Wednesday, April 30, 2008


At the beginning of the year, the news was not good. Innovative multi-vocal ensemble The Shout had their revenue grant from the Arts Council cut ("reason given, it was too small – feel the irony!"). But the musical troupe, headed by composer Orlando Gough (pictured), declare: "We are not dead and buried yet." And to prove it, they are taking to the streets of Brighton in May. Literally. From 15-17th they combine with the Protein Dance Company for a collaboration directed by by Luca Silvestrini. It's already excited attention from The Guardian and, er, the Littlehampton Gazette.

In Happy Together, two groups of people, one male and one female, set out from different points in the city. They move through the streets independently, singing love songs. Sometimes the groups come close to each other, but they do not meet. As they move, the groups grow, picking up more and more people. Along the route, situations develop – games, dares, arguments, incidents, accidents, surprises, encounters.

The singing, a mixture of solo and choral, will range from Geri Halliwell’s sublimely daft It’s Raining Men to an Indian ghazal sung by the Sri Lankan singer Manickam Yogeswaran of The Shout, taking in popular songs, folk songs, classical songs, newly composed songs. High art and low art intermingle. There will be no band, only a ghetto blaster providing an occasional backing track. Solo singers may use megaphones.

Eventually the two groups come, simultaneously, to a club. The dance floor is divided down the middle by a curtain, as in orthodox Jewish weddings.

Just like you'd expect, frankly. The Brighton festival runs from 3-25 May. Box office: 01273 709709.

No comments: