HS2

02.06.17

New play makes a song and dance of Southern rail crisis

A new play satirising the ongoing Southern Rail crisis is set to debut in Brighton this weekend.

Written by Simon Levenson and directed by Mark Brailsford, ‘Southern Fail: The Musical’ centres around a romance between two commuters – with industrial action, delays and crowded trains the less-than-glamourous backdrop for their love.

The team also claimed that Govia Thameslink Railway chief executive Charles Horton has been offered free tickets to the opening night – although reportedly, he has not yet responded to their offer.

After over a year of disputes with RMT and months of unrest with fellow union Aslef, which has seen constant disruption and delay for passengers, members of the cast say they hope the play will bring some much-needed comic relief to the Southern’s long-suffering passengers.

“I suffered the daily journey from Hove to Croydon throughout 2016 so was not lacking in inspiration when writing the show,” Levenson said.

“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.”

The theatrical creation first shot to fame when a song from the play called ‘Imagine there’s no Southern’ – which parodied John Lennon’s 1971 hit song – went viral on social media.

And now the show will head to the Brighton Fringe this weekend on Friday 2 June and Saturday 3 June before performing more shows later on in the month.

Brailsford, director of the Southern Fail play, said: “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."

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