AK Gets Festive

With March all but over and April on its way Latest TV’s Andrew Kay is not fooling about but looking at some upcoming festival highlights and some alternatives too. First it’s more opera but this time something very modern rom The Belfast Ensemble. A high-impact fusion of opera, drag, cabaret, and political satire with a shockingly theatrical style that fuses opera with drag, cabaret and political satire, this award-winning opera is a treat for regular opera-goers, but also for people who’ve never experienced an opera before. Abomination: A DUP Opera has been wowing audiences and critics alike, and is at Theatre Royal Brighton on the 9th and 10th of May and that’s certainly one for my list this festival.

AK has long been a fan of folk music and in particular traditional British folk, so the Different Folk Weekend is particularly appealing especially the legendary Shirley Collins, One of the most important voices in British Folk. Singer and song collector Shirley Collins MBE was born in Hastings and has been fascinated by folk songs all her life. After losing her singing voice in the 1980s, Shirley returned to live performance in 2014. Since then, she has produced two acclaimed albums, Lodestar and Heart’s Ease. Hauntingly beautiful stuff and for anyone who caught her amazing performance at Brighton Dome a few years back this will be a must have ticket. The weekend also features performances from Martin and Eliza Carthy, Laura Groves and Angeline Morrison, Stick in The wheel and for the very brave Brighton Morris. The weekend takes place on the 20th and 21st of May and tickets for the whole weekend are available

. Over to the fringe next with a programme that boasts over 600 events this year. AK particularly loves the fringe as an opportunity to see new theatre writing and there will certainly be plenty of that at Latest Musicbar with new works from many local companies. Brighton Theatre are back with a new piece by Richard Crane and Faynia Williams. Anna & Marina looks at a two day meeting between two of Russia’s greatest poets. Julie Burchill is back with a new work written with Daniel Raven, a startling new play about race, class, sex and drugs called Awful People.

Of course as well as serious theatre the fringe is home to great comedy and cabaret. This year the listings are full of must see acts but here is just one.

Straight out of Australia’s Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Laurie Black invites you for a knees-up with this upgraded Dystopiano 2.0. Jumpstarting musical comedy into the future with synths, sequencers and sick beats, she’s been described as the ‘lovechild of Victoria Wood and Gary Numan’! Well what’s not to love about that extraordinary combo. Laurie is at Brighton Spiegeltent on the 16th of May.

Next, something for the kids to lend some balance. Over in Worthing you can take your young ones to enjoy Tales from Acorn Wood, based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s fantastic stories now brought to life on stage for the first time in an enchanting experience for kids. Tales from Acorn Wood is the leading pre-school series from the unparalleled partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. Julia was the bestselling author in the UK in 2021 and together, she and Axel have sold over 60 million books. You can catch this at Worthing Pavilion Theatre on April the 5th.

Andrew Kay then talks Abba, friendship and working with your husband to Ian Hallard writer and star of a new play The Way Old Friends Do.

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