In preparation with the much-awaited Brighton Festival 2018, we catch up with Laura McDermott, Creative Director at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, to learn about how she experiences Brighton Festival, giving us a range of personal standouts for this year’s festival:
How many events do you attend in Brighton Festival and how do you choose what you see?
May is a busy month! I usually see something every single day. I’m not a typical audience member, though, as seeing lots of art is part of my job. I love the energy in the city during festival time, and all the chance encounters with friends, colleagues and artists from all over the world. As soon as the festival programme launches I start planning - carrying the brochure everywhere and marking pages. Then it’s a question of making a schedule - fitting it all together in space and time…
What are your top 3 picks of the Brighton Festival 2018 programme and why?
1) The Last Poets
What an incredible, rare chance to see these legendary spoken word artists - whose work (emerging from Harlem in 1968, as part of the Civil Rights Movement) laid the foundations for the emergence of hip-hop.
2) Brownton Abbey (with Big Freedia)
I’ve seen Big Freedia perform before and it was one of the best gigs of my entire life - a frenzy of dancing and twerking. Under the skilful curatorial guidance from Tarek at The Marlborough, this event will bring politics to the dancefloor, in a joyful, Afro-futurist rave.
3) Gob Squad - Creation (Picture for Dorian)
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts has co-commissioned this work with Brighton Festival, LIFT and international partners. Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray it’s going to involve six local performers and Gob Squad, considering ageing, beauty and what drives our desire to be looked at. Gob Squad are one of my favourite companies - they are sharp, political, playful and irreverent - don’t miss this UK Premiere!”
For the Brighton Festival programme see www.brightonfestival.org