Read Online - Viva Brighton

mybrighton: Tim Crouch
Photo by Adam Bronkhorst
Playwright, director and actor
Are you local? I was brought up in Bognor, which
Bar in Kemptown tugs on my emotions. I’ve had a
is sort of local. I went to university in Bristol, met
few Brighton friends die recently and each time the
my wife, had two kids, and started to make theatre.
Bristol has become the place of refuge for the griev-
I missed the deeply shelving pebble beaches of my
ers. They do good food, too, and there’s a great view
childhood, so we moved to Brighton in 1998. It was
of the sea. Bom-Bane’s, nearby on George Street, is a
the best move we ever made.
uniquely Brighton institution with great food made
Where do you live? In Hanover. In 1997 I was in a
by real people and an eclectic programme of live
touring production of Caryl Churchill’s Light Shin-
ing in Buckinghamshire which played at St Martin’s
When did you last swim in the sea? In October. I
Church on the Lewes Road. We used to drink in the
swam all year round once, but I spend long periods
Hanover pubs after performances, and I really liked
touring abroad every winter. To swim year round
the feeling of the place. The People’s Republic of
you have to do it regularly. The sea’s actually fine up
Hanover. We bought a house in Cobden Road. Did it
till around December, but in January and February
up, had a third child there. No plans to leave.
it gets fucking cold. I like to jog to the nudist beach,
What do you like about Brighton? It feels like it’s
swim, dry off, and run back home. I like the swim-
still in an experimental stage. It’s still curious about
ming area buoys. They’re like my friends. It’s a sad
itself – bi-curious. Also there are a lot of different
day when they’re taken out of the sea [for winter] and
political colours here. There are a lot of colours in
put in a triangle of wire fencing near the Crazy Golf
general, in fact. Blue rinses sit alongside pink mohi-
– like clipped birds unable to fly.
cans, and they rub along quite well.
How do you spend your Sunday afternoons? At
And you started writing here… I was in my late
the moment, watching rugby. My third child, Joe, is a
thirties and realised I’d been slogging away as an
fine sportsman. He used to play football for the Hol-
actor for too long. You can’t plan that kind of life. So
lingbury Hawks and Dean Valley, and now he plays
I started a PhD and wrote my first play, My Arm, at
rugby for the Brighton Blues. It’s much more civilised
the kitchen table. It’s a conceptual piece that gently
on the touchline at the rugby.
fucks with the audience’s heads. I wanted to challenge
Where would you live if not in Brighton? It can’t
realism as the dominant form in theatre. I started
happen soon because it would be unfair to Joe, whose
performing it in friends’ houses in 2002. I took it
life here as a teenager – going to Dorothy Stringer,
to Edinburgh the next summer, and it’s been in my
playing in a band – I envy. But I’d like to spend some
repertoire ever since.
time living in the Sussex countryside one day, to the
Where do you hang out? When we were look-
west of Brighton, in the gentle curve of the Downs.
ing for somewhere to live I went into the Constant
I’d like to open my front door onto that one day. It’s
Service on Islingword Road and asked the barman
probably to do with my age… Interview by Alex Leith
if Hanover was a good place. He said yes, so he’s
Tim is performing in his own play, I, Malvolio, at the
to blame. (And they do great roasts.) The Bristol
Dome Studio, 13th and 14th of March.