While the annual summer surge to Edinburgh remains the main event on the arts festival calendar, there are a number of festivals around the UK that are growing in size and scope chief among them is the Brighton Festival, which this year is curated by guest artistic director Brian Eno.
Alongside a line-up of music and art, it offers a pleasingly eclectic programme of theatre and dance, the main highlight of which is Marine Parade a new musical by award-winning playwright Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, Harper Regan) set in a bed and breakfast on the Brighton seafront. The production is a collaboration between Stephens and American Music Club’s Mark Eitzel, and will be premiering as part of the Festival at Brightons Old Market.
Elsewhere during the festival, performance artists Lone Twin will be (aptly) presenting their latest theatre piece The Festival (Corn Exchange, 11 May), which was recently staged as one third of their Catastrophe Trilogy) and therell also be a chance to see Cheek by Jowls Macbeth following its run at the Barbican.
The Globe will be staging their popular, open air, touring production of A Midsummer Nights Dream at the St Nicholas Rest Garden (21-23 May) and Tim Crouch will be appearing in I Malvolio (Pavilion Theatre, 7-9 May), a follow-on from his I, Peaseblossom and I, Caliban shows that present the world of one of Shakespeares plays through the eyes of one of the secondary characters.
Other highlights include Rimini Protokolls Best Before (Sallis Benney Theatre, 19-23 May) which blurs the world of gaming with performance and dreamthinkspeaks Before I Sleep, a site specific take on Chekhovs The Cherry Orchard which is taking place at the Old Co-op Building on London Road (1-23 May)
Choreographer Frauke Requardt and Shunt co-founder David Rosenburg will be presenting Electric Hotel, a outdoor performance piece, in which the audience wear headphones to glimpse snatches of stories within a collage of sound and movement.
For fans of contemporary dance theres the world premiere of a specially commissioned new piece by the acclaimed Hofesh Schechter, Political Mother (Conecrt Hall , 20-21 May) with Schechters own score played live by an ensemble of eight musicians.
The Brighton Festival runs from 1-23 May 2010. For more information visit: BrightonFestival.org.