Brighton Beach Scumbags

by Steven Berkoff

Brighton Beach Scumbags explores the lives of two foul mouthed sets of couples- Derek and his wife Dinah and Dave and his wife Doreen. Both couples have travelled from Essex to enjoy a day at the beach, ignorantly they reflect on their memories whilst observing that Brighton has changed, society is changing. These two couples trapped in a homophobic, racist past time are confronted with these changes, the friends are unable to adapt to the times and comprehend the liberation of many minorities. Whilst these couples hold nothing back, not only to society but to each other, their back and forth between one another shines an underlining sadness into their lives. The result ends with a violent act that exposes the vast gaps and similarities between class, gender, and sexuality. "We might call them yobs and laugh at their Neanderthal struggles with existence," Berkoff writes, "but within there is an awful sadness as they try to claw happiness out of their day. Brighton Beach Scumbags compassionately explores the mutual incomprehension inherent in the divide between heterosexuality and homosexuality, and the middle and working classes. Originally premiered in 1991, I feel the themes and questions raised in this production are just as relevant (or arguably even more) today so with that I aim to bring Brighton Beach Scumbags to today’s England, set within a backdrop of Brexit, Trump and the far right etc. This piece will be entirely experimental, staying true to Steven Berkoff’s “Berkovian Aesthetic” we will take some time to explore some physical theatre techniques from an array of practitioners including Jacque Le coq, Artaud, Meyerhold and Chekhov. BERKOVIAN AESTHETIC- His concept of total-theatre fulfils his desire for a spiritual and psychological theatre which attempts to "illuminate" the text rather than "depict" it. Berkoff alternates between a manic, frenetic physical-energy and an elongated, exaggerated style. Berkoff uses the legato rhythm to specifically emphasize language. Berkoff's theatre is above all actor-centred. He demands that actors create the physical environment which reduces the need for sets and props by relying upon the actor's precise control of body and voice. He believes that an imaginative use of mime, movement, and sound are all that is needed to create a production that appeals to the audience's collective imagination.
THIS PLAY CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE, NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED! I do hope the language doesn’t put too many people off, Berkoff’s use of language is to highlight and emphasise the ridiculousness of the characters. If you think this play might be something you ARE interested in being part of then Please email me to let me know you intend to audition and if you would like me to send a copy of the script please email me at t.chessman@hotmail.co.uk

AUDITION PIECES ARE: FOR DINAH,DEREK, DAVE AND DOREEN:

1) Page 158 from DINAH: (Returns with the burgers) to the bottom of page 161. 2) Page 165 From the top to the bottom of page 168

FOR TED AND TOM: 1) Bottom of page 168 (when Ted and Tom enter) to the bottom of page 170- TOM: they’re not about to do something…

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Derek - Mark Humble

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Dinah - Caroline Ross

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Dave - Neil James

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Doreen - Nancy Lund

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Tom - Nick Lund

Ted

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Director - Troy Chessman

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Stage Manager - Liz Thomas

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Stage Manager - Clare Pinnock

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Set Design and Construction - John Godliman