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Kate Tempest named guest director of Brighton Festival 2017

Kate Tempest. Photo: Katherine Leedale Kate Tempest. Photo: Katherine Leedale
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Playwright and performer Kate Tempest has been announced as the guest director of next year’s Brighton Festival.

Tempest has staged work at the festival a number of times in recent years, including her play Wasted and spoken-word performances.

She will now be responsible for curating the 51st year of the three-week arts festival.

At the age of 31, she will be the event’s youngest ever guest director, and follows in the footsteps of musician Laurie Anderson, artist Anish Kapoor, and musician Brian Eno – who have all helped shape the festival in recent years.

Announcing her appointment, Tempest said she wanted to help everyone experience the joy of the arts.

She said: “In these times, with the fear spreading everywhere and the divisions between us deepening daily, we desperately need to remember that we are all part of the same thing.

“Nothing does that for me more profoundly or joyously than standing in the crowd watching a gig, or a play, or a painting. It’s like a little victory you get to keep forever. I want us to offer that experience to everyone.”

The festival’s chief executive Andrew Comben said Tempest was “uniquely positioned” to curate the festival, adding: “Her seemingly limitless creativity has led to a body of work that straddles an extraordinary array of art forms and has earned her fans of all ages and from all walks of life.”

He went on: “She is also passionate about the arts and its power to bring communities together – vital now more than ever.”

Brighton Festival 2017 will take place from May 6 to 28, with the full line-up due to be announced in February.

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