Brighton Festival 2019Public booking opens: Fri 24 Feb, 9am

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Round-up: Audience Reactions

Wow – what a month we have had! We’ve enjoyed every second of Brighton Festival 2019, and we hope you had a blast too. Here's a quick look back at what audiences had to say...

Flight

Flight was deeply moving, breathtakingly beautiful and utterly necessary work of storytelling. Everyone should see it to understand the real-life experience of young people fleeing war and oppression and seeking shelter in Europe. Good art should leave you questioning the world – Flight made me want to take immediate action”


A Child of Our Time

“An outstanding performance, full of intense emotion, context and meaning”


Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Djata

"Captivating. Magical. She had the whole theatre spellbound and listening with complete focus. Beautiful. Thank you, Rokia."


Still I Rise

"Another refreshingly free from boring stereotypical gender roles. Hooray! A diverse and talented group of female performance who were skilful, graceful and powerful. I loved this show."


True Copy

"Utterly absorbing, a calm and gentle story which gradually unwinds revealing more and more layers. The brilliant BERLIN create another very human, real world gem."


The Nature of Why

"It was mesmerising and aurally and visually beautiful. I felt so close to the performance and the performers. It felt intimate and personal.”


Silence

“A stunning and powerful portrayal of war, invasion and terror. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen on this subject”


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Fabulous performance! Brilliant cast, beautiful voices and some truly hilarious moments. Laughed till I cried”


Backbone

“Absolutely amazing! Beautiful, poignant, funny and totally breathtaking! A dramatic showcase of human physicality, which was a joy to watch! The performers really looked like they were living their best lives!”


My Left Right Foot: The Musical

“Genuinely blown away by how good this show was. Hilarious performances from everyone, and so well written with some really thought-provoking ideas on inclusion”


To relive your Brighton Festival experience, look back at our videos here

Children's Parade 2019

Brighton Festival 2019 opened last weekend with the annual Children's Parade.  Spectacular costumes represented the theme 'Folk Tales from Around the World', making the parade a vibrant burst of colour and creativity. 

This year, 58 schools and 3,473 children took part with the help of over 1,000 parents and carers.

Leading the way, Downs View School showcased Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears followed by Moulsecoomb Primary School with The Hunterman and the Crocodile.

children's parade brighton festival moulsecoom downs view

St Luke's Primary School created a striking sculpture of Anansi the Spider, complimented by the childrens' eye catching costumes


anansi the spider brighton festival children's parade


Elm Grove Primary School created an impressive giant Pied Piper

children's parade brighton festival elm grove primary school pied piper

Another wonderful highlight was Stargirl by Harbour Primary School

children's parade brighton festival harbour primary stargirl

Relive all the fun by watching our Children's Parade highlights video:




Enjoy the Springtime with our Outdoor Events

Spring is on its way to welcome the 2019 Brighton Festival, and there is no better way to enjoy the sunshine than by checking out our range of dynamic outdoor events!

This year, we have a huge variety of activities, performances, and exhibits hitting the streets of Brighton. Perfect for families and individuals who fancy taking part in the festival whilst breathing in the fresh seaside air, here are a few of the outdoor events you can get involved in.


Silence

Winner of the 2018 Herald Archangel Award for its run at the Edinburgh Festival, we welcome the ‘fiercely physical’ and ‘gasp-worthy’ Silence, performed by the Teatr Biuro Podrozy. According to The Stage, spectators can expect a ‘large scale, high-concept spectacle’ and a harrowing tale of refugees fleeing from an unsettlingly familiar - though fictional - war. To portray the dystopian landscape of the story, ‘pyrotechnics, stilt-walking and abstract physicality’ are used, all set to a ‘soundtrack of yearning cello airs and jaggedly-industrial metal riffs’. The theatrics employed to immerse viewers in the tale are reported to be truly dazzling, ensuring you will be in for an unforgettable, and perhaps enlightening, performance.

‘This is a memorable show and it proves that the perfect theatre is the one which fascinates, refers to the emotions and leaves the audience with the impression that they experienced something important and unique.’ Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 2016. 

