Bernstein in Chichester Festival
Various venues in Chichester
Chichester celebrates its unique relationship with West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein (pictured above) with a festival marking his centenary and featuring stars including actors Patricia Routledge and Peter McEnery and the conductor Carl Davis. This year marks the centenary of the birth of Bernstein and this festival culminates in a special performance of his composition the Chichester Psalms at Chichester Cathedral by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which is conducted by Marin Alsop, who was taught and mentored by Bernstein. Bernstein himself was present at the world premiere of the Chichester Psalms at the Southern Cathedrals Festival in 1965. This festival, which has a programme of concerts, workshops, revues, jazz, talks, film shows, exhibitions and reunions, is part of a worldwide celebration of the 100th birthday of the composer, conductor, musician, cultural ambassador and humanitarian, who died aged 72 in 1990. Keeping Up Appearances star Patricia Routledge (pictured below with Howard Seckerson) will speak for the first time about her working relationship and valued personal friendship with Bernstein, while actor Peter McEnery performs his one-man show Walter & Lenny, which he devised and is directed by his wife, the actress Julia St John. There will be a performance of Carl Davis’s Sing God A Simple Song, an original musical entertainment depicting seven aspects of Bernstein’s musical life. Picture of Leonard Bernstein: Paul de Hueck, courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Office Inc. Picture of Carl Davis, below right: Jasper Fry.
Read our feature on the Bernstein in Chichester Festival.
Chichester Festival 2018
Chichester Festival Theatre Oaklands Park, Chichester.
Tickets from £10/prologue: £5 tickets for 16-25s
STARS of stage and screen including Caroline Quentin (above left), Penelope Keith (above right), Patricia Hodge (below left), Matt Lucas (below right), Tracy-Ann Oberman and Rufus Hound headline Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2018. Men Behaving Badly star Caroline Quentin and Little Britain star Matt Lucas make their Chichester debuts in the musical Me And My Girl while Penelope Keith makes a return to Chichester to star in The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold. Copenhagen by Michael Frayn stars Patricia Hodge, who appeared on TV in Miranda, and Downton Abbey actor Charles Edwards, who played Lady Edith’s love Michael Gregson, as well as Spooks actor Paul Jesson, who is making his Chichester debut. The programme also includes Cock, a very adult play by Dr Foster writer Mike Bartlett, described as “a provocative peep into relationships in these days of oscillating identities”. Singer, actor and comedian Gary Wilmot appears alongside The Bill star Clare Burt and award-winning actress Joanna Riding in Flowers for Mrs Harris from the novel by Paul Gallico, and actor and director Samuel West directs The Watsons, a new play by Laura Wade adapted from the unfinished novel by Jane Austen. Rufus Hound stars in Noel Coward’s comedy Present Laughter, and there’s also a double bill of plays by debbie tucker green, one of theatre’s most original and internationally acclaimed voices. For children, there’s an adaptation of David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang by Bryony Lavery with music and lyrics by Joe Stilgoe. Present Laughter by Noël Coward runs from Friday April 20-Saturday May 12. random/generations runs from Friday May 4-Saturday June 2. The Chalk Garden runs from Friday-Saturday May 25-June 16. The Country Wife runs from Friday-Saturday June 8-July 7. Me And My Girl runs from Monday July 2-Saturday August 25. The Meeting runs from Friday-Saturday July 13- August 11. Copenhagen runs from Friday-Saturday August 17-September 22. Flowers for Mrs Harris runs from Friday-Saturday September 28-October 27. Cock runs from Friday-Saturday September 28-October 27. The Midnight Gang by David Walliams runs from Saturday-Saturday October 13-November 3. The Watsons Saturday-Saturday November 3-December 1. Sleeping Beauty Saturday-Sunday December 15-30.
Read our feature on Chichester Festival 2018.
Phone 01243 781312 or visit cft.org.uk.
