Swings and Roundabouts

My latest feature length documentary is entitled “Swings and Roundabouts” and tells the story of how the COVID pandemic affected the people and businesses of Brighton. The film will be screened as part of the Brighton Rocks Film Festival in July 2022.

WHEN:                  Friday 22nd July 2022,      12:30 to 1:45pm

WHERE:                The Rialto Theatre, 11 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 3FE

                             Screen 2: Bacall Lounge, Session 4

TICKETS available here:

Full festival schedule

During the initial COVID lockdown, the aeroplanes stopped flying, the cars stopped driving and all of sudden the world was quieter and you could hear the birds singing. I started discussing a film about COVID with friends and my thoughts were that all we had to do was allow the airline industry to go bust and continue working from home and we could convert offices to apartments for the homeless and solve the climate change crisis at the same time as giving everyone more time and a nicer environment. I envisaged interviewing people on Hove prom who would all be optimistic and cheerful. – Yeh! Right!

As discussions about the response to COVID turned toxic I shelved the project but later, walking around the streets I noticed shops were closing down. I spoke to an estate agent who told me (off the record) that yes, this was a trend but a further trend was dark kitchens starting up.

I then envisaged a documentary telling the story of business in Brighton under COVID and I started contacting all sorts of companies. Most of the big corporates did not respond to emails, telephone calls or letters but I was surprised at some of the responses I received from small businesses. There was change but not of all of it for the worse.

I started filming in February 2021 and the same stories were repeated: working from home and furlough for example. I started to broaden the scope and one day I noticed that everyone in Brighton and Hove seemed to own a dog. I contacted RSPCA to find out what was going on. After that I spread the net even wider contacting churches, health workers and those who deal with the dead.

This is my first feature length documentary and I am grateful that it has been accepted by Brighton Rocks Film Festivals.

A big thank you to all the people who took part including musical contributions from Isacc Waddington and Nicholas Griffin.


 Here’s the trailer: