Photography: Dahlia Katz

Theatre Highlights: Refurbished Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre welcome back premieres and international productions to Brighton Festival 2024

Theatre, Announcements, Theatre, Circus
Photography: Koen Broos

The newly refurbished venues open their doors to the Festival for the first time since 2016. This year’s expanded international theatre programme features UK theatre premieres from Canada, Belgium and Mexico, plus a radical retelling of Shakespeare and the world premiere of an immersive eco-dining experience exploring the history of our food. 

An International Stage

The Making Of Berlin combines film, theatre and live music to tell the story of Belgian theatre company, BERLIN, as they attempt to fulfil the dream of Friedrich Mohr, former stage manager at the Berliner Philharmonika orchestra, to broadcast Wagner's Götterdämmerung from bunkers across the city in WWII. The production combines film, theatre and live music, morphing into a modern-day noir thriller as the company realises all is not what it seems...

Photography: Dahlia Katz

From Canada, playwright and provocateur Cliff Cardinal and Toronto’s most adventurous theatre company, Crows Theatre, deliver a poignant adaptation of a Shakespearian classic. The Land Acknowledgement, Or As You Like It (21-23 May) reveals the stark reality of the reconciliation process between Canada’s Indigenous communities and colonial settlers, in a ‘brutally funny and honest’ play that gives Shakespeare a whole new meaning. 

The Melancholy of the Tourist combines objects, light and shadow, paper and tin, and a raft of wonderfully handmade and analogue contraptions to explore what happens when holiday destinations fall out of fashion. This intimate and magical show explores how we engage with the world as tourists and invites us to consider the gap between imagination and reality.  A UK premiere from Spanish-Mexican artists Oligor y Microscopia; experience the miniature world from 15-26 May.

Photography: Paul Blakemore

A Taste For Theatre

The world premiere of Ground runs throughout Brighton Festival: a curated, locally sourced three-course dining experience exploring the complex history behind the food on our plate.

Featuring speakers from Indigenous communities across the world, the tangled history of plants is brought to life by award-winning creators and producers Trigger (Teabreak, Brighton Festival 2023), and hosted outside at the local, off-grid eco-building, Earthship... which you may recognise from Grand Designs!

Photography: Fabienne Rappeneau

The Fine Art Of Silence

Join three eccentric and lovable anti-heroes in their cramped apartment block in Paris. The masterful silent-theatre piece, Fishbowl, follows the characters’ hilarious misadventures as the stage descends into chaos. Physical comedy, technical wizardry, and a series of fires, leaks and storms compete to baffle the hapless inhabitants in this zesty English premiere. Brought to you by award winning French theatre company, Le Fils du Grand Réseau, 23-25 May.

Magic, Mystery And Feminist History

Carnesky’s Showwomxn Sideshow Spectacular will transform a downtown Brighton street into a breathtaking circus. From 25-26 May, a cast of 33 female and non-binary aerialists, wrestlers, variety dancers, contemporary clowns and contortionists will dazzle and delight across nine individual stages.

Inspired by award-winning director (and Showomxn) Marisa Carnesky’s research at the National Fairground and Circus Archive, this family-friendly production has been created especially for Brighton Festival and will celebrate the forgotten women of the genre’s unique history. Performers include Netflix star Tallulah Haddon, World Record holding hula hoop artist Symoné and Bollywood dancer Kaajel.

Following a sold-out international tour, US-based illusionist and performance artist Scott Silven brings Wonders to England for a limited five day run from 8-12 May.

Scott makes his first Festival appearance with a jaw-dropping show that explores the myth and mystery of the ancient Scottish landscape of his childhood. A series of breathtaking and hair-raising illusions unfold; Silven’s performance will challenge his audience’s perceptions of themselves and the world, inviting new, untold possibilities of the human mind.

Photography: John McMahon

An Old Classic, A New Spin

Irish theatre company, Branar, presents an adaptation of James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses for adults and children alike. You’ll See features a storyteller, an intricate pop-up book and a wonderful original score. Catch this charming show 4-5 May.

Photography: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

The Heartstrings Of Parenthood

In their English premiere, Dundee Rep Theatre present No Love Songs, a new musical exploring the emotions of parenthood inspired by real-life experiences; with original music from platinum selling rockers The View’s frontman Kyle Falconer and his partner, Laura Wilde. Runs 15-18 May.

One Director, Multiple Shows

After a critically acclaimed London run, the joyful and experimental Perfect Show for Rachel is with us 4-7 May. Step into the world of Rachel, a theatre-loving, 33 year old learning-disabled care-home resident, who directs the show in real-time. Using a custom-built tech desk, each show is wildly unique as Rachel takes charge of music, lighting, theatrics and choreography, instantly bringing to life her very own company of performers.


More Dates For The Diary...

9 May – Birthmarked. A new concept gig written and performed by Brook Tate: a young Jehovah's Witness comes to terms with his sexuality and finds his feet (and high heels...), featuring original music.

17-19 May - Born And Bread. Brighton People's Theatre’s life-affirming community theatre piece, inspired by conversations with over 100 Brighton residents about food, belonging and home. Tickets are pay what you can.

Our expanded international programme is made possible by our fantastic principal supporter, The Pebble Trust.

A world of theatre awaits...

Explore The Full Programme