...a collage of evocative images that reach back into history but are at their most harrowing when echoing our own conflicted times...Callous violence, valiant beauty and plaintive humanity over-lap and collide as history repeats in a fiercely physical Silence that asks troubling questions. A viscerally memorable experience for those who stand and watch. The Herald, 2018.

Learn more about Silence and how to book your tickets.

Museum of the Moon

Whether you are an aspiring astronaut, lunar enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates the moon for its aesthetic beauty, this exhibit is guaranteed to leave you awed. Inspired by the unusually high tidal range in Bristol where he lives, artist Luke Jerram created a replica of the moon seven metres in diameter, with the intention of giving the public ‘the opportunity to fly to the moon’.

‘As a child I always wanted a telescope so I could study the Moon and the night’s sky. Now with my own Moon, I can fly there, study every detail and share this experience with the public. We can explore the far side of the Moon which is never visible from Earth.’ Luke Jerram, 2018.

Moon with a band

For three days at the Brighton Festival, this entirely free spectacle will be located above Queens Park for everyone to come and observe. How you interact with the moon is entirely up to you – some may choose to picnic on the grass beneath its glow, others might take advantage of its beauty as a backdrop for a serenade, or you may simply want to come along for the chance to see the moon as you have never had the chance to, and never will again.

Read our interview with artist Luke Jerram!

Discover more about Museum of the Moon, including dates and further information.

Our Place

The Brighton Festival guest director of 2017, Kate Tempest, pioneered the outreach programme Your Place – an innovative way of bringing the festival to Brighton’s more rural communities. Over two years the participants of the programme in Hangleton and Whitehawk have adopted the project; this year, it is rebranding to Our Place. The diverse array of musical performances, theatre shows, and workshops within Our Place 2019 are sure to be the most exciting yet!

Our Place will be taking place over two weekends in May, across two different sites. The full line up is yet to be finalised, but here are some of the pre-announced events:

My House by Apocalyptic Circus is a circus theatre experience for young children and their families. Look through the doors and windows of this magical, quirky structure and explore the habits and routines of this unusual home. 

Upswing’s Catch Me, a playful and dynamic pop-up style performance and installation, blending dance and acrobatics.

Learn more information about Our Place and how to get involved!

Without Walls

This year, Brighton Festival are keen to promote accessibility for everyone interested in participating. On Saturday, May 11, we present a full day of completely free events ranging from dance to theatre and beyond. For an inclusive and inexpensive culture immersion, we urge you to check out some of the acts, such as:

Scalped by Initiative.dkf - A dance-theatre exploration of fashion, conformity, life and otherness through an exhibition piece on Black women’s hair. Scalped channels global icon Grace Jones in a performance that is an affirmation of liberation and defiance.

On Edge by Justice in Motion - An international cast, including leading parkour athletes, marry exciting choreography and athletics to ask what freedom really means. Join them before their stunning On Edge performance to explore the sensational freedom of moving around the parkour construction site!

See the full list of Without Walls events!

These are just a selection of the many outdoor events happening throughout the Brighton Festival in May 2019. To explore more of the different shows, musical performances, interactive workshops and many other cultural events happening in the open air, take a look at our Outdoor Events page!

In Photos: Week 3

Wow - what a month we have had! We've enjoyed every second of Brighton Festival 2018 and we hope you had a blast too. This past week, we've had outdoor spectaculars, incredible music and much more. 

Photos by Vic FrankowskiSummer Dean, and Carys Lavin.

A Change is Gonna Come

Brownton AbbeyBrownton Abbey

David Shrigley TalkDavid Shrigley Talk

Brownton AbbeyBrownton Abbey 3

Brownton AbbeyBrownton Abbey 4

Gob SquadGob Squad

Iain ShawIain Shaw

Malcolm MiddletonMalcolm Middleton

The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and AnxietyThe String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety

The Wave Epoch

In Photos: Week 2

Brighton Festival 2018 has had an amazing second week! Here's a few photos from events in week 2. 

