Show Calendar

Experiencing Brighton Festival: Laura McDermott

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Gob Squad Web

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

Get to Know Gob Squad

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Ahead of their appearance at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and as part of Brighton Festival 2018, we catch up with Gob Squad to historicise the company’s journey and what we should expect from them given their fantastic track record:

“A few highlights from the last 25 years that we wanted to share with you ahead of Gob Squad’s return to Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts this May, for Brighton Festival.”

Early 1990s  A bunch of long-haired students from Nottingham make open-air performances in order to get into Glastonbury for free. They call themselves Gob Squad

1994-6  Site projects: HOUSE, WORK and AN EFFORTLESS TRANSACTION at Now Festival Nottingham


1997  15 MINUTES TO COMPLY commissioned by Documenta X, Kassel


1998   WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? comissioned by the first Berlin Biennale

2000   US tour of SAFE


2003   SUPER NIGHT SHOT premieres in Berlin, the start of a 13 year collaboration with Volksbühne


2006   SUPER NIGHT SHOT tours Brazil with a company of locally trained performers


2008   SAVING THE WORLD wins Goethe Institut prize at Impulse Festival


2011  BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES is selected for Germany’s prestigious Theater Treffen festival


2012  GOB SQUAD’S KITCHEN three week run at The Public TheatreNew York, winning Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience

2014  20th birthday festival at HAU Hebbel am Ufer celebrating the art of collectives


2015  BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES remake and four week run at The Public TheatreNew York


2015  MY SQUARE LADY robot vs. opera extravaganza at Komische Oper Berlin


2016  Perform WAR AND PEACE at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts


2017  Touring of various projects to China, USA, Russia and within Europe


2018  Performing CREATION (PICTURES OF DORIANat Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts 

To book tickets for Creation (Pictures of Dorian) check our event page here or at the Brighton Festival 2018 website.

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