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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 27 January 2022

Benedict Cumberbatch Alongside Zandra Rhodes & Monica Ali Among Highlights @ Charleston Festival 2022

Early highlights of this year's Charleston Festival feature multi-award-winning star of stage and screen Benedict Cumberbatch, iconic fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, and bestselling novelist Monica Ali taking centre stage. 

Credit Steve Schofield

The festival returns 19–29 May with more than 40 live events for its highly anticipated first in-person festival in three years. 

Bringing leading and emerging artists, writers, thinkers and changemakers together in Sussex at the modernist home and studio of the Bloomsbury group, Charleston Festival is one of the UK's oldest and most significant festivals of books, art and ideas.  

From the biggest new book releases to up to the minute political debate, Charleston Festival 2022 features events exploring fashion, families, history, scandal, art, poetry, music, faith, mental health, psychology, science, belonging, travel, the environment, and much more, plus a new programme of exciting events for children, young teens and their families. 

Melissa Perkins, Head of Programme and Events at Charleston says: 

"Charleston Festival is back, as bold and beautiful as ever. From global icons to explosive new talent, the programme brings together the most exciting voices of the day for the conversations that really matter." 

In a world exclusive event, actor Benedict Cumberbatch appears at Charleston Festival for the first time to narrate T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land in the poem's centenary year. 

Considered one of the greatest works of modernist literature ever written, The Waste Land conjures a world of spiritual emptiness, dwelling on moral decay, and the possibility of redemption. 

The actor is joined by the Britten Sinfonia orchestra for an extraordinary rendition of the poem set to music originally composed by A Clockwork Orange author, Anthony Burgess.  

Fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes explores her life on the British fashion scene and reflects on what it was like to be a student at the Royal College of Art in the 1960s alongside fellow students such as David Hockney and Derek Boshier. 

She looks back at her archive of unique designs which gained her notoriety, and which have been worn by the likes of Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury, and Marc Bolan.  

Booker Prize-shortlisted and best-selling writer Monica Ali returns to Charleston Festival to ask what it is about marriage that makes for such scintillating fiction? 

Ali, who rose to critical acclaim with her debut novel Brick Lane, discusses her eagerly anticipated new book Love Marriage; a powerful story about who we are and how we love in today's Britain – with all the complications and contradictions of life, desire, marriage and family.  

For the first time, this year's Charleston Festival also features a programme of inspiring events for children, young teens and their families. 

Some of the most exciting authors, poets and illustrators of young fiction and non-fiction are in conversation about their books, discussing themes including human connections with animals, misfits, fantasy worlds, and being your own authentic self.  

 For more information on Charleston Festival 2022 CLICK HERE.

by: Mike Cobley


Head First Acrobats return to the Brighton Fringe Festival with two spectacular shows, Railed for adults, and PreHysterical for children.

Hastings Fat Tuesday have teamed up with The Marina Fountain and The Prince Albert to bring Primal Scream to the White Rock Theatre for a special warm up show ahead of their Screamadelica live dates.

After collaborating with Noel Gallagher on the single Where's My Family Gone, Brighton-bound Andrew Cushin picked up the support of another iconic rock 'n' roller when Pete Doherty signed him to his Strap Originals label.

Building on the sample-based approach of their classic albums Since I Left You and Wildflower, but stepping boldly into new terrain, We Will Always Love You is the latest offering from Brighton-bound The Avalanches.
Credit Leigh Simpson

Barrie Kosky's highly anticipated new production of Poulenc's powerful opera Dialogues des Carmélites will premiere next summer at the 2023 Glyndebourne Festival. It was originally scheduled to appear at the event in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tens of thousands of fans will unite in Brighton to watch the World Cup 2022 on huge anti-glare screens with a world-class sound system, food, drinks and a proper big game atmosphere. 

Actor Michelle Collins chats ahead of her starring role in the comedy thriller Cluedo, the new play, directed by Mark Bell (The Play That Goes Wrong), which visits Theatre Royal Brighton from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th June.
Credit Jim Stephenson

Syrian architects Marwa Al-Sabouni and Ghassan Jansiz will bring a unique architectural element to this year's Brighton Festival by building a temporary community arts venue on Hove seafront in the form of a traditional Arabic arcade.

Brighton-bound Canadian songwriter and musician Leith Ross shared their new single We'll Never Have Sex, alongside a self-directed and produced video, after finding viral fame. 
Credit Olivia Rose

Mercury Prize 2020 winning Kiwanuka looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Michael Kiwanuka's voice.
Credit Summer Dean

Before Dylan Thomas drank himself to death at the tender age of 39, he and his wife Caitlin (née Macnamara) were the great lovers who boozed, binged and brawled their way through the bars of Britain in the 30s and 40s mixing with fellow artists and the bohemian in-crowd, living on tick, behaving scandalously and being forgiven. Their marriage was stormy, passionate and explosive.

Comedian Jason Byrne - who brings his new show to The Old Market, Hove, this October - has not only had his heart unblocked and been given a new lease of life, but his whole career has been unblocked too! 

The artist Maggi Hambling will present her first exhibition at Glyndebourne at the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival, with support from Marlborough Gallery.

Soulful Edinburgh-born newcomer Brooke Combe will be support for Miles Kane when he plays Concorde 2, Brighton, this week.

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