Brighton Festival 2017Public booking opens: Fri 24 Feb, 9am

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Brighton Festival Live: Kate Tempest plus REMI

Kate Tempest plus REMI will be live streamed on Fri 26 May, 8.30pm

Hot on the heels of a headline tour in support of second studio album Let Them Eat Chaos, Kate Tempest and her band bring a specially extended live show to kick off the final weekend of Brighton Festival in fine style.

A poet, rapper, playwright, and impassioned performer, Kate Tempest is an artist who refuses to conform to genre boundaries. Whether it’s her self-performed epic poem Brand New Ancients (winner of the 2013 Ted Hughes Prize), her electrifying debut novel The Bricks That Built The Houses, or her Mercury Music Prize-nominated album Everybody Down, when you experience her powerful oratory, you’ll know why she is being hailed as the voice of a jilted generation.

Support comes from Melbourne MC REMI, who, with musical collaborator Sensible J, has become one of the fastest-rising hip-hop acts in Australia. REMI's sophomore LP Divas and Demons was released last year through his own label and included the widely loved single For Good featuring Sampa the Great.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Brighton Festival Live: Mykki Blanco

with Travis Alabanza + Lasana Shabazz

This Brighton Festival Exclusive will be live streamed from 9pm on Sat 27 May, from The Spire

Co-produced in partnership with The Marlborough Theatre

‘Mykki Blanco is the most compelling rapper of his generation’ i-D

Hold tight for an extravaganza of music and performance from pioneering queer artists of colour from both sides of the Atlantic.

We’ve teamed up with The Marlborough Theatre to offer a chance to party, show solidarity, and vent some artistically expressed rage against the status quo.

US rapper Mykki Blanco will blow your preconceptions away with his fast, ferocious style – as much influenced by punk and riot grrrl as hip hop. The performance artist-turned-rapper has toured with Bjork, Tricky and Basement Jaxx, and counts Florence Welch and Grimes amongst his many fans. This past autumn saw the release of the long-awaited debut Mykki album, the most personal collection of work yet from the gender-bending queer pioneer.

Mykki is joined by two fierce performance artists: Travis Alabanza (currently artist in residence at the Tate), and Lasana Shabazz, a regular performer with Duckie, the V&A and Southbank Centre, who both recently featured in Scottee’s acclaimed Roundhouse show, Putting Words in Your Mouth.

Star of The Gabriels actor Maryann Plunkett announced as narrator of Copeland’s Lincoln Portrait for Brighton Festival finale

Britten Sinfonia and Brighton Festival Chorus bring Brighton Festival 2017 to a resplendent close with Aaron Copland's rousing Lincoln Portrait, alongside John Adams's glittering symphony, Harmonium.

We're delighted to announce that our narrator will be actor Maryann Plunkett, who plays Mary Gabriel in Richard Nelson’s trilogy The Gabriels, which has garnered a clutch of five-star reviews since its Brighton Festival UK premiere last weekend.

In 1942, shortly after the USA entered WW2 Copland was commissioned to write a work to fortify and comfort people during the time of national distress. The resulting Lincoln Portrait is a stirring setting of extracts from great speeches made by Abraham Lincoln, including the Gettysburg Address.

Other famous narrators have included the likes of Neil Armstrong, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Katharine Hepburn, and Barack Obama.

Maryann Plunkett also played Barbara in Richard Nelson’s The Apple Family Plays (Brighton Festival 2015), while her Broadway credits include Agnes of God, Sunday in the Park with George and Me and My Girl (for which she received a Tony Award). 

Britten Sinfonia and Brighton Festival Chorus are at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on Sun 28 May, 7.30pm

Brighton Festival Live: Lyrix Organix

Lyrix Organix with Kojey Radical & UnFold will be live streamed on Tue 23 May, 7.30pm

Lyrix Organix explore what it means ‘To Be Human’ with a double-headliner live show, Kojey Radical & UnFold.

