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Review: Richard Alston Dance Company at Brighton Theatre Royal



THE Richard Alston Dance Company presented a generous performance as part of their Final Edition tour, performing five works over two hours

Brahms Hungarian (pictured) was an elegant, more traditional balletic affair with lots of well-composed lifts, elevated by dramatic, percussive playing from pianist Jason Ridgway.

Alston invited Brighton dance company Ceyda Tanc’s youth group to perform.

A nice way to alter the mood, Toren was more brooding than Alston’s pieces, a glorious large ensemble work with the dancers’ arms creating captivating rippling effects.

A Far Cry was a highlight. Sinuous duets would change into frenetic, intoxicating group movements, all in striking striped costumes by Jeffrey Rogador.

The final piece, Voices And Light Footsteps, was a moving love letter to Monteverdi: ten graceful, vivid vignettes set to sumptuous music from the baroque composer.

The Richard Alston Dance company will sadly cease to operate in April 2020, but their final, beautiful performance in Brighton was a perfect way to say farewell.

Joe Fuller

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Taxi Ola firm leaves Brighton



A TAXI business has pulled out of Brighton and Hove before it even took its first booking.

Ola – a “ride-hailing app” considered a rival to Uber – was granted an operator’s licence for one year in May last year by Brighton and Hove City Council.

But the Indian firm, which already operates in Merseyside, Reading, South Wales, the South West and the West Midlands, has told the council that it now has no plans to operate in Brighton.

Ola UK Private director Karl Lutzow, 41, made the case for the newcomer at a council licensing panel hearing.

And the company even took an office in Queen’s Road, Brighton.

But Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who chairs the council’s Licensing Committee, said: “The market is too full.”

She said that Brighton and Hove was “overwhelmed” with drivers from Lewes which has had the highest increase in applications in the whole country.

Councillor O’Quinn added: “They are all Ubers because it’s easier to get a Lewes licence.”

In Brighton and Hove all licensed drivers must follow the council’s stringent regulations – known as the Blue Book – when operating as a taxi or private hire driver.

One of the conditions that Councillor O’Quinn pushed for was to ensure that all Ola drivers were licensed in Brighton and Hove.

She also insisted on tight restriction to prevent Ola drivers from outside Brighton and Hove picking up fares and competing unfairly with local drivers.

Ola was approached for comment.

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Worthing greengrocers closes after 95 years



A FAMILY greengrocers has closed its doors after 95 years of trading.

Paul Brown started working in the shop run by his grandfather and father when he was just eight.

Paul, his sister Caroline Knowles, wife Kate and son Matthew said they had “mixed emotions” as G A Brown and Son in Worthing opened for the final time on Saturday.

Paul said: “It has been sad serving our last customers.

“People have been so kind to us. Over the years our customers have become our friends.”

Paul’s grandfather Charles Brown started the business in 1925. When Charles’s father Graham was born in 1933 the family lived above the shop, in Brighton Road.

Paul used to run home from school aged just eight to help his father serve customers – and started working full time from 1978.

In recent years Paul has turned to supplying the restaurant trade but when he was made an offer for the business the family decided it was time to hang up their aprons.

T G Fruits will be taking over the catering side of the business. Paul will remain during the changeover and the shop will become a new business.

Paul, 57, said: “I have really enjoyed it over the years but it’s hard work.

“With the catering trade I can be on the phone to customers at 10pm and then at the markets at 3am.

“I’m looking forward to a rest and a change.

“Over the years I have been supported by many great staff and family members.

“I’ve worked with my sister for 25 years. My wife and son also work here.

“It’s fantastic to work as a family, but it’s time for a change.”

Loyal customers were sad to see the shop close.

Wendy Faithless said: “I just love the quality of the fruit and it’s a shame they’re closing but I really wish them well in the future.

“The staff here are all so nice and helpful.”

Another shopper said: “This is very sad.

“They were one of the few greengrocers which actually purchased directly from Covent Garden market.”

Paul’s wife Kate said: “It’s been mixed emotions serving our last customers.”

Paul thanked his customers for their support over the years and said: “In recent years, with shopping habits changing, I have concentrated on supplying the catering trade, building a large customer base from many of the best local hotels, restaurants, cafes etc.

“Recently, I was approached about selling the premises and have agreed with a firm to take over the catering business and so it is with some sadness that the shop will soon close after over 90 years of trading.

“I am very pleased that T G Fruits will be taking on my catering customers.

“They are a larger family business who I have dealt with for decades and I will be helping them in this. I have always found them a good, reliable company and would thoroughly recommend them.

“The business was started in around 1925 by my grandfather, Charles Brown. During the Second World War he was called up into the Marines so closed the business until his return.

“In the 1950s he purchased number 26 Brighton Road, making it into one large shop.

“My father, Graham Brown, was born in 1933 and from an early age he helped in the shop and eventually ran it with my grandfather. I started helping in the shop in the early 1970s, joining full time in 1978.”

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Pubs and bars can open for extra two hours to mark VE Day



PUBS, clubs and bars will be able to open for an extra two hours to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Venues which are licensed to trade until 11pm, will be allowed keep serving until 1am on Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9.

The order will also apply to premises licensed to provide entertainment such as music, dances, plays and films.

Commemorations and community events will be held across the country to remember the heroism of armed forces personnel and the contribution of ordinary citizens to the war effort.

The early May bank holiday has been moved from Monday May 4 to Friday May 8 to mark the anniversary.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “VE Day events across the country will see the nation come together to pay tribute to the heroes who fought for our freedom and supported the war effort at home.

“Pubs are at the heart of our communities and this is a great opportunity to raise a glass to mark this historic occasion.”

Past national occasions where the government has extended licensing hours have included the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

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