Titles announced for City Reads and Young City Reads 2017
The debut novel by Sharon Duggal The Handsworth Times has been chosen for City Reads while A.F. Harrold’s Fizzlebert Stump The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus (and Joined the Library) has been picked for Young City Reads as part of Brighton Festival 2017.
City Reads and Young City Reads are city-wide ‘big reads’ delivered by award winning literary organisation Collected Works CIC, designed to spread a love of books and ideas to the widest possible audience throughout Brighton & Hove. This year they launch on 2 March (World Book Day) and run until May with a series of events themed around the books to encourage people across the city to get reading and start talking.
Brighton-based British Asian writer Sharon Duggal’s novel, published by Bluemoose Books, is set in 1981 where factories are closing, unemployment is high, the NF are marching and the neglected inner cities are ablaze as riots breakout across Thatcher's fractured Britain. The Agarwal family are facing their own personal tragedy, but their pain is eased through humour, friendship and community.
Sarah Hutchings, Artistic Director of City Reads says: ‘Sharon Duggal’s outstanding debut was the unanimous favourite of our reading panel for this year’s City Reads. 2016 saw Britain polarised following the Brexit referendum, leading to some bitter arguments and disputes within communities. Sharon’s book couldn’t have been published at a more relevant time. It has heart, humour and courage - I hope you love it as much as we do at City Reads.’
The title chosen for Young City Reads, the ‘big read’ aimed at children, Fizzlebert Stump The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus (and Joined the Library), is the story of a boy, a book, some very bad people, some very brave deeds, and the importance of rubber teeth for lions.
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: ‘We are delighted that City Reads and Young City Reads are part of Brighton Festival again this year - building on our strong relationship with Collected Works through other partnership projects such as Young City Reads and Adopt an Author. The importance of empathy and community is central to our Guest Director Kate Tempest’s vision for the Festival as a whole, making Sharon Duggal’s powerful debut particularly fitting as a choice for City Reads. And with this year’s Guest Director our youngest in the role to date we are particularly pleased to be providing an opportunity to encourage young booklovers to come together to discuss and share their love of reading – and hopefully nurturing a new generation of artists and art lovers for the future.’
Highlights of City Reads include a Literary Salon at the Regency Townhouse (Wed 29 March), a riotous celebration of the music made during era of The Handsworth Times via a Stick It On Party at The Latest Music Bar (Fri 28 April), perennial favourite The City Reads Book Quiz returns on Wed 22 March, and Sharon Duggal is in conversation at Brighton Festival on 14 May. Young City Reads launches at Jubilee Library on 2 March, with a special Brighton Festival event on 23 May featuring the author and illustrator (Sarah Horne).
Primary school teachers and classes are being invited to register online (for free) at cityreads.co.uk and agree to read Fizzlebert Stump The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus (and Joined the Library) together in class between 2 March – 23 May 2017. Throughout the project, participating classes will receive free weekly e-bulletins which will include bite-size Fizzlebert Stump quizzes, puzzles and fun activities to complete.
Paul McVeigh's The Good Son was chosen for City Reads 2016 while Hamish and the WorldStoppers by Danny Wallace was the title for Young City Reads 2016.
For more information visit cityreads.co.uk.
Brighton Festival 2017 announces Children’s Parade theme
Brighton Festival is delighted to announce that the theme for the 2017 Children’s Parade, which will take place on Saturday 6 May, is ‘Poetry in Motion’.
Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky, the annual Children’s Parade officially launches Brighton Festival and has delighted participants and spectators for over 25 years. The largest of its kind in Europe, the parade is attended by almost 5,000 children from schools and community groups from across the region and cheered on by many thousands of spectators.
With a different imaginative theme each year, previous parades have seen children dress up as everything from letters of the alphabet and Brighton street names to books, mermaids and even slices of cake. In 2016, participants were invited to be part of a major historical milestone as Brighton Festival celebrated its 50th year, taking inspiration from the people, places, ideas and innovations that shape the city’s unique character and identity from the Prince Regent to Fat Boy Slim.
