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Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018

Brighton Festival Children's Parade, Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018

Brighton Festival 2018 - 5 - 27 May 2018

Maybe this year's Brighton Festival should have another category, alongside such regulars as, Art and Film, Dance, Comedy and Outdoor, with one called Rock and a Hard Place.

The Guest Director, David Shrigley, Visual Artist and social commentator might agree with me. On the back of this year's programme David has added a few of his own headings with Bad, Good, Boring, Weird, Challenging and Nice now featuring too.

Back to the theme I have chosen and you'll find a wide variety of events that would fit into my brand new category. Think human-sized rock balancing and a complete read-through of Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus to literal rocks and hard places such as the moving images of the beautiful Cuckmere river accompanied by a live musical score; a talk with Caroline Lucas on environmentalism or the female West African super group fighting violence with protest songs.

Whichever takes your fancy, the most sought-after tickets get snapped up straight away so my advice is to book as soon as you can.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Les Amazones D'Afrique

Les Amazones d'Afrique

Thu 24 May, 7.30pm, Brighton Dome Concert Hall

A female super group from Mali, West Africa formed in the fight against violence towards women, using the power of protest song. Hailed as West Africa's first all-female super group the collective includes some of the greatest Malian musicians of the moment: Mamani Keïta, Rokia Koné, Mariam Doumbia (one half of Amadou and Mariam), Awa Sangho and Mariam Koné. Inspired by the formidable warriors of Dahomey, Les Amazones d'Afrique elegantly combine the Mandingo tradition with the power of today's African megacities.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Songs of the Sea

Max Padmore, Roderick Williams, Julius Drake and Rory Kinnear: Songs of the Sea

Sun 13 May at 3 pm, Glyndebourne

A four-man song recital at Glyndebourne reflecting on the sea with a selection of words and music. Described by Chief Executive Andrew Comben as "four extraordinary people, two amazing singers, Julius Drake on piano and Rory Kinnear the actor coming together for this one-off event." Songs will feature a wide variety of Composers such as Haydn, Elgar, Mendelssohn and Schubert. Interspersed will be readings of prose and poetry from writers like Coleridge, Emily Dickinson and Kipling in the elegant surroundings of Glyndebourne.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Cuckmere River

Cuckmere: A Portrait and Environmentalism 2.0

Sat 5 May, 7.30pm, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts

From the short film I've seen previewing this event, the film and music looks absolutely mesmerising and as I already share the Filmmaker and Composer's love for Cuckmere Haven I'm so keen to go to this event.

Filmmaker Cesca Eaton and the composer/conductor Ed Hughes have created a filmic homage to the changing moods of the Cuckmere river accompanied by a live score. Tracing the Cuckmere River, from its source in the Sussex Downs through its dramatic twists and turns as it flows down to the sea at Cuckmere Haven, the score, specially composed by Ed Hughes, is played live by The Orchestra of Sound and Light.  For Ed Hughes the inspiration for the project, "came out of a photograph I bought for my daughter of Cuckmere Haven. It got me thinking about the way artists have shown Cuckmere Haven. It's such an iconic place. I'm so fascinated by the idea of visual arts and music and in particular the exciting combinations of bringing those art forms together." The Filmmaker Cesca Eaton explained the creative process that had evolved between them. "I went out and got some captivating footage and then he'd go away and write some music inspired by what he'd seen and he would then give me the music and I'd edit my footage. It's a portrait of a moment in time for this particular river."

A World Premiere and Brighton Festival Commission.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Caroline Lucas Environmentalism 2.0

Following this, Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion, will discuss the future of the environmental movement with the author Tony Juniper.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Children's Parade

The Children's Parade

Sat 5 May, from 10.30am, Kensington Street to Madeira Drive

This year's Children's parade produced by Same Sky has the theme of Paintings. Across 80 schools in Brighton and Hove children have been working on their creations since November 2017. On May 5,  the city of Brighton will see 5,000 children parade through it accompanied by music, banners and large-scale models. It's a highlight of the festival every year and the largest of its kind in Europe. Described by Brighton Festival as, "an irresistible tide of joyous sound, colour and celebration." It really is a hugely popular and spectacular event. The costumes and banners are always impressive and it's lots of fun watching the procession.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Rock Balancing

Nick Steur: A Piece of 2 - Balancing Human-sized Rocks

Sat 5 – Mon 7 May, 11am- 5pm, Tues 8 – Wed 9 May, 1- 7pm, Beach level by the i360

Dutch performance artist Nick Steur will be balancing human-sized rock pieces outside the i360 for 5 days. Spending hours and hours balancing each rock by hand, once he has achieved balance they will just get knocked over and he'll start again. Using steel and muscle alone Nick will balance colossal boulders without the use of any machinery. It's a FREE outdoor performance on an epic scale.

This is a UK Premiere

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Rear View

IOU: Rear View

Sat 5 May 1:30 pm 3 pm 5:30 pm and 7 pm, Sun 6 Tues 8 May 12 pm 1:30 pm 9 pm 5:30 pm and 7 pm

The audience will be transported around Brighton during the performance on an open-topped rear-view bus. Beginning at the Barge in Brighton Marina, the show will move through the city intersecting real life and fiction. Spectators will be cocooned in a world of pre-recorded sounds as the life of a woman, played alternately by Jemima Foxtrot and Cecilia Knapp, unfolds before us.

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Arms of Sleep

The Voice Project: The Arms of Sleep

Fri 11 - Sun 14 May, overnight from 9.30pm to 8am, Firle Place Riding School

The longest event that the Brighton Festival has ever staged will take place over a 10-11 hour night time. Staged at Firle Place using their stable block, the audience will be given the unusual opportunity to experience the entire night in the company of choral music, film and animation. On arrival, guests will each be given a bed before spending the night surrounded by sound and shadows, poised between sleep and wakefulness as the choir performs music specially commissioned from leading composers Helen Chadwick, Orlando Gough and Jonathan Baker. There will be a large choir, soloists, instrumentals and film vignettes. Described as like coming to a surreal hotel, the audience will turn up about 9:30 pm and be provided with a very comfortable bed and after that, it remains a mystery. All the organisers would say was that it could be the best worst night's sleep you'll ever have.

A Brighton Festival Co-commission with Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Days Out in Brighton - Brighton Festival 2018, Sisyphus
The Myth of Sisyphus – a Reading

Mon 7 May, all day from 11am - 5.30pm, Grand Central

‘One must imagine Sisyphus happy' concludes Albert Camus in his great essay on the man who strived for no purpose. In a feat of endurance all of its own, join actor and writer Simon Butteriss for this live reading of one of the great philosophical arguments of the 20th Century.

As well as all of these great events, the initiatives that last year's Guest Director Kate Tempest started will be back. There will be two weekends of free performances and arts activities in Hangleton and East Brighton, bringing the Festival to people who would not normally access it.

PLUS, ticket buyers who can afford to are encouraged to top up their tickets with five pounds, which is then matched by the Brighton Festival and made available to someone who would not otherwise be able to buy tickets. Last year this new initiative proved to be very popular and Brighton Festival were delighted at its take up.

If you're going to any events this year leave a comment and let me know what you're going to and why you're going, I'd love to know.

For a full list of events click here to go to Brighton Festival website.

Have a good one

Sarah xx

Sarah Agnew
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