SPOTLIGHT ON: Disco, Drag, Drama and Dinosaurs

Brian Butler October 8, 2022

Launching  the latest season of shows at Brighton’s Theatre Royal, the theatre director John Baldock summed it up as: “ disco, drag, drama and dinosaurs”. He could have added campness, comedy and criminality.

He told me: “we re-opened after Covid in July 2021 and it seems an age ago now. This season has it all – from Cher songs, to crime capers, a drag mystery and of course Sir Ian McKellen in a panto which will be stunning and amazing”.

October’s offerings are: Spike – a play about the anarchic comedian and writer Spike Milligan, co-written by Private Eye editor and Have I Got News For You panellist Ian Hislop. It runs 11-15 October. It’s followed by the ultimate comedy of theatrical chaos and confusion, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, starring among others Felicity Kendall and Matthew Kelly. It runs 18-22 this month.

The month ends with EastEnders royalty Todd Carty and John Altman in the 70th anniversary tour of the best known whodunnit Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – the launching pad for many a theatrical career. It’s on from 24-29 October.

November sees 35 smash hit songs in The Cher Show – if you miss it you won’t be able to turn back time. It runs  from 1-12 November.

More whodunit material follows in the National Theatre’s ground-breaking re-imagining of J B Priestley’s An Inspector Calls – worth it for the scenery alone. It can be seen 15-19 November. Classic Ealing comedy The Lavender Hill Mob hits the stage  starring comedians Miles Jupp and Justin Edwards from 21-26 November.

That stunningly ingenious and funny cocktail of a drag murder mystery Death Drop re-appears in a new show Back In The Habit, featuring a gaggle of famous nuns trapped in a convent by a serial killer. It features RuPaul star Cheryl Hole, female drag act Victoria Scone, drag queen River Medway and drag King LoUis CYfer. It sounds to be an absolutely hoot of a night.

If raptors and such are your thing then Jurassic Live is for you with the stage ruled by an array of animatronic dinosaurs. It plays 27-30 December.

And the icing on the cake of this season has got to be Mother Goose the panto, written by brilliant Queer writer Jonathan Harvey and starring Sir Ian McKellen in the title role supported by John Bishop and Mel Giedroyc. It opens in Brighton from 3-11 December before going on an extensive tour until next Easter.

Booking information at