Members of the Brighton Open Air Theatre (Boat) project group came to the Friends group open meeting on Wednesday 14 May seeking the approval of the Friends group for their idea to create a grass amphitheatre in the ex-bowling green site for performances by local and touring open-air theatre productions during the summer months.
They expressed a strong desire to work with the Friends group, as requested by the late Adrian Bunting, who recorded a video address to the Friends group to this effect shortly before his death. A local resident, who was heavily involved in Brighton’s theatre scene, Adrian has left a bequest to start the project off. And as you might have seen from an article in the Argus on Wednesday, the idea has gained terrific momentum, with a benefit gig in the Dome on 16 June.
The BOAT project would be able to incorporate some of the features of the Friends’ own proposal for a community garden, including scented and wildlife-friendly planting, dedicated wildlife habitats, fruit trees, benches, and possibly a table-tennis table.
Those of us from the Friends group who were present were broadly supportive of BOAT’s proposal, even though it will not be possible to incorporate food-growing – one of the elements of the Friends’ own scheme. We think that by working with the BOAT project team we can realise at least some of our own vision for the area.
We do not, however, feel in a position to give formal ‘approval’ on behalf of the dozens of people we consider to be Friends of Dyke Road Park or, indeed, on behalf of all park users. We expect the Council or the Boat proposers to conduct a public consultation before approval is given for such major work to be carried out in the park.
If you would like to find out more about the project, see https://www.facebook.com/BrightonOpenAirTheatre