Brighton Festival 2017Public booking opens: Fri 24 Feb, 9am

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Eddie Otchere's Brighton Festival photo picks

Acclaimed photographer Eddie Otchere immersed himself in the city during this year’s Brighton Festival, soaking up the atmosphere, camera always in hand. Eddie facilitated workshops at Your Place in Hangleton and East Brighton and set up The Bright Room – a community darkroom. Here he picks out some of his favourite contact sheets from across the Festival period.

‘It’s not the final image that makes the photographer, it’s the contact sheet itself that makes the experience’

Brighton & Hove Albion promotion parade taken by Eddie Otchere: I was walking down the street and I realised Brighton was having a parade. The turn-out and the level of production and the effort they put in to throw that party was ridiculous. It’s a reflection of the Brighton that I have come to know; a positive reflection of humanity, the way you celebrate your team graduating to the Premier League. Crystal Palace is my local team, and we don’t do this.


Your Place East Brighton taken by Eddie Otchere: I had done my workshop in the morning, and then took a walk to the Crew Club. There was a soundcheck in progress with the Guest Director Kate Tempest. There was a great rapport between Kate and the staff. It’s a wonderful example of how free they felt in Brighton. This contact sheet symbolises that level of freedom and how good they felt. When you come to Brighton, you put aside your London angst. The Kate that the people of Brighton saw was something unique to Brighton.


Your Place Hangleton, Culture Clash taken by Eddie Otchere: Poets vs MCs vs Comedians - that’s one of the best ideas I have heard in my life. They all share a similar kind of skill but they are very different. It’s a reflection of Hangleton and the talent which was pulled together to make that event happen. What an amazing community centre Hangleton has, the energy in that particular environment. This contact sheet also shows how Kate Tempest is as much in the audience as she is on stage.


Taken by a Bright Room workshop participant: This contact sheet sums up the experience that most people would have had in terms of a learning experience. There are all the classic subjects, dogs, people smiling, Bart Simpson graffiti. It reflects the idea that participants walk away with a camera and just shoot their environment. The money shot is an old man with a pocket watch, which made it into The Bright Room exhibition. It’s a beautiful piece of photography.


Taken by a Bright Room workshop participant: This person was very geometric in their taste. In that way photography is very democratic, everyone has their own taste. I think this person got a lot out of the visual investigation. Black and white film is perfect for this as it is all about shape and texture.



Taken by a Bright Room workshop participant: This person was my assistant at the Hangleton workshop and then came along to The Bright Room workshops and brought her brother (who appears in the contact sheet). It is the people of Brighton experiencing the Brighton that they know. I understand how people can over-think photography because it is an artform, but I think, at it’s best, photography is an example of a moment in time. This person used the camera I used for shooting metal heads and Goldie in the ‘90s. It had a setting that meant it shoots multiple exposures when the shutter button is held down, hence the repetition. 


Walking through Brighton by Eddie Otchere: This must have been the second to last day of The Bright Room workshops. I was walking by the sea to The Bright Room. It’s that thing of being in Brighton and bumping into people. These are pictures from that walk. Once you get by the sea you start to realise how magical that sea is. I think that was the most relaxing shoot I did. It is a record of what it was like for me every morning on my route to work. To a great extent it probably sums up my Brighton experience.

Find out more about Eddie Otchere and the philosophy behind The Bright Room.

Introducing the Lulu.com short story competition winners

Here we meet the four winners of the short story writing competition run by Lulu.com, sponsor of Brighton Festival commission the Storytelling Army.

They will have their stories combined with stories from the Storytelling Army into the Everyday Epic anthology, which is to be published by Lulu.com.

Beki Turner - Together We Can


I live in Brighton with my daughter Rosie and my dog Frankie, and I have been here since 1999, moving impulsively from London after ending up at a party in the basement of a record shop.

Brighton is a very special and magical place, and it felt right to base my story here. I wanted to highlight the subject of loneliness, and how people of all ages can be isolated and lonely for a number of reasons. I’ve worked extensively with homeless individuals and quite vulnerable adults over the years.

Everyone has a reason for ending up in Brighton, and sometimes people get lost along the way. I wanted to show how kindness and coincidence can bring people together and change lives, and how people coming together can be really powerful.

Perhaps the characters in my story will be developed in the future because they all have a story to tell and have the potential to help each other.

I have always loved writing fiction as a hobby and promised myself that if I was one of the winners of the competition, I’d start taking it seriously.

