P/REVIEW 3: Brian’s view from the sofa

Brian Butler April 1, 2020

Those of us who are desperately craving our weekly theatre fix are getting more and more spoilt for choice as theatre companies realise their archive assets and mostly just ask for a donation.

With Barbara Dickson belting out Tell me It’s Not True on my iPod, here’s a quick glance at what’s on offer this week and beyond.

Thursday 1 April sees the launch of the N  T’s  National Theatr@home . Streaming at 7pm , and then available on demand for a week, the archive season starts with the fantastic One Man Two Guv’nors starring James Corden , the stage show which launched him into starry heights with his physical and verbal agility bringing an old dusty classical comedy right up to today’s expectations.

The following week , on 9 April, the NT will stream Jane Eyre, a bold and innovative re-imagining of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel about a woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment in her own terms.  Future shows include Treasure Island and Twelfth Night. Go to the NT’s YouTube page to connect and don’t forget to make as donation to bring live theatre back to our stages.

Meanwhile , the Royal Shakespeare Company has teamed up with MarqueeTV to create the online “ Premiere” series. It starts on Saturday, 4 April with Adrian Edmondson and Kara Tointon in Twelfth Night (another one !) You need to sign up for a no-obligation , 30-day free trial with Marquee to see it – go to

This week sees the launch of the UK’s first lgbtq + tv channel OUTtv, showcasing movies, documentaries and series with an edgy twist. You can access it via Sky channel 330 for a monthly fee – £9.99 – or annually via marquee’s website.

This Sunday  5 April, would have been the annual Olivier  Awards, but ofcourse it’s been cancelled, probably till the autumn. But you can watch a special hour-long ITV presentation of Olivier highlights from the last 10 years- including excerpts from Dreamgirls, Hamilton, Matilda, The Lion King and Book of Mormon.

Two other helpful links this issue, healthy local food delivery options and the opportunity to seek some moments of stillness and calm first thing in the day

If you are into early morning meditation, Mark Claireaux , who’s practised self-care and well-being in Brighton for a number of years, is holding a 30 minute meditation class each morning at 0800 hrs. You no need to download Zoom and then email him on for password.

I’m indebted to Rainbow Chorus musical director Anneesa Chaudhry for a useful link to home deliveries from a wide variety of Brighton and Hove shops . Go to BRIGHTONQUARANTINE.CO.UK  

And finally my good Chicago-based friends Hop Backus & Douglas Dixon have taken a leaf out of the Spanish and Italian lockdown balcony singing phenomenon to kickstart their own list of favourites you could sing from your own balcony – so here goes:

On The Street Where You Live;  Getting To Know You; No-one Is Alone; Good Morning Baltimore (substitute your city);  My favourite Things; O What a Beautiful Morning;  Put On A happy Face; Try  to Remember; You’ll Never Walk Alone.

As I ended this sofa article my iPod belted out Ella singing April in Paris – if only !

Keep sofa-ing.