The 2017 theme is inspired by Guest Director Kate Tempest, who was recently unveiled as the latest artistic figure to take up the role of shaping the three-week programme of cultural events. Described by the Guardian as ‘one of the brightest British talents around,’ Tempest’s prolific artistic output across multiple disciplines has attracted her considerable acclaim and a unique range of audiences. Having made her live debut as a spoken-word artist at just 16, Tempest is now equally well-known as a poet, novelist, musician and playwright. In October, she was invited to perform her new album 'Let them Eat Chaos' in full on BBC2 as part of a specially-themed night to celebrate National Poetry Day.
Pippa Smith, Brighton Festival 2016’s Children & Family programmer says: “We are thrilled with this year's theme and we are really looking forward to seeing the creativity of the teachers and the ingenuity which they bring to this annual celebration.”
One of the most spectacular community events in the UK, Same Sky spends six months working behind the scenes to create the event, with creative teams instructing teaching staff how to teach dance and parade chants, run free masterclasses, help develop design ideas and encourage imagination to flow.
John Varah, Artistic Director, Same Sky says: “Same Sky is very excited by the 2017 Guest Director Kate Tempest and her theme for the parade of children's poems. We are creating a great parade with 70 Brighton & Hove schools to create Poetry in Motion. Each school will illustrate a favourite children's poem and hit the street with dazzling costumes, puppets and sounds. Same Sky once again thanks Brighton Festival for giving us this great opportunity to work with nearly every school in our wonderfully creative city.”
Brighton Festival will take place from 6-28 May 2017. The full programme will be unveiled on 15th February 2017.
Brighton Festival names Kate Tempest as Guest Director 2017
Described by The Guardian as ‘one of the brightest British talents around,' Tempest’s prolific artistic output across multiple disciplines has attracted her considerable acclaim and a unique range of audiences. Having made her live debut as a spoken-word artist at just sixteen, Tempest initially conceived of herself as a rapper, however she is now equally at home as a poet, novelist, musician and playwright - garnering extraordinary success in each field.
In 2012 her debut play Wasted (Brighton Festival 2012) was praised as ‘electrifying’ and ‘ingenious’; a year later her self-performed epic narrative poem Brand New Ancients won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and completed a sell-out run in the UK and New York, winning a Herald Angel at Edinburgh Fringe. In 2014, her debut solo album Everybody Down was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize while the same year she was named one of 20 Next Generation poets by the Poetry Book Society, a prestigious list picked just once per decade. Most recently her debut novel The Bricks That Built the Houses has earned her yet more accolades and a slot on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime. In October her highly anticipated new album Let Them Eat Chaos will be released through Fiction Records featuring new single Don’t Fall In.
At 31, Kate Tempest will be the youngest Brighton Festival Guest Director to date, taking the mantle from pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who led the 50th Brighton Festival this year. Other previous Guest Directors include visual artist Anish Kapoor (2009), musician Brian Eno (2010) and Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (2011) who have all taken turns shaping the three-week programme of cultural events.
Kate Tempest says:
"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. Music, literature, theatre, film - these things are so important, they bring us together into the same space, they give us ourselves, they bring us to life, they beam our humanity back to us in all its hideous beauty. And in these times, with the fear spreading everywhere and the divisions between us deepening daily, we desperately need to remember that we are all part of the same thing. Nothing does that for me more profoundly or joyously than standing in the crowd watching a gig, or a play, or a painting. It’s like a little victory you get to keep forever. I want us to offer that experience to everyone.”
Tempest’s appointment as Guest Director follows a number of successful appearances at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival. After her acclaimed play Wasted sold out Brighton Festival 2012, Tempest performed Brand New Ancients to two full houses in the Corn Exchange as part of Brighton Dome’s spring 2014 programme. In 2015 she headlined an exclusive Brighton Festival event alongside fellow wordsmiths George the Poet and Hollie McNish.