Extract from Together We Can:

'Gav is drunk. You can see it in his ordinarily militant body; His usual brash march is more of a meaningful flounder as he meanders across the pebbles. Gav opts for an unnecessarily loud exit from the blaring serenity of Brighton beach, striding past the bank holiday families with their middle class picnics, and the hipsters with their disposable barbeques bought with their disposable incomes. They are all being circled and Gav ruffles the seagulls’ feathers as he strides noisily past them.

Tourists and locals huddle around tables, drinking premium beer from flimsy cups as the sun starts to set. Gav turns back to look at the glitter bomb ocean. The sky is as beautiful as a Bierstadt. Gav breathes in the wafts of charred meat, cigarette smoke, aftershave and salt. He listens to the voices shouting over the deafening base lines and the sirens overhead. He pulls his last can of lager out of his pocket. It’s still perfectly cold. He holds the can for a moment, feeling it penetrate his hands and enjoying the sensation. He cracks it open and takes a swig. The beer simmers in his mouth and the taste is wondrous. And at that exact moment, Gav knows it’s a good time to die.'

David Benedictus - Protected Housing


I am 79 and I am a theatre director and writer. I have written lots of stuff – too much really – and published about 15-20 novels from The Fourth of June (1962), a scurrilous book about Eton, to Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (2009) an authorised sequel to the Winnie-the-Pooh books.

I am a member of Nightwriters, the writers club in Brighton. My second published novel, You’re a Big Boy Now (1963) was filmed by the (very) young Francis Ford Coppola in New York. I worked for the BBC on many occasions and was commissioning editor for drama series at Channel 4 from 1984-1986. I was a London tour guide and ran a horse-race tipping service for 25 years. The Daily Mail said I was going to marry Princess Anne , but I didn’t. At the BBC I initiated the programme Something Understood.

I have 4 children, a QC, a novelist, a psychotherapist and a theatrical producer. They are amazing. I have also written a number of musicals, one of which was started in 1955 and is still awaiting a full production

I don’t know where the idea for Protected Housing came from but with just a few hours to go before the deadline I thought I ought to do something and this is what emerged. It’s not like anything I have written before and although it would benefit from a second draft I like its poignant atmosphere.

Extract from Protected Housing:

‘It really was the most marvellous garden,’ she said. ’Not that I had anything to compare it with.’

He tried to recall it. ‘It smelled so beautiful. No chemicals of course then, and it rained only when you needed it. I remember a tree,’ he said. ‘Because I used to sit in the shade and make up names for things. Then you came along, and you thought of miraculous names. Like Flutterby.’

‘You improved on that one.’ She smiled. Although her skin was so wrinkled these days, she retained a smile to charm the birds out of the trees. They seldom spoke of those days because they seemed not only to belong to a different age but to two different people entirely.

‘Would you like to go back?’

‘Well, we couldn’t, could we? For one thing, we’d never find it.’

Jenny Gaitskell - On the Threshold


My default state is daydreaming, and some days I have to go to work and pretend to be sensible, but I write stories whenever possible. While I’m writing, I can go to places I’ll never see, travel in time, meet impossible strangers and be somebody else for a while. When the stories are published, my hope is that readers will imagine something new too. I blog about daydreaming, my creative brain (who calls herself Gonzo) and the unexpected encounters which inspire me. If that sounds like fun, have a look on jennygaitskell.com, or come and say hello on twitter @jennygaitskell.

When I wrote , I’d woken up into one of those mornings when everything feels impossible, even making stuff up. Under those circumstances, obviously the best thing to do was mess about on the internet, and that’s how I found the theme for this anthology, Everyday Epics. Yup, I thought, each day’s a toughie. My page was blank and my mind was blank, except for a woman stuck behind a door. I asked myself, if she could only make herself take that first step, out into the world, what might she try next?

Extract from On the Threshold:

'On the threshold, Emily told herself: you can become the version of you that’s needed, send another letter, take one more step forward. She took it, and closed her front door quietly behind her, for the sake of neighbours who’d never noticed her. Once again, the street smelled of last night but the sky was pink with possibility. Passing across the square, she recognised, from identical mornings, another early riser. He didn’t see her smile, was too busy examining the inside of his frown. There is always tomorrow, she thought. She was right on time for the park, and ready for the dog walker’s half-hearted salute, which might really be no more than a shaking of the leash. She threw her first ever greeting, but it fell short. The walker didn’t turn to pick it up, didn’t wait to see what might happen next. But a word had been spoken, and that was better than yesterday.'

Saba Sams - Nice Light


Saba Sams just graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in English Literature with Creative Writing. She has now moved back to Brighton, where she was raised. Nice Light is her second short story to be published. The first, What Do You Know About Love?, can be read online at Forge Literary Magazine. A few of Saba’s poems have also appeared in places such as Ink, Sweat and Tears, and Cluny MCR.

Nice Light was written in Manchester, on an evening spent missing those hot Brighton summers, when drunks stumble up the Old Steine, and teenagers crowd the cycle paths on the seafront. It’s a story about right now, about living in the present tense, told by a protagonist who can do nothing but cross each bridge as she gets to it. But this story is also about those tiny moments of self-reflection, those glimmers of memory, recognition, or random kindnesses that remind us who we are, or where we’re going. It’s about that time of day when the clouds split to let a little sun through, and a few minutes of nice light remind us that the ordinary can hold something extraordinary.

Extract from Nice Light:

One of those days in Brighton where the heat is thick. Everybody lying on the grass watching everybody else. Ice lolly sticks all over the playground. Dogs with their tongues out, dry. Max sleeping next to a crate of Foster’s. No clouds. A teenage boy in a grey t-shirt tapping me on the shoulder. Sweat patches, smiley. Tells me he’s looking for alcoholics. Making a short film for college. Just thought he’d ask around the park. Hot day, you know? Writes his mobile number on a rizla. Don’t have to decide now, just something to keep in mind. He’d appreciate it.

Put the rizla in my back pocket. Remember being seventeen, on a bus. Woman with a sandwich turned around in her seat to tell me to go easy on the drink. She’d seen me on this route before. Couldn’t even walk straight at eleven in the morning. Better kick it before it’s too late. Got a whole life ahead of me. Not a thing to waste, a life. I thanked her for the advice and got off at the next stop to buy four K Ciders. Guess I’ve got it written all over my face.

Copies of the Everyday Epic anthology will be available from the Lulu.com bookshop and other good retailers. To find out when the book is available to buy, follow the Lulu.com social media channels.

Winners announced of Lulu.com Short Story Competition

Four winners of the short story writing competition run by Lulu.com, sponsor of Brighton Festival commission the Storytelling Army, have been announced. 

The lucky winners will have their stories combined with stories from the Storytelling Army into the Everyday Epic anthology, which is to be published by Lulu.com.

Writers living in Sussex were asked to respond to the theme selected by Kate Tempest for Brighton Festival 2017, Everyday Epic, in no more than 4,000 words. The winning entries are:

Protected Housing by David Benedictus, Hove

On the threshold by Jenny Gaitskell, Lewes

Nice Light by Saba Sams, Brighton

Together we can by Beki Turner, Brighton

Jean Roberts, Business Development Director UK at Lulu.com says “The standard of the entries were all very high and it was certainly a difficult choice to come down to the final four writers. The judges all felt that these stories captured the spirit of the ‘Everyday Epic’ and really make the reader stop and think about how even the smallest event can be epic and life affirming or changing. Well done to all four winners and we hope that they continue to write stories to share.”

Brighton Festival worked with nabokov theatre company and Guest Director Kate Tempest to assemble and mobilise the Storytelling Army: a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life - including those who are homeless and vulnerably housed – who performed in unexpected locations throughout Brighton over the last weekend of this year’s Festival.

Copies of the Everyday Epic anthology will be available from the Lulu.com bookshop and other good retailers. To find out when the book is available to buy, follow the Lulu.com social media channels.

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival retains Arts Council NPO funding

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is pleased to be confirmed as a continuing part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio for 2018-2022.

Funding has been maintained at current levels during the period, equating to £1,149,921 per year.

As custodians of the Grade 1 Listed Brighton Dome at the cultural heart of the city, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is the major arts and cultural provider in Brighton & Hove with an audience reach of over 666,000 annually.

Funding from Arts Council England (ACE) – along with Brighton & Hove City Council and a number of other supporters and donors - allows the delivery of an innovative year round programme spanning music, theatre, dance, comedy, literature, spoken word, visual arts, film, digital and more, as well as Brighton Festival each May; the largest curated annual multi-arts festival in England. Established in 1967, Brighton Festival has become one of the city's most enduring symbols of inventiveness over the past half century, renowned for its pioneering spirit and experimental reputation.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: “We welcome the continued support and strong endorsement from Arts Council England for our work and our exciting plans ahead. We are also pleased to see continued funding for partners throughout the city and across the region.”

A registered charity, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is committed to offering imaginative new ways to discover and participate in the arts. Each year, the work of our Creative Learning team reaches over 22,000 people in Brighton & Hove and beyond.

Find out more about the work of our Creative Learning department.

Brighton Festival 2017 goes down a storm

The 51st Brighton Festival - with acclaimed recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest as Guest Director - came to a storming conclusion last weekend. 

The three-week celebration of the arts saw events take place in more venues across the city than ever before - from the South Downs to Brighton Marina to Woodvale cemetery - drawing a ticketed audience of over 81,000, the largest ever in the Festival’s 51-year-history.

At a political and social moment that feels particularly precarious, the wide-ranging programme paid homage to what Tempest calls the ‘Everyday Epic’ - art that helps us connect to ourselves and others, explores our individual stories and differences, and encourages audiences to take a walk in someone else’s shoes.

None did this more successfully than the UK Premiere of The Gabriels, Tony-award-winning playwright Richard Nelson’s extraordinarily, intimate depiction of one American family, written and set in real time during the turbulent US election year. The plays received a series of 5* reviews and were lauded by critics as ‘deeply moving portraits of the dissolving American dream’ (The Guardian), ‘a quietly stunning theatrical achievement’ (The Stage), and ‘miraculous, almost invisible craft’ (The Arts Desk).

Kate Tempest herself featured in a plethora of performances both large and small: including an exclusive opening gig of music and spoken word, her largest full band performance to date; and a live orchestration of her recent album Let Them Eat Chaos, produced in collaboration with Oscar-nominated artist Mica Levi. All were rapturously received by sell-out audiences – with fans taking to Twitter to proclaim the likes of: “Transcendent doesn't even cover it: Kate you blew my mind. Thank you”.

Reflecting on the experience Tempest says:

“It’s felt crazy - the things that I’ve been doing have been things that I never would have had the opportunity to try out, had it not been for this particular Festival, for example getting the opportunity to play with a string and woodwind ensemble. That was an experience that I’ve dreamed of, but was completely impossible. 

To get that many players of that calibre together, and to do it in a way that felt like it was providing something new for the work. It felt like a real moment of artistic endeavour and true collaboration." 

With an audience of 15,000 over 16 evenings, one of the Festival’s biggest talking-points was For the Birds, a spectacular night-time trail of sound and light installations at a secret woodland location. The largest ticketed event ever presented at Brighton Festival, this unique event set social media abuzz throughout the month, with audiences dubbing it ‘mesmerising’, ‘fascinating’ and ‘beautiful”.

Reflecting Tempest’s belief that: ‘The arts should be in our communities, not only on elevated platforms or behind red velvet ropes’, two new ventures ensured Brighton Festival 2017 did just that: The Storytelling Army, a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life popped up in unusual locations across the city to tell their ‘Everyday Epic’ stories - in turn humorous, inspiring, thought-provoking, emotional, and rousing; and new initiative Your Place, in partnership with Brighton People’s Theatre, brought a diverse line-up of free performances, workshops and activities Festival artists and local residents to the Hangleton and East Brighton communities. A resounding success, 1500 people took part in Your Place across two weekends.

Brighton Festival audiences were also encouraged to join the Pay-It-Forward movement for the first time in another new initiative which offered the chance to donate £5 on top of ticket prices which was match-funded to create a £10 Festival ticket voucher for someone unable to afford the opportunity. The response was phenomenal with over a thousand people choosing to pay tickets forward in the lead up to the Festival.

As Tempest herself said:

"One of my big hopes was that we could do just what we have done, which is to bring the Festival out a little bit, open it up, and have some events going on in the communities, so people who can’t make it into town for whatever reason, still get to access some of the great programming and some of that feeling of this Festival.”

Other Brighton Festival 2017 highlights included an ethereal promenade performance through Woodvale Cemetery for Circa’s Depart; Kneehigh’s acclaimed production of Emma Rice’s staging of Tristan & Yseult; a special performance from legendary folk singer Shirley Collins; a major new co-commission from sculptor Cathie Pilkington; a virtual exploration of the Australian outback with Lynette Wallworth’s thought-provoking Virtual Reality film experience Collisions; two special events to mark the 450th anniversary of the birth of Monteverdi: and an inspirational sold-out book tour event from US Senator Bernie Sanders.

As ever this year’s Festival has been a triumph of partnership working, made possible through collaborations with many major organisations across the city and beyond including Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, Lighthouse, Fabrica, University of Brighton, Onca Gallery, Theatre Royal Brighton and Without Walls amongst others.

2017 also saw the highest number of shows yet live-streamed to audiences around the world for free, thanks to the on-going partnership with Greater Brighton Metropolitan College with highlights including Kate Tempest’s collaboration with Mica Levi and Orchestrate, an extravaganza of music and performance by queer artists of colour headlined by Mykki Blanco, and playful dance theatre by Joan Clevillé Dance with Plan B for Utopia.

Sponsorship and corporate support has also been vital this year with generous contributions from new and returning sponsors and supporters including London Gatwick Airport, University of Sussex, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, GM Building, Griffith Smith Farringdon Webb, Lulu.com, Nutshell Construction, Yeomans Toyota Brighton, Selits, and ZSTa.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: “Bringing Brighton Festival together is a great privilege and this year with Kate Tempest’s inspiration we’ve been thrilled to have reached new audiences and achieved some fantastic new records. But it is only possible because of the extraordinary support we have from funders, patrons, supporters, sponsors, members, partners and artists. We are also blessed with one of the most adventurous, curious and experimental audiences anywhere. I would like to thank everyone for their invaluable contributions, for making Brighton Festival what it is and for bringing this wonderful city and its wonderful festival to life.”

Star of The Gabriels actor Maryann Plunkett announced as narrator of Copeland’s Lincoln Portrait for Brighton Festival finale

Britten Sinfonia and Brighton Festival Chorus bring Brighton Festival 2017 to a resplendent close with Aaron Copland's rousing Lincoln Portrait, alongside John Adams's glittering symphony, Harmonium.

We're delighted to announce that our narrator will be actor Maryann Plunkett, who plays Mary Gabriel in Richard Nelson’s trilogy The Gabriels, which has garnered a clutch of five-star reviews since its Brighton Festival UK premiere last weekend.

In 1942, shortly after the USA entered WW2 Copland was commissioned to write a work to fortify and comfort people during the time of national distress. The resulting Lincoln Portrait is a stirring setting of extracts from great speeches made by Abraham Lincoln, including the Gettysburg Address.

Other famous narrators have included the likes of Neil Armstrong, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Katharine Hepburn, and Barack Obama.

Maryann Plunkett also played Barbara in Richard Nelson’s The Apple Family Plays (Brighton Festival 2015), while her Broadway credits include Agnes of God, Sunday in the Park with George and Me and My Girl (for which she received a Tony Award). 

Britten Sinfonia and Brighton Festival Chorus are at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on Sun 28 May, 7.30pm

Our sponsors' top picks for Brighton Festival 2017

We asked a few of our sponsors what they were most excited about for Brighton Festival 2017. Here are their top picks.

ZSTA - Richard Zinzan – Partner

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

10 or more

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round? 

Yes

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

Chineke Orchestra

Kate Tempest with Mica Levi

This Bright Field (though not seen it yet!)

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

This is ZST architects second year supporting the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival. As a local creative architectural and Interior design practice we are passionate about culture, arts and the city. It’s important for local businesses to support the festival to allow it to continue on with its pioneering spirit and experimental reputation. The festival really puts Brighton on the cultural map and celebrates its individual atmosphere that we are all proud to be part of.

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Gary Miller – GM Building

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see? 

This year I am attending 15 events (17 if you include the all the Gabriel Plays as separate shows). I am a patron as well as a sponsor so talking to the programmers and other Patrons usually informs my choices and also The festival director, Andrew, gives a preview of the festival to the patrons which is an invaluable insight into what to expect.

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round? 

Reasonably regular , I come to plays, Spectrum, rock and Pop concerts in the Dome and the odd comedy event.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

As the festival is not over difficult to say what my top pick are. But I do think the Gabriel plays will be good. Swan lake and Kate Tempests Chaos were both stunning, and I have heard nothing but praise for the Birds, and this is the sort of event that you can only see at a festival like Brighton.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

I came to the festival via the children’s parade and my daughter’s desire to be a contemporary dancer and a desire to understand the workings of an industry that was alien to me. But I continue to support the festival as it is difficult not to be moved by the enthusiasm, hard work and sheer skill of the performers and artists. Culture is a very important part of what makes Brighton the vibrant place it is and without the Dome and Festival it would be a lot duller.

