A man stands at the centre of a poolside wearing a yellow top and red shorts, in front of blue water

Behind the Scenes: Francesca Baglione / Miss High Leg Kick, live artist


We caught up with Francesca Baglione (Miss High Leg Kick) who is bringing her aromatic performance Eau de Memoire to Hangleton Park as part of A Weekend Without Walls for the opening weekend of Brighton Festival.

Smell is the sense most closely connected to memory and imagination and creating this show was about celebrating that and appreciating the incredible evocative power of scent.

A Weekend Without Walls will bring communities together to enjoy free family pop-up performances from some of the UK’s most innovative outdoor companies – from hip-hop dance theatre to contemplative audio tours. This year, the programme will expand beyond Brighton & Hove to partner on events with Creative Crawley.


Tell us more about Miss High Leg Kick?

I am a Brighton-based, Olivier award-winning live artist. My work uses innovative collaboration and humour to find new approaches to engage audiences and reach underserved audiences through unexpected performances. My work draws on my early beginnings in cabaret in Brighton and London and I’ve created several successful large-scale outdoor works and interactive performance pieces.

I became involved with Without Walls in 2016 through my outdoor participatory show Audition Project Live!. Eau de Memoire has been supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Brighton Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

Where did the inspiration for Eau de Memoire come from?

Eau de Memoire was inspired by my experience of parosmia - temporarily losing my own sense of smell as a symptom of Covid-19. Smell is the sense most closely connected to memory and imagination and creating this show was about celebrating that and appreciating the incredible evocative power of scent. My work is often about collaboration - bringing artists together to create performances which work as a whole and as a celebration of individuals.


How would you describe the show in three words?

Fun, smells great!

What do you hope people will take away from Eau de Memoire?

In a travel-restricted COVID-era, this is a unique opportunity for audiences to be transported to other places and times, and to experience the artists’ stories through an approachable and stimulating live experience. Eau de Memoire celebrates the rich experiences and memories evoked by our sense of smell. I hope to recreate moments in time through scent and performance, giving the audience an olfactory experience.


Are you looking forward to Brighton Festival 2022?

I am proud and honoured to be invited to perform in a Festival that celebrates the amazing city we live in. I’m particularly excited to premiere my new show in a local and accessible location. Eau de Memoire and other A Weekend Without Walls performances prove that you don’t have to go to arts venues (or even into town) to experience art. I’m really looking forward to local friends and family being able to see the show!


Anything else Brighton Festival audiences need to know?

For this show the whole team have collaborated with London parfumier Bloom, who have painstakingly pieced together the constituent parts of the smell memories of the artists involved. This combines individual notes to produce remarkable evocations of moments and places in time – even bottling the essence of a 2002 London Squat Party and a 1978 Barry Island Funfair! Audiences will be able to smell the experiences the artists are celebrating, and the experience will help demystify the magic and science of perfume.

For further information on ways to support people affected by smell disorders please visit abscent.org.

Eau de Memoire is part of A Weekend Without Walls on 7-8 May, more information here

A Weekend Without Walls is supported by Southern Water