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Festival says: “We are privileged to announce such a distinctive and singular talent as our Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2017. Kate Tempest is uniquely positioned to fulfil the role – her seemingly limitless creativity has led to a body of work that straddles an extraordinary array of art forms and has earned her fans of all ages and from all walks of life. She is also passionate about the arts and its power to bring communities together – vital now more than ever. I can’t wait to continue the conversations with her as we work towards creating a Festival for next year which I hope will be a true inspiration to all.”
In 2016 Brighton Festival celebrated its 50th year of commissioning and producing innovative arts and culture. With a total audience reach of over 225,000, the milestone programme was the most successful in its history with more people engaging with the festival, both as audiences and participants, and more tickets sold than ever before. The Festival’s biggest talking point was Nutkhut’s Dr Blighty, an ambitious, large-scale, immersive, outdoor experience co-commissioned in partnership with Royal Pavilion & Museums and 14-18 NOW, which highlighted the story of wounded Indian soldiers hospitalised in Brighton during WW1. Ending each night with a spectacular light display using projection-mapping, Dr Blighty set the city and social media abuzz and drew audiences of almost 65,000 over its five day run.
Brighton Festival 2017 - which will take place from 6-28 May 2017 - will feature exclusives, world and UK premieres from a wide range of international, national and local artists and companies.
Find out more about Kate Tempest's plans for the role in this exclusive online interview
Full programme announced: Wed 15 Feb 2017
Members' priority booking: Thu 16 Feb 2017
General booking opens: Fri 24 Feb 2017
Photo by Hayley Louisa Brown
Digging for Shakespeare cast to go under the hammer
The knitted cast of Brighton Festival 2016 commission Digging for Shakespeare are to go under the hammer as part of the Big Heart Auction next month, a partnership between Brighton Dome and Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, which aims to raise valuable funds for the two organisations.
The twelve Shakespearean characters were immortalised in wool by Welsh knitter Annie Hardy as part of the acclaimed theatrical production which made its world premiere at the 50th edition of Brighton Festival in May. Devised by artist Marc Rees, Digging for Shakespeare took as its subject eccentric Brighton character James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, a 19th-century joker and world-renowned Shakespearean scholar who lived on the outskirts of Brighton. There in his 'rustic wigwam' (a series of conjoined sheds), he obsessively curated a huge hoard of Shakespearean rarities.
The unique promenade performance took place in the Roedale Allotments, close to the site of the eccentric recluse's former home, and imaginatively involved allotmenteers, the Hollingbury Park Bowls Club and a group of young performers. Audience members explored sheds and hideaways, discovered the Shakespearean characters reborn in knitted form along with quotes featuring herbs and plants from each of the twelve Shakespeare plays, and gathered a wealth of horticultural tips along the way.
Ahead of the auction, the knitted characters will be on display as part of a special free exhibition dedicated to Digging for Shakespeare in Brighton Dome’s Founders Room from 17 to 27 June. Also on show is artwork by graffiti artist Pure Evil which was also commissioned to feature on two specially-built sheds which journeyed through the allotments with the audience.
The individual knitted characters and artworks by Pure Evil will then be auctioned at the Big Heart Auction from 1 to 10 July. For more information please visit www.bigheartauction.org.uk.
All artworks for sale as part of the Big Heart Auction will also be on show at Brighton Dome from 1 – 5 July.
Marc Rees said: 'It's fantastic that the dozen characters can be included in the auction. Annie Hardy spent between 30- 50 hours lovingly creating each figure and all from her vivid imagination too- no pattern, just free form which I think is incredible! They were such an integral part of ‘Digging For Shakespeare’ and everyone wanted to know who made them. It's great to see the figures all together as one family in the exhibition, they are very special and deserve a special home.'
Interview: Dr Blighty projection mapping expert Paul Wigfield
We shine a light on the technology behind the Dr Blighty projections with Paul Wigfield, director of QED, the company behind the projection mapping that's enabled the beautiful and poignant transformation of the Royal Pavilion this Brighton Festival.
How did you get involved in the project and what is your role?
