- Date: 15 March 2013
- Region: South East
Michael Rosen, Guest Director, Brighton Festival 2013. Credit: Philip Gatward
Brighton Festival, an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation, is an annual mixed arts festival which takes place across three weeks in the city each May. The festival includes visual art, theatre, music, books and debates, family friendly programme and outdoor performances throughout the city including site-specific and unusual locations.
The festival is the third largest UK festival - it attracts over 150,000 attendances and contributes £20m to the local economy. This year's festival takes place 4 to 26 May 2013 and the Guest Director is the celebrated poet, writer, broadcaster and previous Children's Laureate Michael Rosen.
The Festival appeals to children and families with a special strand in the programme, beginning with its popular children's parade produced by Same Sky and involving thousands of children on 4 May, which marks the start of the Festival. This year sees the launch of Young City Reads, in partnership with Collected Works, in which young people across the city will be encouraged to read the same book in order to stimulate debate, conversation and shared experience.
The Festival holds in store over 370 performances and 154 events in 30 venues across the city.
There are many free events including:
Audible forces, produced by Oxford Contemporary Music and Oxford Brookes University Sonic Art Research Unit showing 4 to 6 May at Sackville Gardens Beach. Max Eastley and six of the finest sound artists around today will assemble a landscape of elaborately intricate to enormously towering wind-powered musical installations, sparked by the mythology and curious history of Aeolian music. The result is an other-worldly soundworld that constantly changes as nature's unseen force breathes life into it.
The world premiere of Faust by Bad Taste Company on 18 May in BHASVIC Lower Car Park and 19 May at Jubilee Square. This re-imagining of Goethe's masterpiece is rooted in the excitement of 1920s Prohibition, with drinking, gambling, and general debauchery as the starting point for the intense physical and narrative dance style.
The UK Premiere of Figure Libres by KompleXKapharnaüM (Lyon) showing 24 to 25 May. A woman appears, on the edge. 'My story is your story', she confides. The production will lead the audience through her life and a spectacular yet intimate live experience, transforming the city's public spaces and illuminating the streets and squares. The participants can engage in the story via live texts along the way, exploring the streets of Brighton in a fascinating night time experience.
There will also be many free 'morning after' talks including those by rising star pianist, James Baillieu; Circa's How Like an Angel; Britten: The Canticles and Globe Theatre's King Lear.
In addition there will be 27 unique Brighton Festival commissions, premieres and exclusives including:
The world premiere, and Brighton Festival commission, The Contents of a House showing 4 to 26 May. It is a performance by Peter Reder, who having spent weeks mining the tales and the treasures of Preston Manor, now wants to tell about them. This subversive promenade performance takes the form of a tour of Preston Manor exploring its history, which reaches back to the Domesday Book. Images, video, anecdotes and personal interaction will reanimate the building and the artefacts within it, with perhaps a touch of fantasy to bring Preston Manor's past to life.
Another world premiere, the innovative and exciting, The Great Enormo, will coincide with the Children's Parade on 4 May and is narrated by Rosen himself, composed by Juleirre Pochin and James Morgan, with the City of London Sinfonia. Rosen wants to compose a theme tune for Mr Enormo Biggins' Great Fun Park. The Great Enormo is a fantastic new theme park that allows its visitors to travel through time. Both an interactive guide to the orchestra and a whirlwind tour of musical history, the production's mixture of fun, surprises and spookiness make it perfect for primary-school children, their friends and families.
Brighton Festival exclusive, The Guardian Education Debate; Progress or Disaster, on 12 May, promises to be a lively conversation. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee will chair a panel that includes Melissa Benn, the author of School Wars - the Battle for Britain's Education, Cambridge academic Professor Robin Alexander and Guest Director Michael Rosen.
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Festival, says 'Michael Rosen has entertained, educated and moved audiences of all ages and over several generations. He has the infectious energy of a polymath and is curious about and interested in everything - perfect for such an eclectic and wide-ranging festival as ours.'
To find out more and to book your tickets visit: http://brightonfestival.org/whats_on/