Category Archives: The Arts

Local, national and international arts news

Aladdin sane

Aladdin pantomime comes to the Brighton Centre this Christmas season. By Nadia Abbas

The magical world of Aladdin with its golden sand dunes, genies, and flying carpets has been a fan favourite since the Disney films release in 1993. Fans now have a chance to experience their very own Arabian night as the Aladdin pantomime is coming to the Brighton Centre this December. The pantomime promises to reunite the audience with the beloved love story of Princess Jasmine and the charming thief Aladdin. There will also be unexpected twists and turns in the story that will leave the audience laughing all night long.

Brighton production company E3 is bringing the Aladdin pantomime to the Brighton Centre. Aladdin will be running from Thursday 22nd to Tuesday 27th December (excluding Christmas Day). The pantomime features a talented and diverse West End cast. This includes Anita Dobson who has starred in Eastenders, Mark Inscoe who was in Sweeney Todd, and BBC Radio Sussex presenter Allison Ferns. Mark Inscoe plays the character of Widow Twankey who is Aladdin’s mother in this production. Mark Inscoe, said: “With pantomime it’s such a family experience that it’s going to be wonderful for people to get out and bring the whole family.”

This Aladdin production will differ from the original Aladdin story. It will be set in Old Peking in China instead of the mythical land of Agrabah like in the Disney film. Some of the character names are also different in this Aladdin pantomime. It does not have the villain Jafar, but instead they have a villain called Abanazar who is played by Anita Dobson. Mark Inscoe, said:” Widow Twankey that I’m playing does not exist in the original story, but she’s one of the most famous pantomime dames.” Aladdin’s brother’s character Wishee Washee is also not in the original story but is a new addition in this unique spin on the tale of Aladdin.

This pantomime was supposed to take place in 2021, but it was postponed due to concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19. This affected the suppliers, the costume makers, stage management, and set staff. Mark Inscoe, said: “Two days before we were due to start rehearsals everything just came to a close.” Fortunately, most of the company that were supposed to take part last year, are back to do it this year. Mark Inscoe, said: “People are now much more comfortable about going into a confined space and going back to the theatre again.”

E3 production company will support nine charities across the Sussex area. Each performance of this Aladdin pantomime will support a different charity. The audience will be encouraged to make donations to these charities at each showing. Some of the charities include The Sussex Beacon, Chestnut Tree House, and The Starr Trust. The first performance on Thursday the 22nd of December will be supporting The Focus Foundation.

Ticket prices for this pantomime range between £15- £35 and they can be purchased from the Brighton Centre’s website.

To find out more visit https://brightoncentre.co.uk/whats-on/2022/aladdin/.

Are You Still Potty, Dotty?

It’s been a personal back patting few weeks. I’ve painted drain pipes gold, exhibited at Naked, the seafront art gallery with a golden spiral staircase and recently commissioned to complete a Tsunami wave on the side of a house, with accompanying Artist Dotty jellyfish. As I sway, splat, and splodge my brush, in preparation for an AD flourish of finality, I often ponder what an interesting green future might be for Brighton ? 

Firstly trams on the hills would certainly encourage people to socialise while in transit. Old wooden carriages, San Franciscan style. Bring your bike disco nights, powered by a local park with exercise machines. Reduced mortgage deals for proof of bicycle purchase. Ban of sales of plastic, have a plazzi bag amnesty and tie all the bags together to make tents for the homeless. 

Create a piece of art that explores the land mass of every UK food bank and the land mass of every supermarket in the UK (if joined together). Introduce the Brighton pound, which can only be used for green initiatives and works directly with local artists. Build a green cafe warehouse with easy access for the wheelchair community and run a campaign to have the word disabled removed from the Oxford dictionary. 

Make bright green the new council colour for seafront railings and use eco friendly paint. These and a million other ideas float through my head as I dangle at an angle contravening every health and safety law to complete my tsunami wave on a hilltop house. 

Hold on a minute stream of consciousness kicks in again. And last but by no means least the thought that might get me lynched on the way to the shop. Scrap all cars in Brighton and have really cool sci-fi vehicles that function for different reasons :

Vehicles specially for retail delivery 

Transport for Tradesmen … that’s right, no more parking fines,  you simply load a carriage up, that stops at your destination. 

Vehicles for anyone with mobility issues. 

Vehicles for emergency only ( high speed) .

Vehicles for retail shopping, with the option of a two tiered retail experience : 

Human interaction or Automation 

Given that all the bungeroosh buildings are sinking into the sand, knock them all down and build round eco houses as a flagship project to show off to the world. 

Have a toll to enter Brighton and all the money gets split amongst artists demonstrating a green awareness. Maybe have a recycling bin with the title Further Use on it. 

Right that’s it, time to stop waffling. What do you think ? 

Artist Dotty is considering running for Prime  Minister. Would you vote for a messy, unorganised Artist ? 

Artist Dotty is currently exhibiting at Brightons St Augustine’s church art centre

Burning The Clocks returns. Nadia Abbas reports

Brighton’s annual Burning the Clocks event has become a beloved tradition among residents. It’s a magical community event that marks the shortest day of the year. A few nights before Christmas the streets are filled with crowds of people carrying handmade, intricately designed lanterns. They march through town until they reach the seafront. They throw their lanterns into a blazing bonfire and enjoy a spectacular firework display to mark the end of the year.

SameSky is a local charity that organises the Burning the Clocks event. The event will start on New Road at 6:30pm on December 21st and entry will be free. SameSky expects around twenty-thousand people to attend this year. This includes children, families, artists, bands, and community groups. Robert Batson, SameSky Executive Producer, said: “There is so many cool builds that we are excited to bring to Brighton this year.” People can carry their own lanterns that they have made or purchase lantern kits from SameSky. Robert Batson, SameSky Executive Producer, said: “Some lanterns will have names, hopes, or wishes inscribed on them. Something to remember the past year.”

The event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. As Covid restrictions have been lifted and we are making the transition back into normal life Burning the Clocks returns. This year its theme is ‘wild’. Robert Batson, SameSky Executive Producer, said: “It has a lot to do with the feeling of being unleashed and uncaged after two years.” SameSky artist Jo Coles designed the effigy this year, and she took inspiration from the uninhibited elements of central European cultures like the wilder men.

The event costs over £45,000 to produce, and SameSky does not receive regular funding. They rely on donations from their Crowdfunder, fundraising, and support from local businesses to enable this event to take place. Robert Batson, SameSky Executive Producer, said: “As long as we know the community is behind us and that there is support out there for this, this event is going to continue.”

SameSky works with different schools and organisations in Brighton. Robert Batson, Executive Producer at SameSky, said: “We are working with the Hummingbird Project which is a refugee group based in Sussex who have been doing tremendous work.” SameSky also works with artistic group Pebbles and The Woodcraft Folk, who try to involve families in the artistic practice.

Burning the Clocks has a long history in Brighton. It began in 1993 and its aim was to provide a cathartic and uplifting escape from the heavy commercial focus of the Christmas season. It also became a way to embrace the community as everyone could celebrate this event regardless of faith.

SameSky has created lantern kits for residents to purchase if they want to take part in the event. They are available at HISBE Supermarket, The Booklovers Store, The Book Nook, Seed ‘n’ Sprout, and Paxton+Glew.

If you would like to find out more, visit

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/burning-the-clocks-2022.