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Video Playlist: Contemporary Music at Brighton Festival 2014

Discover Contemporary Music at Brighton Festival 2014 

Brighton Festival 2014 offers an exciting and eclectic selection of contemporary music. Here’s a little flavour of some of the goodness you can expect from this year’s line-up. Expect spectacular shows from PeachesCat PowerEmmylou HarrisGruff RyhsMartin Creed BandZara McFarlane and many more.

In Pictures: Brighton Festival 2014 Launch

On Tue 25 Feb we were delighted to launch Brighton Festival 2014. The full and fantastic Brighton Festival programme was released and Members' and Supporters joined us to get Brighton Festival off  to a smashing start. Here are a few photos to give you a flavour of the night and the fun that is yet to come this May. 

Brighton Festival Brochure 2014

The Brighton Festival 2014 brochure

Andrew Comben Brighton Festival

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival introduces Brighton Festival 2014 Guest Director Hofesh Shechter

Hedley Swain Arts Council Brighton Festival

Hedley Swaine, Area Director South East at Arts Council England takes to the stage


Members and Supporters enjoying the new Brighton Festival brochure

Brighton Festival Launch

The Launch in full swing

Guests were treated to a spectacular flash-mob by Guest Director Hofesh Shechter and his eponymous company Hofesh Shechter Company. 

Hofesh Shechter Company Brighton Festival

Hofesh Shechter Company Brighton Festival

Launch 3

All photos by Victor Frankowski

Brighton Festival reveals brochure cover for 2014

Brighton Festival - an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events – launches today and will take place in venues across the city and beyond from 3 to 25 May 2014.

This year Brighton Festival again worked with Johnson Banks to create the visual identity for 2014’s event. The image shows a black sheep on a green background with the sheep’s fur made up of tiny dancing figures.

Michael Johnson, of Johnson Banks, says: “When we were discussing the theme for the 2014 Festival, a recurring motif was a sheep. Partly because 'Sun' features cut-out sheep, carefully choreographed across the stage, and also because we felt a black sheep nicely mirrored Hofesh's outsider's view of the world we live in. Visualising a black sheep whose fur turns into dancers proved to be very difficult - luckily Chris Kasch was up to the task. Although he did say painting it gave him multiple migraines.

The sheep was painted by Chris Kasch. He is a UK based illustrator who has built an impressive and varied clientele throughout his 16 year career. He has produced work for national newspapers, magazines and well known names such as Saachi and Saachi, The Royal Mail and IBM.

The 2014 Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2014 is critically acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter. His eponymous Company are a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and their brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open the three week arts extravaganza on Saturday 3 May when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour.

Brighton Festival 2014 launches with Guest Director Hofesh Shechter

Today Brighton Festival 2014 launches, with critically acclaimed choreographer, dancer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter at the helm as Guest Director.

As Guest Director, Hofesh Shechter follows in the footsteps of visual artist Anish Kapoor (2009), musician Brian Eno (2010), Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (2011), actress and human rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave (2012) and poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen (2013) in shaping the Brighton Festival programme.

Over the three-week Festival many of Hofesh Shechter’s interests and passions will be explored in a wide-ranging programme which spans music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate from a wide range of national and international companies and artists.

With Hofesh Shechter as Guest Director, this year’s programme is particularly genre defying – from the UK premiere of Opus No.7 from Russian theatre director Dmitry Krymov, to William Forsythe’s hypnotic Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No.2, to a new co-commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE; called The British Library. 2014 also heralds the return of international theatre companies Berlin and Vanishing Point to Brighton and we host an eclectic mix of names across contemporary music from Peaches to Emmylou Harris. Hofesh challenges us to respond to the world’s ugly injustices in Brighton Festival co-commission Sun which “comes home” to Brighton after touring globally, whilst one of his inspirations - and fellow choreographers - Wim Vandekeybus, interrogates the misuse of power and the abuse of social media as we host the UK premiere of Ultima Vez’s Talk to the Demon.

As ever Brighton Festival kicks off with the Children’s Parade - the largest event of its kind in Europe - produced by Same Sky. Events for all the family this year include a UK premiere of Tanzfuchs Produktion’s dance extravaganza Munch! for the under 4s and the UK premiere of Zoo, Belgian choreographer Thomas Hauert’s first piece for young people which is accompanied by a prepared piano soundtrack by John Cage. Meanwhile, on film the Cinema of Childhood - curated by Mark Cousins - looks at the depiction of children in cinema, is suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.

