The Well


WellPoster340KB“In my dreams, I’m digging. I’m always digging. Digging my way out, or digging my way in.”

Written & directed by Jonathan Brown

A powerful, visceral drama, set in Victorian Brighton, about  the world’s deepest hand-dug well, a well that stretches down as deep as the Empire State Building is high.
With vivid writing, energetic and risk-taking physical theatre, a wonderfully dramatic set and stunning lighting, we’ve created an evocative and atmospheric world, touching on the archetypal whilst grounded in themes of personal struggle, intimacy and love.

The Well is part of The Well Trilogy

and is a sequel to Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore and to The Silent Stream.

All three were published together in 2019 in
“The Well Trilogy”
and you can order your copy clicking here.

 (alphabetically) in 2013: Jonathan Brown, Antje Gern, Julia Hart, Simon Hellyer, Rhiannon James, Raya Marlee, & Erica Smith.
image (on the right)  by Tomas Morren

 “….wholehearted, studied performances and a clever script make it easy enough to follow, especially once you’re keyed in. The effect is to give the play an intoxicating fluidity and unpredictability..…a gripping, expertly paced story. Some superbly dramatic set pieces, including a genuinely thrilling finale, ….well worth the effort.” The Argus May 2013.

4 Stars.  The Argus. Brighton. (Feb 2011)

  It’s 1862, Jack is digging at the foot of a 1200 foot well, but – no water. Despite Jack’s suspicions about this seemingly pointless exercise, and the ever-mounting expense, the Town Guardians order the digging to continue, to supply their planned workhouse. But Jack is also digging for the truth about his mother, Betsy, a prostitute who was found dead under the pier when he was a child. Now, in a relationship with Bella, another prostitute, he discovers too much; about those in power, and about Betsy…

4 Stars: “…. huge achievement in creating “The Well” is admirable for its audacious development of a footnote in history,  an amazing experience….. scaffolding, ladders and levels are irresistible to the gymnastically inclined cast who provide constant fascination by their inventive interaction with the set….Their movements at times flow with almost balletic grace but are convincingly representative of real action which are also frighteningly brutal, as were the hard knocks endured by the actual well-diggers and their womenfolk in early 1860s Brighton. 
Each of the five women and two men demonstrate total competence in their art. Simple ingenuities pepper the entertainment. Torches are used to startling effect sustaining keen audience engagement throughout….Everything theatre should be… the handful of dates remaining on their current tour are a must for enthusiasts of gritty, real theatre. Seats are worth much more than the ticket price” Remote goat, Bridgwater, June 2013

Click here for Another Review

“The Well” comes with two prequel One-person shows: “Betsy: Wisdom of a Brighton Whore” & “The Silent Stream”


with special thanks to:

Producer: Daniel Stevens at 3 Phase Events,

Wlll Eagles: Technical Manager for Brighton Fringe 2013

Chris Pugh:  Technical Consultant and Support

Street Scaffolding, Brighton, for loan of scaffolding.

Hove Town Hall for rehearsal Space


Performers in the 2011 NVT development performances of The Well (alphabetically):

Jonathan Brown, Mark Green, Ali Mckenzie Wilcox, Leanne Mckenzie, Julia Monkcom,  Paddy O’Keeffe, Warren Saunders, and The Well Choir: Jo Mortimer, Ross Adamson and Christine Heaton

Music / Choir Leader: Jo Mortimer .

Lighting Design:  Strat Mastoris

Operation: Jezz Bowden & Daniel Stevens

Original Set Construction: Tomasz Baraniecki

Script Consultants:  Anita Sullivan, Roy Grant, Peter Mercer

Music Arrangement: Jo Mortimer, Annika Brown, Jonathan Brown