WATCH: Exciting children's programme of events as Brighton Festival launches

Children and families are invited to ignite their imagination at Brighton Festival 2023.
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Andrew Comben, chief executive at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said: “Brighton Festival’s family friendly events will spark imagination and inspire collaboration from May 6 to 28. Immersive soundscape The Sleeping Tree brings the Sumatran rainforest to life in the centre of Brighton; interactive installation Groundswell encourages families to work together to create a moving artwork, and an explosive performance helps audiences imagine what it’s like to be an acrobat in Gravity & Other Myths.

“Across Brighton Festival’s opening weekend (May 6-7), the world premiere of sound installation The Sleeping Tree surrounds audiences with the captivating noises of the Sumatran rainforest and the distinct calls of a family of Siamang Gibbons. Award-winning arts studio Invisible Flock worked with rangers and primatologists in Sumatra to capture a three-month-long soundscape of the jungle. The installation changes hour by hour across the day as it follows the gibbons as they wake, roam and sleep. Throughout May, families can feel the earth move beneath their feet in a UK premiere from award-winning Australian artist Matthias Schack-Arnott. Groundswell is a free, large-scale immersive artwork that invites bystanders onto a raised platform where every person’s movement sets in motion thousands of illuminated balls to create oceanic waves of sound and light, highlighting the power of collaboration. Little Murmur (May 13-14) is a dance theatre show from British South Asian dancer and choreographer Aakash Odedra who was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and found school very challenging. Defined by his learning difficulties, not his abilities, dance became his way of communicating. A stunning visual treat, Little Murmur is suitable for ages 7 and up and uses projections, sounds and a blizzard of paper and confetti to have an open and honest conversation about facing the challenges of dyslexia and overcoming the odds. Marking the completion of a major refurbishment project, the iconic Brighton Dome’s Grade I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre reopen with immersive exhibition Van Gogh Alive as the inaugural event from May 12. The exhibition features over 3,000 images of the Dutch artist's work presented in stunning detail. Accompanying sounds, visuals and even aromas from Provence will add life to Van Gogh’s work and families can also explore the iconic ‘Sunflower selfie’ room and a ‘Starry Night’ installation, which is brand-new for Brighton Festival audiences.

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“Throughout May, Brighton Festival’s Young Readers programme will welcome well-known writers to read their latest works and host workshops, including former children’s laureate Jacqueline Wilson (May 21), bestselling authors M G Leonard (May 7) and Liz Pichon (May 28) and Thomas Taylor (May 14), who will introduce his latest installment of the Eerie-On-Sea Mysteries series, Festergrimm. Katie and Kevin Tsang will take readers on an action-packed adventure with Journey to the Dragon Realm (May 13) and actor and author Stephen Mangan and illustrator Anita Mangan will introduce children to The Unlikely Rise of Harry Sponge (May 28).

Jacqueline WilsonJacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson

“To celebrate the start of Brighton Festival, over 5000 school children will take to the streets of Brighton for the annual Children’s Parade (May 7). Community arts charity, Same Sky, has come together with teachers, students and volunteers to make magnificent sculptures, choreograph dance routines.”

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