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Odditorium Festival Of The Weird Confirms Return For 2022
Ben Graham , March 24th, 2022 09:39

tQ's John Doran is among the guests at the Brighton event in May, alongside Ronald Hutton and a new play about Derek Jarman

The Odditorium, Brighton-based curator of weird culture, left-field ideas and audacious eccentricity, will return to the city's fringe festival in May with a run of four shows, including a film screening, a one-man play, a night of megalithomania, and an audio-visual presentation by tQ's own John Doran.

Kicking off on Sunday, May 15, the festival will present a rare public showing of part-animated documentary film Journeys To The Edge Of Consciousness at the Bosco Theatre, the Fringe's pop-up venue. The 2019 movie looks at "three trips that changed the world forever" by proto-psychedelic luminaries Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts and Timothy Leary. Director Rob Harper will also be present for a Q&A after the screening.

On Wednesday, May 18, the Bosco Theatre hosts Mark Farrelly's one-man play Jarman: The Story Of Derek Jarman. The ground-breaking artist, filmmaker, activist and gardener, who died in 1994, will be portrayed by writer-performer Farrelly, whose previous solo shows have found him playing author Patrick Hamilton and gay icon Quentin Crisp.

The following night, tQ's John Doran will be at the Bosco Theatre with Salford Psychic City!, subtitled, "A talk about The Fall, Joy Division, John Dee, Witchcraft and Bell Bottoms." Doran promises a secret, occult history of the Manchester music scene, also taking in Savoy Books, Mark Fisher, Joe Bloggs, the birth of communism, Sigmund Freud, and how weird culture helps predict the future.

Finally, on Wednesday, May 25, The Odditorium moves to the larger Speigeltent on the other side of the Old Steine for Whisper Of The Stones, billed as a celebration of all things neolithic and upright. Topping the bill is historian Ronald Hutton, exploring the origins of Stonehenge and our changing relationship with the enigmatic structure. Archaeologist Dr. Matt Pope will look at the myths and the reality of Brighton's own long-gone sacred stones, while Fiona Robertson, of Watkins Books, presents Ten Ways To Get To Know A Stone, a guide for budding standing stone investigators and enthusiasts.

On the same night, Lally Macbeth and Matthew Shaw will present Living Stones, a fusion of poetry and field recordings inspired by Cornwall-based artist, author and occultist Ithell Colquhoun, while The Odditorium's own Dr. David Bramwell will revisit cult '70s children's TV series Children Of The Stones. DJ Melanie Xulu, of Moof magazine, will host a psychedelic-esoteric stoned disco through to midnight.

Macbeth, Shaw and Bramwell will also be leading a free "secret stone circle walk" on the afternoon of the event, starting at Brighton's Duke of York's Cinema at 1pm.

Originally a podcast, The Odditorium has expanded over the last decade to take in live events and a 2016 compendium book. Driving force, prolific non-fiction author David Bramwell often appears on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and as the host of Brighton's Catalyst Club.

Tickets for all events can be found here.