I've been discussing this with the Festival over the past two years as it seemed a fitting way to mark its 50th anniversary. Our role was to produce and deliver the entire project.
It’s quite an ask - what did you think of the brief?
Our brief was to produce something spectacular for the Festival, but really it was the building itself that defined the brief, challenging us to tell the story of its role as a WW1 Indian military hospital.
What are the challenges of projecting onto a building of that scale?
The building is big, but by no means overwhelming - it's the immense amount of intricate detail that's the biggest challenge.
We therefore decided to cover every feature from every possible angle in order to project both onto and behind all the columns, as well as onto the onions and other architectural features. This enabled the content creators Novak to design uninterrupted continuous material that flows across all surfaces.
It's hard enough to project onto a large building from so many different angles, but even harder to create a digital canvas for something so heavily featured that still enables a story to be told and which can be appreciated by a large audience from all viewing angles.
It is a truly pioneering projection mapping project of the most intricate detail and quality, and we've had to deploy 500,000 lumens of projection power to enable it to happen before nightfall.
What does video mapping actually entail? Can you take us through the process in layman’s terms?
It's a lengthy and detailed process, however the concept and workflow is relatively simple. We first laser scanned the Pavilion and the surrounding environment and built a 3D model from the data. We then created a UV map of the building for the creatives to use as a content template. The UV map is essentially a flattened out 2D template that divides the building into the specific sections. It's like a jigsaw puzzle where all the individual pieces are sent to each projector and reassembled when projected back onto the building to create a completely seamless image.
Here we are sending 22 individual synchronised HD outputs from the media server in order to achieve coverage required. We knew it would require a large number of feeds but we didn't know quite how many until we pre-visualised the building with test content.
How did you feel when you saw it realised?
Absolutely amazing. I managed to resist the temptation to see it before the opening night as I wanted to fully experience and enjoy it from the perspective of a member of the audience. It's the culmination of many months of hard work and of many years waiting for the opportunity to arise.
We simply had to do justice to the Royal Pavilion, to honour the WW1 commemorations and to celebrate 50 years of the Brighton Festival, so we put all our resources and skills behind it.
Find out more about all the Dr Blighty events.
Dr Blighty is a Nutkhut production co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Brighton Festival, and Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, QED, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Brighton Festival Brochure Covers: 2007 - 2016
Have a peek at Brighton Festival's recent brand history
Browse through the fifth decade of Brighton Festival Programme Covers. Here's to another five decades!
Discover what's going on in Dr Blighty week
In the last week of Brighton Festival the Pavilion Gardens will be filled with a dreamlike environment of immersive installations, ambient soundscapes and theatrical interludes examining the legacy of the Indian soldiers who were wounded in WW1 and treated in Brighton.
In Dr Blighty, performing arts company Nutkhut commemorates the 2300 Indian soldiers who were treated at the Royal Pavilion Estate, particularly focusing on the letters they wrote home.
The title of the show is significant - Blighty, taken from the Urdu, ‘vilayat’ (specifically Europe or Britain) and ‘vilayati’ (Britain, English, Home), spread widely during World War 1. The term became an accepted reference to England, but also had a deep signficance for the south Asian soldiers.
Many of the soldiers believed the rumour that their King-Emperor George V had given up his own palace for them to be treated in, although in reality the royals had sold the Pavilion long before WW1.
Those soldiers who were illiterate conveyed their messages and letters to scribes at the hospital, who censored criticism of the war in Europe.
From Tue 24 - Sat 28 May (2pm – 10pm), Pavilion Gardens will host a variety of audio and visual experiences and acted performances reflecting on these histories.
This will include a stunning visual projection onto the front of the Pavilion itself at nighttime, telling the story of Dr Blighty.
This map shows the locations and some of the timings of events.
Nutkhut have worked with Brighton locals to create some of the soundscapes that you'll be able to experience as you wander around the gardens. You can get a glimpse into this process in the video below:
Come along to one of the drop in diya making sessions at Brighton Dome Café-bar throughout the Festival and make your very own decorated clay pot for the final installation of Dr Blighty.
