Brighton Fringe – Family Highlights 2014

Published On April 9, 2014 | By We Love Brighton | Theatre & Arts Features, Things to do features

This year Brighton Fringe has outshone itself this year with the range and amount of shows and events for kids and families. With over 1/3 of all Fringe shows and events child friendly there really is no excuse not to get that diary full of fun stuff to do in May and June. After some investigative work and speaking to venues and promoters here are our picks of some of the best to help you decide!

John Hegley: I am a Poetato – Komedia Studio

An A-Z of poems about people, pets and other creatures. From a mosquito and ants, through (wise) camels, dogs, deckchairs, goldfish and guillemots to Toby the armadillo from Peru, and not forgetting the unusual unicorn in school. “Fabulously funny” (Time Out)“John Hegley is to potatoes what Wordsworth has been to daffodils” (The Observer) “… always a delight” (Chortle)

31st May
1.30pm – £8.50/£6.50

Albert Einstein Junior Edition resizeAlbert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking (Junior Edition) – The Old Courtroom

Join the genius behind the übercoolest moustache in science for a joke and song-filled lecture like none you’ve ever seen. Albert, with his wives and mum on piano, and guest rapper MC Squared, quantum leaps us through two world wars & two far-out theories via the wurst sausage joke ever. Contains actual proper boffin-checked science. Suitable for bright sparks of any age. “Something close to brilliance” ***** (The Times). “This show will get anyone interested in science” **** (The Big Issue).

15th-17th May
12pm – £8/£6

James Campbell’s Comedy 4 Kids– The Old Market

Imagine you’re a sausage. You are in a frying pan, happily sizzling away with other, like-minded sausages. Then one of them starts to tell you about tomato ketchup. You refuse to believe your friend’s stories but later you find yourself being dipped head first into that tangy, tomatoey joy. And then you realise that yes – ketchup is true. Watching James Campbell is a bit like that. But there aren’t any sausages involved. Or ketchup. For anyone who likes comedy without the rude words.

27th May 14:00 £7 [1hr]

The McMagicSandwich![with fries] - Kids & Youth - Press ImageThe McMagicSandwich! [with fries] – The Blue Man

Comedy magic!! Exploding lightbulbs, water into wine, stunning card tricks, slapstick danger and crayzeeeness! Caution: this show may cause internal injury through laughing too hard! Free fries on entry! “My kids loved him” (Jonathon Ross). “Funny like the fizzyfart that grandma does” and as dangerous as “the subwoofa-fart that grandpa does!” Do not miss this opportunity to see Seska in a rare appearance in the UK.

3rd-5th, 10th-11th, 17th-18th, 24th-26th, 31st May 16:00 £5.50/£3.50 

Eccentronic Present Neurovision – Laughing Horse @ The Quadrant

Electro-comedy minor internet stars, Eccentronic reprise their hit 2013 Brighton & Edinburgh Fringe show and fight for the right to party in Copenhagen by writing a sure fire hit for Eurovision. It will definitely be much better than that unmemorable one by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Or at least weirder. “Warp Records version of Frisky and Mannish” **** (Time Out).

3rd-4th, 10th-11th, 17th-18th, 24th-25th, 31st May, 1st June
Free (Pay-what-you-want donation.)

Hansel & Gretel – The Burrow at The Warren

No child forgets the story of the witch, the breadcrumb trail and the gingerbread house in the woods. Join Hansel and Gretel’s journey through hunger, hope, cruelty and courage to find their way home. An enchanting experience through music, games and storytelling, this new adaptation of the Brothers Grimm tale captures the imagination of children and adults alike. “Engaging and entertaining” **** (Whatsonstage), “Moments of pure and simple storytelling and Fairytale magic” (Fringe Review)

3rd-5th May – 3pm
24th-29th May – 2pm
£8 (£30 Family Ticket)

Jack and the BeansJack and the Beans… Talk –  Friends’ Meeting House

You think you know the story? Think again. In another zany re-telling of an old favourite, Jack must save a White Fairy, battle a Ganglion Spider King and use five talkative beans to destroy an evil giant. Featuring clouds filled with flying fish, a sheep called Moo Moo, and a bunch more glorious songs by the award-winning Williams and Ross, this is another must see family show from the creators of last year’s ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and 2012’s ‘Little Red’.

5th, 10th-11th, 17th-18th, 24th-25th, 30th May 1.30pm
31st May 11.30am, 1.30pm

Beowulf – The Dukebox Theatre

A contemporary version of the epic, ‘Beowulf’ combines table-top and shadow puppetry, live music and poetry. A Saxon poet performs his tale in verse, bringing the story to life with a memorable cast of puppet characters, each with their own unique voice and style. They debate, dance and battle their way through a story about bravery, fame and humanity. Awarded Ideas Tap Brighton Fringe Award 2014. “an excellent, modern, family-friendly tale… The Saxon storytellers would be proud.” (The Argus)

3rd, 10th-11th May 3.45pm
20th May 8pm
£8/£7 (No under 18’s allowed in the venue after 8pm)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – The Warren: Main House

Join Alice on her remarkable journey. Young and old alike will find magic in Wonderland, and come safely home again. The only danger is, you may not want to leave! Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland floods onto the stage in a whirl of strange contraptions, handmade puppets and extraordinary characters, in a brand new production to enchant all ages.