Hofesh Shechter said, ’Brighton has a magic to it that no one can explain. Finding a place where one can develop and grow artistically is a delicate thing, an important thing. Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival have been an inspiring, energising and encouraging place for my company and me in the last 5 years. We’ve enjoyed the buzz, the lightness, energy, and the unexplainable essence of Brighton. We have resided in its cultural heart - Brighton Dome, and the pulsating artistic heart of Brighton Dome is the annual Brighton Festival. It's been a privilege to have been part of the planning for this inspiring event and I feel a rush of excitement about sharing our programme with audiences in Brighton and beyond.’

This year’s Brighton Festival holds in store 448 performances and 147 events in 34 venues across the city. In total there will be 37 premieres, exclusives and co-commissions and 26 free events.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, ‘We’re thrilled that Hofesh Shechter is our Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2014 and to today reveal the programme of events for May. Hofesh’s instinctive understanding of Brighton and our Festival means it is particularly pertinent that he steps into the role in 2014 following a highly successful five years of working together. Hofesh’s creative vision and energy contains that rare quality and sense of adventure that sparks the imaginations of a much wider audience beyond his own discipline and encourages us all to try something new. With such an eclectic artist at the helm, Brighton Festival 2014 is set to be a very exciting one indeed and I am delighted to be welcoming so many brilliant artists to our city this Spring.’

Brighton Festival - an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, books, debate, outdoor and family events - will take place in venues across the city and beyond from 3 to 25 May 2014.

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: ‘This year’s Brighton Festival is once again an exciting prospect as critically-acclaimed choreographer, dancer, musician and composer Hofesh Shechter takes on the role of Guest Director. His artistic vision will bring an exciting edge to this year’s programme, which spans multiple art forms. Brighton Festival very much reflects the vibrancy of Brighton & Hove itself – it is a place where artists and artistic organisations blossom and continue to flourish. Brighton Festival’s value to city and the region extends beyond entertainment and inspiration – it also provides a significant economic boost for local businesses as artists and audiences travel from near and far to become involved.’

Video: Brighton Festival 2014 montage film

A taste of what's in store for you at Brighton Festival 2014.

Film by Echo Video

Nowhere & Everywhere at the Same Time No.2

For the duration of Brighton Festival 2014, Circus Street Market was transformed into a dancing installation by American choreographer William Forsythe. The choreographic object saw thousands of visitors and was awarded a Critics' Choice Argus Angel award.  

Film by Shy Camera

Video: Brighton Festival 2014 teaser

Just a taste of what Hofesh Shechter and the Brighton Festival team have in store for 2014.

Filmed and produced by Fat Sand Productions. 

Arts Accolade for 80 local schoolchildren for their contribution to Brighton Festival Children’s Parade

On Tuesday 4th February, over 80 local schoolchildren from Westdene and Fairlight Primary schools will visit Brighton Town Hall to receive their Arts Award from The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Denise Cobb.

The children gained their Arts Award - a nationally recognised qualification for young people’s achievement through the arts - as part of their contribution to the 2013 Brighton Festival Children’s Parade. The award recognises their success in areas of art, design, creativity and music and is a fitting reward for their hard work and in helping to ensure that the 2013 parade was a vibrant celebration of the collective creativity of the city.

For over 25 years the Children’s Parade has opened Brighton Festival, with local school children stepping into show stopping costumes they have designed and made themselves. It is the largest annual children’s event in the UK and is produced on behalf of Brighton Dome and Festival by community arts organisation, Same Sky. In 2013, poet, writer, broadcaster, former Children’s Laureate and Arts Award Champion, Michael Rosen guest-directed Brighton Festival and inspired the theme of the parade which was the alphabet.

With the additional support from Artswork – the national Youth Arts Development Agency and South East Bridge Organisation - Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Same Sky were able to include Arts Award in the parade for the first time, with many more schools signing up to deliver the award as part of their parade contribution for 2014. 2014’s theme for the Children’s Parade is “the arts”.

