Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts Spring Programme

Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Brighton, UK, is pleased to announce the Spring 2018 programme. Drawing on some of the most important themes of our times for inspiration – power, equality, protest and the environment – the programme includes an epic sound installation, a festival of music inspired by composer Thomas Tallis, contemporary music gigs, one-off screenings, debates, performance, dance and workshops.

No Man’s Land

David Attenborough’s sound recordist Chris Watson brings the sounds and rhythms of the world’s oceans into the ACCA auditorium from 27 March-13 April. No Man’s Land takes audiences on an audio journey under the sea from Brighton Pier and out on a sound rich journey around the globe – from the haunting song of humpback whales in the Caribbean to the snap, crackle and pop of a coral reef in the South China Sea.


Another piece of installation art to enjoy is Jenny Minton’s Interlude (5-11 February), a unique solo encounter where a solo audience member’s movement through pools of light triggers beautiful harmonies, samples recorded by exceptional vocalists.  Interlude is part of ACCA’sTallis Festival, which also includes a series of classical concerts (8-11 February) curated byProfessor Ed Hughes, Head of Music at the University of Sussex.

Unexploded Ordinances

Fresh from their world premiere in New York City, ACCA host Split Britches, who present Unexploded Ordinances (UXO) on 13-14 March. Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver adopt the characters of a bombastic general and an ineffectual president in a playful and interactive discussion of the political landscape and an uncertain future.

Dark Matter

Our contemporary music programme continues to grow. This season includes the Brighton date for Tune-Yards national tour (18 March), to coincide with the release of I can feel you creep into my private life, the new album that grapples with race, politics, intersectional feminism and environmental issues. Meanwhile, The Birmingham Ensemble for Electroacoustic Research perform Dark Matter, where experimental data from CERN (the world’s largest particle accelerator) becomes the raw material for a musical and visual experience (21 February)

Crazy but True

Ant Hampton presents Crazy but True (18 February, 2-5pm) – a durational performance where children relay extraordinary facts – some shocking, some just plain funny. The children are given their lines via headphones, repeating what they hear, without rehearsal. As the performance unfolds, we feel the fearlessness of the children’s wonder and their willingness to absorb what the world has to offer, no matter how crazy it seems. For adults watching, we feel at once ’outside’ this game and also deeply involved in or responsible for the world it describes.  Children (aged 8 – 11) attending with adults are able to participate on the day. There is no rehearsal but we do suggest that they watch others before giving it a go. The performance time for each child is 12 minutes.


City-wide partnerships play a firm role in what ACCA does and this season we will be working with Carousel and Screen Archive South East to premiere new film work by young learning-disabled filmmakers (28 June). Meanwhile, South East Dance will present Candoco Dance Company’s Face In/ Let’s Talk about Dis (18 April), a dramatic and powerful new double bill challenging notions of identity, appearance, intimacy and imagination. The two works are part of South East Dance’s city-wide Undiscplined festival.

2018 marks 50 years since 1968, when movements of protest and resistance swept across the world. A screening of Chris Marker’s seminal essay-film, A grin without a cat,  is planned, a work which looks at the global turmoil of the 1960s/1970s and the rise of the new left. Marker’s film marks the opening of a series of events that will take place at ACCA taking this anniversary into consideration – remembering the past as considering forms of power, protest and resistance today.


Working in collaboration with academics at the University of Sussex is an important part of ACCA’s public programme. This Spring these include theatre maker Dr Augusto Corrieri, who will give a performative lecture about ‘what happens in a theatre when nothing is happening’, to celebrate the paperback publication of his book of the same title by Bloomsbury (22 February).

Meanwhile, Andrew Duff brings back the Brighton Modular Meet – two days of modular synths, live music and industry talks – to round off the season (30 June & 1 July). METIS’ Zoe Svendsen, a 2017 ACCA Artist in Residence, will be in discussion with a rich variety of panellists and University of Sussex academics to discuss alternative economic structures in Future Scenarios in the Context of Climate Change.

The University of Sussex Alumni team present a panel debate on 28 February, chaired by ACCA’s Creative Director Laura McDermott, on women in leadership. Panellists include Dr Maria Balshaw (Director of Tate), Catherine Mayer (author and co-founder of The Women’s Equality Party), Philippa Gregory (novelist, broadcaster and philanthropist) and Helen Pankhurst (author, activist, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst & granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst).

Alongside the public programme, ACCA is a place for artistic residency and development. Shechter II will spend time in the space working on the development of a new piece, Clowns.  Three contemporary music artists are also in residence for 2017-2018: Anna Meredith, Poppy Ackroyd and Felix Thorn. More can be learnt about these artists by following our digital channels where images, responses and behind the scenes news will be shared.

ACCA Creative Director, Laura McDermott, said, “Uncertainty prevails at this moment in time. We are working with artists who are exploring ideas around resistance, solidarity and who attempt to offer us insight and perspective on our world. This season brings together a range of artists, thinkers and influencers – from the emerging to the internationally acclaimed. We hope their work will open up space for reflection, and give you hope and strength.”


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