Something Underground Theatre Company was founded by Jonathan Brown in 2006. Since then Something Underground has been creating one man, one woman and ensemble plays that have touched many lives.

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Jonathan writes all of SUTC’s plays . The work tends to be visceral and uncompromising text, character and plot driven works. Plays have been about (amongst other things) fatherhood, identity, transgender issues, wounds, alcohol, childbirth, the origins of psychiatry, community, the meat industry, food, the tobacco industry, Victorian Brighton, greed and corruption, Regency Brighton, The Holocaust, ISIS, Iraq, the refugee crisis, radicalisation and Brexit, the modern history of the 60s and 70s, and more recently knife crime and gang culture.

The plays ask the audience to use their imaginations. We use physicality to portray the worlds we inhabit, and very little in terms of props or set. Some of the work includes enhanced use of physical theatre (e.g. The Well), and some includes intensely interspersed multilayered verbal dialogue (e.g. The Last Lunch / The Widening Pool).

Jonathan’s improvised work (e.g. Je Suis) uses an empty stage, the moment, and whatever beings inhabit the space to create fragile or robust worlds, where mysteries may or may not emerge.


From 2006 to 2010, SUTC focussed on one person works written and performed by Jonathan, with The Father Monologues (Part 1), Large Print Trash (Best Male Performer (nom) Brighton Fringe 2007), The Father Monologues (Part 3) and Happy Hour (aka Licence)

In 2011, we moved into working in ensemble, with The Well.

In 2012 the next play for a cast, The Last Lunch was a winner of best new play in the Brighton Fringe.

In 2013, The Well emerged again, alongside a new one woman show Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore (performed by Rachel Guershon, nominated Best Female Performer Brighton Fringe) and a new one man show, The Silent Stream (performed by Jonathan, Best Male Performer 2013 Brighton Fringe). Both of these one person pieces are prequels to The Well

In 2014, The Last Lunch was back again, alongside a new production of  Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore with Elle Dillon Reams, and a new one woman show, Smoking Ban (with Kate Goodfellow, who’s portrayal of Carol in Smoking Ban won her Best Female Performer at Brighton Fringe).  The year was rounded off with a new one man show from Jonathan called Iron John, an improvised show based on the Grimm Brother’s tale, with musical score from Andrew Scullin.

In 2015 performances of Iron John continued (with new musician Simon Scardanelli), plus Jonathan’s new entirely improvised one man show, Je Suis: A Fool’s Guide to Cliff Edges (also with Simon providing live music).

Following a 2nd successful “Create your Own One Person Show” Course in October 2014, SUTC supported two new one person show productions in The Brighton Fringe May 2015, Moon Tales written and performed by Kate Darach and Pulling Up The Drawbridge written and performed by David Stephens. Both directed by Jonathan. Both were very successful.

A Good Jew (our new multiple-cast play) toured in 2016 to excellent reviews and packed houses.

From mid 2016 to early 2019 , whilst showing a variety of back-catalogue solo shows, including more performances of JB’s solo improvised theatre, (with new musicians Rowan Sterk and then Dave Molz), we also worked extremely hard on developing  Of Our Own Making which attracted substantial Arts Council England Funding, a lovely collaboration with a very wide  selection of incredible artists, crew, businesses, organisations and young people, and leading to a 20-performance run at award-winning South London Theatre, Tara  at the start of 2019.

In 2019 we had sell out runs of  Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore,  “The Well Trilogy” was published by Waterloo Press, and How to Start a Knife Gang (working title) (a new 8-hander) was longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize, chosen for Pitch Up (a well-established pitching event in London) and given a rehearsed reading, plus we ran the highly successful first Lewes Solo Show Festival in the autumn.

In 2020, the pandemic hit, and pitching of The Widening Pool (aka How to Start a Knife Gang) needed to be temporarily parked, but JB had already written most of The Spirit of Woodstock, and being an outdoor solo show was able to rehearse during lockdowns, and show it in Autumn 2020. Meanwhile JB wrote Back (working title) the counterpart play to The Widening Pool (aka How to Start a Knife Gang)

2021 saw a 30 performance tour of The Spirit of Woodstock, and the writing of Children of The Revolution (the sequel to  The Spirit of Woodstock)

2022 saw a 2nd Lewes Festival of Solo Theatre, sell out run of performances of  Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore (reprised by Isabella McCarthy Sommerville), winning a slew of awards and nominations, including as a “prize” the invitation to take  Betsy to New York’s Soho Playhouse in late 2022. Summer has seen a tour of both Woodstock and Children of The Revolution, including many new in-roads into the north of England. Autumn 2023 included further performances of  BetsyThe Silent Stream before we take them both to NYC over Christmas. The pitching of The Widening Pool (aka How to Start a Knife Gang) continued, and led to a London venue accepting the pitch.

On returning from New York in January, 2023 saw us working hard on liaising with many potential partners and with those partners, making a successful Arts Council England bid to take  The Widening Pool (aka How to Start a Knife Gang) to our London Venue. (This will come to fruition in late 2024). Due to a significant family health crisis, and other significant family issues, we had fewer performances in 2023, but completed the solo show course x 2, recorded the new online solo show course (coming soon), auditioned for a new performer of Betsy, and performed several shows of The Spirit of Woodstock (including at Into the Wild Festival) and Children of The Revolution.

Jonathan leads classes in performance and creating one person shows.

Contact Something Underground