New festival launched in Brighton

Expectantly waiting for the Brighton Fringe? Then we’ve got the perfect antidote. A brand new performing arts festival, (Brighton &) Hove Grown, opens March 18th and is an ideal way to spend the Easter break. Covering theatre, comedy, improv, spoken word, children's shows and much more, this exciting new festival aims to support local artists and give audiences the chance to sample Brighton & Hove’s burgeoning arts scene.

Launching this week, the (Brighton &) Hove Grown festival runs from March 18 to 27 and features over 70 performances.

Launching this week, the (Brighton &) Hove Grown festival runs from March 18 to 27 and features over 70 performances. Jointly created by ZLS theatre and Sweet Venues, this is the inaugural year for the (Brighton &) Hove Grown festival and venues include the Artista, The Brunswick, The Dukebox Theatre and other, more intimate spaces.

This newcomer to the Brighton scene has two key aims: firstly, all companies and performers are all from the Brighton & Hove area and secondly, all shows are new-writing. Founder, Guy Wah, has lived in Brighton since 2008 and is committed to developing a local, grassroots, community-focused festival saying: “There is so much going on in Brighton with a lot of opportunity here for creatives to express themselves, but taking the first step and finding the right people can be difficult. I wanted to give people an opportunity to work with others”.

Highlights of the festival include All The Nice Girls by Behind the Lines, an exploration of LGBT love in the 1920s, Heroes by Bard & Troubadour, re-telling the stories of Beowolf and Hercules and Insomnia by ZLS theatre, a multimedia, multi-sensory experience. There’s also plenty of comedy, including Ant McEwan and Jane Postlethwaite, Funny Women and Brighton Comedy Festival Squawker Award Finalist 2015.

On Easter bank holiday take the children to the Write A Novel in 60 Minutes workshop at the Brunswick, helping 7 to 12 year olds create their masterpiece, complete with glitter, googly eyes and guaranteed to keep them entertained. Later in the day is Now I’m a Big Boy! a show written, produced and performed by young adults tackling the problems surrounding sexual consent.

Sweet Venues have worked alongside ZLS Theatre in the creation of the (Brighton &) Hove Grown festival. Artistic Director of Sweet Venues, JD Henshaw, said “That we can build a festival that focuses solely on new work across multiple genres is a testament to the quantity of highly creative people living and working in our city. We are committed to presenting this festival for the next three years and believe that it will become a fixture in the Brighton & Hove festival calendar, one that we can carry on far beyond our initial three year plan.”

With the Brighton Fringe expanding further in 2016, this may be the perfect opportunity for a ‘feeder’ festival, giving local acts an affordable opportunity to produce, develop and refine new work in preparation for the future.

The (Brighton &) Hove Grown festival runs from March 18 to 27. Tickets can be booked online (, are available from the Dukebox Theatre Box Office, or in person at the venue prior to the show.