Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 21 February 2015

Brighton Festival 2015 Launches With An Ecelctic Programme Of Unique Collaborations & Inclusive Events

Brighton Festival - the largest and most established annual multi-arts festival in England - has launched with award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith as Guest Director. 

Recently named winner of both the Costa Novel award and Goldsmiths Prize for boldly original fiction, Smith has established herself as a pioneer of form; fearlessly pushing the boundaries of the novel with a deftness and accessibility that has earned her a reputation for being both vitally inventive and scrupulously playful. 

Over the three-week Festival - which runs from 2-24 May 2015 - many of Ali Smith's ideas, interests and passions will be explored in a programme which spans music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate. 

Ali Smith says: "It's tremendously exciting to have been asked to help programme the 2015 Brighton Festival. 

"I'm delighted and honoured – what a gift, to be asked to do this, imagine – the biggest international multi-arts spectacular in England. 

"I've always loved Brighton's sense of fun and friendliness, its vibrant open-mindedness, the way it opens to sky, the way the rest of Europe is so close it's almost visible. It's a city that's always known how to live on the edge, a place full of endless energy, argument, possibilities, light. 

"No matter the wildness or mildness of the weather, no matter the zigzag of zeitgeist elsewhere north or south of it, Brighton is always itself, and always uniquely welcoming." 


The events come from a wide range of national and international companies and artists; from a rare UK visit by 86-year-old legendary film maker and artist Agnès Varda to rising stars Kate Tempest, George the Poet and Hollie McNish.

With three central themes at its heart - Art and Nature, the Crossing Places between art forms, and Taking Liberty - this year's Brighton Festival challenges visitors to look again, featuring an eye-opening array of artists and performers with the power to deliver the world we think we know to us re-seen, renewed, with a visionary twist in the tale.

Posing questions about whether life imitates art or art imitates life, Art and Nature is explored in a host of events including an exclusive nightingale walk, with Mercury-nominated folk singer Sam Lee. 

Also there's an immersive multi-screen film installation of Marcus Coates' entitled Dawn Chorus, featuring singers who uncannily recreate birdsong and bird movement; a discussion of the urgent conservation issues that face us today with celebrated author and bird enthusiast Margaret Atwood and her partner and fellow writer Graeme Gibson; and Fleeting, an outdoor spectacular over the West Pier by And Now, in which hundreds of individual points of fire create shapes and swathes of glowing light and shade.


Central to the programme is the notion of Crossing Places - where poetry meets music meets theatre meets dance – from works that defy categorisation such as The Measure of All Things, a new live cinema performance by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green. 

Claudia Molitor's part installation part performance Vast White Stillness in the maze of tunnels beneath the Old Ship Hotel. 

In Being Both, acclaimed mezzo soprano Alice Coote, English Concert's Harry Bicketand Susannah Waters stage a theatrical journey into the heart of Handel's sublime vocal music, which, in a nod to Smith's own prize-winning work How to Be Both, explores and challenges the experience and perception of gender. 

Set against the backdrop of the General Election, Liberty, equality and freedom is celebrated in all its shapes in an astonishing cutting-edge line-up of artists, performers, thinkers and commentators - all contemporary game changers in their chosen forms. 

These include Liberty Director and author Shami Chakrabati who hosts an evening in celebration of the Human Rights Act featuring a dazzling collection of writers and performers such as Billy Bragg, Neil Bartlett, Rachel Holmes and Jackie Kay. 

Tony award-winning playwright Richard Nelson who brings the European premiere of his highly acclaimed four play cycle The Apple Family Plays from The Public Theater, New York; award-winning Pakistani/British author Kamila Shamsie; celebrated Russian-American journalist, author and activist Masha Gessen, Turkish writer Elif Shafak and Turner Prize nominated artist Nathan Coley, whose new commission Portraits of Dissension explore ideas of unrest, edge and shift, space and occupation. 

Other highlights include Peter Strickland's daring masterpiece The Duke of Burgundy accompanied by a one-off live performance of its seductive score by Cat's Eyes - the collaborative project of The Horrors' frontman Faris Badwan and Italian-Canadian singer and composer Rachel Zeffira. 

A new lecture specially commissioned for Brighton Festival by acclaimed author Jeanette Winterson OBE on the practices and craft of writing.

Brighton Festival runs from 2nd to 24th May 2015. See brightonfestival.org for more details.


by: Mike Cobley




Share    

Whats on in Brighton today


Brighton Dome is hosting an annual one-day festival celebrating UK jazz and jazz-inspired music and culture on Sunday 22 July, and under 16s can go free! 

For too long festivals have been too male and now Byline Festival is doing something beyond the usual rhetoric….
Pic by Andrew Whitton

The Kooks new album Let's Go Sunshine is a moving, energising and melodic record and incisive in its portrait of modern British urban life

The Tom Robinson Band's debut album Power In The Darkness was first performed forty years ago in Victoria Park, London, in front of 80,000 people at Rock Against Racism's Carnival Against The Nazis, alongside Steel Pulse, The Clash and X-Ray Spex. 

The Twilight Sad have shared brand new song, I/m Not Here [missing face], a driving, motorik return from the much-loved Scots, with wailing guitars and swirling synths circling around frontman James Graham's repeated declarations of "I don't want to be around you anymore." 
Credit Carys Lavin

After receiving its UK premiere at Brighton Festival 2018, Creation (Pictures for Dorian) ran at Southbank Centre as part of LIFT festival, resulting in a nomination for the TBC Award (for productions that defy traditional categories) in The Off West End Theatre Awards.

(c) Natuurhulpcentrum Rescue Centre

Horsham-based international wildlife charity, Born Free, has rescued King – a tiny cub with a mighty name – and he is now starting a new life in his ancestral home of Africa.

Steven Page's distinctive and powerful tenor is among the most instantly recognisable voices in popular music today.

"Do I replace David Davis from the cover (and the Car boot story) or wait to see if Johnson and May join him before print day?" @TheBrexitComic

Sometimes you just have to rip it up and start again. Come early 2017, Fatherson – comprised of vocalist/guitarist Ross Leighton bassist Marc Strain and drummer Greg Walkinshaw – found themselves at a turning point. 
(c) Rob Ashton Baker 2018

While overseeing the soundtrack for T2 Trainspotting, Underworld's Rick Smith arranged a meeting with Iggy Pop in a room at the Savoy Hotel on London's Strand to discuss working on collaborative music for the film. 

For two weeks, style seekers can help raise vital funds for life saving heart research, by buying an item from the Brighton Western Road BHF shop and adding their own personal stamp to it. The best will be in with a chance of winning one of three prizes.
Pic by Paul Mansfield

The Rock House Festival 2018 brings together learning disabled bands and upcoming and established music-makers from Brighton and beyond for a day of live music at the city's Green Door Store.

The tenth anniversary of the Ride-to-Work scheme is marked by the release of Heartwork, an experimental track created by Brighton-based Paul Hartnoll of Orbital based entirely on the heartbeats of Britain's cycling commuters. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd