Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Brighton Festival Put Community At Its Heart In A Successful Return To A Full-Scale Programme

Brighton Festival 2022 saw a welcome return to scale for England's largest curated multi-arts festival, with over 150 events, exhibitions and installations taking place across the city. 

Credit Jamie MacMillan

This year's programme included 10 Brighton Festival Commissions, 2 world premieres and 3 UK premieres in a three-week celebration of the arts across Brighton & Hove and beyond.  

For the first time Brighton Festival welcomed two Guest Co-Directors: Syrian architect and author Marwa Al-Sabouni and Artistic Director of Brighton-based theatre makers dreamthinkspeak, Tristan Sharps. The pair chose the pertinent theme of Rebuilding to inspire this year's Festival programme.
  
Among the highlights was the world premiere of dreamthinkspeak's major new Brighton Festival Commission, Unchain Me.


This ambitious site-responsive production recast the audience as members of an underground activist group at secret locations across central Brighton. 

Directed by Brighton Festival Guest Co-Director Tristan Sharps, this unique theatrical experience was subject to phenomenal public demand and the sold-out run extended beyond the Festival to 12th June.  

Unchain Me was made possible with support from The Pebble Trust, whose new annual funding contribution to the Brighton Festival Commission series will offer audiences innovative and unique ways of seeing and experiencing the city of Brighton & Hove. 

Fellow Guest Co-Director Marwa Al-Sabouni collaborated with Syrian architect Ghassan Jansiz to design a pop-up community space on Hove seafront called The Riwaq. 

Inspired by Islamic architecture, the beautiful wooden colonnade became a popular Festival hub, attracting more than 22,000 visitors to a free and diverse programme of 150 different activities. 

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: 

"It has been fantastic to see Brighton Festival back at full-strength this year, once again welcoming audiences from across the city and beyond. 

"I'd like to thank all our artists, volunteers, staff, supporters and our Guest Co-Directors, Marwa Al-Sabouni and Tristan Sharps for coming together so brilliantly to make this Brighton Festival one for everyone to enjoy. 

"And I'd especially like to thank all our audiences and communities for welcoming the festival back so warmly this year. 

"We can"t wait for Brighton Festival 2023 now and I hope everyone will join us again next May."

The Children's Parade returned after an enforced two-year absence, bringing a riot of colour and creativity to the streets of Brighton. 
 
Brighton Festival returns next year from 6-28 May 2023.   

by: Mike Cobley



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