Ok. Now i've had a chance to calm down i'd like to write something productive and also try to instigate something good.
The Nightingale Room in Brighton, which me and many others have made their Brighton cabaret show home for the past year and a half has changed managers again.
Though the difference this time is the manager has changed to someone who thinks 'performers and performances are a waste of time'. This isn't the company who owns the venues decision, it is the decision of a single man. He now wants to turn it into a cocktail bar... Which if you're familiar with Brighton, is not a thing Brighton needs another of.
What Brighton is lacking is a variety of performance spaces. Yes, of course you have your basic music gig venues, you have your blank wooden rooms above pubs. This place was special. It was a beautiful speakeasy filled with charm and magic.
It had an upright piano which people put to use. Whether it was me using it for the entirety of my show. Tina Turner Tea Lady sitting at it to pretend she was about to play piano. Or Sophie from Cinebra accidentally sitting on it and hitting low note to get the full effect of a punchline.
After the last few christmas shows (Which he has also cut down as much as he can, because he saw some holes in their contracts) It won't be used as a performance space any more.
There was supposed to be a NYE show there, which i was booked to host - but the new manager decided they weren't going to pay for that. After i kicked up a fair bit of fuss, me and the entire cast of the show were given the ultimatum of a percentage split of the tickets instead... or nothing. Which we all have politely declined. Regardless of how annoyed or financially derailed i am from having that show ripped out from under me with 2 weeks to go, that's not what is upsetting me the most.
What is getting to me is that this beautiful space and this place that was building an incredible and varied bubble of cabaret in Brighton won't be able to be that any more... because one man doesn't like performers or performances or shows.
I've been told that his response to all of this so far is 'I don't give a fuck'. Well - i do give a fuck. Your audiences that me and so many other shows and performers have built, do give a fuck. Those shows that valued that space to try things out and make magical experiences, also do give a fuck. We all give a fuck. So, i ask anyone who also does give a fuck to write a little email (email can be found at the end of this.) and let them know exactly how important these performances spaces are.
None of this has been officially announced yet... So who knows? Maybe the company will look at this and go "This Liam is not the right man for our venue".
Josh, the assistant manager has fought so hard to keep it the space that it is. He is full of passion and love for that space and the shows it put on and from what i can tell, it really has meant so much to him to look after it and nurture it. So it's being taken away from him too.
So if you want to write an email, please do. Remember.. This isn't about any cancellations or vendetta for lost income. That means nothing at this point. It's about saving a space from becoming another empty hidden quirky cocktail bar in a city filled with them. It's about letting them know that what Brighton (and every place) needs are those spaces where you can watch something incredible happen by people who couldn't do it without that place to facilitate their ideas. Thank you.