You can watch this video from Nutkhut on how to make a diya.
On Sun 29 May (4pm) in a special event thousands of diyas will be laid down to memorialize the soldiers' stay in the city.
A blue plaque will also be unveiled honouring Subedar Mir Dast, who was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V, organised by Davinder Dhillon, from the Chattri Group.
Dr Blighty: The Concerts
In a special concert incorporating readings from letters and diaries of Indian servicemen, the Philharmonia will play alongside Indian violinist Kala Ramnath, Sat 28 May (7.30pm).
They will perform some of the best loved English music of the Edwardian era by Vaughan Williams and Butterworth as well as Kala Ramnath's The Seasons of India.
You can listen to Kala Ramnath performing with the London Symphony Orchestra string section to get a taste of this incredible meeting of East and West.
Afterwards (Sat 28 May, 10.15pm), slide guitar virtuoso Debashish Bhattacharya will perform a traditional raga concert alongside tabla player Gurdain Rayatt. Bhattacharya is one of the greats of world music and recently won a Songlines Music Awards 2016 winner (Asia & South Pacific) - this late night concert is not to be missed.
Book now for Philharmonia Orchestra and Debashish Bhattacharya
Philharmonia Orchestra ticket holders enjoy £5 off the ticket price for the Debashish Bhattacharya concert when booked together over the phone or in person.
Dr Blighty is a production by Nutkhut and is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme for the First World War Centenary. It is further co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, QED, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Brighton Festival Brochure Covers: 1997 - 2006
Dip into Brighton Festival design history
Browse through the fourth decade of Brighton Festival Programme Covers.
Our Sponsors’ Top Picks for Brighton Festival 2016
We asked a few of our sponsors what they were most excited about for Brighton Festival 2016. Read on to find out about their top picks!
Chris Tomlinson, Development Manager at Rampion Offshore Wind
How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?
I am most inspired by music so it’s not surprising that my shortlist this year includes LSO, Beth Orton, Brighton: Symphony of a City, Phronesis, Duke Garwood, Hacienda Classical, Laura Mvula, Floating Points Live…help me out here! I always like to throw a circus performance into the mix, so I’ll see if I can get along to Smoke and Mirrors, and Alexei Sayle should ensure I have a smile on my face. My most enduring memory to date was the live performance of Koyaanisqatsi by Philip Glass and his orchestra – truly sublime.
Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?
It varies each year depending on my whereabouts, work commitments and the Dome programme. However, the Dome is far more than Brighton Festival in May, with a broad range of music, dance, comedy and theatre the whole year round.
Read more about our partnership with Rampion Offshore Wind
Vicky King, Marketing Executive, Griffith Smith Farrington Webb solicitors
What are your top 3 picks of the 50th Brighton Festival 2016 programme and why?
My first choice has to be Operation Black Antler, it is such an unusual and exciting concept and perfect for Brighton Festival. Being in someone else’s shoes, making difficult decisions and taking their consequences not to mention the fact that your ticket and instructions are sent via text makes it something you definitely don’t do every day.
Second has to be Hacienda Classical. I have wanted to see something like this for ages and was delighted to see it listed as part of the Festival. House and club classics combined with a live orchestra is a perfect combination and really allows the music to emote to the audience; who will have been to a club night or two in Ibiza!
Finally, Correction, I love dance performances and reading about this in the programme really excited me. I am a huge fan of dance pieces that convey a strong message and make you think outside of the box.
Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?
Brighton Dome & Festival is part of our community and appeals to all ages and we feel that supporting such an integral part of Brighton will enable the Festival to continue for many more generations.
Read more about our partnership with Griffith Smith Farrington Webb Solicitors LLP
Jon Dudley, Design and Creative Consultant, Nutshell Construction
Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?
Nutshell are supporting the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival because of its commitment to putting the Sussex community and the diversity of Brighton in the spotlight. Nutshell has similar aims and we are always keen to promote and contribute to the amazing Sussex community.
