ARTYFACTS: Festival launch

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Festival launch

That time of year again. The May Brighton Festival was launched to invited guests and friends, and a very fine Festival it looks.

I wasn't taken by the guest acts - a rather jaded jazz singer trilling out a rather predictable tribute to someone called Linda Smith, a panel show regular, apparently. We then had two women singing to each other across the stage with megaphones, in Hebrew. This was introduced, by its creator, as an exploration of love through the stag and hen party, a phenomenon well known in Brighton. I'll go to see it but my worst fears, that he's a rather aloof, posh chap, who wouldn't know what either of these phenomena are really about, was in evidence from this performance. I have seen hen parties drunk, singing, abusive, watching strippers, hanging out of hired fire engines and drunk in stretch limos - never once with a megaphone, and I'm sure I'll go to my grave before I see a hen party singing in Hebrew! Sometimes art and real life don't come together. Willy Russell, someone who does know a thing or two abut this theme, was doing this in 1978 with his 'Stags and Hens'.


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