ThirdSpace Theatre presents BAKKHAI (2023)

A Professional Collaborative Project

In 2023, ThirdSpace Theatre returned to Brighton Festival with an exciting twist on a classic tale, BAKKHAI. This play brought the ancient story to life for today’s audience. ThirdSpace worked with dancers from Ceyda Tanc and actors from Brighton People’s Theatre. As well, 50+ of our own talented ThirdSpace young actors from our drama clubs performed in the show. BAKKHAI delivered a mind-blowing retelling of Euripides’ tale of madness, freedom, and humanity.

BAKKHAI didn’t just happen overnight. We started working on it in September 2022, right after finishing our last show, Romeo & Juliet. It took a lot of time and effort to make this play special. We worked together in the rehearsal room, adding ideas and making changes over many months.

Co-creating with Our Young People

Just like with Romeo & Juliet, we wanted young people to have a big role in creating BAKKHAI. They shared their thoughts and stories, which became important parts of the play. Our lead writer, Sophia Trewick, turned these ideas into the script. Sophia has been a ThirdSpace member for many years, joining as a child and staying with us now in the 16+ Wednesday group. She also runs our weekly writing group on Mondays at Brighton Youth Centre.

Working with Other Local Creative Organisations

Teaming up with Brighton People’s Theatre and Ceyda Tanc made sure that BAKKHAI went from strength to strength. BPT brought a spooky vibe to the villains, and Ceyda Tanc performed their brilliant dancing and choreography in the show, based on the painting The Scream.

Performing in the Local Community

As we weren’t performing in a big theatre this time round, we didn’t want to just dive into Whitehawk and throw together a show in the local area. The reason we put BAKKHAI on in Whitehawk was that some people living there don’t have the same access to the arts as those who might more regularly go to venues like Brighton Dome or The Old Market in the city.

We wanted everyone to be able to see the play, so we went to the Crew Club and put on a free show for the local community. We even got some actors from the Crew Club involved! And now we have a weekly drama club which happens in the Crew Club every Monday for children from the local area.

BAKKHAI was a great, sold-out success and we’re so glad so many people from near and far saw it.But if you missed the live performance, you can still watch the whole thing on our YouTube channel.

Jamie Johnson in the BAKKHAI rehearsal room

Sonny Atwood playing the character of Tommy, a mouthpiece for many of our actors real thoughts and feelings on the themes of the play.

The final ritual, which took place on the hills by Brighton Racecourse and the Crew Club