Michael Rosen, talking about Arts Award - 'I like the way Arts Award is based on a reflective model of learning, encouraging teachers and leaders to focus on children and young people as individuals and as creative artists in their own right. Arts Award is a flexible framework, rather than a set curriculum, which ignites ideas rather than dictating answers.' 

This year’s ‘big read’ revealed! Young City Reads returns to Brighton Festival 2014

Brighton Festival and Collected Works CIC (the organisation behind Brighton & Hove's City Reads) are delighted to reveal the title selected for this year's ‘big read’ for children is The Sleeping Army by Francesca Simon.

Young City Reads launches on World Book Day (06 March) and will finish on 22 May with a very special Brighton Festival event for schools featuring the bestselling author whose book is this year’s focus. More news on that following the Brighton Festival launch on Feb 25.

The concept of Young City Reads is simple: one book by one author is selected for the whole community to read, discuss, debate and enjoy. Primary schools are being invited to register online to read the book together in class and to participate in a range of special activities.

Francesca Simon said: ‘What a thrill to have all of Brighton & Hove reading The Sleeping Army and then coming together at the end to discuss it – I can't wait to talk about the book and meet all my readers at the event in May. What a brilliant way to bring a city together and support reading’

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “We are delighted that Young City Reads will return as part of Brighton Festival in 2014. Celebrating literature in this way provides a unique opportunity for children to creatively engage in the arts. I’m sure Francesca Simon’s inventive reworking of the Norse myths will fascinate and inspire young readers across the city”

Sarah Hutchings, Artistic Director, Collected Works CIC, added, “Young City Reads is all about reading for pleasure. It encourages children to learn through their enjoyment of literature. There is a power in sharing books and stories together, and the younger we start the more fulfilling our lives will be.”

Be part of HOUSE 2014

The deadline is fast approaching...

HOUSE 2014 Artist Commissioning Opportunity

In partnership with Brighton Festival, Lighthouse and University of Brighton, Photoworks and The Regency Town House.

HOUSE is Brighton & Hove’s annual visual arts event concerned with the commissioning of new work in partnership with Brighton Festival. HOUSE utilises domestic and unusual spaces to situate work throughout the city.

HOUSE 2014 invites outline proposals from artists based in the South East region, including London, for a series of commissions to be realised in May 2014.

Head to the HOUSE website to download a brief and application form.

Deadline for submissions: 17 Jan 2014


Your chance to sponsor Brighton Festival’s Children’s Parade 2014

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is delighted to announce it has received an anonymous donation of £5000 towards the cost of The Children’s Parade. 

The donor is challenging one or more businesses or individuals to match the gift and sponsor the annual event which heralds the beginning of Brighton Festival; England’s largest multi-arts festival. Sponsors will receive association with the event as well as an array of bespoke benefits

Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organization Same Sky, the Children’s Parade involves over 5,000 children from a record 83 schools and community groups across the region who will take to Brighton’s streets for the parade this May. They will be watched and cheered on by more than 20,000 people.

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, “Each year the participation and interest in the Children’s Parade grows, and support like this ensures that we, as an arts charity, can continue to offer this exciting annual event for the city’s young people.”

Held on the first Saturday in May, the Children’s Parade has opened Brighton Festival for more than 25 years. Big, bright, colourful and fun, it is one of the most spectacular community events in the UK and also acts as an interactive learning tool for children – with creative workshops taking place throughout the city and beyond in the run up to the big day.

A free spectator event, local and national interest in the Children’s Parade also continues to grow yearly - sponsor support goes a long way to ensuring its popularity continues to thrive. This year’s theme of the parade, is ‘The Arts’ and which gives the city a chance to celebrate why Brighton & Hove is culturally such a great place to live and learn, for young and old alike.

For the first time ever this year, the organisers will also join forces with Brighton & Hove Music & Arts - the music education hub whose key mission is to enhance and further develop music education across the city - to instate a Children’s Parade Musician in Residence who will visit numerous schools to encourage young people to explore different musical styles.

‘Music and the Arts are a vital part of all children's education and the Children's Parade is a fantastic celebration of children's creativity. As lead partner of SoundCity we are delighted to be leading on supporting children to create new music, develop their musical skills and experience performing to thousand of people.’ , said Peter Chivers, Head of Brighton & Hove Music and Arts, Brighton & Hove City Council

The Children’s Parade 2014 will be led by this year’s Brighton Festival Guest Director; the critically-acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter.