Photos by Vic FrankowskiSummer Dean and Michael Fung

Attractor

The Big Book GroupThe Big Book Group

FaunaFauna

Fauna

Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet

NELKEN-LineNELKEN-Line

XFRMRtechno


In Photos: Week 1

Brighton Festival 2018 has had a fantastic first week! Here's a few photos from events in the last week. We're so excited to see what the next two weeks bring!

Photos by Vic Frankowski

Problem in BrightonProblem in Brighton

Rear ViewRear View

The Boy, The Piano and The BeachThe Boy, The Piano and The Beach

Joep BevingJoep Beving

The Arms of SleepThe Arms of Sleep

ADAMADAM

Cuckmere: A PortraitCuckmere: A Portrait

Penguins

Woodland

Morag MyerscoughProblem in Brighton

Brighton Festival Children's Parade 2018

Picasso’s Dove of Peace and Munch’s The Scream among the creations at the Children’s Parade 2018

Celebrating art from the likes of Picasso, Salvador Dali and many more, 20,000 people packed the streets on Sat 5 May as the 52nd Brighton Festival launched with the Children’s Parade.

The theme for the 2018 Children’s Parade was ‘Paintings’, inspired by Guest Director David Shrigley. Participants took inspiration from a wide range of well-known art from across the ages, including paintings by Alan Davies and Jean Michael Basquiat; Mae West by Salvador Dali; Surprised by Henri Rousseau; Mural by Joan Miro; and American Gothic by Grant Wood. The parade was led by this year’s Guest Director David Shrigley.

Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky and supported by Yeomans Toyota Brighton for the second year and for the first time by the University of Brighton, the annual Children’s Parade officially launches Brighton Festival and has delighted participants and spectators for over 25 years. The largest of its kind in Europe, the parade is attended by around 5,000 children from schools and community groups from across the region and cheered on by many thousands of spectators.

Previous themes have seen children dress up as everything from letters of the alphabet and Brighton street names to books, mermaids and even slices of cake for the annual Children’s Parade.

One of the most spectacular community events in the UK, Same Sky spends six months working behind the scenes to create the Children’s Parade, with creative teams instructing teaching staff how to teach dance and parade chants, run free masterclasses, help develop design ideas and encourage imagination to flow.

If you missed it this year, you can see some of this year's creations in Brighton Dome's Cafe/Bar, entrance is via Church Street.

“We were hugely impressed once again with the ingenious ways in which schools have embraced the theme of the parade, choosing paintings by the likes of Salvador Dali, Matisse and many more. A fitting start to Brighton Festival!’ Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival


In photos: Week 3

Brighton Festival 2017 is over! We can't believe what a fantastic month it has been – here's a few photos from events in the last week

Photos by Vic Frankowski and Adam Weatherley

In photos: Week 2

Another amazing week of Brighton Festival 2017 has passed already! Check out these photos from some of the incredible events over the last week.

Photos by Vic Frankowski, Caitlin Mogridge and Lucy Brooks.

Brighton Festival Live: Bang Said the Gun

Bang Said the Gun will be live streamed on Sat 20 May, 8pm

Voted the best poetry night in the UK by The Times, Bang Said the Gun is for people who don’t like poetry. Normal rules do not apply here: it’s loud, raucous, political, trivial, serious and very funny.

Bang Said the Gun’s unique brand of stand up poetry has been described by Kate Tempest as ‘like mud wrestling with words’ and by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion as ‘a vortex of energy and enthusiasm’. Don’t miss a rich mix of the best and freshest talent that will grab you by the collar and drag you into another world.

Featuring Dan Cockrill, Martin Galton, Laurie Bolger & Rob Auton with guests Vanessa Kisuule & Sally Jenkinson.

Filmed and edited in partnership with Brighton Metropolitan College

In photos: Week 1

The first week of Brighton Festival 2017 has come and gone! We've been really enjoying all the shows, events and happenings – here's a few pictures of what's been going on

Photos by Victor Frankowski and Adam Weatherley.

Stella: An Encounter with a Truly Remarkable Person.

'Most of all, I hope people are going to realise that even though she's dead 100 years, and even though she lived this unimaginable life in a very different culture, in fact Stella is asking herself the same questions that we are all asking ourselves' Neil Bartlett


Award-winning director, writer and performer Neil Bartlett OBE talks to Kathy Caton about his new show Stella, co-commissioned by and premiering at Brighton Festival.

