End of the road – but for who?

Our Australian correspondent Justin Simpson ponders life post-Brexit for the Mother Country

From far away, it feels like the end is nigh for the mother country as it drifts into irrelevance off the northwest coast of Europe like some rusty old trawler long past its use by date heading for the scrapyard and many Brits in Australasia, me included, feel greatly aggrieved at the loss of trading, cultural and many other links with our long-term neighbours across the Channel…

Holidays won’t be the same now we have to buy a visa to visit places where previously we could travel freely. Nor will the inevitable sharp increase in price of goods now required to incur a tariff or other financial surcharge as the price to be paid for ‘taking back control’ – of what, it’s not quite clear – as we are all governed by and/or accountable to someone…

Does it make any difference whether that someone is your local mayor, UK prime minister or EU president? You get to vote for them all, regardless of their accent, gender, class, race etc but now, the UK will have to enjoy those ‘sunny uplands’ of economic prosperity all on its own – or will that be endure instead?

We shall know all too soon…

News: Christmas comedy at the Dome… Live!

Live at Brighton Dome is the venue’s flagship showcase of top comedy talent with each night offering a mixed bill of the UK’s finest entertainers. Headliners are the brilliant ventriloquist and British Comedy Award winner Nina Conti (Friday 18 December); since winning Comedy Central’s Funniest Student Award in 2011, Phil Wang has earned critical acclaim for his playful stand-up routines, with regular slots on television and BBC radio (Saturday 19 December) and Britain’s favourite pub landlord, Al Murray makes a welcome return with a barrel full of Christmas crackers (Sunday 20 December).

Joining the line-up is Taskmaster champion Lou Sanders and star of cult TV hit Top Coppers John Kearns performing each night, alongside hosts Travis Jay (Friday 18 Dec) and Jayde Adams (Sat 19 and Sun 20 Dec, pictured).

In line with government regulations, Brighton Dome is able to offer live socially distanced performances to household and bubble groups in its Concert Hall. The venue has received the ‘Good to Go’ mark with enhanced safety measures in place throughout the building to ensure audiences can safely enjoy some seasonal entertainment after being closed for most of the year.

Listings – Live at Brighton Dome Christmas Specials

7.30pm, Friday 18 December 2020

Nina Conti

John Kearns

Lou Sanders

Host: Travis Jay

7.30pm, Saturday 19 December 2020

Phil Wang

John Kearns

Lou Sanders

Host: Jayde Adams

7.30pm, Sunday 20 December 2020

Al Murray

John Kearns

Lou Sanders

Host: Jayde Adams

Tickets £22.50 advance booking only

Member tickets on sale Tues 8 Dec at 10am

General sale Wed 9 Dec at 10am

Brighton Dome, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UE

Ticket bookings:

W: brightondome.org

T: 01273 709709 open Tue-Fri, 10am-2pm

Ticket Office counter open Tue-Fri, 10am-2pm from Tue 8 Dec until Fri 18 Dec

News: The Dome re-opens for business

Do  you remember “going out”? No, me neither. Still, the Dome is re-opening its doors for a series of seasonal events, including a production of A Christmas Carol narrated by Killing Eve and Succession actor Harriet Walter.

Live stream events also continue, with best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo bringing the festive spirit into people’s homes with an afternoon of Christmas storytelling.Other events feature names such as Dawn French, Benamin Zephaniah and Liza Tarbuck. 

Christmas Listings

Brighton Dome, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UE

Ticket bookings:

W: brightondome.org

T: 01273 709709 open Tue-Fri, 10am-2pm

Ticket Office counter open Tue-Fri, 10am-2pm from Tue 8 Dec

A Night in with Alex Wheatle and Benjamin Zephaniah (livestream)

Friday 11 December, 6.30pm

£10 / £23 including copies of Cane Warriors and Windrush Child

On sale now

A Christmas Carol with Harriet Walter and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

Saturday 12 Dec, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Age 12+

Tickets from £15-20 in household or bubble groups of 3 or 4 as cabaret tables, rear stalls and circle seats.

Family ticket offers for groups of 3 and 4 with under 18s.

£20 single tickets rear stalls and circle.

70 min performance, no interval

Members and Friends of BPO on sale Thurs 3 Dec at 10am

General on sale Fri 4 Dec at 10am

A Night in with Dawn French (livestream)

Sunday 13 Dec, 6.30pm

£10 / £25 including a copy of Because of You

On sale now

Christmas Storytelling with Michael Morpurgo (livestream)

Sunday 20 Dec, 3pm

£10 / £20 including a copy of Boy Giant / £45 book bundle

On sale now

Sussex Sings Christmas livestream from Brighton Dome

Wednesday 23 Dec, 6pm


Book here: bfc.org.uk/sussexsingschristmas

Brighton Goes Gospel

Megan Wenham and Harriet Dunlop talk to Louise Channon about BGG and being a community hero

As the Christmas season fast approaches it is obvious none of us will have the usual festivities and traditions we look forward to all year long, as COVID and lockdowns seem to be a never ending cycle of new rules and restrictions.

All is not lost though, as we caught up with Louise Cannon, the Creative Director and Producer of Brighton Goes Gospel to talk about their “the all sing and dancing” 20th anniversary. 

Earlier this year the choir embarked on their biggest challenge yet through recording a new song and creating their own documentary to highlight the best times over the years, all within the challenges of lockdown to ensure they can still spread light this Christmas.

“The idea of the documentary is to cover 20 years of our journey. It will cover footage from previous shows, photographs, artwork, interviews, and the people who have been a part of our journey. We just want to spread a bit more joy, especially this year where it is a lot more needed. We are just doing what we normally do just on a much wider scale.”

The documentary called “More Than Just Singing” also covers today’s matters too and in their own way they will be paying tribute to Black Lives Matter and the NHS.

“Gospel means good news and some people really need that right now. The beauty of gospel music is that it does cover a broad spectrum and people can make it whatever they need it to be for them.

“Even though we are a gospel choir we are not all religious, we are welcome to all religions and non-religious people. The reason we come together is love of gospel music and is all for different reasons.”

Louise’s hard work has not gone unnoticed, and she has been presented with the “Make A Difference Heroes Award” in recognition of all her work. “It’s quite humbling to receive an award as a thank you from the community and from my peers.” The awards are dedicated to celebrating unsung heroes from across the local area, organised by BBC Radio Sussex. 

The Brighton Goes Gospel choir have also been working hard on recording their own version of “With A Little Help From My Friends”.

“We have created joy in a pandemic and still fighting to spread love and this is what the song is about.”

Recording the song during a pandemic definitely had its challenges as you could imagine. As a choir of vast age range, getting people to record their parts of the songs was difficult. “What we did was set up support groups on Facebook live so we can explain to people what we needed them to do. At times we have gone to their house, filmed for them or used our devices if they did not have a smartphone.

“The brave thing about the choir is they are normally together with 120-140 people and singing in a group, but asking people to sing a solo is the scariest thing ever and the wonderful thing is a lot of people stepped out of their comfort zone and nobody bowed out.”

The track will have guest features from renowned gospel artists including; Michelle John, Ken Burton, Paul Lee, Annette Bowen, Nathaniel Morrison, Sharlene Hector, Vula Malinga, Ladonna Harley- Peters and many more. “It’s been about five months in the making, we chose the track back in January and it is a COVID anthem for me.”



The Whistler – December 2020

It’s officially winter. The nights have closed in, the straw hat is back in it box and coats are the season’s must-have accessory. Still, we’re out of lockdown and we’re allowed out. Remember that? Out? And if we’ve got to have a substantial meal, well that’s OK too. Lockdown’s had its moments. We’ve met people, well we’ve seen people on small screens, and as long as the West Hill quiz keeps going, so will we (even though we were robbed at the last quiz, positively robbed. Who knew what a Star bar looked like?). 

But remember, if things are hard, if you have trouble getting out and about, Lovely Vinod at Bright News is doing deliveries and helping those who need it. It’s what community’s for. 

Finally, a quick word about us going all 21st century – the website’s got a new look, there’s a new Instagram (@westhillwhistler) and Twitter (@WestHillWhistle) and a re-vamped Facbook page. You can probably guess what that’s called. It’s all very exciting.

And, as always, if you’ve got something to say, drop us a line. Join in. Life’s better that way. 

Merry Xmas / New Year. See you on the other side.