Brighton Festival Weekend

Funny, exciting, tiring and maybe a little expensive – but thoroughly worth it.  Sue came down from Wakefield for the weekend so we had planned lots of art and culture at the Festival.

Aiden Killian’s ‘Saving Julian Assange’ was free at the Caroline of Brunswick.  A noon pint of Arapaho American Pale Ale was a good start.  His tirade come rant was heated, sometimes not too politically correct, but mainly very funny and full of insight.  He said that something of it is available on the net so perhaps you should have a look.

The Rachel Kneebone’s pieces of porcelain in the Art College gallery were just odd.  ‘Umbilical leggy latrine’ was my first attempt at a description.  On reflection I found, ‘And your Kneebone’s connected to your umbilicus’.  But we had the good luck to find Cat Fletcher was doing tours of her Waste House in the grounds of the College.  Her enthusiasm and energy is remarkable, and the building reveals more when Cat is there to point things out and give the backstory to each element of its construction.

After lunch at the Dome we bussed to a group of Dyke Road Open Houses around Matlock Road.  56 Tivoli Crescent is home to Moira Wills who makes risqué, rude, funny silkscreen prints.  I bought one (April Showers) and you can see it for the rest of the month on a staircase in her home.  At The Dog House down a huge catcreep from Tivoli Crescent you can see some ‘Solar etchings’ by Luella Martin.  Beautifully atmospheric silhouettes of trees against deep blue skies.  She has a U Tube video showing the process of making the etchings and printing them that’s worth finding.

I'm glad we took a bus to the top of this route and walked down between houses.

I’m glad we took a bus to the top of this route and walked down between houses.

At the PV of Jennifer Beresford’s Beyond the Level Open House Sue bought a delightful driftwood streetscape by Ewelina Milian.  I bought a postcard of another one to share with you.

Wee houses on a driftwood street with panel pin railings, by Ewelina Milian

Wee houses on a driftwood street with panel pin railings, by Ewelina Milian

The day ended with dinner at Eastern Eye on London Road.  We all ate Dosa – a big light pancake rolled around spicy tastiness.

Sunday was a busier day!  Started with Roger Bamber’s photographic retrospective at the seafront gallery just west of the skeletal West Pier.  This man has taken some great photographs over many years, and must have kept good notes about each one because the captions are full and fascinating.  The free highlight of the Festival has to be Dawn Chorus by Marcus Coates – it is a delight.  The story of how people can sing like birds is available on the net, and adds immensely to the experience.  The sounds are amazing, but the effect of speeding up the film of the singers brings startling bird-like effects to their movements.  Its on every day at Fabrica in Ship Street.

Mid-afternoon we descended to The Basement at The Otherplace for a one man show called Bathtime.  He’s doing it again 23rd to 25th May and I recommend you get tickets.  Its a ridiculous basis for a story, great fun, slightly creepy and very entertaining.  Go!  It gets hot down in the Pit, but you can take a drink in.

After an early dinner (six tapas and a bottle of Rioja between 3 at Solera d Tapa in Sydney Street – a favourite venue) we went to Regency Square where a white plastic dome has been erected to protect a flatpack 168 seat theatre in the round.  Here we were pulled into a two-handed fast and furious alternately laugh out loud and tear-inducing drama about building a relationship, having children and coping with climate change.  80 minutes straight through, and not a moment wasted.  The Festival Programme says Lungs is on lots more this month, so try to get a ticket.

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