The sun that casts no shadows

Brand spanking new, home-grown theatre company The Brighton Laboratory arrive at Brighton Festival in the most impressive style with their adaptation of Albert Camus’ modern classic, The Outsider.

Volks Bar and Club initially seems a misled setting for the reworking of a novel that grapples with the absurdity of human existence, but the space is maximised to its absolute potential and the audience is soon unaware of the smell of beer normally permeating the air. With no stage, no seats for the most part, and a bulk of the dialogue directed at the audience members, the performance manages to equate audience with performers and vice versa.

The cast of fifteen blend into the crowd and frequently switch between characters, which creates an entirely engrossing yet disconcerting experience for the viewer. The production seamlessly integrates contemporary dance, film and a smooth, sexy soundtrack that bypasses overwhelming with too many mediums, and instead assimilates audience member into bystander, never more notable than during the thrilling fight scene.

The performances were subtly brilliant and seemed extremely accomplished, the main actors leaving room for the supporting to enhance the finished piece just as much as they were themselves. Owen Bleach offers a certain intimidating confidence as Raymond and Joshua Maclellan comes into his own through the performance to embody Mersault’s logic as though it was his own personal ideology by the end. The audience’s proximity to the performance makes it difficult to passively assume the role of outsider; you don’t know where the story will be delivered from next and you are constantly hit by changes in narrative voice and location.

As Meursalt’s lawyer admits in reference to his trial, ‘Everything is true yet nothing is true.’ The same goes for this performance.

Reviews by Alaina Briggs

Marlborough Theatre

Intuit This

★★★★★
Latest Music Bar

Snow White: The Whole Grimm Affair

★★★★
Upstairs at Three and Ten

Mannequins

★★
Sallis Benney Theatre

Tribal Remix

★★★

Fish Pie

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

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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.
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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.
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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.
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The Blurb

An immersive and site specific adaptation of The Outsider by Albert Camus, one of the 20th century's classic novels. The story of a beach murder and what happens when a man refuses to lie. The Brighton Laboratory take audiences from beach panorama to sea-front club and through their physical and visual performance style, create a compelling and dreamlike fable.

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