Brighton Fringe 2018
Various venues, Brighton, Hove and beyond
Friday May 4-Sunday June 3
Tickets on sale from March 1
With more than 1,000 events, Brighton’s creative soul is showcased in Brighton Fringe, England’s largest arts festival. Featuring a host “wild and wonderful performers”, the creative, fun and off-beat festival sets out to “stimulate, educate and entertain a diverse range of people through a wide variety of art forms – and all of this in an iconic city with unique cultural heritage”. Events range from performances of Myra, the story of Myra Hindley, performed by Pretty Villain Productions at Brighton’s Rialto Theatre, to My Divorce Runneth Over, with three blokes looking at life in the divorced lane at at The Richmond in Brighton. There are food tours, history tours and an aquarium history tour, loads of comedy, art including an exhibition of work by Melvyn Biddulph at the Skyway Gallery in Shoreham-by-Sea, storytelling, children’s events and improvisation. Highlights include seasons of Dutch, Flemish and Finnish work, as well as an impressive slew of world premieres. A theme of the festival this year is widening access to the arts, so there will be more than 300 free events. Picture: Fringe performers The Kalande Drummers at the launch of the Fringe programme at Brighton station/picture: Stephen Lawrence.
The Spire Secret Festival
The Spire, St Mark’s Chapel, Eastern Road, Brighton
May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27, and June 1 and 2
The Spire, a creative space for theatre, dance, circus and performance makers located in the Grade II-listed St Mark’s Chapel, whose faded glory has been reborn, hosts Kemptown’s first secret festival programme. Visitors can discover experimental art, unusual performance and out-of-the-ordinary music. Performances happen throughout the evenings. Opening the festival with performances on May 4, 5 and 6 at 9pm will be performance innovators DOTDASH, with Passing Phase: 24 lights. 24 loops. 24 minutes. A dazzling ode to chaos, performed in circles. DOTDASH explore patterns, order and disorder, to ask: is hope a Passing Phase? DOTDASH is the collaboration between Eoin Furbank and Jessica Jordan-Wrench. Together they make noisy theatre, live and installation art. On May 11, RAW will take over the Spire bar. RAW is a low-key evening of bite-sized performance and experimentation, run by independent producers with no agenda and no pressure! RAW was conceived by Abby Butcher, Ruth Dudman and Faith Dodkins and has been imagined as a space for the creative community of Brighton & Hove to come together in a social setting – part theatre, part social-club, part extension of your living room. Pictures: Rosie Powell.
Friday-Monday May 18-28
Described as “the home of lively conversation and a search for truth in the spirit of the Bloomsbury Group”, the Charleston Festival this year boasts David Attenborough (pictured above) as its star speaker. Announced as the winner of the annual Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize, he will deliver the annual lecture on the divisive question of whether some animals can justifiably be described as artists. Among other speakers and writers are last year’s Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, the author Jeanette Winterson, Hollywood actress Gemma Arterton (pictured below), broadcaster David Dimbleby, author Robert Harris, the biographer Claire Tomalin, author Ali Smith, broadcasters Evan Davis, the Newsnight presenter, and Jon Sopel, the BBC’s North America editor, who gives an insider’s account of Donald Trump’s presidency, Fat is a Feminist Issue author Susie Orbach, authors Aida Edemariam, Kevin Powers, Kamila Shamsie, Neel Mukherjee and Alexander McCall Smith, poet Simon Armitage, comedian, actor and writer Robert Webb and author Alan Hollinghurst.
Read our feature on the Charleston Festival.
Phone 01323 811626 or visit charleston.org.uk.
Saturday May 19-Sunday August 26
Glyndebourne Opera House promises rare gems and Glyndebourne classics in its Festival 2018 programme, a vocal and visual feast offering world-class opera. The programme kicks off with Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (below right), when East meets West with tragic consequences, from May 19-July 18, following it with Richard Strauss’s operatic masterpiece Der Rosenkavalier (above left), produced by Richard Jones with a new cast, from May 20-June 26. Glyndebourne classic Giulio Cesare (above right) by George Frideric Handel, a much-loved visually striking production by David McVicar, runs from June 10-July 28, while Claude Debussy’s passionate love triangle Pelléas et Mélisande, with Stefan Herheim, one of Europe’s most exciting directors, making his company debut, is on from June 30-August 9. The programme concludes with Barrie Kosky’s staging of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Saul (below left), which marries spectacle and psychology, from July 19-August 25, and finally a rare opportunity to see Vanessa, the Pulitzer Prize-winning work by Samuel Barber from the age of Hitchcock, from August 5-26. Pictures: Madama Butterfly by Clive Barda, Der Rosenkavalier by Bill Cooper, Giulio Cesare by Mike Hoban and Saul by Bill Cooper.