Brighton Festival annually puts forth an incredible array of creative projects and family events and the offerings this year do not disappoint. Nutshell Construction are proud to be sponsoring the festival this year as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
What are your top 3 picks of the 50th Brighton Festival 2016 programme and why?
One of Nutshell’s top picks of the Brighton Festival this year is Futuregazers because this collection of imaginative pieces and workshops is entirely unique in handing the reins to Brighton’s children. The idea of building the future Brighton and Sussex area is something that obviously appeals to Nutshell and this imaginative, family-based project is a perfect fit with our ethos.
From a construction and design point of view, Past Historic, Future Perfect fits perfectly with Nutshell as a business with a specialism in restoration projects. The title Past Historic, Future Perfect encapsulates Nutshell’s aim to perfectly restore beautiful buildings around Sussex and to maintain a sense of the past whilst bringing these buildings into modernity. Past Historic, Future Perfect is like FutureGazers in its attempts to build a bright future for Brighton and Sussex, something Nutshell is passionate about contributing to.
Another Nutshell favourite is Luminary. This beautiful light display embodies the diversity of Brighton and includes the whole city, with giant displays as well as several more intimate ones. Luminary is an amazing display of a whole range of perspectives bringing the community together by creating an exhibit encapsulating the entire city.
Read more about our partnership with Nutshell Construction.
Check out photos from some of the shows and events that have already happened, or find out more about what's still coming up
Festival-goers invited to interact with installation of Lou Reed’s guitars
Festival-goers are invited to meditate, dance, chant, and even perform Tai Chi at Lou Reed Drones, an installation of Lou Reed’s guitars and amps set in feedback mode, coming to Brighton Festival in May.
A UK Premiere, Lou Reed Drones is at The Spire Fri 13 - Tue 17 May. Lou Reed instinctively knew the power of drone music, and his 1975 album Metal Machine Music was credited with laying the foundation for the industrial and noise rock genres.
Lou Reed’s guitar technician Stewart Hurwood, the man behind the installation, says, ‘People can sit, lay, listen, meditate, sleep, cry, dance, chant, perform Tai Chi - whatever they get emotionally from the sounds they can react to. I would encourage people to drone along, making their own drone resonating inside their chest cavity. The sound is interactive changing with the movement of people within the space, and other sound sources.’
Stewart Hurwood worked with Lou Reed for the last ten years of his life, handling his guitars, and equipment. Lou Reed Drones came about when following Lou Reed’s death, Stewart came up with the idea as an alternative to Reed’s equipment gathering dust, and worked with Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed’s partner, and Brighton Festival 2016 Guest Director, to make it a reality.
Brighton Festival invites Brighton artists and practitioners to immerse themselves in the installation and participate in a series of Happenings that will take place during Lou Reed Drones, between the hours of 2-4pm, Fri 13 - Tue 17 May 2016. All Happenings need to be self-sufficient, non-intrusive and without amplification. Please note there is no fee.
If you are interested in responding to the Drones creatively please contact Letitia.McConalogue@brightonfestival.org with a short description about you, your practice and how you would like to respond to the Drones. The curatorial team will get back to you to confirm if there is a space to incorporate your idea in the schedule.
Lou Reed Drones
Fri 13 – Tue 17 May, 12pm – 5pm
The Spire, St Mark’s Chapel, Eastern Road, BN25JN
Both Lou Reed and John Cale instinctively knew the power of drones. In 1975, Reed played out that drone music on Metal Machine Music, an album credited with laying the foundation for the industrial and noise rock genres.
Lou Reed Drones is an installation of his guitars and amps in feedback mode: 24 strings set in motion from the push of magnetically driven cones; 360 partial harmonics colliding against each other, cascading, uniting, elevating, rising up like New York skyscrapers along the Hudson.
Introducing gain and sculpting sonic frequencies, a feedback loop is created with each guitar and its respective amplifier. Their overlapping harmonic structures produce pseudo-acoustic notes in which a beating sensation is then set in motion. Lou Reed Drones is a visceral, emotional and spiritual experience.