To find out more about sponsorship you can contact Ceri Eldin on ceri.eldin@brightonfestival.org or click here.

Brighton Festival scoops the award for Leisure and Tourism at Sussex Business Awards

Last week Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival were awarded the Sussex Business Awards title for Leisure and Tourism.

The awards, which took place in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, were attended by over 500 businesses from across Sussex.

2013 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the competition. Celebrating business excellence across Sussex, the Sussex Business Awards is the longest established scheme of its kind in the county.

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, “We were delighted to receive to the award for leisure and tourism last week at the Sussex Business Awards. The award is a recognition of the dedication and hard work that our teams put in and also how Brighton Festival 2013 was received and regarded across the region. In 2013, Brighton Festival had a three fold increase in audiences and made a multi million pound contribution to the local economy. It was terrific to pick up the award on behalf of everyone involved in the festival from across our organisation. It was also a great pleasure to host the awards in our own venue for the first time and we greatly enjoyed welcoming the county’s business people to Brighton Dome for a very special evening.”

Hofesh Shechter's Sun Photos & Reviews

We’re more than a little excited about the arrival of Hofesh Shechter’s Sun here next May. The show has garnered a lot of press since making its international debut in Melbourne and subsequently making its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells, London. We’ve been keeping up with the reviews to see what we can expect when it concludes its first world tour at the opening weekend of Brighton Festival 2014.

Recognised as one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists, Shechter is renowned for creating raw, physical live contemporary dance pieces set to his own, highly-charged, atmospheric musical scores and from what we’ve seen and read, you won’t be disappointed.

‘It's like ballet gone feral’ The Guardian

'Hofesh Shechter's latest work points fingers at the world's ugly injustice in a skewed, sometimes nightmarish, way. His movement has a primal, hypnotic power' London Evening Standard


Hofesh on Sun in the Metro:

‘Some people come and hope it’s Political Mother 2, I know that. However, other people will hope for something new. That’s what I’m interested in. The experience of Sun will be very different but you can sense that it’s my work – I want the work to reach out to people. I want it to connect.’


'Although just 75 minutes straight through, it would take a week to list every one of Sun’s vignettes in detail – there are dozens, each one, thanks to razor-sharp sound- and lighting-cues, cutting with Hitchcockian speed and brio to the next.' The Telegraph

Hofesh's eponymous company is a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and the brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open our three week arts extravaganza on Sat 3 May 2014 when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour. In an interview with the Metro Hofesh spoke about his Guest Directorship of Brighton Festival 2014

‘The opportunity to bring works from dance to music to theatre, to be able to create an event, that’s really exciting. The work that inspires me is the work that asks you to commit yourself to it – and when you do that, you get something back. There has to be an honesty about it.’



Children’s Parade 2014 theme announced

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and arts organisation Same Sky are delighted to announce the theme for the 2014 Children’s Parade is the ‘The Arts’, with differing sections of the parade focussing on different genres including dance, theatre, film, visual arts and books.

For the first time ever, the organisation will join forces with Brighton & Hove Music & Arts - the music education hub whose key mission is to enhance and further develop music education across the city - to instate a Children’s Parade Musician in Residence who will visit numerous schools to encourage young people to explore different musical styles.

Almost 5,000 children from a record 83 schools and community groups across the region take to Brighton’s streets for the parade in May, watched and cheered on by more than 20,000 people. Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky, the Children’s Parade has delighted participants and spectator for over 25 years and officially launches Brighton Festival - England’s largest multi-arts festival - on the first Saturday in May.

Each year the parade celebrates a different imaginative theme. Previous years have seen participants dress up as everything from letters of the alphabet to Brighton street names.

For more information, please visit http://www.samesky.co.uk

Brighton Festival announces choreographer Hofesh Shechter as Guest Director 2014

Critically-acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer will shape Brighton Festival 2014’s programme of events

Renowned for creating raw, physical live contemporary dance pieces set to his own, highly-charged, atmospheric musical scores, Hofesh Shechter is seen as one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists. His eponymous Company are a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and their brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open the three week arts extravaganza on Sat 3 May when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour. 

