. It's all up to you. - Tempest Theatre Co is a New Zealand-based theatre company, focused on unique and bizarre work, melding the digital and the live. From street theatre and sketch to artist events and audio work, they aim to bring theatre to the people, creating pieces that are joyous, queer and wholeheartedly human. This is their first Brighton Fringe.

Most Popular See More

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets