4:38pm Monday 27th February 2012
By John Keenan
The lives of two women will form the centrepiece of this year’s Brighton Festival.
A World I Loved, by Wadad Makdisi Cortas, is the story of a Palestinian woman living through extraordinary times. It will be staged at the Theatre Royal on May 12.
Guest director Vanessa Redgrave believes the piece fuses the themes of politics, memory, nostalgia, homeland and story-telling, which will be at the heart of the festival under her stewardship.
And the world-famous actress will take centre stage on May 5 herself when she is the subject of an exclusive Bafta celebration of her life at the Concert Hall in Brighton Dome in Church Street.
My Life in Pictures is one of Bafta’s highest-profile events and recognises the contribution of the industry’s most celebrated individuals. It will feature a live on-stage interview and the screening of selected significant film clips.
Ms Redgrave will launch the 46th Brighton Festival at the Theatre Royal in New Road today.
She said she wants the festival to give people the opportunity to listen to other points of view and to learn from others’ experiences.
She said: “I hope the three weeks of music, theatre, dance, film and literature might remind us of who we hope to be, how far we have to travel and the positive changes we can all make, large and small, to improve our world for future generations.”
Andrew Comben, the chief executive of Brighton Dome and Festival, promised 2012 would be a bumper year in terms of quality, exclusive events and outdoor spectacle.
He said: “Welcoming Vanessa Redgrave as guest director is a privilege for Brighton Festival. She has been an enormous inspiration over her entire career and I know her guest directorship of Brighton Festival this May will surprise, delight and provoke.”
Among the outdoor events featured this year is the maiden voyage of The Boat Project.
The event is part of Artists Taking the Lead, a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
During last year’s festival The Boat Project collected wooden donations ranging from lollipop sticks and cellos to part of a torpedo boat used at the D-Day landings in 1945.
The boat was created from these objects, which hold personal meaning for the people that contributed them, and this year the sailing archive of people’s stories and lives will return on its maiden voyage.
Welcoming celebrations will take place on May 19 at Brighton Marina as a flotilla of boats accompanies the vessel.
The boat will be moored at the marina and there are a range of activities taking place across the city in her honour.
One of the most dominating sights of the festival will be at Black Rock, where a 30-ton metal figure will tower against the skyline.
Waterlitz is 20-metre high structure made of eight huge shipping containers.
It is the creation of Générik Vapeur whose giant washing line of multi-coloured cars on pegs was a memorable feature of last year’s event.
The main sponsors of Brighton Dome and Festival, the non-profit arts organisation which puts together the annual festival, are Brighton and Hove City Council, the Arts Council, American Express and the National Lottery.
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