Hofesh Shechter said, ’Brighton has a magic to it that no one can explain. Finding a place where one can develop and grow artistically is a delicate thing, an important thing. Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival have been an inspiring, energising and encouraging place for my company and me in the last 5 years. We’ve enjoyed the buzz, the lightness, energy, and the unexplainable essence of Brighton. We have resided in its cultural heart - Brighton Dome, and the pulsating artistic heart of the Dome is the annual Festival. I'm so excited and honoured to have been invited to lead on this inspiring event and I feel a rush of excitement about the ideas I can contribute. To be asked to lead this amazing event in 2014, to be asked to inspire, energise, encourage... well, delighted, is just a boring word.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Festival said, ‘We’re very pleased that Hofesh Shechter is our Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2014. As the artistic director of our resident company Hofesh Shechter Company, it has been exciting for us and our audiences to experience first-hand his ascent to becoming a major force on the international contemporary dance scene. Hofesh’s instinctive understanding of Brighton and our Festival has been a great starting point for our planning, and I feel it’s particularly pertinent that he steps into the role in 2014 following a highly successful five years of working together. Hofesh’s appointment as Guest Director continues a trend set by his predecessors – his work and creative vision contains that rare quality and sense of adventure that sparks the imaginations of a much wider audience beyond his own discipline. With such an eclectic artist at the helm, Brighton Festival 2014 is set to be a very exciting one indeed.

Hofesh Shechter’s appointment as Guest Director is the culmination of a five year relationship between the choreographer and the organisation. Fresh from being named the first resident company at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival in 2008, Hofesh Shechter Company’s dramatic Brighton Dome Concert Hall debut In your rooms / Uprising was followed by back-to-back world premières of two specially-commissioned works; The Art of Not Looking Back (Brighton Festival 2009) and Political Mother (Brighton Festival 2010). In 2009, Brighton Festival also commissioned Hofesh’s Bangers and Mash; a youth community project featuring over 100 young dancers and musicians, and in 2013 Brighton Festival commissioned Nomad Land; a collaborative dance and film project that explored the energy and complexity of male relationships. Brighton Dome has also played host to evenings of brand-new work choreographed and presented by Hofesh Shechter Company dancers called In Good Company and, following its international success, the return of Political Mother to the venue in 2012.

Brighton Festival - an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events - will take place in venues across the city and beyond from 3 to 25 May 2014. 

Learn more about our new Guest Director Hofesh Shechter. Watch the trailer for Sun, which has been  described as 'utterly disarming… delightfully eclectic' DanceTabs. Read the full review here.


Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked tours the UK this autumn

Critically acclaimed Brighton Festival 2012 commission embarks on 11-date tour in September

Following its sell-out world premiere at Brighton Festival in 2012, Live_Transmission: Joy Division Reworked - an electro-orchestral and visual reinterpretation of one of the UK’s most influential bands - will begin its debut UK tour at Royal Festival Hall, London on Saturday 21 September.

A truly unique spectacle, the show is an audio-visual collaboration between electronic music pioneer Scanner, Heritage Orchestra, and visual artist Matt Watkins. Rather than classical interpretations or cover versions, Live_Transmission dismantles Joy Division's visual and musical motifs to create a hugely powerful immersive event that pays homage to the signature spirit that defined the group as one of the world’s most progressive bands.

‘If Curtis hadn’t died you can’t help but wonder if this the kind of thing they would be doing today’ The Independent

The musicians - including Three Trapped Tigers’ drummer Adam Betts and guitarist Matt Calvert, Ghostpoet bassist John Calvert, conductor Jules Buckley and the Heritage Orchestra - perform between two huge screens that capture the projected artwork of Matt Watkins. These vast visuals complement the orchestra by switching between clarity and chaos.

A performance that not only respects the ground it dares to tread but also ventures into new cross-genre artistic territory, the show recently made its international debut at the Sydney Opera House in May 2013 for the Vivid LIVE festival.

Tour dates are as follows:

21st Sept - London Royal Festival Hall

23rd Sept - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

24th Sept - Northampton Royal & Derngate

25th Sept - Bristol Colston Hall

26th Sept - Cambridge Corn Exchange

27th Sept - Basingstoke The Anvil

28th Sept - Birmingham Symphony Hall

29th Sept - Salford Lyric Theatre - The Lowry

30th Sept - Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

1st Oct - Edinburgh Usher Hall

2nd Sept - Gateshead The Sage

For more information, visit www.joydivisionreworked.com

The Latest Festival Awards: Brighton Festival triumphs!

