COUNTY NEWS: 'Southern Fail' musical to launch this weekend

Mark Brailsford performing a Southern Fail: The Musical preview at Fringe City
Mark Brailsford performing a Southern Fail: The Musical preview at Fringe City

A musical satire on the Southern Rail crisis will premiere this Friday and Saturday at the Brighton Fringe.

Southern Fail: The Musical is a spin-off of The Treason Show - a satirical musical - and sees artistic director Mark Brailsford and long term writer-collaborator Simon Levenson take a journey through the carriages, platforms and boardrooms of 'the UK’s most mocked railway'.

The musical follows the viral popularity of Mark Brailsford’s recent protest song “Imagine There’s No Southern”, performed at Brighton station, which had a total social media reach of over a quarter of a million.

The comedy musical tells of a commuter love story amid Southern Rail chaos - while in the background, a train company collapses and nobody seems to care. Like all Treason Shows, the comedy will feature parody songs, topical satire and mad characters.

The full version of the show will take place at Shoreham’s Ropetackle Arts Centre on June 10 and at Brighton’s Sallis Benney Theatre on June 24.

The ‘Imagine There’s No Southern’ song was performed at Brighton station on the first anniversary of the strikes as part of a collaboration with the Association of British Commuters. It has since had 120,000 views and a total reach of over a quarter of a million.

Mr Brailsford said: “The Treason Show has performed Southern Rail parody songs for five years already – and they have always gone down incredibly well with the audience. In the last 18 months of the crisis however, the reaction has been intense and anger pronounced.

"The Southern Rail crisis is one of those rare political issues that has affected absolutely everyone in our community - whether daily commuter, local business or part-time passenger. I don’t know anyone in Brighton who has managed to avoid the damage it has done.”

Mr Levenson said: “I suffered the daily journey from Hove to Croydon throughout 2016 so was not lacking in inspiration when writing the show! When the circumstances around you are that absurd, it really just lends itself to satire. Commuters won’t forget any part of this crisis in a hurry and we really felt they deserved a bit of comedy relief and catharsis.”

Southern Fail: The Musical premieres at the Brighton Fringe from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3, at Spiegeltent: Bosco, Brighton Fringe Festival.

To find out more, visit: www.brightonfringe.org/box-office/shows/view/southern-fail-musical