Brighton Festival launch

The Brighton Festival is being launched with former Children's Laureate, poet, writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen as guest director.

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Brighton Festival preview - full story

With the economy in the doldrums, booking tickets for a play or concert might not be top of everyone's shopping list. So where does that leave the region's festivals?

Well, organisers of the Brighton one say they're working hard to ensure that many of the events are affordable, or even free. And today, they gave a flavour of what's in store when the Festival starts in May.

Malcolm Shaw reports and speaks to Andrew Comben, chief executive, and guest director Michael Rosen.

Sinead O'Connor and King Lear among festival highlights

Sinead O'Connor Credit: PA

Singer Sinead O'Connor and We Need To Talk About Kevin author Lionel Shriver are among the big names announced for this year's Brighton Festival.

Performances of Beowolf, Faust, The Kite Runner and King Lear, as well as appearances by dance music heroes Fatboy Slim and Beardyman, are also among the highlights.

Guest director Michael Rosen, who will also be appearing, said: "It is a massive privilege for me to be a guest director of Brighton Festival. I believe in the chemistry of it, the way it will get the whole city talking and wondering."

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Brighton Festival programme to be revealed

Guest director, Michael Rosen, will be in conversation with journalist Polly Toynbee about his role in this year's event.

It's also expected that the entire programme of events will be revealed in advance for the first time.

Full details can be found on the festival website later.

Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen is this year's guest director Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images
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