Michael Rosen is Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2013

28 Nov 2012

Brighton Festival is delighted to announce that the 2013 Guest Director is the celebrated poet, writer, broadcaster and previous Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen.

Brighton Festival – three weeks of unrivalled arts celebration across the city of Brighton and Hove – will take place from 4 – 26 May 2013. Full programme details for the internationally acclaimed mixed arts festival will be available at the public and media launches set to take place on Wed 27 Feb 2013.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Festival said, “We are delighted to welcome Michael Rosen on board as Guest Director for 2013. For the past five years we have invited a Guest Director to bring their knowledge and experience of the arts to this Festival, which has helped us to nurture and grow an extraordinary range of art and ideas appealing to our local, regional, national and international audiences. For several decades Michael Rosen has entertained, educated and moved audiences of all ages. He has the infectious energy of a polymath and is curious about and interested in everything - perfect for such an eclectic and wide-ranging festival as ours. I am looking forward to another fantastic Festival here in Brighton.”

Michael Rosen said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to be involved with Brighton Festival. It’s exciting but it’s also going to be a challenge! I am a great believer in festivals – they are an informal college of the arts for everyone. There’s been a big change since I was a child when the arts were tucked away in theatres and galleries and Brighton Festival takes cultural activity and brings it to many different audiences across a whole city.”

Programme highlights which can be revealed at this stage include the Brighton Festival commission The Great Enormo – a new work for narrator and full orchestra written by Michael Rosen and composed by James Morgan and Juliette Pochin. Michael Rosen will narrate the piece and will be joined by the City of London Sinfonia for this world premiere.

Another world premiere, celebrating the Britten Centenary year in collaboration with Aldeburgh Music, is Britten: The Canticles. Performers include Ian Bostridge, Iestyn Davies, Richard Watkins, Julius Drake and Sally Pryce and the piece will be staged by Neil Bartlett and Paule Constable. Britten’s five Canticles span most his composing life, distilling his opera writing ability into five individual concert pieces linked by musical drama and theatre. Bostridge, Bartlett and Constable will collaborate with artists of other disciplines to bring them to the stage, including Gulf War artist John Keane and Scott Graham from physical theatre company Frantic Assembly.

The UK premiere of My Life After will be presented by one of Argentina’s most successful playwrights and performers, Lola Arias. My Life After tells the true stories of people of whose parents lived unscathed through the dictatorship in Argentina in the 1980’s - a period when thousands of people disappeared and are presumed to have been killed. These are the stories of intellectuals, activists, policemen – and also middle class professionals - whose children have to come to terms with their parents’ culpability, complicity or, perhaps, their simple apathy. My Life After deals with a generation’s need to process a collective trauma which is examined and ultimately resolved creatively and playfully through stories, dreams, family photos and live music. Lola Arias’ work has been produced all over Europe, in Germany, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland as well as at the Avignon Festival in France.

For more than 25 years Brighton Festival has opened with the Children’s Parade, which now includes participants from local infant, junior and secondary schools, nurseries and playgroups, community groups and bands across the city. Big, bright, colourful and fun it is one of the most spectacular community events in the UK with up to 4,000 participants from 75 groups and an audience of 10,000. The 2013 Children’s Parade, devised and delivered by Same Sky, will be themed around the Alphabet in a response to Michael Rosen’s interest and passion for language.

Brighton Festival are also partnering with Collected Works - the organisation behind City Reads - to run the first ever Young City Reads. Readers across the city will be encouraged to read and review a yet to be announced book as well as attend a selection of themed cultural events.

Brighton Festival is one of Europe’s leading arts festivals for artists and audiences and is known for commissioning and producing an ambitious programme that aims to make the most of Brighton’s distinctive cultural atmosphere. It has been widely recognised for presenting exciting site specific work, thought provoking debate and newly commissioned works.

For further enquiries, please contact our press team:

Nicola Jeffs, Press and PR Manager – nicola.jeffs@brightondome.org 01273 260803 / 07794694754
Chris Challis, Senior Press Officer – chris.challis@brightondome.org 01273 260838
Anna Whelan, Digital and Admin Officer – anna.whelan@brightondome.org 01273 260825