May is a crucial time in the cultural calendar for Brighton & Hove, and Brighton Festival has put together a diverse timetable of acts. Guest directed this year by Malian singer, songwriter and guitarist Rokia Traoré, performers from all corners of the world bring their individual art to our city’s stages.
Grammy award-winning Canadian pianist and entertainer Chilly Gonzales shares his love for the piano with this take on best-selling pop songs. Gonzales approaches the piano with classical training and the attitude of a rapper. He has performed and written songs with the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake and holds the Guinness world record for the longest solo concert (running for more than 27 hours). Beginning with an intimate hour of pieces from his solo piano album cycle, he’ll then be joined by cellist Stella Le Page and drummer Joe Flory for further hits and some hidden surprises.
Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Mon 13 May, 8PM
Granta at 40
Relaunched as a magazine of ‘new writing’ in 1979, Granta quickly gained a reputation for breaking daring new writers such as Salman Rushdie and Bruce Chatwin – and soon, from 1983, for its sometimes-controversial Best of Young British Novelists list. As the magazine celebrates its 40th year, Ian Jack, a former editor, and Sigrid Rausing the publisher of Granta magazine and Granta Books discuss the trajectory of a literary icon.
Brighthelm Centre, Tues 7 May, 6.30PM
Tales from The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect
Explore the curious world of the porn industry with writer, journalist, and documentary filmmaker, Jon Ronson. After the success of The Butterfly Effect and new podcast series, The Last Days of August, Jon is taking the shows on tour to discuss new stories and never-heard-before audio. Sit back and listen to his findings from interviews with pornstars and crucial figures within the porn community at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall.
Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Fri 10 May, 8PM
Varhung: Heart to Heart
Tjimur Dance Theatre presents Varhung – Heart To Heart, a richly patterned performance remembering Ancient Taiwanese cultural traditions. It shows how the indigenous people of Paiwan utilise art forms to discuss emotions. The in-house choreographer, Baru Madiljin, worked in close collaboration with the company’s founding artistic director Ljuzem Madiljin for this special production. Varhung’s dynamic dancers demonstrate how even an everyday task for the Paiwan people such as weaving can lay bare your deepest emotions. Fine-tuned awareness lends the distinctly personal, but tribal impulses of this show – an eloquent universal resonance.
Theatre Royal Brighton, Fri 24 & Sat 25 MAY, 8PM; Sat 25 May, 2PM