Brighton Festival 2020Public booking opens: Wed 19 Feb, 9am

Past Festivals

Past Event

A performance by Peter Reder

The Contents of a House

World Premiere. Commissioned by Brighton Festival.

‘[In] slyly subversive style Reder offers not history, but a meditation on how history is made, the narratives we impose on it to make sense of our own and other's histories… Reder's tour is all about the spaces between, the invisible, what lurks unseen beneath the surface’ The Guardian

The British performance artist Peter Reder has spent weeks mining the tales and the treasures of Preston Manor. Now he wants to tell you about them.

Preston Manor is the epitome of Edwardian glamour, yet its history reaches back to the Domesday Book. Over the centuries it has become a repository of memory: a trove of objects, images and histories. What are they, and what do they mean?

The Contents of a House will attempt to catalogue everything you can see in the house in the hope that something of the unseen, the unspoken – even the unspeakable – will emerge. This subversive promenade performance takes the form of a tour, guided by Reder himself. Images, video, anecdotes and personal interaction will reanimate the building and the artifacts within it, with perhaps a touch of fantasy to bring Preston Manor’s past to life.

Read review in The Guardian

'The Contents of a House takes a sly look at the notion of a private home that is now open to the public.... Reder is a captivating guide with a softly spoken, dry wit' The Independent  read full review >

'The Contents of a House is another attempt to recover people who have vanished... Gradually the quizzical scepticism of the enterprise becomes apparent. This is a one-man version of Alan Bennett’s People, a slant-eyed look at heritage... Pausing portentously in a featureless passageway, Reder points out a thickly painted, undistinguished arch. That, he explains, is the oldest part of the house. Well, perhaps not the arch itself. Perhaps the space beneath it. We are looking at ancient air.' 
Susannah Clapp, The Observer  read full review >

'this Brighton Festival commission... isn’t your usual tour. Reder performs a reading of the building’s contents, and the results are subtle, subjective and subversive... more often than not it’s a piece that turns up its palms at factual probings and narrative cravings.….. a wry, understated send-up of history as entertainment.'
Bella Todd, The Stage  read full review >

Sat 4 - Sun 26 May
Sat 4 May, 6pm & 8.30pm
Sun 5 May, 8.30pm
Tue - Fri, 8.30pm
Sat & Sun, 6pm & 8.30pm
(Sun 26 May, 6pm only)
Festival Standby £10