Read our feature with the full programme of the Glyndebourne Festival 2018.
Phone 01273 815000 or visit glyndebourne.com.
Elderflower Fields – The Family Festival
Pippingford Park, Nutley, Uckfield
Friday-Monday May 25-28
This is an award-winning three-day festival for families with children, billed as a wild weekend adventure with music, sports, nature and the arts. On Dragonfly Hill is the Dragonfly Stage where bands play, theatre shows are staged and sports including mountain boarding and disc golf are played. It’s also the stage for the Sunday family picnic on Sunday. The Nightjars is an eclectic corner of the festival, home to the Woodland Stage, which is a venue for smaller, more intimate performances, a spoken word tipi called the Wowpow, the Woodland cafe and bar and the Green People Woodland Spa. In the Lazy Glades, families can wind their way through sunlight-dappled glades to find food vendors, family activities and a shady spot to relax. The Urban Woods host woodland sports and adventures including skateboarding, climbing, slacklining, parkour and more. The Tumbledown Meadows host sports and adventure activities, and this year there is the new Leapfrog Lawns, home to the Arts Camp, where crafty activities, silly sports and a science dome are located.
Various venues in Steyning, Bramber, Beeding, Ashurst, Washington and Ashington
Saturday-Saturday May 26-June 9
Local, national and international talent is showcased during a fortnight of diverse programmed events, an artistic festival run by the community with the community and for the community. The programme covers theatre, music, visual arts including an art trail, walks and tours, literature, talks and community events.
Phone 01903 812062 or visit steyningfestival.co.uk.
Wiston House, Steyning Road, Steyning
Monday-Wednesday May 28-30
Wildfires is a festival that brings communities together from around the country and the globe to experience God’s presence. During the three days, participants spend time together partying, praying, worshipping, growing in community and welcoming the Spirit into their midst. Spaces are devoted to delving deeper into the heart of who we are and who God is, with children and youth work prioritised. There’s a Wildfires camping village with communal areas and marquees, and participants have access to the Big Church Day Out South on May 26 and 27.
Church Farm, Coombes, and Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea
Friday-Sunday June 1-3
Glastonwick 2018 is Adur’s 23rd annual beer, music and poetry festival featuring three days of entertainment from 21 bands, music and poets, all performing their own original material. On the line-up on Friday, between 6pm and midnight, are Doctor Bongo, the poet laureate of sex and laundry, a musical antidote to both Trump and Clinton from David Rovics, Brighton post-punks Popguns, Hastings dance machine Matilda’s Scoundrels and listen to the mating sounds of South American frogs with Peter & The Test Tube Babies. On Saturday, the line-up includes Derbyshire poet Sophie Sparham, ‘genius and rude anagram’ Robin Ince, reggae band Smiley & The Underclass, Yorkshire one-man band Joe Solo, Barnstormer 1649, where early music meets punk, Brighton’s Helen McCookerybook, Mel and Sonny’s sonic blast Combat shock, poet and disaffected middle-aged woman Janine Booth, metal soul band Ese & The Vooduu, rockers East Town Pirates and Northampton grime/ska/rap/reggae/punk/satire group Karl Phillips & the Rejects. Sunday’s line-up includes the John Ward Trio, Black Country political power-folkster Jess Silk, surreal Shoreham satyrs The Lovely Brothers, Steve Lamacq’s favourites The Lovely Eggs and cross-cultural punk rocker Babar Luck.
Phone 01273 464440 or visit ropetacklecentre.co.uk.