Tag Archives: Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival Fringe highlights

One of the joys of festivals is just  hanging around and bumping into stuff you had no idea about – a dance troupe from Plotsk or ambient theatre from somewhere you can’t pronounce let alone say where it is. And while that’s lovely… three of The Whistler’s favourite artists are playing the Festival and we’ve seen them a thousand times, but we’re still very very excited. 

They’ve been around since we were all much younger, but Manchester’s finest
A Certain Ratio (May 6, Chalk) are right now better than they’ve ever been. Jah Wobble’s “Metal Box: Rebuilt in Dub” always seemed an odd idea – it was kinda built in dub in the first place, and while we’re not always a big fan of “revisiting” old classics – they’re classics for a reason – you know this will be interesting. Louder, heavier, dubbier. And anything involving Wobble will always be a treat. Talking of dubbier, there’s Aba Shanti-I with legendary producer Dennis Bovell (May 7, Concorde 2). Also on is Brighton Festival director Nabihah Iqbal, playing from her acclaimed debut album of shimmering electronica Weighing Of The Heart on the always cool Ninja Tune label. Staying with music – well, ish – Linton Kwesi Johnson is reading from his new prose selection, Time Come (May 14, Theatre Royal).

You can’t talk about an arts festival without talking about installations and The Sleeping Tree (May 6, 7, The Dome) sounds perfect. “Enter one of the last great rainforests of North Sumatra and follow a family of endangered Siamang Gibbons as they wake, roam across the jungle and return to their sleeping tree, one of six majestic trees that they have used for generations”. You’re there, aren’t you. The installation changes throughout the day and depending on the activity in the rainforest at the time you go there. Just lovely – and important.

An “unapologetically queer” tale that was first performed in front of Queen Elizabeth 1 more than 400 years ago, Galatea, is “set in a world where gods walk among mortals, two young trans people escape oppression and a shipwrecked migrant searches for his family”. Not sure about the gods walking among the mortals bit – though we do try to keep an open mind – but it doesn’t sound 400 years old. (May 6-21, Adur Recreation Ground, Shoreham).

Thirty years after it was released, Derek Jarman’s last film, Blue, has been given a makeover by director Neil Bartlett, (May 7, Theatre Royal). Blue Now sees Russell Tovey, Travis Alabanza, Joelle Taylor and Jay Bernard delivering Jarman’s words live on stage, accompanied by a new live score by the film’s composer, Simon Fisher Turner.

Daring To Be Frida is a photography and fashion exhibition inspired by the life and work of Frida Kahlo opens on May 1, and will be on at 114 Church St for the rest of May. 

You want a bit of comedy? What’s wrong with comedy? You don’t like comedy etc etc. The Fringe isn’t  the Fringe without a bit of stand-up comedy and In How To Be Jewish Gillian Fischer (pictured) wants to be Jewish. Actually she already is, but somewhere she’s forgotten this. Now she’s a mother…  (May 16-18, Laughing Horse @ The Quadrant) 

And that picture at the top of the page? “Expect a wild and vivid night filled with happy hedonism, fabulous fashion, go-go performers, and non-stop dancing to a banquet of bangers, including pop, disco, house and techno”. You’re there already, aren’t you. Our Roots is a celebration of queer chaos at the Dome (May 27) 

“Think ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ meets David Lynch”. Love it. It’s got Fringe written all over it. Degenerate is “a hellscape stand-up comedy fever dream” that descends into a full frontal face-off with the concept of ageing”. Ageing? No, no idea. None at all. May 31, June 1 The Rotunda Theatre: Squeak. 

For more info: https://brightonfestival.org

And http://www.westhillwhistler.com for news and Festival podcasts 

Brighton Festival – What Not To Miss – Tallulah Gray’s Choice

To be able to stop what you’re doing, just fora moment, and let yourself be transported into another world is a little luxury we can all enjoy”. Nabihah Iqbal, Guest Director

Brighton Festival has officially launched and it’s jam packed with shows you won’t want to miss. From interactive art exhibits to dance, to multicultural, mixed media music performances the almost 80 page brochure has a lot to offer. This is our list of absolute must-see shows.

Galatea as adapted by Emma Frankland is described by Iqbal as the “centerpiece of the festival” in many ways. A modern adaptation of the classic John Lyly text from which many famous Shakespearean plays were adapted, Galatea centers around two young trans people finding love whilst escaping oppression.

Suroor to be presented by Iqbal herself with support from Qazi & Qazi in partnership with the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts is a “shape-shifting, experimental collaboration” that combines music influenced by heritage and society with aspects of, as Iqbal put it, “droney, doom metal”

The Sleeping Tree is an audio immersive experience coming from Invisible Flock studios that surrounds participants with the noises of the jungle that were recorded over a 3-month long stint in the great rainforests of North Sumatra. Guest Director Nabihah Iqbal is also collaborating with this exhibit to create a one-of-a-kind sound performance using extracts from the rainforest recordings and original texts to connect humans and the forest ecosystem.

The Enthusiasts is Victoria Melody’s latest passion project about the passions of others. The Enthusiasts invites onlookers into the extraordinary communities of “pigeon fanciers” and funeral directors by creating two intimate auditory experiences taking place at two secret locations across Brighton.

Kizlar is the world premiere of Ceyda Tanc Dance’s celebration of what it means to be a woman through dances interpreted from traditional male Turkish dancers and an all-female company.

Bakkhai follows a reimagining of the ancient Greek tragedy reframed in a contemporary anti-corporatization context. Performed by the incredible talents of ThirdSpace (formerly Windmill Young Actors) Bakkhai features a cast of over fifty people, aged 8-60 and is in collaboration with Ceyda Tanc Dance and Brighton People’s Theatre.

This barely scratches the surface of the 120 events that are set to take place during the course of the Festival and I’m eager to see the city transform into the hub of arts and culture it so passionately supports during this time.


Got to say, very excited – and I mean very – that A Certain Ratio are playing. I can’t begin to think how many times I’ve seen them since – I think – ’79 in Manchester and each time they’ve got better and better. Can’t wait.

One Man’s Vision

Peter Batten writes about a local man

I have been living in Hove for almost nineteen years. One of the rewards which Nikki and I have come to recognise is the ever-growing Brighton Festival. From the year 2000 we began to explore the Open Houses and to admire the many talented people who display their work. If you have never visited any of these mini galleries you have missed a rich experience. Yes, the work is varied in media, style, presentation and quality, but everywhere you will have the chance to discover unique artefacts and meet people with a personal style and vision. Continue reading One Man’s Vision

50th Brighton Festival

Established in 1967, Brighton Festival has become one of the city’s most enduring symbols of inventiveness and celebration over the past half century. Experimental artist and musician Laurie Anderson is this year’s Guest Director. Renowned for her inventive use of technology, Anderson is one of America’s most daring creative pioneers. In roles as varied as artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, vocalist and instrumentalist, she has been experimenting, creating and challenging audiences all over the world for almost as long as Brighton Festival has existed. Anderson takes the helm as Brighton Festival marks its milestone 50th year of commissioning and producing innovative arts and culture by exploring the theme of ‘home and place’ across its 2016 programme. Continue reading 50th Brighton Festival

The Whistler – April 2012

Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave - Brighton Festival Guest Director 2012


The Annual General Meeting of the West Hill Community Association, at which the accounts will be adopted and the officers and committee elected, will be held on Tuesday 29 May 2012 at the West Hill Hall. Nominations for the committee must be seconded and sent with the written consent of the nominee to the Hall. The business of the meeting will be followed by our perennial favourite, the Quiz. Refreshments and bonhomie free. All welcome.

By May, the 46th annual Brighton Festival will be in full swing. Vanessa Redgrave brings her passion for acting, freedom and human rights to the festival as Guest Director. Many of her interests are explored in the wide-ranging programme across music, theatre, dance, film, literature from acting to politics, to memory and nostalgia, to homeland and story-telling, to humanitarian concerns and economic and social issues.

In 2011 Brighton Festival took the art world by surprise appointing Burmese democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi as Guest Director. A programme was built around her struggle for freedom of speech, democracy and giving a voice to the powerless. Vanessa Redgrave continues this purpose and returns to Brighton to take part in, and contribute to, the production of this ‘glorious festival’.