thu 16/08/2018

Brighton Festival

Malcolm Middleton, Brighton Festival review - mordant brilliance

Before starting this review a decision was taken: that the over-used description of singer-songwriter Malcolm Middleton as a “Scottish miserablist” would not appear. However, this has proved impossible. Middleton is renowned, to the coterie who...

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The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, Brighton Festival review - molto nervoso

Calixto Bieito has a reputation as a radical theatre-maker, and by any standards The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety is an unusual, genre-breaking piece; Bieito has described it as “like a symphonic poem for a quartet of musicians, and a...

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David Shrigley talk, Brighton Festival review - comedic stroll through a career in art

As the Brighton Festival 2018 draws towards its closing weekend, its Guest Director, the artist David Shrigley, has committed to an illustrated talk about his work that “will contain numerous rambling anecdotes but not be in the slightest bit boring...

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A Change is Gonna Come, Brighton Festival review - lively, winning jazz adventure

Watching this band in action is a treat. They gel absolutely and play off one another in a manner that’s easy and mellow, yet also sparks by occasionally teetering on the edge of their virtuosic abilities. The songs played throughout the evening at...

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Bridget Christie, Brighton Festival review - politics through a domestic lens

Bridget Christie tells us at the top of the show that she is a heterosexual, able-bodied, privileged white female – so why is she feeling so discontented? As she explains with great verbal dexterity in What Now?, it is living in a post-EU referendum...

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The World Of Moominvalley, Brighton Festival review - a fascinating insight into the world of Tove Jansson

It was no matter that journalist Daniel Hahn dropped out ill at the 11th hour of this "audience with" event. Author Philip Ardagh's deep knowledge and unflappable demeanour comfortably carried the hour-long talk about the inhabitants of Moominvalley...

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Robbie Thomson XFRMR, Brighton Festival review - lightning strikes out

The welcome to Glasgow audio-visual artist Robbie Thomson’s performance engenders a hefty sense of anticipation. It’s almost nervousness-inducing as we’re handed ear-plugs and warned about how very loud it’s going to be. Then, walking into the main...

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Chopin's Piano, Tiberghien, Kildea, Brighton Festival review - mumbled words, magical music

First the good news: Cédric Tiberghien, master of tone colour, lucidity and expressive intent, playing the 24 Chopin Preludes plus the Bach C major and the C minor Nocturne in the red-gold dragons' den of the Royal Pavilion's Music Room. Then the...

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The Last Poets, Brighton Festival review - black power sets the night alight

The venom with which Abiodun Oyewole spits “America is a terrorist”, the key repeated line to “Rain of Terror”, has startling power. The piece is an unashamed diatribe against his nation. Beside him his partner Umar Bin Hassan rhythmically hisses...

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David Shrigley/Brett Goodroad, Brighton Festival review - showcases puncturing the medium's pretence

In his 1991 novel Mao II, Don DeLillo called the literary medium “a democratic shout”. His oft-quoted claim is that any man or woman on the street could strike it lucky, find their voice, and write a great book. Not only does everyone carry round a...

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Lemn Sissay, Brighton Festival review - a mesmerising sermon of performance poetry

I first heard – or rather saw on paper – the work of Lemn Sissay in an English literature lecture hall in the late '90s. As a fresh faced first year uni student, coming firmly from the school of Pablo Neruda, it was quite a departure from my norm.It...

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Cuckmere: A Portrait/Environment 2.0, Brighton Festival review - landscape, politics and art collide

Sitting between the South Downs and the sea, Brighton’s borders are defined by nature. The Downs’ 2010 designation as a National Park also legislatively limits urban encroachment. The typically beautiful Sussex village of Falmer is on the city’s...

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