Monday, 28 October 2013

Trip the Light Fantastic

UPDATE (Friday 1st November): Due to the weather forecast for this weekend,  the digital fireworks event - PixelPyros - has been postponed and will now take place on Monday 11th November at The Corn Exchange. 

This weekend is all about lights. On Friday night (1st Nov) the Royal Pavilion will become The Illuminated Palace when digital art duo, SDNA, will be using the palace as a canvas for their lighting and projections. The event will mark the launch of the new Turner in Brighton exhibition which opens on Saturday.

Then on Saturday night there will be a special digital fireworks display in Preston Park. I'll now pass you over to Seb Lee-Delisle, the digital artist behind PixelPryos to tell you a bit more about the event:

Everyone loves fireworks displays but usually you have to stand well back while the experts light the touch paper. Bored of just watching other people set off rockets, I created a digital fireworks display called PixelPyros, where the audience are in control!

We’re excited to be bringing it to Preston Park on the 2nd November as part of a national tour, which is also travelling to Nottingham, Leicester and Huddersfield. It’s completely free to attend, thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

Preston Park is such a classic location for outdoor events - we usually run PixelPyros in more urban environments so I’m really excited to see how well it plays out in a more traditional fireworks setting.

We’ve been working all year and we’ve finally put the finishing touches to the show. The fireworks are projected onto a 60-foot-wide screen using lasers and the brightest projectors we could get our hands on. We have lots of different themes and styles of fireworks, some that look like real fireworks and some that look more digital.

New for this year is the addition of lasers. The projectors are bright, but with the addition of powerful laser light we can actually compete with the brightness of real fireworks. We’ve been working hard to figure out how to control the lasers in real time with our software, and it’s finally paying off - the results are so spectacular. I can’t wait to see it full scale as part of the show.

Every single firework is launched by members of the audience - touch one of the orbs of light along the bottom of the screen, and a firework shoots out of it.

The show will be running at 7pm and 8pm on Saturday 2nd October so we’d love to see you there - the show literally won’t be the same without you!

Follow us on twitter @PixelPyros and like us on Facebook for the latest news and updates. In the event of bad weather check for updates.

Thanks Seb. So head to Brighton this weekend and get ready to trip the light fantastic....


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Jeeves & Wooster at the Theatre Royal Brighton

I have a bit of a dilemma and sadly I don't have Jeeves on hand to assist me. You see the problem is, how do you review a play when you are anxious to give nothing away? The joy of last night's production was that it was so unexpected, and I would hate to be the person to spoil that effect for anyone. Oh well let's see what I can do...

I have been a big fan of Jeeves & Wooster for as long as I can remember, originally through the TV series and then, of course, the books as well. So when I heard there was going to be a new stage production I was very excited.

However it struck me that the producers had a difficult task ahead of them, for a number of reasons. Firstly the majority of the audience were bound to be big Wodehouse fans who had read the stories several times and therefore already knew, if not the whole story, at least the major plot points. Secondly I can't have been the only one who had been introduced to the characters via the TV series starring Fry & Laurie. Even years later and having read all the books, whenever I watch it I'm struck by just how perfect the casting was, it almost seems as if PG Wodehouse had written the parts explicitly for Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

So how were the production team going to keep those who already know the plot entertained while also preventing people from comparing Matthew Mcfadyen and Stephen Mangan to Fry & Laurie? Well of course I can't answer that as that would be giving the game away, but trust me they do it in a very ingenious way. What I can say is that while Mangan is perhaps not quite as plummy as Wooster ought to be (his plumminess did waver a bit during the evening) he does the wide-eyed goofy, innocent look very well and is a bumbling, lovable fool. While Matthew Mcfadyen is probably best known for playing dramatic roles he was excellent and even had a few surprises up his sleeve... I daren't say anymore then that! Of course the main focus is on the two leads but special mention should also be given to Mark Hadfield as Seppings.

Photo by Uli Weber
I hope my somewhat vague review has not come off sounding at all negative as while, for me, Jeeves & Wooster will always look and sound like Fry & Laurie, last night was a giggle filled evening. The two leads were both fabulous and the production was very well done, so it should please Wodehouse fans and hopefully introduce these two classic characters to a new audience as well. Yes I was shocked to discover that there are people in the world who haven't heard of Jeeves & Wooster, the heathens!

The play will be on at the Theatre Royal Brighton until Saturday 26th October, I believe there are a limited number of seats available so get in quick. After Brighton the play will move on to the West End. Don't forget to let us know what you think of it.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A night of cabaret...

Last week a couple of us were invited to a showcase night at Proud Cabaret. I had been to the venue many years ago but not since Proud had taken over, and having heard good reviews I was keen to see what it was like.

Of course the first thing that strikes you is the building itself, which was originally built as a mausoleum including a large dome similar in style to the Royal Pavilion. Here's a shot of the dome from the inside:

Of course my rough shot doesn't really do it justice but hopefully this will give you an idea. Once inside we were all seated at rounded table in the traditional cabaret style. After a delicious meal it was time for the main event... 

