It is with great delight that I report the long-awaited re-opening of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) in the building formerly known as the Gardner Arts Centre on the Sussex University Campus.
Having been closed for nine years, and with some false starts, the building has now been renovated and transformed into a multi functional arts space, with a great programme of exciting theatre planned for its inaugural season.
The new director of the centre is Laura McDermott, who has worked at BAC and was most recently director of FIERCE festival in Birmingham. Her tastes and connections are just what Brighton needs now The Basement has ceased to put on an arts programme. More eclectic and diverse than the Dome’s programme and a far bigger venue than The Marlborough, the reopening of this space will finally allow Brighton to feature on the touring circuit of mid-scale performing arts companies.
In their Autumn season the ACCA is hosting Forced Entertainment, with two different shows that in their own special way will use theatre to ask questions and challenge the boundaries of theatre. They are also co-producing a dance performance from Fevered Sleep and South East Dance about men and girls and their mutual love of dance. This sounds like a fascinating exploration of a pairing that has become tainted by tabloids and fear, and will explore the rights of adults and children to be together and play together.
Forced Entertainment – Real Magic
Music features in the ACCA’s programme too, with gigs from Gogo Penguin and morning coffee concerts of classical music from renowned classical musicians.
Tickets are reasonably priced at £12/10 for most events, but they have provided a very important ‘pay what you can’ option for twenty tickets per show, to make the theatre more accessible to those who would otherwise struggle to afford it. Students from Sussex can also take advantage of discounted tickets.
I am certainly looking forward to enjoying the fruits of this new arts centre, and look forward to reviewing many of the shows they have on offer over the next few months.