UnFold is a critically acclaimed live show that champions the next young stars of spoken word, in collaboration with a contemporary classical string section. This edition shines a spotlight on Toby Thompson (described as ‘the future’ by Kate Tempest), Laurie Ogden and Solomon OB (National Slam champion 2016), in a collection of live performances threaded by a soundscape from London String Collective.

In a special for Brighton Festival, the event is co-headlined by Kojey Radical, an extraordinary 24 year-old poet, musician and striking visual artist. His explosive live shows have led to sold out performances at London’s Jazz Cafe, MOBO Award nominations.

The night also features a special guest talk by internationally acclaimed poet Deanna Rodger exploring 'The Art Of Words’.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Young people from Brighton Youth Centre create graffiti mural inspired by the Storytelling Army

Young people from Brighton Youth Centre have created a mural responding to a piece of writing by a member of Brighton Festival’s Storytelling Army, under the guidance of local artist and muralist Sinna One.

Brighton Festival commission the Storytelling Army is produced by nabokov theatre company who are working to assemble and mobilise a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life - including those who are homeless and vulnerably housed – who will be popping up to tell their stories in unexpected locations throughout Brighton over the last weekend of this year’s Festival, 26-28 May.

The mural, which is on the wall of Coffee@33 on Trafalgar street, was inspired by a piece of writing by one member of the Storytelling Army wrote about the kindness of people who buy her coffee.

Sinna One, who runs art classes at Brighton Youth Centre, says ‘Those guys when they come into the art room at the youth centre, they don’t always get to experience what I do as a job, and out on the street as well. It’s nice because it gives them a sense of working in the community as well.’

Fashion student Finley Marshall, who took the lead painting the mural, says ‘I’ve lived here all my life and I love Brighton so much. I loved the idea of spray painting. There’s loads of graffiti work all around Brighton, and getting to be a part of it is really great. I really like the concept [of the Storytelling Army] that people are just going to start telling stories places.’

In photos: Week 2

Another amazing week of Brighton Festival 2017 has passed already! Check out these photos from some of the incredible events over the last week.

Photos by Vic Frankowski, Caitlin Mogridge and Lucy Brooks.

Our sponsors' top picks for Brighton Festival 2017

We asked a few of our sponsors what they were most excited about for Brighton Festival 2017. Here are their top picks.

ZSTA - Richard Zinzan – Partner

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

10 or more

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round? 

Yes

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

Chineke Orchestra

Kate Tempest with Mica Levi

This Bright Field (though not seen it yet!)

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

This is ZST architects second year supporting the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival. As a local creative architectural and Interior design practice we are passionate about culture, arts and the city. It’s important for local businesses to support the festival to allow it to continue on with its pioneering spirit and experimental reputation. The festival really puts Brighton on the cultural map and celebrates its individual atmosphere that we are all proud to be part of.

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Gary Miller – GM Building

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see? 

This year I am attending 15 events (17 if you include the all the Gabriel Plays as separate shows). I am a patron as well as a sponsor so talking to the programmers and other Patrons usually informs my choices and also The festival director, Andrew, gives a preview of the festival to the patrons which is an invaluable insight into what to expect.

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round? 

Reasonably regular , I come to plays, Spectrum, rock and Pop concerts in the Dome and the odd comedy event.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

As the festival is not over difficult to say what my top pick are. But I do think the Gabriel plays will be good. Swan lake and Kate Tempests Chaos were both stunning, and I have heard nothing but praise for the Birds, and this is the sort of event that you can only see at a festival like Brighton.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

I came to the festival via the children’s parade and my daughter’s desire to be a contemporary dancer and a desire to understand the workings of an industry that was alien to me. But I continue to support the festival as it is difficult not to be moved by the enthusiasm, hard work and sheer skill of the performers and artists. Culture is a very important part of what makes Brighton the vibrant place it is and without the Dome and Festival it would be a lot duller.

