Thursday, February 27

Brighton Festival: Word Is…

- April 28, 2015

With writer Ali Smith as this year’s Guest Director, this year’s Books & Debate programme boasts something for all literary lovers…


Rachel Holmes
“Rachel Holmes – who is a great biographer – is coming to talk about Eleanor Marx, Karl Marx’s daughter. Rachel is a revelation; witty and rousing and exciting to the core, and she’ll be discussing this woman from one hundred years ago who was doing things which we’re still trying to do now.”
Wed 13 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 8pm

Kamila Shamsie

“A novelist going from strength to strength, her last novel A God In Every Stone features Brighton. It’s partly about Indian soldiers in the First World War who end up recuperating here, there’s a long section based in the city which is beautifully done. It’s really worth listening to Kamila as she is one of the most naturally articulate people I have ever heard and her novels just get better and better.”
Sun 3 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 4pm

Gillian Beer – Are you animal or vegetable or mineral?
“I don’t know if you’ve heard of Gillian Beer; the great, intellectual, witty, thoughtful, life-loving critic of our times, who has become an expert on Darwin, on Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll. She persuades you of the connections – evolutionary, nonsense and modernist – between them all… and somehow it all makes sense! Gillian is a brilliant speaker and I wouldn’t miss her for the world.”
Thu 14 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 8pm


Carol Ann Duffy

The twentieth – and first female – Poet Laureate is one of the UK’s most admired writers, arguably best known for her love poems that often take the form of monologues. In this special evening of verse, she’s supported by LiTTLe MACHiNe; a band from South London who use melody and harmonies to re-invent and re-shape classic poetry.
Tue 5 May, Brighton Dome Concert Hall, 8pm

Ruth Scurr
The award-winning historian and literary critic is joined by author Erica Wagner to discuss the life and times of John Aubrey, a 17th-century scholar and one of the pioneers of modern writing who redefined the art of biography … and yet has almost been forgotten.
Wed 6 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 8pm
The Inequality Conundrum
Brighton Festival chair and Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee hosts a special debate in which a panel of experts – including Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and at the University of Sussex’s Science Policy Unit and Booker shortlisted novelist Neel Mukherjee – explore why global inequality continues to rise.
Fri 22 May, Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, 8pm

Facing Cancer
The annual Brighton and Sussex Medical School debate tackles the challenging subject of cancer from academic, personal and ethical perspectives in what promises to be an interesting, emotional and engaging discussion about the disease.
Sun 24 May, Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, 1pm

Masha Gessen
Join the Russian writer, activist, critic of Putin’s regime and campaigner for LGBT rights (at one stage she was, in her own words, ‘probably the only publicly out gay person in the whole of Russia’) in this insightful exploration of freedom of speech and investigative journalism.
Sun 17 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 8pm
Elif Shafak
A regular contributor to the likes of the New York Times, Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, and Time magazine, the Turkish novelist has captured the imaginations of readers with her novels The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love and Honour. Here, in discussion with Jacqueline Rose, she discusses her career as one of today’s leading voices in international women’s writing.
Sun 10 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 8pm

Luke Wright
Performing his new show Stay-at-Home Dandy, the performance poet presents shares his thoughts about the dichotomy of wanting to be an outward man about town and the reality of being a new father… and how those two things don’t quite compute.
Sat 2 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 8.30pm
Professor Roderick Kedward
& Caroline Moorehead – Resistance
In the late 1960s, historian Kedward travelled southern France, recording interviews with former members of the French Resistance. These incredible testimonies formed the basis of his groundbreaking book Resistance in Vichy France and now rest in The Keep at University of Sussex. Here he discusses these extraordinary stories with author Caroline Moorehead.
Sun 10 May, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre, 5pm

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