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Brighton Festival 2018 Preview | reviews, news & interviews

Brighton Festival 2018 Preview

Brighton Festival 2018 Preview

Theartsdesk celebrates its media partnership with the south coast's premier arts festival

The Children's Parade from a previous year

This weekend sees the Brighton Festival 2018 kick off. Anyone visiting the city on Saturday 5 May would find this hard to miss as the famous Children’s Parade makes its way around the streets, a joyous dash of colour and creativity. This year’s theme, in honour of Brighton Festival guest director David Shrigley, is “Paintings”. Thus every school in the area has been assigned a famous painting on which to base their parade presentation. The results are guaranteed to be an eye-boggling public showcase.

After the success last year in taking the Festival to outlying areas of Brighton, Your Place returns in 2018. This means that, once again, local groups and committees in Hangleton and East Brighton have joined forces with the Festival - its artistic and theatrical resources and contacts - to put on a raft of events and activities in those areas. Much of this will be happening later in the month on the weekends of 19-20 May and 26-27 May.

Elsewhere its art a-go-go from the start with a free exhibition at the Phoenix Gallery from Californian painter Brett Goodroad, whose figurative abstract work is attuned to the subconscious, and David Shrigley’s Life Model II, a free interactive piece wherein visitors can contribute their own visions of his nine foot tall female sculpture.

Shrigley will also be putting on his own “alt-rock/pop pantomime”, Problem in Brighton, which will surely be worth a look, and giving a talk (“numerous rambling anecdotes but will not be in the slightest bit boring”) later in the festival (23 May).

Others involved in interviews and talks include novelists Rachel Cusk and Rose Tremain, local Green MP Caroline Lucas, London psychogeographer Iain Sinclair, children’s author Michael Rosen, and musicians Brett Anderson and Viv Albertine. In fact, this year’s Festival is particularly strong on contemporary music, with performances by Ezra Furman, The Last Poets, Deerhoof, Malcolm Middleton, Amanda Palmer, This Is The Kit, Joep Beving, Les Amazones D’Afrique, Jungle, Xylouris White and others.

All the above, of course, only skims the surface of Brighton Festival 2018’s hive of activity. There’s also a feast of theatre, circus, classical, children’s fare, dance and hosts more. It’s a very good time to hit the south coast.

Overleaf: Watch a 15-minute guide to BSL-interpreted, captioned and highly visual performances at Brighton Festival 2018

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