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University of Sussex - Laura McDermott - Creative Director

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

I see as much as I possibly can during Brighton Festival. I love festivals, the energy they bring to a city and how they help you see your environment afresh. I'll see several events each week - obviously everything at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, where we are co-producing a programme of events including the Uk Premiere of The Public Theater's The Gabriels trilogy by Richard Nelson. I also prioritise events that are in interesting or unusual spaces - in venues like The Spire or outdoors - up on the downs or out at sea.

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

Yes - I love visiting Brighton Dome, especially for gigs in the opulent concert hall. Last time I went (to see Future Islands) a musician in the support band referenced the fact that the hall used to be the stables of the palace. She said "we're all like Prince Regent's horses". It seemed a good excuse to jump about dancing.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

Lynnette Walworth's Collisons at Lighthouse (part of the Australia in Brighton strand of the festival) - a beautifully cinematic and political use of virtual reality, which has had a real-world impact.

For the Birds by Jony Easterby et al - a truly magical woodland adventture after-dark, sensitively installed amongst the trees in a secret location up on the South Downs.

Mykki Blanco at The Spire, presented by The Marlborough Pub & Theatre - the hottest ticket, this will be a truly iconic festival closing party.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

University of Sussex is serious about its commitment to the local community and Brighton Festival is a brilliantly visible, celebratory way to demonstrate that commitment, alongside the work the University and its students undertakes year round in service to our community.

The University of Sussex are supporters of Brighton Festival. Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, part of the University of Sussex, are also co-producers for Brighton Festival 2017.

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Vicky King – GSFW

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

I always try to attend a handful of events during Brighton Festival and the launch event is the best insight into the upcoming schedule – then it’s home with a highlight to work my way through the programme!

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

I absolutely love the Brighton Dome as a venue and attend numerous music gigs, comedy performance and dance acts throughout the whole year.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

Hot 8 Brass Band – I have heard great things about this group and they didn’t disappoint! I couldn’t stand still, such a fun and lively atmosphere! For the Birds – such an unusual but interesting event, it is nothing I have experienced before but such a great opportunity to get outdoors. Breakin Convention – I love dance and music combined and this event is perfect. Looking forward to seeing the amazing talent on display.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

As a firm, this is our third year supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival. We feel that is it part of the Brighton community and culture and without the support of local businesses it wouldn’t be able to continue. The events that this venue and Festival allows us all to be part of is truly spectacular and we look forward to supporting for many years to come.

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Ben Copper – Nutshell Construction

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

What we attend, and how often, differs year on year. The past few years have been a particularly exciting time to be working in UK construction, so we always expect to learn about emerging trends whenever we network at the Festival. For us, it’s all about mixing with a variety of different specialisms, from architects and designers, to local technology companies to get a real flavour of what’s going on in the South East inside and outside our bubble!

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

We happen to come from a family of folk singers so the arts are an incredibly important part of who we are and what we do. That’s why we try to support the Dome and the variety of acts it hosts all year round. As well as visiting a range of events and performances, we’re also lucky enough to regularly host our very own events in this historical and beautiful venue.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

With a whole month of incredible events, it’s tricky to pick just 3. One of our top highlights has to be the Your Place programme, which we’re incredibly proud to have been involved in this year. It truly brought Brighton’s communities together, which is what we think the Festival is all about.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

As a Sussex company to the core, we truly value everything to do with the community and its culture. The Brighton Festival is a hugely important part of what makes the city and the county as a whole and we are always proud to be part of it. The festival also allows us to talk to clients old and new in a different setting from our usual building sites. 

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Lulu.com

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

We attended the opening day of the festival and we were stationed in the Dome throughout the day and so were delighted to see the children's carnival when we arrived and also the Kate Tempest opening gig. Throughout the afternoon in the Dome we were lucky to be able to listen to children playing music from the schools around Brighton.

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

This is the first year we have sponsored the festival and our first visit to the beautiful Dome.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

The Children's Parade was fantastic and the carnival animals were made with such care and attention. Many of the animal creations were brought into the Dome after the carnival and it was quite something to see an 8ft+ high duck coming through the door of the Dome.

The Kate Tempest opening gig was electric and a sell out and the Dome was alive and buzzing as people arrived.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

We are supporting the theme of Everyday Epic by running a short story writing competition in conjunction with Brighton Festival and nabokov's Storytelling Army. We are delighted to be able to bring together the most basic of human conditions, that of verbal story telling into the written form. 


Brighton Festival Live: The Big Song

The Big Song will be live streamed on Mon 22 May, 7.30pm

The universe sings. Planets sing. Comets sing. The earth itself rings like a bell and vibrates with sound. So, instead of the Big Bang, could there have been the Big Song?

The Big Song is a glorious celebration of singing that sweeps from science to spirituality, prehistory to protest, and reminds us of the central role of song in our identity and civilisation.

By Heathcote Williams, narrated by Roy Hutchins

Arrangement & Musical Direction by Kirsty Martin, featuring Hullabaloo Quire, Raise the Roof Community Choir and RISE Up Singing.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Brighton Festival Live: Bernie Sanders - Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

Bernie Sanders - Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In will be live streamed on Thur 1 June, 8.30pm

Join us for an inside account of Sanders' extraordinary campaign with Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, and a blueprint for future political action.

Bernie Sanders stormed to international headlines after running an extraordinary campaign for the Democratic primaries that saw over 13 million people turn out to vote for him, and thereby changed the global discussion surrounding US politics. But how did a relative unknown and a democratic socialist make such waves?

Sanders provides a unique insight into the campaign that galvanised a movement, sharing experiences and the ideas and strategies that shaped it. Drawing on decades of experience as an activist and public servant, Sanders outlines his ideas for continuing this revolution, arguing for a progressive economic, environmental, racial and social justice agenda that creates jobs, raises wages and protects the planet.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Brighton Festival Live: Boys Don't

Boys Don't will be live streamed on Sun 21 May, 4pm

What’s a boy to do? From the playground to the classroom, from home to the uncharted waters of online, boys learn that displaying their feelings is a no-no. But what happens to emotion that can’t be let out?

Through funny, familiar and sometimes heartbreaking stories drawn from the real-life experiences of its cast of poets and spoken word performers, Boys Don’t delivers insights into male experiences of growing up, and offers the possibility of more open communication for us all.

Age 8 -12 and adults (not suitable for under 8s)

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Brighton Festival Live: An Evening with Picador Poetry

An Evening with Picador Poetry will be live streamed on Fri 19 May, 8pm

Featuring Glyn Maxwell, Lorraine Mariner, Hollie McNish, Richard Osmond & Kate Tempest

The Picador Poetry list is 20 years old. Since its inception, its mission has been simply to publish the best work from across the art form. For this celebratory event, An Evening with Picador Poetry, Editor Don Paterson presents a wonderful line-up of established names and new voices from this broad church.

Picador is the home of Guest Director Kate Tempest’s poetry. Kate will read from her passionate, political verse from Picador collection Hold Your Own, and long poems Brand New Ancients and Let Them Eat Chaos.

Glyn Maxwell is one of Britain’s most respected and awarded contemporary poets, whose book On Poetry was described by Guardian critic Adam Newey as ‘the best book about poetry he has ever read’.

You may already know the work of rising spoken word star Holly McNish from one of her viral YouTube videos (collectively now at 4 million views), as well as her Brighton Festival 2015 performance with Kate Tempest and George the Poet.

Described as a Dorothy Parker for the internet age, Lorraine Mariner’s much loved wry style is demonstrated in her latest collection, There Will Be No More Nonsense.

The line-up is completed by poet and forager Richard Osmond, one of the Evening Standard’s ‘new guard’ of young poets, whose Useful Verses follows in the tradition of the best nature writing.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Brighton Festival Live: Bang Said the Gun

Bang Said the Gun will be live streamed on Sat 20 May, 8pm

Voted the best poetry night in the UK by The Times, Bang Said the Gun is for people who don’t like poetry. Normal rules do not apply here: it’s loud, raucous, political, trivial, serious and very funny.