The show is inspired by Ernest Boulton – one half of the infamous Victorian cross-dressing duo Fanny and Stella - and intimately examines his strange life and lonely death.

In this interview, Neil discusses how he first discovered Stella, her extraordinary history, and how his work both past and current examines her life and character.

This new teaser trailer features the actors Oscar Battingham and Richard Cant as the enigmatic flipsides of Stella, and gives a glimpse into their tumultuous lives. 


From our Spotlight video series, Neil discusses bringing Stella to the 50th Brighton Festival and what he hopes audiences are going to get out of the show. 


Stella is on at the Theatre Royal, Fri 27 & Sat 28 May. Book now.

In pictures: Week 3

Wow - what a month we had! We've enjoyed every second of Brighton Festival 2015 and we hope you had a blast too. In the last week, we had outdoor spectaculars, dreamlike circus, ventriloquism, incredible music and much more. Explore the happenings of week three by clicking the gallery above.

Photos by Vic Frankowski, Chis Bethall and Jordan Hughes

In Photos: Brighton Festival Week Three

Wow - what a month we have had! We've enjoyed every second of Brighton Festival 2015 and we hope you had a blast too. This past week, we've had outdoor spectaculars, dreamlike circus, ventriloquism, incredible music and much more. Explore the happenings of week three by clicking the photos below...

The fun continues with a host of eclectic and exciting events...

Posted by Brighton Festival on Friday, 22 May 2015

In Photos: Brighton Festival Week Two

With Moomins and wolves, spectacular visuals and super sounds, this past week at Brighton Festival has been pretty incredible! Peruse our pics by clicking below and see all the fun that was had... 

Too see what other Brighton Festival fun awaits head to our What's On page.

All photos by Victor Frankowski


We've had a blast this week, with lots of exciting events to inspire and delight us, and there is much more to come! Find out what's on at: https://brightonfestival.org/whats_on/

Posted by Brighton Festival on Monday, 11 May 2015

In pictures: Week 2

With Shakespeare and sunshine, spectacular visuals and super sounds, this second week of Brighton Festival was pretty incredible! 

Photos by Vic Frankowski, Chis Bethall and Jordan Hughes

In pictures: Week 1

Our 49th Festival with Ali Smith at the helm opened with the incredible Children's Parade. We had heaps of fun and with a plethora of great theatre, circus, dance, music, classical, outdoor, family, books and debates and visual art and film events.

In Photos: Brighton Festival Week One

Our 49th Festival with Ali Smith at the helm has been a joy so far. We've had heaps of fun and with a plethora of great theatre, circus, dance, music, classical, outdoor, family, books and debates and visual art and film events still  to come the fun is nowhere near over yet!

Take a look back over our first week of Brighton Festival 2015 right here...

The past week has flown by and lots of exciting events have happened so far at Brighton Festival 2015 and there's still so much more to come! Check out what’s up next at: https://brightonfestival.org/whats_on/

Posted by Brighton Festival on Friday, 8 May 2015

In pictures: Week 3

From Peaches' one woman rendition of Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar to Invisible Flock's collaborative map of memories for Bring the Happy, take a look at our gallery of some of the highlights of the third and final week of Brighton Festival 2014.

Photos by Victor Frankowski and Dan Dennison

In pictures: Week 1

Harvey's Depot in Lewes was the location for Sir Harrison Birtwistle's dark chamber opera Down by the Greenwood Side, we saw talks with artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, William Forsythe and musician Ben Watt, 26 Letters took over the Sallis Benney and there was music from jazz/Baroque fusion with Louis Sclavis and Amarillis Ensemble through to Indian classical music with Talvin Singh.

Photos: Victor Frankowski, Dan Dennison and Agata Rybicka

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

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

In pictures: Week 1

From a uniquely visual staging of Britten's Canticles to the heart-stopping How Like an Angel via the incomparable town of Flathampton, take a look back at highlights from the first week at Brighton Festival 2013. There's plenty more where that came from.

All photos: Victor Frankowski