Eight Sussex theatre companies to compete at Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards 2018

Winners of the Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards 2017 with adjudicator Trevor Jones and compere Kate Dyson
Winners of the Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards 2017 with adjudicator Trevor Jones and compere Kate Dyson

A writer, director and theatre-maker who has worked all over the UK has been confirmed as the adjudicator for this year’s Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards.

Jane Collins, professor of theatre and performance at Wimbledon College of Art, will be watching plays performed by eight companies across Sussex before deciding on the winners.

The awards season opens with Habeas Corpus by Alan Bennett, staged by Hurstpierpoint Players from September 18 to 22, with judging on the Friday.

The antics at the Wicksteed home are a satirical merry-go-round in this farcical comedy of ill-manners.

Burgess Hill Theatre Club will be putting on A Steady Rain by Keith Huff on the same dates, with judging on the Saturday.

This gritty two-hander explores various relationships and complex bonds formed and grown on the tough streets of Chicago.

Wick Theatre Company performs Plaza Suite by Neil Simon from September 26 to 29 at 7.45pm, with judging on the Friday.

This wonderful funny farce sees three couples successively occupying the same suite in the Plaza Hotel.

Happy Now? by Lucinda Coxon will be staged by New Venture Theatre in Brighton from October 5 to 13, with judging on the Saturday.

Blisteringly truthful and wonderfully funny, Happy Now? is a wise and darkly comic take on contemporary life and how to survive it.

Southwick Players follows at The Barn with The Corn is Green by Emlyn Williams from October 10 to 13, with judging on the Thursday.

Set in a tiny Welsh mining village in 1900, this is a story of triumph over adversity, of following your heart, following your dreams, of conflict and sorrow, and of inspiration.

Rottingdean Drama Society stages Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht on the same dates, with judging on the Friday.

Described as the greatest anti-war play of all time, this play was written in response to Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and is set in the Thirty Years’ War from 1618 to 1648.

Henfield Theatre Company will also be staging a Neil Simon play, this time Brighton Beach Memoirs, from October 18 to 20, with judging on the Saturday.

Dreaming of baseball and girls, Eugene must cope with the mundane existence of his family life in Brooklyn – a recipe for hilarity, served up Simon-style.

New to the awards is the Saints Theatre Group, performing The Ghost Train by Arnold Ridley at St Paul’s in Worthing from October 24 to 26, with judging on Friday.

A young man accidentally strands six passengers at a small Cornish wayside station. They decide to stay the night in the waiting room but soon regret the decision as apparitions materialise.

GALLERY: Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards 2017

Book is precious gift to granddaughter

Emma Thompson shines in thoughtful movie The Children Act