Bang Said the Gun’s unique brand of stand up poetry has been described by Kate Tempest as ‘like mud wrestling with words’ and by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion as ‘a vortex of energy and enthusiasm’. Don’t miss a rich mix of the best and freshest talent that will grab you by the collar and drag you into another world.

Featuring Dan Cockrill, Martin Galton, Laurie Bolger & Rob Auton with guests Vanessa Kisuule & Sally Jenkinson.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

In photos: Week 1

The first week of Brighton Festival 2017 has come and gone! We've been really enjoying all the shows, events and happenings – here's a few pictures of what's been going on

Photos by Victor Frankowski and Adam Weatherley.

Brighton Festival Live: The Furrow Collective and Anna & Elizabeth

The Furrow Collective and Anna & Elizabeth will be live streamed on Mon 15 May, 8pm

A double bill featuring rising stars of contemporary folk from both sides of the Atlantic, The Furrow Collective and Anna & Elizabeth.

Described by MOJO as ‘a mouth-watering collaboration’ The Furrow Collective is Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton, Emily Portman and Alasdair Roberts – four fine soloists whose shared love of traditional songs and playful musicianship has earned them two BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominations. This ‘quietly classy young folk band’ (The Guardian) move with ease from jaunty stories to poignant laments and supernatural ballads.

Anna & Elizabeth are two truly inspiring artists from Southwest Virginia and a rare treat for lovers of Appalachian roots music. As storytellers, they are almost single-handedly resurrecting the lost art of ‘crankies’ – cloth and cut-paper scrolls depicting stories and scenes from the great ballads, unfurled to musical accompaniment. Witness this culture carried forward with mastery and love.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

The deadline for entries to Lulu.com Short Story Competition has been extended

The short story writing competition launched by Lulu.com, sponsor of Brighton Festival commission the Storytelling Army, is now open to entries until Wednesday 24 May.

The publisher invites all Sussex residents over the age of 18 to respond to Brighton Festival Guest Director Kate Tempest’s theme Everyday Epic, the observations and achievements of our daily lives which we piece together to celebrate and share our common humanity.

Four lucky competition winners will be announced during the last week of the Festival. The winning stories will be combined into an anthology, alongside stories from the Storytelling Army, and published as a paperback book. UK based marketing and PR company Authoright will also be supporting the book with a publicity campaign once it is published; ensuring the Everyday Epic stories reach as many readers as possible after the competition ends.

Brighton Festival is working with nabokov theatre company and Guest Director Kate Tempest to assemble and mobilise the Storytelling Army: a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life - including those who are homeless and vulnerably housed – who will perform in unexpected locations throughout Brighton over the last weekend of this year’s Festival.

Entry is free and stories must be no more than 4,000 words (there is no minimum word count) and must be received electronically by midnight GMT on 24 May 2017. Entries must be submitted electronically as a word or pdf document and the document must contain: your name, your address, your age, your e mail contact details, the title of your submission, the word count, your twitter handle (if relevant). Entries should be emailed to social_uk@lulu.com.

For full Terms and Conditions visit lulu-uk.blog. Alternatively email social_uk@lulu.com for the competition entry rules.

New app The Hum invites festival-goers to view Brighton in a new light

The Hum, a free app which highlights the beauty in the everyday, is now available to download.

A Brighton Festival co-commission conceived and directed by Nic Sandiland, The Hum is a reflection and meditation on our own everyday interactions with the city. Half cinema, half reality, the piece weaves together visuals with a specially composed soundtrack.

Festival-goers will be invited to follow a trail on their smartphone screen, guided by the app to 15 locations within walking distance, around the city, and on arrival a narrated soundtrack will be played.

