wed 24/07/2024

Brighton Festival 2016 Launches with Guest Director Laurie Anderson | reviews, news & interviews

Brighton Festival 2016 Launches with Guest Director Laurie Anderson

Brighton Festival 2016 Launches with Guest Director Laurie Anderson

The big reveal arrives for Brighton & Hove's annual feast of the arts

Laurie Anderson, possibly dreaming of a sunny May in Brighton

The Brighton Festival 2016, which explodes into life again this year on Saturday May 7, has revealed its programme.

Guest Director Laurie Anderson sent a short film in support of the occasion, while Chief Executive Andrew Comben, acknowledging this as the 50th edition of the Festival, added: “Every year since 1967 some of the greatest artists, performers and thinkers have come together with some of the most open-minded and enthusiastic audiences anywhere for a festival whose home is one of the most artistically rich and geographically blessed places in the country.”

Indeed, the theme of this year’s festival, which takes place at multiple venues across the south coast city, is “Home and Place”. Anderson, the New York-based experimental musician and performance artist, will be embracing this theme for Slideshow, a monologue piece, and making other appearances, including the premier of her concert for canines, Music for Dogs; her film Heart of a Dog, which honours her late rat terrier Lolabelle; and a musical deconstruction called Song Conversation, Song as a Place with Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch and Norwegian jazz guitar virtuoso Eivind Aarset. She is also behind Lou Reed Drones, an installation of her late husband’s guitars and amps in feedback mode.

A theatrical presentation as gripping as it is conceptually preposterous

As well as Anderson’s contributions there will be a feast of other art, theatre, music, dance and more, including 54 commissions, co-commissions, exclusives and premieres such as the multi-award-winning dancer-choreographer Akram Khan’s new Until the Lions, Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing’s A Room With Your Views, “a snapshot… from windows from across the world”, and exclusive presentations of new material by electronic folker Beth Orton.

Other Brighton Festival highlights are multifarious: DJs Graeme Parke and Mike Pickering presenting their orchestral house music rave-up Haçienda Classical; the ground-breaking Belgian director Chantal Akerman’s final film, No Home Movie, about her mother, a Holocaust survivor; Spymonkey & Tim Crouch’s Shakespeare: The Complete Deaths, a theatrical presentation as gripping as it is conceptually preposterous; the eye-boggling New Mexican circus outfit The Ricochet Project with their new show, Smoke and Mirrors; acclaimed London interpreters of Baroque music, La Nuova Musica, presenting Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, with Ann Murray DBE and Benjamin Appl in the leading roles; the documentary film Zvizdal, about the elderly couple who chose to stay living near Chernobyl after the 1986 nuclear disaster; Blast Theory and Hydrocracker’s immersive, interactive theatrical event Operation Black Antler, about deep cover police infiltrating protest groups; Ron Haselden’s Luminary LED “light drawings” all around the city, plus appearances, performances, interviews and presentations featuring novelist Lionel Shriver, the London Symphony Orchestra, booker Prize-winning novelist Marlon James, comedian Sara Pascoe, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time author Mark Haddon, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, writer-broadcaster Howard Jacobson, comedian Bridget Christie, indie melancholics Tindersticks, War Horse writer Michael Morpurgo, singer Laura Mvula, comedian Alexei Sayle, Skulduggery Pleasant author Derek Landy, and much else, with everything kicked off by the traditional Children’s Parade on Saturday May 7.

theartsdesk is a media partner of the Brighton Festival and will keep you abreast of all that is going on.

Explore the Brighton Festival 2016 and its programme here

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters