Yacht to be used as Brighton Festival venue

The swish of the curtain is to be replaced by the flapping of sails at Brighton’s Festival this year, after the owners of a 45ft cruising yacht offered their vessel as a venue to festival organisers.

The Dufour 45,Carrot, may not be the typical location for a theatrical performance but the nautical venue has just been registered as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe. Performers even have the chance to take their play out to sea.

Irenka Griffin, who co-owns the boat with her partner Alan Wood, and runs the sailing school and charter company Sailnet UK, based at Brighton Marina, said: ‘It’s all a bit of an unknown at the moment. Artists will now apply to used the space. We don’t know what we’re going to get. It could be an artist, or story telling, or stand-up comedy. It could even be a play. A play would be brilliant.

‘The Festival is running from May 2 to May 24 and the boat is available for 18 of those days, in three three-hour slots. There is the potential for ten people on the boat. If the weather is good they can sit on deck and if it is poor we will make room for them down below. It will be a bit cosy. There will be a skipper and a mate on board.’

Alan said: ‘Depending on weather conditions, the “venue” can be taken out to sea and either sailed or anchored off the beach. The movement of the yacht and the surrounding scenery – pier, cliffs, water – could be integrated into the performance or piece. Being probably the smallest of the venues at the fringe, the intimacy of the space can also be utilised. The hatches and mast etc make it quite a 3D space too. We are open to suggestions so it’ll be interesting to see the ideas.’

Irenka, 37, a pregnant mother of one, sold her house in Camberwell, London, to buyCarrotand hopes to one day fulfill her dream of sailing around the world. The boat takes it’s name from the filmWithnail and I.

Jess Huffman, a fringe operations manager, said: ‘We really hope that someone takes the opportunity to stage an event in what could be the most original fringe venue space to date.’