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University of Sussex helps to shape Festival culture

Sculpture, drama, opera, debate, music and crafts make up a rich and varied cultural offering from University of Sussex academics, staff and students as Festival fever hits Brighton for 2009.

The University of Sussex is well represented in 2009's Festival and in the Brighton Festival Fringe, both of which run throughout Brighton during May.

University-sponsored events include a homage to Joan of Arc: a live performance of Rossini's cantata Giovanna D'Arco performed alongside a specially commissioned art installation by the internationally renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor, entitled Dismemberment of Jeanne d'Arc. The cantata is performed by music ensemble Chamber Domaine and mezzo soprano Anna Grevelius.

Kapoor's large, often curvaceous and colourful forms have been exhibited in some of the world's leading museums and galleries, including Tate Modern and the Hayward Gallery in London. Both music and sculpture can be admired on Monday 4 May at The Old Municipal Market in Circus Street, Brighton, at 4pm, 5.30pm and 7pm. Tickets £12.50.

Arguing for art's sake is sponsored by the University of Sussex in the form of a debate for Brighton Festival - Whose Knowledge Economy is it Anyway? Journalist and arts champion Sir John Tusa, University of Sussex media and film lecturer Kirk Woolford and Liverpool Biennial Director Lewis Biggs discuss the importance of the creative arts to the British economy.

Brighton Festival offers a showcase for University of Sussex-based composer and music lecturer Ed Hughes, whose new opera-in-progress,

Cocteau in the Underworld, will be revealed in selected scenes as a Brighton Festival Platform performance. Audiences will have a chance to offer critical feedback on the work so far, inspired by the life of surrealist Jean Cocteau and the myth of Orpheus. The Platform performance can be seen at the Pavilion Theatre, Brighton Dome, on Monday 4 May at 9pm. Tickets £4.

The theme of climate change is one of the Brighton Festival Fringe talking points this year.

Hopeful Futures takes place at the Jubilee Library in Jubilee Street, Brighton, on 21 May at 6.30pm and features University of Sussex climate and energy experts discussing our climate future. Building on Sussex's world leading research in Science and Technology Studies (STS), the Hopeful Futures seminar series provides a forum where academics from Sussex and further afield can bring their expertise to bear on some of society's most pressing contemporary issues. A panel of University academics and campaigners will look on the bright side of otherwise gloomy predictions about our climate. Entrance is free.

The student flag will fly at this year's Brighton fringe with an in-town production by Sussex University Drama Society (SUDS) of Shakespeare's

Othello on 18 May at the Brighton Unitarian Church. The play starts at 6pm and tickets are £6. Expect a contemporary take on a classic play, with nods to celebrity culture and its impact on people's lives.

Student artwork forms the basis of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School's contribution to the Fringe mix this year.

Art and Medicine comprises performances, painting, sculpture, photography and video inspired by medical matters. Visitors to the BSMS teaching building on the University of Sussex campus will be able to view works between 11am and 4pm daily on May 2 and 3. Art has long been seen as beneficial to doctors as well as to patients. Subjects include X-rayed vegetables, flower-like teeth and views and original paintings.

The tenth anniversary of the Soho pub bombing, in which three people died, is marked by a new play,

The First Domino, to be premiered at the Fringe. It's written by Jonathan Cash, a graduate from the MA in Dramatic Writing that was taught at the University of Sussex by the academic and playwright Richard Crane from 1996 to 2007. Jonathan was also a victim of the nail bomb blast, which took place in the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho in 1999. The play is a brooding yet witty drama that explores the mind of a lone terrorist - and our own fears and judgments. The play is produced by Brighton Theatre and is showing at the Latest Music Bar, 14-17 Manchester Street, Brighton, from Tuesday 19 May to Saturday 23 May at 7pm. Tickets £10.

Convenor of Creative Writing and Summer School Co-Ordinator Chris Sykes demonstrates that life definitely continues beyond 40 with a show entitled, I'm Not Dead - I'm 55!

Dubbed "singer/poet to the middle-aged", Chris and his band will be presenting a mellow hour of songs, poems and music counting the joys of getting on. The show runs at the Friends' Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton, on Saturday 9 May at 7.45pm and on Sunday 10 May at 2.15pm. Tickets £10.

For those looking for all that glitters, three members of staff have the solution. Andrew Wilkey (Student Advisor, Soccul Central); Dorothy Lamb (Information Co-Ordinator, Life Sci) and Pippa Robinson (School Administrator (Systems), School of Life Sciences) will be displaying their wares for the first four Sundays in May at the West Hill Hall, Compton Avenue, Seven Dials, Brighton, as part of the Artist Open Houses Festival. There'll be desirable-yet-affordable items for sale such as Dorothy's calligraphy, mosaics and stained glass, Pippa's shawls, brooches and pictures and Andrew's narrative paintings.

The "Sun-Dials" event features other artists from the Seven Dials Open House trail. It runs on  Sundays 3, 10, 17 and 24 May from 12noon to 5pm.



Notes for Editors

For full listings details see the Brighton Festival brochure and the Brighton Festival Fringe brochure.

University of Sussex Pressoffice contacts: Jacqui Bealing, Maggie Clune and Danïelle Treanor. Tel: 01273 678 888 or email

Home page image: C-Curve 2007, an installation at The Louvre, Paris, by Anish Kapoor.  Photo by Philippe Chancel.

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 18 February 2013