The Hum incorporates text from four diverse artists including: international dance artist Wendy Houston, dance writer for The Times Donald Hutera, Maria Oshodi director of Extant Theatre Company of visually impaired people and live artist Pete Phillips, to a sound score by musician James Keane. These writers explore the subtle qualities of observed and experienced movement to create their own idiosyncratic narratives ranging from the poetic and humorous through to the ironic and subversive.

Director Nic Sandiland says ‘The Hum gives audiences a new perspective on the everyday happenings in Brighton. Set to an emotive musical score with thought provoking text the piece takes you on a journey through 15 often-overlooked places in the city, places that we take for granted. The Hum makes us look at the mundane acts which take place in these places and by elevating them to the status of a feature film. At times profound yet often personal it is an immersive work that reveals an alternative view of the city through the movements that take place within it.’

Click here to download The Hum on Apple and Android devices

For the Birds and the Environment

We would like to offer our reassurance that we have undertaken an extensive consultation process over the past few months with experts and all the relevant authorities to ensure that For the Birds can be produced both safely and sensitively in its environment.

Neither Brighton Festival nor the artists take this lightly. Indeed the work itself is intended to celebrate the mystery and beauty of the avian world and highlight why it should be protected.

Specific measures include:

  • Undertaking environmental assessments of the area and locating the installations accordingly to prevent disturbance of habitats
  • Obtaining all the correct permissions for use of the location
  • Controlling the sound and light levels through bespoke, low-voltage LEDs and low-volume, localised sound installations
  • Routing the audience journey on existing, well-used footpaths overseen by security and stewards to ensure no ticket holders stray from the paths
  • Prohibiting vehicular access to the site by shuttling audiences from off-site parking via Big Lemon Buses (fuelled by repurposed cooking oil)
  • Protecting the identity of the location by not publicising it in our marketing materials to prevent disruption from non-ticket holders
  • Employing security to protect the site (which has many users including bike scramblers and dog walkers) throughout the month

Following the recent concerns raised, we have commissioned an additional survey from a further independent expert, which concluded that: “the organisers appear to have taken a great duty of care in ensuring there is a minimal impact to wildlife and the woodland environment”.

The report highlighted just one specific recommendation regarding the positioning of one of the light installations which has been actioned immediately.

The artists and on-site staff will continue to monitor the site throughout the month and be fully responsive to any new information.

The safety and welfare of the natural environment is our highest priority.

To read a full copy of the ecological report please click here.

Brighton Festival Live: Kate Tempest with Mica Levi & Orchestrate

Kate Tempest with Mica Levi & Orchestrate will be live streamed on Thur 11 May, 7.30pm

Hip-hop inspired storytelling meets cinematic orchestration as Kate Tempest teams up with musician and composer Mica Levi and ensemble Orchestrate. Known to many as the frontwoman of Micachu and the Shapes, Mica Levi is also an accomplished composer of film scores, most recently Pablo Larrain’s Jackie for which she received both BAFTA and Oscar nominations. She has long collaborated with Orchestrate, a network of some of the UK’s most accomplished and adaptable young musicians, whose work in the studio and on stage includes performances with The National, SBTRKT, Ghostpoet and Christine and the Queens.

For this special one-off performance, Orchestrate will perform a selection of Levi’s works, followed by a special performance with Kate Tempest of Let Them Eat Chaos, re-worked for string orchestra. Released late last year to universal acclaim, the album has been described as Tempest’s state-of-the-nation address: over the course of 13 tracks, we meet seven sleepless Londoners in the small hours, whose individual stories of dissatisfaction are set against a backdrop of global crisis.

An unmissable Brighton Festival collaboration.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

Supported by Chalk Cliff Trust

Your Place brings diverse line-up of music, dance, theatre and spoken word events to Hangleton and East Brighton communities

As part of a new partnership with Brighton People’s Theatre, Brighton Festival has been working with local residents and festival artists to programme an exciting and diverse line-up of free music, dance, theatre and spoken word in the Hangleton and East Brighton communities.

