Opening on 3 May this year, the Brighton Festival will run for three weeks and is set to feature an abundance of exciting and innovative work across the disciplines. The festival will include a range of works, from Russian theatre to contemporary dance, as well as literature, visual arts and debate. This year, composer, choreographer and performer Hofesh Shechter will step into the role of Guest Director, a position previously filled by such greats as artist Amish Kapoor, actress Vanessa Redgrave and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.
The festival, which this year will feature over 400 performances in 34 venues across the city, draws audiences from all over the globe. Talking on the appeal of the city, Guest Director Hofesh Shechter admitted that “Brighton has a magic to it that no one can explain”. Amongst the delectable array of events on the festival’s programme is Shechter’s Sun. Having been performed globally, Sun will end its world tour at home in Brighton.
Featuring new choreography, Sun is a show not to be missed. Its creator, Hofesh Shechter will be attending an afternoon event in which he will talk about the creative process, giving insight into his working methods. The event, which will take place in the Brighton Dome Concert Hall from 3-4 May, will provide a unique chance to experience previously unseen performances in this Director’s Cut.
Also opening the festival will be a new work from the Russian Theatre Company the Dmitry Krynov Lab. Brought all the way from Moscow, Opus No.7 will feature new music from Alexander Baksi and will provide a unique chance to see Krynov’s work, which is rarely performed in the UK. Deeply poignant, Krynov’s work is known for the majesty and grandeur it brings to the stage and Opus No.7 promises to be no exception. With larger than life puppets, blizzards of newsprint and living pianos, this show promises to be a highlight of the festival.
Yinka Shonibore MBE will also be featuring new work at the festival. His sculptural installation, The British Library will go on show at the Brighton Reference Library on 3 May and will be open to the public for the duration of the festival. Drawing on ideas of colonial influence and the complexities of post-colonial cultures, The British Library will feature colourfully bound reference books on immigrants such T.S. Eliot, Henry James, Hans Holbein and Kazuo Ishiguro, all of whom have shaped the cultural landscape of Britain. The installation, which will be set within the Raj-influenced interior of the Brighton Reference Library, will explore issues of immigration today and will examine the results of cross-cultural collaboration over the centuries.
Other highlights include Irvine Welsh in conversation with John Niven. The discussion will be held at The Old Market, Brighton, on 4 May where Welsh will talk about his latest book The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. Similarly, Vid Albertine in conversation with award-winning journalist Simon Price promises to intrigue, as Albertine discloses her experience of being a woman at the height of the punk movement.
The Brighton Festival runs from 3-25 May 2014. For more information visit www.brightonfestival.org.
1. Image courtesy of Brighton Festival and Yinka Shonibare.