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University of Sussex - Laura McDermott - Creative Director

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

I see as much as I possibly can during Brighton Festival. I love festivals, the energy they bring to a city and how they help you see your environment afresh. I'll see several events each week - obviously everything at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, where we are co-producing a programme of events including the Uk Premiere of The Public Theater's The Gabriels trilogy by Richard Nelson. I also prioritise events that are in interesting or unusual spaces - in venues like The Spire or outdoors - up on the downs or out at sea.

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

Yes - I love visiting Brighton Dome, especially for gigs in the opulent concert hall. Last time I went (to see Future Islands) a musician in the support band referenced the fact that the hall used to be the stables of the palace. She said "we're all like Prince Regent's horses". It seemed a good excuse to jump about dancing.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

Lynnette Walworth's Collisons at Lighthouse (part of the Australia in Brighton strand of the festival) - a beautifully cinematic and political use of virtual reality, which has had a real-world impact.

For the Birds by Jony Easterby et al - a truly magical woodland adventture after-dark, sensitively installed amongst the trees in a secret location up on the South Downs.

Mykki Blanco at The Spire, presented by The Marlborough Pub & Theatre - the hottest ticket, this will be a truly iconic festival closing party.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

University of Sussex is serious about its commitment to the local community and Brighton Festival is a brilliantly visible, celebratory way to demonstrate that commitment, alongside the work the University and its students undertakes year round in service to our community.

The University of Sussex are supporters of Brighton Festival. Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, part of the University of Sussex, are also co-producers for Brighton Festival 2017.

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Vicky King – GSFW

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

I always try to attend a handful of events during Brighton Festival and the launch event is the best insight into the upcoming schedule – then it’s home with a highlight to work my way through the programme!

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

I absolutely love the Brighton Dome as a venue and attend numerous music gigs, comedy performance and dance acts throughout the whole year.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

Hot 8 Brass Band – I have heard great things about this group and they didn’t disappoint! I couldn’t stand still, such a fun and lively atmosphere! For the Birds – such an unusual but interesting event, it is nothing I have experienced before but such a great opportunity to get outdoors. Breakin Convention – I love dance and music combined and this event is perfect. Looking forward to seeing the amazing talent on display.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

As a firm, this is our third year supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival. We feel that is it part of the Brighton community and culture and without the support of local businesses it wouldn’t be able to continue. The events that this venue and Festival allows us all to be part of is truly spectacular and we look forward to supporting for many years to come.

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Ben Copper – Nutshell Construction

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

What we attend, and how often, differs year on year. The past few years have been a particularly exciting time to be working in UK construction, so we always expect to learn about emerging trends whenever we network at the Festival. For us, it’s all about mixing with a variety of different specialisms, from architects and designers, to local technology companies to get a real flavour of what’s going on in the South East inside and outside our bubble!

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

We happen to come from a family of folk singers so the arts are an incredibly important part of who we are and what we do. That’s why we try to support the Dome and the variety of acts it hosts all year round. As well as visiting a range of events and performances, we’re also lucky enough to regularly host our very own events in this historical and beautiful venue.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

With a whole month of incredible events, it’s tricky to pick just 3. One of our top highlights has to be the Your Place programme, which we’re incredibly proud to have been involved in this year. It truly brought Brighton’s communities together, which is what we think the Festival is all about.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

As a Sussex company to the core, we truly value everything to do with the community and its culture. The Brighton Festival is a hugely important part of what makes the city and the county as a whole and we are always proud to be part of it. The festival also allows us to talk to clients old and new in a different setting from our usual building sites. 

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Lulu.com

How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?

We attended the opening day of the festival and we were stationed in the Dome throughout the day and so were delighted to see the children's carnival when we arrived and also the Kate Tempest opening gig. Throughout the afternoon in the Dome we were lucky to be able to listen to children playing music from the schools around Brighton.

Are you a regular audience member at Brighton Dome year-round?

This is the first year we have sponsored the festival and our first visit to the beautiful Dome.

What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2017 programme and why?

The Children's Parade was fantastic and the carnival animals were made with such care and attention. Many of the animal creations were brought into the Dome after the carnival and it was quite something to see an 8ft+ high duck coming through the door of the Dome.

The Kate Tempest opening gig was electric and a sell out and the Dome was alive and buzzing as people arrived.