Our MC for the night was Coco, who looked absolutely fabulous and had a powerful, sultry singing voice. We were then treated to three burlesque cabaret acts, including a male performer! Admittedly he didn't wear nipple tassels but he was very limber. I think there is often the assumption that burlesque is salacious but it has to be said that all the performances were artistic and showed impressive acrobatic and dance skills. Of course it was quite revealing but, to quote Kenny Everett, it was all in the best possible taste! Think cheeky rather than outrageous.

After the cabaret there was then the option to stay on and dance the night, although as it was a school night we decided to be sensible and head home. So overall we had a great time and would love to go back again, although I think this is the sort of venue that works best with a group of you. The great thing about Proud is that you can have meal, a show and dancing all under one roof. We've all been in that annoying predicament where you need to move on to the restaurant but someone is being slow to move or you get there and realise you've left someone behind. Whereas a trip to Proud for the night would avoid all that hassle.

For more professtional photos from the night check the Facebook page and for more details about Proud Cabaret go to:


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Brighton Early Music Festival 2013 - The Early Music Festival with the Latest Ideas!

Today it's time for a guest post and so we hand you over to Felicity for an inside look at this year's Brighton Early Music Festival...

I’ve just got back from my very first visit to Brighton and I loved it! I’ve always been drawn to the city, its reputation for being alternative, exciting and creative, and this was something that made applying for the Graduate Traineeship with BREMF even more appealing.

One of the reasons I wanted to work with BREMF is that they very quickly banish any pre-conceived notions of what an Early Music festival might consist of! Their first pre-Festival event this year was held on Saturday 21st September: an 8 hour singathon, with free workshops and performances spread across two venues, one of which was the pub! The ridiculously eclectic programme included a Russian choir, a 5 year old singing sensation, as well as a cappella performances from both of the Festival’s own artistic directors.

For me it was a great chance to meet some of the artists, volunteers and audience members in a relaxed setting, and to see how well the Festival fits into the Brighton scene. I also got the chance to take part in vocal workshops: improvising on a Russian melody, working with the dynamic lead singer of Joglaresa, Belinda Sykes, and harnessing our inner meerkat with Deborah Roberts (perhaps you had to be there!).

The Festival’s theme this year is Passion, and events include a new concert-drama on the life of Gesualdo, the infamous sixteenth-century composer who murdered his wife, and the Festival finale performance of JS Bach’s St John Passion.

BREMF attracts the biggest and best performers from the Early Music scene, and one of the events I’m most looking forward to will be Early Music Club Night: Cool Passion on 26th October, where BREMF will showcase the talent of 22 new generation musicians from innovative and visionary ensembles such as the Borromini String Quartet and I Flautisti. If you have not yet heard rising star mezzo-soprano Esther Brazil, whose voice has been raved about in the national press, this will also be your chance to catch her before her she whizzes off on her next concert tour to Carnegie Hall in New York!  We will also be joined by BBC Radio 3, who are seizing the opportunity to record the live performances for future broadcast. The stunning interior of St Bart’s Church will be lit up with dramatic lighting, and with an informal setting and performances over three stages it should prove to be the perfect introduction for newcomers to get passionate about Early Music!

Felicity Dunk
BREMF Festival Trainee 2013

Early Music Club Night: Cool Passion
When: Saturday 26th October, 8pm until late – come and go as you wish
Where: St Bartholomew’s Church, Ann Street, Brighton BN1 4GP
Tickets: £8 (£5 conc) in advance from (no fee for e-tickets) or from the Dome Box Office 01273 709709 (£2.25 fee); £10 (£5 conc) on door

Monday, 14 October 2013

Art at Five celebrate 10th anniversary with Ten for 10

Brighton & Hove is known for being an artistic and creative city, independent art gallery Art at Five is a prime example of this.

The gallery is the only one selling exclusively original artwork, and one of the oldest in the city. This month they are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special charity art event Ten for 10. By buying a raffle ticket, members of the public will be given the opportunity to win one of 10 (hence the title!) original pieces of artwork. Tickets can be purchased from and best of all they are now buy one get one free so you can double your chances of winning! But get in quick as the tickets are only available until midnight on the 15th October.

The pieces are all by artists who regularly exhibit at the gallery. Apart from the joy of potentially winning one of these fabulous pieces of art, there is the added joy of knowing you are doing something for charity. All the money raised from the ticket sales will be donated to the Brighton based charity Drop4Drop. The charity works with people who have no access to clean water, running projects to help people gain access to clean drinking water for life. Shockingly there are still over one billion people in the world who do not have access to clean drinking water. To find out more about Drop4Drop visit:

See below to see what artwork you could win and for more details on the artists and the gallery go to:


Natasha Barnes - Wooded Path

David Walker - Iconic Red

Deborah Flueeler-Janes - A Deeper Flow
Maureen Greenwood - Tuscan Tapestry

Nick Vivian - Sous Bois

Lisa Ridgers - Beach Side

Tina Davies - Melody

Louise Brooks - Crystal Springs

Philippe Aird - Essence

Yvonne Coomber - Deepening Love