Performers, directors, artists and more came together at the Latest Music bar on Monday 3 June for The Latest Festival Awards

Celebrating the best of Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, £5 Fringe Awards and the Artists Open Houses 2013, the awards show marked the perfect ending to another fabulous festival-filled May.

Brighton Festival were privileged to win the prize for the best children’s event (Flathampton), best classical event (How Like an Angel), best international act (Casus’ Knee Deep) and best outdoor event (Figures Libres: KompleXKaphaarnauM)

Brighton Festival also took second and third – so the entire catergory of prizes in fact – for outdoor work, where praise also went to Kaarina Kaikonnen’s Time Passes by and theatre spectacular A High Street Odyssey. Awards were also made to Brighton Festival acts Sam Lee and Daniel Kitson.

For the first time too, the festival’s Guest Director was awarded for outstanding contribution to the Festivals in May. This accolade for Michael Rosen comes hot off the heels of his Argus Angel in the final week of the Festival.

Sixteen awards were up for grabs on the night in total and Britain’s Got Talent star Lynn Ruth Miller provided comic relief.

You can read more about the event by visiting here.





Michael Rosen wins Argus Angel

Michael Rosen has been awarded an Argus Angel after leaders of the city’s arts scene hailed him as the greatest Guest Director to date.

The 67-year-old children’s author has been a constant presence over the last three weeks and involved in many shows.

From lending his hands and eyes for the Festival front cover to leading hundreds of youngsters in creating a new piece of music in The Great Enormo, he has secured himself as a fans’ favourite.

Jon Barrenechea, the manager of the Duke of York’s cinema, praised him for his “accessibility” across the three weeks.

He said: 'A lot of these people seem to live in their ivory tower that they have constructed, but he verymuch lives in the real world.

'Of all the guest directors he has certainly been the most accessible. I’ve seen him walking around and chatting with people – he has been great.

'He can talk and relate to people of all ages. The Argus Angel is thoroughly deserved.'

Laurence Hill, the manager of Fabrica gallery in Duke Street, said that his popularity with all ages was key.

He added: 'Because he is so well-known in a kind of democratic way I think he engaged and has been more accessible than others have been.

'He is very deserving of an Angel.'

Among the events the London-based writer has been involved in include his In Conversation with veteran author Judith Kerr, the screening of his favourite book Emil and The Detectives and a debate on the future of education staged by The Guardian.

He has also appeared on various national TV and radio shows promoting both the Festival and the city.

Duncan Hall, an entertainment reporter for The Argus, said: 'His character and personality has been imprinted across the programme and I can’t think of anyone who has had such a major influence on what is going on.

'He has been everything a guest director should be. It has been a pleasure having him here in Brighton.'

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of the Festival, said: 'He has entertained, educated and moved audiences of all ages during his time in Brighton.

'Michael has the infectious energy of a polymath and is curious about and interested in everything – he has been perfect for such an eclectic and wide-ranging festival as ours. Thank you Michael.'

Geoffrey Bowden, the chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s culture committee, said: 'His energy and enthusiasm has been truly phenomenal. He has set a high benchmark for future guest directors to aim for. The Argus Angel award is well deserved.'

The outgoing mayor of Brighton and Hove, Bill Randall, who led the Children’s Parade with the Guest Director, added: “He has been fantastic.

'His enthusiasm and passion should be applauded and he richly deserves an Argus Angel.'

Ben James, The Argus
Visit The Argus website here

Vote for your favourite event of Brighton Festival 2013

If you've seen something you've really enjoyed, don't forget to cast your votes in The Argus and Latest 7 awards.

Each year The Argus awards one Argus Angel to a show voted for by the public. They have already awarded well-deserved Argus Angel awards to EarfilmsPaul LewisWe're Gonna DieFlathamptonAngelique KidjoKnee Deep and The Tiger Lillies

Now is the chance to vote for your highlight. With shows such as How Like an AngelCirkopolis and Bigmouth amongst many others to choose from it could be a difficult decision!

You can nominate your favourite performance via The Argus website or by texting ARGUSANGEL to 80360 followed by your nomination. Twitter users can also nominate using the hashtag #argusangel.

See here for details of how to cast your Latest 7 vote online. Be quick, voting closes at the end of this week.

We know we've had a great time and we hope you have too...

In pictures: Week 3

In the final week of Brighton Festival 2013, there were adventures by bicycle over the South Downs while The Flaming Lips brought the house down at Brighton Dome...

Photos by Victor Frankowski and Dan Dennison

Music legend celebrates his birthday at Brighton Festival

Herbie Flowers - the Sussex-based musician renowned for his bass guitar, double-bass and tuba playing - turned 75 in style on Sunday 19 May at a special Brighton Festival Birthday Jazz Breakfast in The Spiegeltent.

The show, which featured Flowers playing alongside respected jazz saxophonist Stan Sulzmann, pianist Mark Edwards and drummer Malcolm Mortimore, also saw Brighton Festival Chorus perform a number of songs before singing a very special version of Happy Birthday. Flowers was then presented with a bass guitar-shaped cake, based on a guitar he’d bought from New York in the 1960s, from Flutterby Bakery.

Highly regarded as one of Britain's best-known session bass-players, Flowers has worked alongside the likes of David Bowie, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney and famously recorded the iconic bass line to Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wild Side.

Herbie returns to The Speigeltent for one final Brighton Festival jazz breakfast performance on Sunday 26 May at 11am - for tickets, click here.

His annual Rockshop - an intensive week long music course for young musicians aged 14 - 19 - takes place at Brighton Dome from July 29 to 2nd August. For more information, please click here.

In pictures: Week 2

After a spectacular start to Brighton Festival, week 2 did not disappoint. Highlights included the astonishing Knee Deep receiving standing ovations at the Theatre Royal, Magna Mysteria leading us on a journey of magic and mystery across Brighton, drama and magic in Bullet Catch in the Spiegeltent, and our guest director Michael Rosen at The Guardian Education Debate and in conversation with Judith Kerr.

Photos by Victor Frankowski except Bone Yard Tales by Dan Dennison

One Brighton Festival reviewer goes to all four of our Alexanderplatz screenings!

There is no deeper or more atmospheric evocation of the German Weimar era than the German television epic Berlin Alexanderplatz so it’s entirely fitting that we have programmed it this year for Brighton Festival.

Adapted from Alfred Döblin’s novel by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the 15-and-a-half hour mini-series has become cult viewing since its 14 episodes were first aired in 1983.

And one valiant Brighton Festival critic is determined to see all 15 hours of the show. (That’s 15 hours to you and me)

Lizzie Tobin’s final review will appear on Guide 2 Brighton at the end of the month.

The complete series is being shown in four installments across the four weekends of the Brighton Festival.

This is an unmissable opportunity to experience a television classic on the big screen and there is still a chance to see the final two installments on the 19 and 26 May at the Duke of Yorks at 11am on each of the dates.

The most notorious finale in show business heads to Brighton Festival

A stunt so dangerous the even Houdini refused to attempt it will take place as part of Brighton Festival this week in Rob Drummond’s Bullet Catch.


The trick, which has claimed the lives of at least twelve illusionists, assistants and spectators since its conception in 1613 - is renowned for being the most daring, death-defying show on earth.

I aim to catch a bullet fired from an automatic pistol. I will catch that bullet using only my teeth,” explains Drummond.

During the show I bring out various documents including a mental health assessment that I have undertaken to make sure I am of a fit and stable mind to conduct the trick and my real will, which I draw up and re-date every night.”

The show - which has won both a Herald Angel Award and the Total Theatre Award for ‘Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form’ - follows the life and death onstage of famed bullet catcher, William Henderson, who died 100 years ago performing the trick.

Drummond plays modern day marvel William Wonder who presents a unique theatrical magic show featuring storytelling, mind reading, levitation, games of chance. One lucky audience member will even be selected to take the spotlight as the wonderful magician’s glamorous assistant.

Initially, what I wanted to do was see if I could integrate magic and theatre,” Drummond says.

An added aim was to make a relationship without the usual boundaries that you get on stage between the audience member and the performer.”

Bullet Catch plays at the Spiegeltent from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 May at 7.30pm - for tickets, click here.