wed 01/12/2021

Brighton Festival

Josie Long, Brighton Festival 2021 review - giddy post-lockdown spin on pregnancy-based show

Introduced by Brighton Festival 2021 Guest Director, poet Lemn Sissay, Josie Long, clad in blue denim dungarees and a black tee-shirt, initially hits the stage for a celebratory introduction. She’s here to perform her Tender show about pregnancy and...

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Live is Alive!, Brighton Festival 2021 review - local talent makes for snappy return to gig-land

The idea live music is back is worth shouting about. Indeed, the BBC News has been doing just that about this gig. In reality, though, while it’s a joy to be out (this is my first major venue concert for a year-and-a-half), Live is Alive is a...

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Points of Departure, Brighton Festival 2021 review - Ray Lee's harbour-based sound art impresses

They stand in a row, nine of them, in a long, strange corridor between rows of stacked, palleted, planked wood and the red brick wall of an endless warehouse. Nine tripods, each two humans high, with a spinning helicopter head, double-ended by...

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Brighton Festival 2020 launches with Guest Director Lemn Sissay

This morning the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England launched and announced its programme of events. With Guest Director, British and Ethiopian poet-playwright-broadcaster Lemn Sissay, MBE, at the helm, Brighton Festival 2020 is...

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Neneh Cherry, Brighton Festival 2019 review – beloved bohemian

Neneh Cherry’s matchless bohemian life has perversely secured her pop position. The crowd tonight is maybe three-quarters female, and as unconcerned by a setlist almost wholly drawn from new album Broken Politics as Cherry is by the long lacuna in...

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Berlin: True Copy, Brighton Festival 2019 review - tricksy forgery masterclass

This brilliantly conceived and executed show is about provenance in art. It’s also about our perceptions of the truth. However, it’s a show where it would be churlish to reveal too much of what goes on. This is, of course, perverse since some will...

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Haley Fohr: Salomé, Brighton Festival 2019 review – potently camp debauch

Haley Fohr’s disquiet at the “wildly outmoded” sexual politics of this notorious 1923 Wilde adaptation led her to cut its intertitles, relying only on sometimes delirious imagery and her throbbing live score. The inherent misogyny of the story of...

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Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Djata, Brighton Festival 2019 review – resonant griot wisdom

Rokia Traoré’s passage through this year’s Brighton Festival has been central, binding it to her Malian identity in a series of gigs. This hands-on Guest Director’s pulsing Afro-rock Opening Night was followed by the first Dream Mandé show’s...

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Superhoe, Brighton Festival 2019 review - a darkly vital one-woman show

Tonight comes with a caveat, delivered before proceedings begin by the one-woman show’s writer and performer Nicôle Lecky, who’s sitting in a chair centre-stage. She damaged her foot during Sunday’s matinee at the Brighton Festival, dancing about,...

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Rokia Traoré: Dream Mandé: Bamanan Djourou, Brighton Festival 2019 review – traditions soar free

Much of Rokia Traoré’s set on Saturday night comprised folk songs about Mali’s warrior kings, connecting with her country’s fabulously wealthy, proudly powerful past. They suit this diplomat’s daughter’s regal stature, which she has put at the...

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Chamber Music, Brighton Festival 2019 review - Wu-Tang Clan depths divined

Martial arts mayhem, Shaolin philosophy, a tribe of masked hip hop warriors emerging from the mist of Staten Island, a Funkadelic-Parliament collective sprawling through the music industry in the age of black mass incarceration: the Wu-Tang Clan...

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Ruby Wax, Brighton Festival 2019 review - how to be human

Once the self proclaimed poster girl for mental illness, Ruby Wax has evolved her stand up act, because, as she puts it, “everyone has mental illness now. It spread like wildfire.”It’s a tongue in cheek reference to the current supposed "fashion"...

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