Better weather, everything turning more green – May is the month where suddenly we feel summer is coming, and the excitement of freedom is approaching! And when you live in Brighton, May can be jam-packed with activities to get you out of the house! So here’s a round-up of stuff to look out for around our city this month.
Lockdown Restrictions are easing again!
We all know this has been an ‘unprecedented time’ (I’m annoyed at myself for even using that phrase), but finally, things are on the up. Vaccine rollouts are going well, and on the 17th more restrictions will be eased, meaning we’re one step closer to ‘normal’ life. Socialising indoors, indoor dining and drinking, and larger outdoor gatherings are all on the horizon! Get me in that pub is all I’m saying – I’m sick of wearing my raincoat to go for a drink!
Third Year Musicals
For the first and second years, end of term means assessments and deadlines – but for our third years, the performances of their Musicals are fast approaching! Two casts performing two different versions of ‘The Little Prince’ by Nicholas Lloyd-Webber, with Directors Franny Rafferty and Ed Burnside, they’re set to be spectacular! Unfortunately, they’re still not allowed to have an audience in, but both performances will be recorded, so keep your eyes peeled for those streaming dates. And best of luck third years! We have no doubt you are going to smash it.
May is the beginning of an exciting few months for theatre in Brighton, kicking off with the arrival of the Brighton festival! The festival has been around since 1967 and is a wonderful opportunity to experience some incredible art in and around Brighton. And this year there’s the added bonus that there’s a mix of in-person and online events! Guess Director Lemn Sissay has based this year’s festival around the theme of care, with 30 of the 94 events being free to access. Here are some things to look out for throughout the festival;
Blast Theory by Rider Spoke – 7th-23rd May
What better way to explore Brighton than a narrated Bike tour? “Rider Spoke invites you on a ride guided by a smartphone app with a narrator and a delicate score by Blanket. Think about the people in your life while you search for hiding places. Record messages and share them with strangers you will never meet.” Head out by yourself, or find a group of friends and set off on your journey! Tours start every 15 minutes on performance days, so grab a bike and off you go! Find more information here.
Lemn Sissay’s ‘Tell Me Something About Family’ – 7th-31st May
A free interactive at-home event for those craving some art after a long day, this event invites you to “light up a map of the world with stories, phrases and sayings about family”. In a world that has been so crazy recently, family has been important for many.
Use this event to share your own stories and read others, travelling all across the world from the comfort of your bedroom. Find out more information here.
The Forked Forest Path by Olafur Eliasson – 18th May – 20th June
A popup forest. Inside a building. When living in a city with not much time for travelling out for long country walks, this sounds like my heaven! Head down to Fabrica on Duke Street, and experience the sights, scents and textures of this fairytale forest. Also a free event, I don’t think this is one to be missed! Find more information here.
Brighton Open Air Theatre
Craving that real-life theatre feeling? Well, the Brighton Open Air Theatre has your back! Once those restrictions have eased, the BOAT is ready to welcome you back with open arms, with a whole range of performances to kick off its summer season, including shows such as ‘A Lark in the Park’, ‘Stand Up Under the Stars’ and ‘The Lady in the Van’. And on Saturday 22nd, you can catch All Greek To Me’s performance of The Minotaur, featuring ICTheatre 2020 Graduate Rachel Mullock! I managed to get a quick quote from her about the show. “The Minotaur is based on the Greek myth of Theseus and the labyrinth, but what if we heard it from Princess Ariadne’s point of view. The play incorporates comedy, music and physical theatre to show a pure love between a brother and his sister, all in the beautiful environment of the Brighton Open Air Theatre. I have been very lucky to be cast in the role of Ariadne, it has been amazing to get back into a rehearsal space with fellow professionals and have a chance to use my “toolbox” that I gained from my theatre training.” Not being biased AT ALL, but it’s sure to be amazing if it’s got our Rach in it! Tickets for The Minotaur can be bought here, and information about all the shows performing at the BOAT this month can be found here.
Last but absolutely not least, the Fringe is back for another year of delight! After having to move its events online last year, it’s back in full swing, with a combination of online and in-person events to suit anyone looking for a theatre fix this summer. Kick your Fringe experience off with a bang by visiting Fringe City from the 28th-30th in Jubilee Square, and join the fun that will be presented for free all weekend – including a special performance from ICTheatre themselves! With food vans ready to serve you something tasty, and the box office ready to sell you those show tickets, there will be a buzz in the air that I’m certain will be infectious (but the nice kind of infectious. Please do still take a face mask though) And keep your eyes peeled for all things Fringe related! This will be a year to celebrate – and oh look, that just happens to be this year’s theme (smooth). For more information on shows you can buy tickets for, please look here.
So that’s quite a lot to be getting on with, don’t you think? It’s been a strange year, but one of the perks of living in Brighton is getting to experience all the wonderful things the city has to offer – and it’s finally all happening! So get those assessments done, then get yourself out and enjoy some theatre! Wish you lived in Brighton to experience all this fun? Take a look at our courses here, and make the steps to join the #ICTheatreMovement!
Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020