Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 07 May 2011

Brighton-Based Investigative Journalist Set To Speak About His Five-Years In Solitude & Near-Death Experience

A former award-winning BBC Panorama reporter headlines a literary event with his debut memoir that documents a half-decade living in a remote Welsh cabin – with no electricity or water.

Neil Ansell will read from his book Deep Country at Brighton Festival Fringe night Grit Lit.

The book was published in April on Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton, but climbed the bestsellers list before it was even published (it reached number five on Guardian's bookshop's bestseller list).

In 1990, Ansell, at the age of 30, was given an offer he couldn't refuse: a dilapidated cottage in the mid-Wales mountains, for a peppercorn rent of just £100 a year.

The book catalogues his five years of living in the cabin in the hills, "chopping wood and cooking over a log fire, drawing water from a well and growing enough food to become almost self-sufficient."

The 51-year-old Brightonian describes his 'departure from the rat race' as being 'alone but not lonely' and his near-death experience:

"What I had not allowed for was illness. I finally noticed that my ribs were protruding as though I was starving."

He shares the stage with debut novelist Ed Siegle, whose book Invisibles was also published this spring with Brighton publisher Myriad Editions, and an ambitious line up of seven published writers and novelists.

The night – Grit Lit - promotes non-fiction, short stories and real life tales that present an edgier seam of the world, from the hilariously surreal to the mundanely grim and from noir to crime to literary fiction and all genres in between.

Contributing writers on the night include Wendy Ann Greenhalgh, Stephanie Lam, Dan Holloway, Ed Siegle, Steve Silverwood, and Dan Tsu, Amy Riley and Tim Lay.

Brighton Festival Fringe literary event Grit Lit will be held on Thursday 12 May at Redroaster Coffeehouse, 7.45pm-10pm. Redroaster Coffee House is on 2d St James" Street, Kemptown, Brighton and has a licensed bar.

Advanced tickets are £6 from Brighton Dome box office or on the Fringe website

by: Mike Cobley


Shooshh is arguably Brighton's most popular beach nightclub. The pandemic left the club and its team with the constant challenge of reinventing itself to adapt to new rules wherever it was possible in order to survive.

Africa in the Lounge returns for another series of concerts drawing on musical traditions from across Africa. The next shows will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook from Ooosh! studios in Brighton, on 23 and 30 April.
Credit Erin Hambly

Drug Store Romeos formed at college in Farnborough when childhood friends Jonny and Charlie pinned an ad about finding a bassist for their new band to the school's notice board - Sarah replied and quickly proved herself a better vocalist than either of them.

Multi-award winning theatre ensemble Rhum and Clay are bringing their latest critically acclaimed production, The War Of The Worlds, to Worthing this May.

The Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company has teamed up with Brighton based project Quarantine Kids Storytime to produce short form audio dramas of Shakespeare's plays. The collaboration aims to deliver classical content made accessible to young audiences and those new to the Bard.

Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project) and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) continue their audio, visual and digital exploration of America's most celebrated Outsider artist Henry Darger, with the next instalment of the project.

The registered arts charity Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has received two grants to help the organisation recover and reopen over the next few months. 
Credit Jamie MacMillian

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE took time out to explain what it's like to return for a second time as Guest Director, and what's in store for this year's very different, but as ever eclectic, Brighton Festival 2021.

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the album Utopian Ashes. 

Kavanagh are the epitome of unsigned, DIY rock'n'roll. With a fearsome live reputation, they have won two national Battle of the Bands competitions and have toured the UK. Based in Brighton, they featured on the I Am Not Your Slave compilation album of unsigned talent from the South East. 
Credit Taylor Jewell

In the final weekend of lockdown, Charleston invites audiences to tune in online for a bite-sized version of the annual Charleston Festival.
Credit Holly Whitaker

Drawing influence from a wide range of eras and genres, Brighton-based troupe Genn have released new EP Liminal. From the opening bass ostinato of its first track Feel to the hooky refrain of closer Falling Out, through rock'n'roll, psychedelia and funked-up, post-punk vibes, Liminal is a veritable rollercoaster journey.

Brighton, today, became the first UK city to launch a multi-arts festival since lockdown. 

Quintet Junodream - who play The Prince Albert, Brighton, later this year - possess a rare flair for infusing their immediately compelling alt-rock with an abundance of creative sonic embellishments

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