Why are you supporting Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival?

We are supporting the theme of Everyday Epic by running a short story writing competition in conjunction with Brighton Festival and nabokov's Storytelling Army. We are delighted to be able to bring together the most basic of human conditions, that of verbal story telling into the written form. 


Young people from Brighton Youth Centre create graffiti mural inspired by the Storytelling Army

Young people from Brighton Youth Centre have created a mural responding to a piece of writing by a member of Brighton Festival’s Storytelling Army, under the guidance of local artist and muralist Sinna One.

Brighton Festival commission the Storytelling Army is produced by nabokov theatre company who are working to assemble and mobilise a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life - including those who are homeless and vulnerably housed – who will be popping up to tell their stories in unexpected locations throughout Brighton over the last weekend of this year’s Festival, 26-28 May.

The mural, which is on the wall of Coffee@33 on Trafalgar street, was inspired by a piece of writing by one member of the Storytelling Army wrote about the kindness of people who buy her coffee.

Sinna One, who runs art classes at Brighton Youth Centre, says ‘Those guys when they come into the art room at the youth centre, they don’t always get to experience what I do as a job, and out on the street as well. It’s nice because it gives them a sense of working in the community as well.’

Fashion student Finley Marshall, who took the lead painting the mural, says ‘I’ve lived here all my life and I love Brighton so much. I loved the idea of spray painting. There’s loads of graffiti work all around Brighton, and getting to be a part of it is really great. I really like the concept [of the Storytelling Army] that people are just going to start telling stories places.’

New app The Hum invites festival-goers to view Brighton in a new light

The Hum, a free app which highlights the beauty in the everyday, is now available to download.

A Brighton Festival co-commission conceived and directed by Nic Sandiland, The Hum is a reflection and meditation on our own everyday interactions with the city. Half cinema, half reality, the piece weaves together visuals with a specially composed soundtrack.

Festival-goers will be invited to follow a trail on their smartphone screen, guided by the app to 15 locations within walking distance, around the city, and on arrival a narrated soundtrack will be played.

The Hum incorporates text from four diverse artists including: international dance artist Wendy Houston, dance writer for The Times Donald Hutera, Maria Oshodi director of Extant Theatre Company of visually impaired people and live artist Pete Phillips, to a sound score by musician James Keane. These writers explore the subtle qualities of observed and experienced movement to create their own idiosyncratic narratives ranging from the poetic and humorous through to the ironic and subversive.

Director Nic Sandiland says ‘The Hum gives audiences a new perspective on the everyday happenings in Brighton. Set to an emotive musical score with thought provoking text the piece takes you on a journey through 15 often-overlooked places in the city, places that we take for granted. The Hum makes us look at the mundane acts which take place in these places and by elevating them to the status of a feature film. At times profound yet often personal it is an immersive work that reveals an alternative view of the city through the movements that take place within it.’

Click here to download The Hum on Apple and Android devices

The deadline for entries to Lulu.com Short Story Competition has been extended

The short story writing competition launched by Lulu.com, sponsor of Brighton Festival commission the Storytelling Army, is now open to entries until Wednesday 24 May.

The publisher invites all Sussex residents over the age of 18 to respond to Brighton Festival Guest Director Kate Tempest’s theme Everyday Epic, the observations and achievements of our daily lives which we piece together to celebrate and share our common humanity.

Four lucky competition winners will be announced during the last week of the Festival. The winning stories will be combined into an anthology, alongside stories from the Storytelling Army, and published as a paperback book. UK based marketing and PR company Authoright will also be supporting the book with a publicity campaign once it is published; ensuring the Everyday Epic stories reach as many readers as possible after the competition ends.

Brighton Festival is working with nabokov theatre company and Guest Director Kate Tempest to assemble and mobilise the Storytelling Army: a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life - including those who are homeless and vulnerably housed – who will perform in unexpected locations throughout Brighton over the last weekend of this year’s Festival.

Entry is free and stories must be no more than 4,000 words (there is no minimum word count) and must be received electronically by midnight GMT on 24 May 2017. Entries must be submitted electronically as a word or pdf document and the document must contain: your name, your address, your age, your e mail contact details, the title of your submission, the word count, your twitter handle (if relevant). Entries should be emailed to social_uk@lulu.com.

For full Terms and Conditions visit lulu-uk.blog. Alternatively email social_uk@lulu.com for the competition entry rules.