Brighton Festival 2018 is to be '˜a voyage of discovery'

Brighton Festival's 2018 programme was revealed today (February 15), led by Turner Prize-nominated visual artist and Brighton resident David Shrigley as guest director.

Thursday, 15th February 2018, 2:03 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:42 am
David Shrigley (Credit: Victor Frankowski)

Shrigley is known for his works that comment on the inconsequential, bizarre, and disquieting elements of daily life, and festival organisers said this is reflected in an eclectic programme spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate.

Unusual listings include Life Model II at Fabrica, a follow-up to the Shrigley’s Turner Prize-nominated installation of the same name which invites visitors to take part in a life drawing class with a sculpture of a nine-foot-tall woman as the ‘model’.

Other events close to the artist’s heart include a collaboration between orchestral collective Stargaze and one of Shrigley’s favourite bands, Deerhoof; an exhibition by San-Francisco-based artist and trucker Brett Goodroad; and a double bill from his friend Malcolm Middleton, one half of Arab Strap, and Scottish musician Iain Shaw, whose quirky folk song-smithery has turned Shrigley’s poems into songs on albums like Awesome and Listening to Slayer.

Brighton Festival brochure cover

Problem in Brighton is a new alt rock/pop pantomime, written and directed by Shrigley to a live durational reading of Camus’ seminal The Myth of Sisyphus at the Old Market in Hove.

Mr Shrigley said: “As a resident of Brighton and Hove the Festival is always a delight. Those who have visited the Festival before will know that having such an incredible array of events occur in our city every year is a great privilege. I’m very excited about this year’s lineup. Not only for the things that I have selected but also for the things I have only read about; one of the best things about the Festival for me is that it can be a voyage of discovery.”

Brighton Festival also continues its emphasis on the community with the return of Your Place – two weekends of free performances and arts activities in Hangleton and East Brighton. Delivered in partnership with Brighton People’s Theatre and community steering groups, both weekends will present international and national artists alongside local artists and community groups.

Your Place joins regular free, participatory events such as City Reads and Young City Reads, and Weekend Without Walls, two days of free arts in the parks.

Stargaze with Deerhoof

As ever Brighton Festival will kick off with the Children’s Parade produced by Same Sky, which sees thousands of schoolchildren march through the city. This year’s theme is ‘painting’.

Children’s author Jacqueline Wilson will talk about her latest book at the Brighton Dome on Sunday, May 13, and re-visit her best loved characters such as Hetty Feather and Tracy Beaker.

Comedian Bridget Christie returns to Brighton with her stand up show ‘What Now?’ on Friday May 18. She’ll be addressing Brexit, Trump, nuclear apocalypses, and environmental catastrophes.

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Festival said: “Like Brighton Festival, David Shrigley’s work is for everyone. Both powerful and funny, his work manages to speak to an incredibly wide audience. Alongside his own artwork, he is also a great advocate for the arts helping our health and wellbeing. We are thrilled that David is bringing his distinctive take to the Festival and the city he has now made his home.”

Bridget Christie (Photograph: Rich Hardcastle)

Brighton Festival was established in 1967, and since 2009 has welcomed guest directors who help shape the artistic programme, including pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson in 2016 and artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest in 2017.

Brighton Festival will run from May 5 to 27. To view the full programme, visit:

Jacqueline Wilson (Photograph: James Jordan)