Hosted by local community centres, Your Place is coming to East Brighton and Hangleton with free workshops, performances and activities for the whole family over two weekends, beginning with Hangleton 13-14 May, then East Brighton 19-21 May. Along with community steering groups in partnership with the Hangleton and Knoll Project and Due East in East Brighton, this year’s inspiring Guest Director Kate Tempest and local company Nutshell Construction to create the space, we have selected and shaped an events programme with these communities in mind.

This programme plays a critical part of Kate Tempest’s vision for this year’s Brighton Festival of enabling as many people in the city as possible to access the festival. In her words: 'The arts should be social, not elitist. They should be part of our everyday life. They should be in our communities, not only on elevated platforms or behind red velvet ropes.'

Highlights from the Your Place Hangleton programme (13 to 14 May) include:

Acclaimed photographer Eddie Otchere’s Pinhole Camera Workshop (14 May), teaching families how to build their own pinhole camera and document local history; Guest Director Kate Tempest (13 May) performing poetry from her incredible back catalogue; Culture Clash (13 May)with award winning poetry slam champion Tommy Sissons and rapper and battle MC Ceezlin, who will both also be coaching rap, poetry and comedy; a special one-off showcase from AudioActive (13 May) a music organisation working with young people at the meeting point of technology and contemporary urban culture; a singing workshop from Appalachian folk artists Anna and Elizabeth (14 May); a performance of Tighten Our Belts, a theatre show about the cost of austerity by Brighton People’s Theatre; and an array of workshops for all ages including a workshop run by Nutshell Construction to make Book Swap Boxes (13 May), as part of the City Reads city-wide project.

Highlights from the Your Place East Brighton programme (19-21 May) include:

A night of Spoken Word (20 May) as Kate Tempest performs poetry from her latest anthology, also with performances by national poetry slam champion Tommy Sissons, and Ceezlin (on tour with Rag ‘n’ Bone Man); Tales of Birbal (19 May) where Mashi Theatre’s travelling storytellers tell ancient stories from across the Indian subcontinent; Virgin Territory (20 May) workshop delivered by Vincent Dance Theatre for young people and adults to investigate the challenges that young people face in a selfie-obsessed world; Three Score Dance & Ceyda Tanc Dance (20 & 21 May), Three Score Dance a company for people aged 60+ perform a new Brighton Festival commission choreographed by Ceyda Tanc and her youth company; an oral history workshop by acclaimed photographer Eddie Otchere; Help! I think I might be Fabulous! (20 May) a hilarious and heart-warming show from Alfie Ordinary; other workshops include building and decorating Book Swap Boxes (20 May) with Nutshell Construction, and Hidden Mazes (21 May) which uses art and drama to explore the experience of navigating the world with an invisible disability.

Kate Tempest, Brighton Festival 2017 Guest Director says 'I thought it was important that as well as having this very exciting, cosmopolitan festival happening in the city centre, with all this buzz and hype and all this energy that gets built up from people seeing something, spilling out on to the street, I wanted it to also represent the wider population of Brighton who maybe can’t afford to get in to the city centre. I wanted to bring a bit of what was happening in the Brighton Festival out to a bit more of Brighton. We’ve got this really cool initiative called Your Place – which is probably the thing I’m most excited about. There will be performances from Brighton Festival artists and also participatory events and workshops. Everything completely free, programmed in conjunction and consultation with people that run some of the community programmes out of those community centres.'

Naomi Alexander, Artistic Director of Brighton People’s Theatre says 'The community has been really hands on engaged from start to finish in the overall planning and management of the project. I think the arts and creativity are important to everyone, I think everyone is creative but not everyone gets the opportunity to express that creativity.'

All Your Place events are free but ticketed. To book call Brighton Festival Ticket Office on 01273709709 or download a comprehensive guide 

Volunteer call-out: Depart

Take part in Circa's sold-out performance Depart at Brighton Festival –call-out on behalf of LIFT Festival

Depart is an exciting new international collaboration featuring circus artists, aerialists, acrobats, dancers, choral singers and musicians working in tandem with video, lighting and installation artists under the direction of celebrated Australian director Yaron Lifschitz and his company Circa.

Depart will be shown in Brighton as part of the Brighton Festival with 8 performances from Tue 23 to Sun 28 May at 8.30pm and 10.15pm. Show duration is 60 to 65 minutes.

Audience Guides

To compliment the artistic model and the outdoors promenade format of the show, Depart is looking to recruit 12 to 18 volunteers locally in Brighton to match the role of Audience Guides.

Audience Guides are an integral and central part of the show implementing the task of leading audience through the site following a pre-agreed route and ensuring audience’s observance, including walking in silence, not treading off the given route and not taking pictures during the show.

Mapped along the route will be performance areas featuring circus artists, aerialists, acrobats, dancers, choral singers enhanced by the elements of lighting design, sound and video work.

The production can offer an expenses cover of £100 to all volunteers for your time on the project.

Depart will offer scheduled training sessions led by Circa Associate Artistic Director Alice Lee Holland. Previous performance or audience stewarding experience is desirable, but not compulsory. Audience Guides will need to show confidence when interacting with audience and be able to follow artistic direction. All training sessions will take place at Extra-Mural Cemetery next to Extra-Mural Chapel, entrance to cemetery from Lewes Road.

Training sessions:

Sat 20 May: 4pm – 8pm

Sun 21 May: 4pm – 8pm

Full attendance is expected, if possible.

Further to that, Audience Guides will be expected to have evening 6.30pm – 11pm availability on Tue 23 – Sun 28 May. They will need to attend a technical rehearsal on the evening of Tue 23 May, a dress rehearsal on Wed 24 May, and be available on show days Thu 25 – Sun 28 May.

Costume

As part of the costume brief, Guides will be expected to come dressed in black trousers, comfortable black shoes or boots.

If they own a white shirt, they will be expected to wear that also. Alternatively the production will provide a shirt. The production will also provide each guide with a black coat. We advise that everyone dresses warm and wears layers, as those will be long hours in the outdoors.

Upon appointment, please provide production team with your coat size.

For further information, please contact Linda: linda.peterkopa@gmail.com

Alice O'Keefe's most anticipated Books and Debate events

Alice O’Keefe, our Books and Debate Programmer, shares her most anticipated events from three of the most exciting writers of this year's Brighton Festival.

For reader’s out there who haven’t discovered Petina Gappah yet, you are in for a treat – her event is going to be one of my highlights of this year’s festival. The short stories in her latest collection, Rotten Row, bring alive the experience of living in Zimbabwe under Mugabe – the craziness, the poverty, the lack of justice or redress, but most of all, the inventiveness and humanity of ordinary people. She is as funny and scathing about the ageing dictator as she is about the folly of the Western aid agencies – get a ticket and catch this very special writer while you can.

Another highlight is sure to be Hanif Kureishi, who will be looking back over his whole taboo-busting and boundary-breaking career in conversation with the broadcaster Mark Lawson. From his portrayal of a cross-cultural gay relationship in the film My Beautiful Laundrette, to his very early look at Islamic fundamentalism in his novel The Black Album, Kureishi has consistently proved himself to be one of Britain’s most provocative and insightful writers. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about these and his latest novel, The Nothing.

Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing Gary Younge, who is one of my very favourite writers on politics both in Britain and America. He will be talking about his shocking and brilliant book One More Day in the Death of America, and also more generally about race, guns and Trump. He is in Brighton on the special invitation of Kate Tempest, who is a big fan - and his event is essential for anyone who wants to understand the current state of the USA.

Read more about our Books and Debate programme

VIDEO: Boys Don't director Rosemary Harris on the making of the show

Boys Don't delivers insights into the male experience of growing up through funny, familiar and sometimes heartbreaking stories drawn from the real life experiences of its cast of spoken word performers and poets. Here director Rosemary Harris talks about the making of the show.



Boys Don't is at The Spire on Sunday 21 May, 2 & 4pm