Vanessa Redgrave to be Brighton Festival guest director

STAGE, screen and television actress Vanessa Redgrave has been announced as the guest director of Brighton Festival 2012 which takes place from May 5-27.

Full programme details including events in which she will be participating will be available at the public launch on Wednesday, February 22.

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Dome and Festival, said: “Brighton Festival goes from strength to strength and revealing our guest director is now one of the most anticipated aspects of our internationally-acclaimed Festival.

“With Anish Kapoor, Brian Eno and Aung San Suu Kyi over the past three years, audiences have experienced an extraordinary range of art and ideas. It is therefore very exciting for us to now be in the hands of one of our most renowned and respected British actors, Vanessa Redgrave.

“It’s a privilege to have such a great ambassador of the performing arts at the helm of Brighton Festival and to explore many of her passions and interests across our three-week programme. I’m looking forward to another wonderful festival in May.”

Brighton Festival is a commissioning and producing mixed arts festival offering an ambitious programme and has been widely recognised for presenting exciting site-specific work

One key Brighton Festival commission already announced for 2012 is The Rest Is Silence, from Brighton Dome and Festival’s associate company dreamthinkspeak, which will run for the full three weeks of the festival.

Andrew said: “Artist director Tristan Sharps marries the worlds of art installation and theatre in this site-specific deconstruction of Hamlet, interweaving performance, film and installation to create a vigorous new interpretation that cuts to the heart of the play.

“It will examine the themes and characters and boldly juxtapose scenes, speeches and sequences from completely-different areas of the play within a specially-designed and multilayered structure, allowing action to unfold on different levels and on all sides. It also forms part of the World Shakespeare Festival. The last dreamthinkspeak commission, premiered during the 2010 Festival – Before I Sleep – played to sold-out audiences, resulting in a further six-week sell-out run, simply on word of mouth, as the must-see show. It has since toured internationally to critical and audience acclaim.”