Kemble’s riot Co-Production opens our 10th Season

We’re delighted to announce that our 10th Summer Season will open with a brand new co-production of our founder Adrian Bunting’s seminal play Kemble’s Riot, in a co-production with Brighton Little Theatre.

Kemble’s Riot uproariously dramatizes the 66-night riot in 1809 when, having rebuilt the Covent Garden Theatre after a fire, its manager John Kemble and his sister-star Sarah Siddons put the entry price up by sixpence to pay for it. Kemble’s Riot won the Best Play Award on its debut at Brighton Fringe in 2011 and rave reviews followed from its run at Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. 

Sadly, Adrian died in 2013, but his dream of a permanent open-air theatre in Brighton was realised by his friends as a result of his legacy, and Kemble’s Riot subsequently closed BOAT’s inaugural Summer Season in 2015. You can read more about Adrian here.

Kemble’s Riot is the ideal play for BOAT. The audience is actively involved in the story, and the script leaves plenty of room to utilise the unique performance space to fully submerge them in the world of the play. The themes of corporate greed, cancel culture and artistic gatekeepers are as relevant today as when it was written, and the communal nature of the play makes it a truly immersive theatrical experience. 

We’re delighted to be able to work on our first ever co-production with the outstanding Brighton Little Theatre. They are ideally placed to approach Kemble’s Riot with a fresh perspective and align with Adrian’s enduring values of open access and community-first approach. Our tenth season promises to be our biggest yet, and this is the perfect way to kick it off, with a reminder of where it all began.

Kemble’s Riot will play at BOAT from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th May 2024. Tickets will go on sale, along with the rest of our season, in March 2024. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow both us and BLT on social media, for the latest updates.

Adrian promoting Kemble’s Riot at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. Photo credit: Peter Chrisp.

To all BOAT supporters,

We are incredibly excited to open our gates to the public at long last, and to welcome you all to enjoy some first class live performance. In order for us to continue to do this safely, we ask for your co-operation with some new guidelines:

  • Please respect our rules. For the safety of audiences, staff, volunteers and performers, we must all respect and follow the relevant guidance. We will do our best to keep you safe and offer you top quality entertainment – all we ask in return is that you respect us and your fellow audience members by being conscientious and responsible.
  • We recommend wearing face masks at all times. Aside from eating and drinking, wearing a mask should be possible at all times. Out of respect for your fellow audience members, we do recommend that you wear a mask whilst in the theatre.
  • Please be patient. Things like queueing for the bar may take a little longer than usual as we all get used to a new way of working. Please be patient with our staff as we work to bring you the best service whilst keeping you safe at the same time. Exiting the venue at the end of the performance will also take longer than usual, so please do bear this in mind.
  • Arrive early. Doors usually open 1 hour before the performance begins (but please do check). To avoid a long queue 5 minutes before the performance starts, feel free to arrive early, grab a drink and get comfortable.
  • Please don’t spread out. In order for us to fit everyone in whilst maintaining a safe distance between each household, we need to be fairly strict on people staying within their designated area. Once you have been shown to your seat, please keep your household together and stay within the parameters you’ve been given.

And here are a few of the precautionary measures we’re taking to help keep you safe:

  • Staggered queueing system for entry. There are lines painted on the path outside the theatre, stretching up to Dyke Road. Upon entry, you’ll be asked for your name and checked off a list. Please also have any identification ready if you have booked a concession ticket. There is also a staggered queue for the bar.
  • Hand sanitiser available throughout the site. There will be hand sanitiser available at various points across the theatre, including at entry and at the bar.
  • A one-way system for the toilets. To exit for the toilet, please follow the signs. The exit gate is different to the entry gate. A volunteer will be positioned to direct you to the toilets. Please re-enter the theatre via the original entrance gate. You will be given a password to gain re-entry.
  • Card-only payments. At the bar, and for tickets on the door, we are accepting card only. However, you can donate cash/change into our donation bucket if you wish.
  • Socially-distanced seating. We have marked out 1m sections across the seating banks in our auditorium. Upon arrival, you will be guided to a seat by a member of staff, based on the size of your party. Each 1m section can hold 2 people from the same household. There will always be a 1m gap between your group and the group next to you. Please sit forward on the wooden sleeper, without leaning back. This will allow other people to pass behind you. Please note that we have marked the sections using chalk spray, which may rub off on your clothes, but is entirely harmless and brushes straight off.

Thank you for respecting these rules and acting responsibly when you arrive, and thank you for bearing with us as we navigate through this unprecedented time. If you have any questions ahead of your arrival, you can email

Enjoy the show!