sat 02/07/2022

Brighton Festival

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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Gravity & Other Myths: Backbone, Brighton Festival 2019 review - eyeboggling and very human circus show

Shows by Gravity & Other Myths fall into the realm of “contemporary circus”. It’s an off-putting moniker, bringing to mind a performance where there’s no clowning but quite possibly much “thought-provoking” interpretive dance. The decade-old...

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My Left Right Foot: The Musical, Brighton Festival 2019 review - foul-mouthed comic brilliance

My Left Right Foot tiptoes right to the precipice of massive offense. For some, it tumbles right in. During the interval audience members can be heard tutting at the amount of times “the c-word” is casually thrown around. But it’s not just the...

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Andy Hamilton, Brighton Festival 2019 review - gently amusing night of reminiscence

Taking place at the Theatre Royal, Andy Hamilton’s show is entitled An Evening with… rather than a straight stand-up and mainly consists of the comedy writer/performer and gameshow regular answering audience questions. During the first half this is...

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Chilly Gonzales, Brighton Festival 2019 review - an intimate and exhilarating evening

Chilly Gonzales sits for so long at the piano, in his smoking jacket and slippers, before commencing his first song that I wonder if this is a John Cage moment. It’s a stark contrast to his energy at the end of the gig, where Chilly (real name,...

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Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), Brighton Festival 2019 review - a feverishly foul-mouthed musical comedy

Five years ago this Kneehigh Theatre production caused a stir with its vibrant modern retelling of John Gay’s 18th century satirical classic, The Beggar’s Opera. It’s currently on tour again and it’s easy to see why a revival was greenlit. It’s a...

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Ben Okri, Brighton Festival 2019 review - adventures in writing

If there’s one thing to learn from Ben Okri in this evening of conversation at Brighton Festival between the Famished Road writer and author Colin Grant it’s how to “upwake”.The phrase, coined in his new (11th) novel The Freedom Artist – a post-...

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British Paraorchestra: The Nature of Why, Brighton Festival 2019 review - it's a happening!

The Nature of Why is not so much a concert as a multi-discipline happening. To assess it is to relate a human experience rather than just an aesthetic appreciation of the new orchestral work by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory which is at its heart. On the...

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Rokia Traoré: Né So, Brighton Festival review - an Afro-psychedelic head-fry

The last thing many were expecting from Rokia Traoré’s opening appearance at this year’s Brighton Festival was an Afro-psychedelic head-fry, yet she and her four-piece band prove thoroughly capable of swirling our minds right off out of it. When she...

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Vox Motus: Flight, Brighton Festival 2019 review - a novel and moving experience

Flight is a show by experimental Scottish theatre company Vox Motus, adapted from the novel Hinterland by Caroline Brothers. It’s about two Afghan child refugees making their way across Europe to the fabled land of “London” and is based very...

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