Screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell-Boyce announced as Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2024

Guest Director, Announcements

Now the largest annual curated multi-arts festival in England, the Festival is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events taking place across Brighton, Hove and East Sussex throughout May. 

On becoming Guest Director, Frank says

"What a thrill and what a challenge to be asked to help put together Brighton Festival 2024. In the 70s Keith Waterhouse famously said, “Without putting your finger on it, you always get the feeling that Brighton is up to something.”  In 2024 I’m hoping that Brighton is up FOR something - for everything.  Brighton’s a special place - with its love of liberty, style and the salty sea.  Unlike nearly everywhere else in Britain, Brighton seems to look to the future. That spring in Brighton’s elegant step is hope. If we can celebrate that for a few days then maybe we can spread a little seaside illumination over the rest of the land."

Pride of place on children's bookshelves

Frank’s debut children's novel, Millions, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal, which annually recognises a new and outstanding English-language book for children or young adults. His latest novel published by Pan Macmillan, The Wonder Brothers, follows in the footsteps of other hit stories, such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, Cosmic, Framed, The Astounding Broccoli Boy and more, resulting in a multitude of awards and nominations.

Film & TV award-winner

As well as adapting his hit novel Millions for the big screen, Frank has been responsible for writing an impressive number of much-loved on-screen moments. From the BAFTA-winning skit featuring Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington Bear to co-devising the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony with Danny Boyle, Frank has also written hit films including 24 Hour Party People, The Railway Man and Goodbye Christopher Robin.

Frank has also written for the long-running TV hit Doctor Who and his ITV series Stephen was based on the 1993 murder of Black British teenager Stephen Lawrence. Legendary film critic Roger Ebert referred to him as “the most original and versatile screenwriter in the land”.

Dates for the diary

Frank will be Brighton Festival’s 15th Guest Director, following in the footsteps of Anish Kapoor, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Kae Tempest, Lemn Sissay OBE and, in 2023, musician, DJ and broadcaster Nabihah Iqbal.

He is collaborating with the Brighton Festival programming team to develop a diverse and inclusive programme of events for 2024, which will be revealed at our official programme launch on 15 February.

Brighton Festival will take place from Sat 4 – Sun 26 May 2024.