The Gritterman’s back

A Brighton graduate and former member of indie rock band The Maccabees will see his children’s story about a man who grits roads performed on stage next month.

The tale of a seasonal hero and the work he loves will be playing in theatres in London and Manchester with Fast Show comic Paul Whitehouse narrating.

The Gritterman was created by Orlando Weeks who graduated from the University of Brighton with an Illustration BA(Hons) degree in 2006.

Twelve years have passed but Orlando said the city and University were still a big part of his life. He told the University last year: “I had wonderful time at Brighton. I made friends there that are still dear to me now.

“I worked alongside people who I still look to for inspiration. Brighton was a place that encouraged creativity and was full of people making things, starting bands, having exhibitions.

“It was at Brighton that my tutors pointed out that anything I was doing in one discipline could and should feed into other areas. This one piece of advice has stuck with me and The Gritterman is my attempt at combining the types of making (drawing, writing and music) that I enjoy the most.”

Orlando spent a decade with the Maccabees and in 2016, when the group disbanded, he started writing and illustrating The Gritterman, his first book. The story’s hero uses his vehicle as an ice-cream van in summer but it is in the winter when he is a gritterman

that “he comes into his own” until the council insists his services are no longer required.

The stage show premiered at London’s Union Chapel and will be at the same theatre on 10 and 11 December and at Albert Hall Manchester on 12 December.

The book, by Penguin, comes with an album narrated by Paul Whitehouse.

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