Brighton Festival 2017

Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Dateline: 1st May, 2017

An eclectic mix of classic stories and tales of modern concerns

Brighton Festival 2017, the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England and one of the largest open-access multi-art form fringe festivals in the world, covers the period 6 to 28 May.

At its head, as this year's guest director, is recording artist, poet, playwright, and novelist Kate Tempest. She has chosen to celebrate what she has termed the "Everyday Epic" about which she has said, “art is social. It should be a part of life. No big deal—just life itself.”

Kate Tempest will perform in the opening gig of music and spoken word with poets Hollie McNish and Glyn Maxwell and in a live orchestration of her recent album Let Them Eat Chaos.

Theatre events include:

Macblair

This Tony Blair/Macbeth mashup is written by Charlie Dupré 20 years after his meeting with Tony Blair as a 13-year-old was depicted on the front page of The Independent.

This controversial new play is set in 1994 and presents the story of Tony Blair as a Shakespearean tragicomedy, using verse, rap, physical theatre and comedy.

Tristan And Yseult

Kneehigh's season includes the return of Tristan and Yseult, written by Carl Grose and Anna Maria Murphy and adapted and directed by Emma Rice.

The original tale of forbidden desires, broken hearts and the agony of choosing one human being over another is told through comedy, live music, grand passion and tender truths, in an irresistible night of love.

Tristan And Yseult plays Brighton Festival, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and then tours.

Seven Crazy Bitches

This comic solo show looking at the seven ages of woman using only a collection of cheap wigs and cardboard props is created and performed by Holly Morgan, the Diva on a Budget.

Morgan makes her Brighton Fringe début with this cabaret and comedy fusion that portrays the 'bitches' we all turn into at some point.

Seven Crazy Bitches is directed by Lisa Millar and Ash Alladi.

Songs for the End of the World

This story of conformity and survival set in a post Brexit, austerity Britain future is written by Dom Coyote, Michael Vale and Tom Penn.

Inspired by Philip K Dick's post-apocalyptic novel Dr. Bloodmoney, the star-gazing world of Ziggy Stardust and 1950s rock 'n' roll, this is high octane gig-theatre.

The cast is made up of Dom Coyote on vocals, electric guitar, Milly Blue on vocals, Jen Synth on ukelele, Ted Barnes on banjo, guitar, metalaphon, melodica, Amanda Dal on vocals, drums, and John Biddle on vocals, piano.

Songs for the End of the World will also tour over the summer and has been created as an album.

Landmines

This play is a new commission marking the 25th anniversary year of the BRIT School.

The cast is comprised of Rhianne Barreto, Sophie Brown, Eve Donnelly, Denneil Dunbar, Jack Etchells, Imogen Fuller, Willa Main, Zoe Meningen, Oscar O'Brien, Robin Paton-Copley, Edward Scott, Andrea Smith and Harry Vinall, all BRIT School graduates. The play is directed by Emma Higham.

Landmines is written by Phil Davies and looks at two events from June last year—an attempt to assassinate Donald Trump and the tragic murder of the politician Jo Cox.

After Brighton Festival, Landmines has a run at London's Ovalhouse.

No Dogs, No Indians

Penned in the Margins' No Dogs, No Indians interweaves fictional events with the true story of a young woman's attack on an all-whites club with a sign that reads "No Dogs, No Indians".

The play is written by Siddhartha Bose and looks at three generations following Independence after 350 years of the British Empire in India.

The play is directed by Russell Bender. It was commissioned by Brighton Festival, Southbank Centre, Live Theatre, GemArts, Writers' Centre Norwich and Norwich Arts Centre.

Following Brighton Festival, No Dogs, No Indians tours to Alchemy Festival, Norwich Arts Centre and Live Theatre Newcastle.

Tales Of Birbal

Also chiming with the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, Tales Of Birbal is a collection of fables from past generations shared by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and all people across the region.

Stories for all ages over six are told by cast members Simran Kular and Medhavi Patel, using humour, puppetry, music and the occasional fake beard.

Tales Of Birbal is by Sayan Kent from an original concept by Trina Haldar, artistic director of Mashi Theatre which presents diverse work within the performing arts, particularly for young people. British-Asian clarinetist Arun Ghosh is the musical director and puppetry direction is by Sue Pyecroft.

After playing Brighton Festival, Tales Of Birbal tours to The Curve Leicester, Southbank's Alchemy Festival London, Watermans Art Centre Brentford, Tara Arts London, Warwick Arts Centre, The Hat Factory Luton, June Arts Jam and The Egg Theatre Royal Bath, with autumn touring dates to be announced.

Re: Production

Award-winning White Slate Theatre is making its Brighton Festival début with new play Re: Production.

The play looks at self-worth, IVF, fertility and women’s choices; it has been developed by this female-led director/playwright company with blog White Slate Undone, open rehearsals and parent and baby workshops.

Re: Production is written by Jenna May Hobbs and is directed by Suzanna Ward. Dan Burman and Catherine Nicholson make up the cast.

The festival brochure is available online,