Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 04 May 2024

Refurbished Corn Exchange & Studio Theatre Welcome Back Premieres & International Productions To Brighton Festival

Brighton Dome's historic Grade I and Grade II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre return as Brighton Festival host venues between 4-26 May for the first time since 2016, following a major refurbishment project.

Credit Dahlia Katz

UK theatre premieres include shows from Canada, Belgium and Mexico plus the world premiere of an immersive theatrical dining experience exploring the story of food. 

This expanded international programme reflects the city"s unwavering support for the arts and is made possible by principal supporter, The Pebble Trust.

Belgian theatre makers Berlin make a welcome return to the Festival with the UK premiere of The Making of Berlin (10-11 May).

Combining film, theatre and live music, the show follows the company's attempt to fulfil the dream of Friedrich Mohr, a former stage manager at the Berliner Philharmonika orchestra. 

Mohr's ambition to stage a live radio broadcast of Wagner's Götterdämmerung from bunkers across the city during WWII morphs into a modern-day noir thriller as the company soon discover the story is not as it seems.

One of Canada"s most adventurous provocateurs, Cliff Cardinal brings the UK premiere of an audacious retelling of Shakespeare that gives the play an entirely new meaning, in The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It (21-23 May). 

Working with Toronto-based Crows Theatre, Cardinal keeps much of what happens secret, but this "brutally funny and honest" play reveals the unvarnished reality of the reconciliation process between Canada's Indigenous communities and colonial settlers.

The Melancholy of the Tourist (15-26 May), from Spanish-Mexican artists Oligor y Microscopia, is an intimate, magical meditation on how we engage with the world as tourists. 

Another UK premiere, it combines found objects, light and shadow, paper and tin, and a raft of wonderfully handmade and analogue contraptions to explore what happens when sought-after holiday destinations fall out of fashion and asks questions about the dislocation between imagination and reality.

Running throughout Brighton Festival is the world premiere of Ground - a curated, locally sourced three-course theatrical dining experience that seeks to explore the complex history behind the food on our plate. 

Featuring the voices of Indigenous communities from across the world, including celebrated ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer, the tangled history of plants is brought to life by award-wining creators and producers Trigger (Teabreak, Brighton Festival 2023) outside at Brighton's own Grand Designs-featured off-grid eco-building, Earthship.

The English premiere of Fishbowl, from award-winning French theatre company Le Fils du Grand Réseau, follows the hilarious misadventures of three eccentric and lovable anti-heroes separated only by paper-thin walls in an apartment block in Paris. 

In a masterful piece of silent theatre, physical comedy and technical wizardry, objects fly around, characters fall flat on their faces and a series of fires, leaks and storms compete to baffle the hapless inhabitants and reduce the stage to chaos, from 23 to 25 May. 

Elsewhere an ambitious outdoor reimagining of seaside variety shows from Olivier award-winning performance-maker Marisa Carnesky will transform a downtown Brighton street into a large-scale circus from 24-25 May, with nine stages and a cast of 33 female and non-binary aerialists, wrestlers, variety dancers, contemporary clowns and contortionists. 

Carnesky's Showwomxn Sideshow Spectacular is a family-friendly production created especially for Brighton Festival that will celebrate the forgotten women of the genre's unique history, inspired by Carnesky's own research at the National Fairground and Circus Archive. Performers include Netflix star Tallulah Haddon, World Record holding hula hoop artist Symoné and Bollywood dancer Kaajel.

Following a sold out international tour, US-based illusionist and performance artist Scott Silven appears in an English premiere at Brighton Festival from 8-12 May with Wonders, a stylish and smart interactive show that explores the myth and mystery of the ancient Scottish landscape of his childhood. 

Through a series of breathtaking, boundary pushing illusions, Silven's performance will challenge audience perceptions of themselves and the world and explore new, untold possibilities of the human mind.

The premieres continue on 4 and 5 May, as Irish theatre company Branar present their adaptation of James Joyce's monolithic novel Ulysses, You'll See, for the first time in the UK. 

The emotions of parenthood are explored in a new musical from Dundee Rep Theatre, as the English premiere of No Love Songs joins the Brighton Festival programme from 15-18 May. 

Following a critically-acclaimed London run last year, Perfect Show for Rachel invites audiences to step into theatre-loving, 33 year old learning-disabled care-home resident Rachel's world, as she directs every performance of this experimental and joyful show in real time from 4 to 7 May. 

Brighton Festival takes place from 4-26 May 2024 - visit for more info, 

by: Mike Cobley

Related links

Brighton Festival 2024


With the third annual Brighton Book Festival getting underway this week the team has announced a brand new event and a free photography exhibition accessible to all. 

Art on the Streets, a documentary co-created by University of Brighton design historian Dr. Harriet Atkinson will be shown as part of Tate Britain's upcoming exhibition, Artists International – The First Decade. 
Credit: Clive Flint

Create Music, in partnership with West Sussex Music, have been appointed by Arts Council England to deliver music education across Sussex as part of the newly formed Sussex Music Hub.
Credit - John Swannell

Best-selling author and comedian Michael Palin will be live on stage at Theatre Royal Brighton, this September, as part of his There and Back - The Diary Tour.
Credit Laura Lewis

Brighton Festival has announced Anoushka Shankar as next year's Guest Director. The Festival will take place from 3-25 May and is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events in venues and locations across Brighton, Hove and Sussex.
Credit Ellie Kurttz

WOW - Women of the World is coming to Brighton this autumn with a brand new live series, The WOW Show with Jude Kelly
Credit: Matt Crockett

Star of TikTok Henry Rowley will arrive at The Old Market, in Hove, on Friday 15th November, displaying his knack for comedic timing and engaging storytelling.
Credit Phoebe Wingrove

Eastbourne ALIVE was an ambitious cultural programme coinciding with Towner Eastbourne hosting Turner Prize 2023 which presented partnerships, exhibitions and community projects all aimed at providing long lasting cultural change in the town. 
Credit Steve Ullathorne

Malawian-born stand-up comedian Daliso Chaponda did his first solo show Feed This Black Man twenty years ago in Canada, the show saw him dissect the way Africans were always portrayed as starving, negative stereotypes that were all supported by charities.  

Students and alumni of Brighton-based WaterBear, the College of Music, have been given the opportunity to perform and gain work experience at this month's Glastonbury Festival.

Architecture to tackle loneliness, sustainable building solutions and technology to help patient recovery on show at University of Brighton student exhibition.

Arundel Castle is soon to host its upcoming Festival of History, where visitors can embark on an immersive 12,000-year journey from the Stone Age to the 20th century. 
Credit Daniel Alka

First introduced in 1952, the programme book has established itself as a highly collectible item featuring beautifully illustrated, expert articles that celebrate and explore the operas on stage at Glyndebourne each summer. 

The Love Supreme Jazz Festival - Europe's largest outdoor jazz festival – returns to Glynde Place in East Sussex from July 5th – 7th 2024.

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