Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Brighton Festival 2024's Dance & Circus Programme Showcases Local Performers Alongside Acclaimed Artists & International Companies

Brighton-based dance company Project Female demonstrate their contemporary skill and Olivier award-winning performance artist Marisa Carnesky turns a downtown city street into a spectacular variety show at this year's Brighton Festival
Credit: Rosie Powell

Elsewhere, circus performers from as far afield as Australia and Italy perform breathtaking stunts, in an eclectic programme that embodies both the Festival and the city's commitment to the arts.  

On 11th May, highly skilled all-female and non-binary dance group Project Female present a triple bill of performances that fuse contemporary dance with Hip Hop and commercial styles in Triptych, a collaboration with acclaimed Hip Hop dance theatre company Boy Blue's Young Artists. 

Movement is integrated with spoken word and innovative digital technology to tell stories that reflect the experiences of young women and girls, challenging perceptions of youth dance and celebrating a new generation of dance artists.  

From 25th-26th May, acclaimed performance-maker Marisa Carnesky will turn a Brighton street into a circus with nine stages and a cast of 33 aerialists, wrestlers, variety dancers, contemporary clowns and contortionists. 

Created especially for Brighton Festival, Carnesky's Showwomxn Sideshow Spectacular celebrates the forgotten women of the variety show's unique history, inspired by Carnesky's own research at the National Fairground and Circus Archive. 

Marisa Carnesky said:

"Brighton is one of the most significant seaside towns in the UK with a rich performance culture. 

"My research into British seaside heritage, and passion for discovering untold stories about women performers, is embedded in the Brighton landscape. 

"The show combines the heritage and tradition of British seaside entertainment with the most cutting-edge, ground-breaking and diverse cast: reframing the British seaside through a 2024 Brighton lens."

In High Performance Packing Tape (17th-18th May), everyday materials are pushed to breaking point by celebrated Australian circus company Branch Nebula. 

A brave solo performer faces a series of mind-bending predicaments, such as climbing towers that will inevitably collapse and dangling in the air from materials doomed to stretch and snap, in an edge-of-the-seat performance where danger feels always imminent.

The show takes place in Brighton Dome's Corn Exchange, which returns alongside the Studio Theatre as a host venue for this year's Festival following a major refurbishment project, allowing for an expanded international programme.

Elsewhere, contemporary circus, choreography and physical theatre combine in Materia (23rd-25th May), a duet between Italian performance artist Andrea Salustri and polystyrene objects. 

The role of the performer shifts, as Salustri manipulates polystyrene shapes to the point that the material seems to come to life. 

This beguiling piece has developed beyond the stage, as artworks are made from the waste collected at the end of every performance and then composted for total sustainability.

As part of this year's programme of pop-up events from outdoors art specialists Without Walls, Closer to My Dreams (11th May) is a free, outdoor show from Chad Taylor, choreographer for Britain's Got Talent winner George Sampson and dancer for The X Factor and BRIT Awards. 

The piece weaves together poetry, rap and Hip Hop to tell the story of two young, Black brothers from inner-city Manchester who dream of becoming professional dancers, exploring family, friendship and the trials and tribulations of life.

For additional highlights and to view Brighton Festival's full line-up visit:

by: Mike Cobley


Art on the Streets, a documentary co-created by University of Brighton design historian Dr. Harriet Atkinson will be shown as part of Tate Britain's upcoming exhibition, Artists International – The First Decade. 
Credit: Brighton Book Festival

The Brighton Book Festival, which runs for five-days in June, will be held at Brighton University for the second year running.

A multi-million-pound project to restore the colonnade and balcony of the Grade II listed Theatre Royal Brighton reaches completion this week. 
Credit Jo Charlesworth

With over fifty speakers, Charleston's annual summer highlight Festival of the Garden brings together garden designers, horticulturalists, artists, activists, ecologists, writers and musicians to disentangle our complex relationship with the land. 
Credit: Clive Flint

Create Music, in partnership with West Sussex Music, have been appointed by Arts Council England to deliver music education across Sussex as part of the newly formed Sussex Music Hub.

Comedian Paul Whitehouse is to reprise his West End starring role at Brighton Dome, in December, as the lovable Grandad in the hit show Only Fools and Horses The Musical.

A new musical version of Dodie Smith's classic book 101 Dalmatians will visit Theatre Royal Brighton for Christmas 2024, from Tuesday 17th December 2024 to Sunday 5th January 2025, as part of a major new UK Tour.
Credit Claire Leach

Circus performers arrived in Brighton to promote Brighton Festival's Carnesky's Showwomxn Sideshow Spectacular, an upcoming outdoor event which celebrates the forgotten women of circus and the city's history of seaside variety.

LGBTQ+ historian Alf Le Flohic unearths forgotten stories of a gay B&B, a zoo bar, and a legendary farm disco in a talk for Chichester Pride. 
Credit Conrad Shawcross

New images of a solo exhibition by British artist and sculptor Conrad Shawcross at Glyndebourne Festival 2024 have been released. The exhibition opened on the first day of the annual summer opera festival, which marks its 90th anniversary in 2024. 
Credit: Tony Briggs

Cop-turned-comedian Alfie Moore, star of his hit BBC Radio 4 comedy series, It's a Fair Cop, brings his stand-up tour show A Face for Radio to Hove's The Old Market, this June.
Credit Jim Carey Photography

Horsham Children's Parade is set to return on Sunday 7th July 2024. Hundreds of children from across the Sussex district will showcase their creations and costumes made in workshops with professional community artists.

Credit: Hamish Hamilton Children's Books

A new exhibition featuring never-seen-before items and artworks from one of the UK's most beloved author illustrators – Raymond Briggs - is now running in the part of East Sussex that he made his home.

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