4th, 25th-26th May, 1st June 4pm
£8.50/£7 (£26 Family Ticket)

DB - Brochure Image - Aunty Ben - Kids YouthAunty Ben – Marlborough Theatre

Nine-year-old Tracey loves her Aunty Ben. It doesn’t matter to her that Aunty Ben is actually her uncle, or that he is a Drag Queen, because in Tracey’s family dressing up is for everyone! But when Ben meets her school friends, Tracey is shocked to discover that other people’s families can be very different to her own. ‘Aunty Ben’ is a colourful and playful exploration of gender, family, love and happiness, for young audiences aged 7+. Winner of the IdeasTap Brighton Fringe Award 2014.

24th-26th May 4.30pm
£7/£5 (£20 family ticket)

Shoe Baby – The Warren: Main House

Awarded Best Children’s Show of Brighton Fringe 2006, ‘Shoe Baby’ is a magical puppet show! A fantastical sing-a-long adventure with a baby who takes to the sea, the air and the zoo, all in a shoe! ‘Shoe Baby’ is adapted from the book written by well-known author Joyce Dunbar, published by Walker books. “A great glittery adventure” ***** (Three Weeks Magazine) “Wonderful, magical children’s theatre at its best” (Edinburgh Guide) “Absolutely fantastic” (The Guardian)

17th-18th May 11am, 12.30pm
£8/£6.50 (£26 Family Ticket)

Hey Presto – The Warren: Main House

A brand-new production based on the book by Nadia Shireen. Best of friends Presto the cat and Monty the dog join a funfair and start a magic show. A heart-warming tale of aspiration, friendship, adventure and a little bit of mischief accompanied by catchy songs, this is the perfect treat for everyone aged 3 and up.

3rd-5th May 11am
6th May 4pm
£8/£6.50 (£25 family)

Jurassic Joe Dinosaur Show – The Duke-box Theatre

The Jurassic Joe Dinosaur Show’ is fun, interactive, educational, relevant, accessible and also great for mumosaurus and daddydactyl too. It’s a 45-minute, fun-filled musical ride through the amazing world of prehistoric reptiles that gets the whole family singing, dancing, laughing and learning.

24th, 27th, 29th, 31st May 3pm
26th, 28th, 30th, 1st June 12.30pm

Decomposed 3 - Kids & Youth - Press ImageDecomposed! – The Old Market

Down on his luck, Will is forced to move back in with his uncouth twin, Igor, who spends all day plugged into his games console, mumbling to himself and eating cold baked-beans. Armed only with a conductor’s baton and a wealth of classical music, Will has just one hour to stop his brother from turning into a Zombie and eating him alive! Discover the awesome power of classical music in this hilarious and riotous ‘buddy-adventure’ on bunk-beds. Suitable for all the family apart from zombies under 7.

28th May 2pm

Playback Impro – Laughing Horse @ The Quadrant

Playback can be funny, sad, silly, moving, amazing… and always about you. ‘Playback Impro’ plays back moments and stories taken from the audience on the spot. Come and tell a story or moment from your life and actors will play it back… or sit back and let others tell theirs. Interactive if you want it to be but no compulsion to join in. Totally spontaneous live theatre with the audience as the star.

10th-11th, 17th-18 th May

Shhh! – The Salvation Army Congress Hall

For the third year running, Fan Dance Theatre Company returns to Brighton Fringe with our brand new show, handmade by our performers with learning disabilities. Step into our fantasy world and look deep into our imagination as we explore our dreams and aspirations. We prove that no dream is too big or too small through the power of dance, physical theatre, shadow imagery, music, acting, hilarious comedy and animation. ‘Shhh!’ will surprise you, move you and fill you with happiness.

12th, 16th, 19th May – 7pm
15th May – 1pm
Free (ticketed)

Tin Can Stories – The Metropolis Cafe

A unique telling of stories from a wide range of participants of any age and any background, about Brighton and its people. Using tin cans and string in an intimate listening environment. Hear stories from assorted genres and experiences from these diverse storytellers.

10th, 17th, 24th May

Fringe City Family Picnic – Royal Pavilion Gardens

Join us for a family picnic in Pavilion Gardens. Lay back and enjoy the family-friendly performances from the Brighton Fringe 2014 programme, activities and healthy snacks.

3rd May

DB- Brochure Image- St Ann's well Garden's Spring Festival- Kids & YouthSt Ann’s Well Gardens Spring Festival – St Ann’s Well Gardens

Fun for all ages. Music stage showcasing local talent, skatepark, rollerdisco, art & craft market, arts project, holistic retreat, samba band, WI cake comp, hog roast, bbq, beer tent, karate demos & games, creative zone, orbs, nerf wars, kids rave, heritage walks, plus lots more.

17th May

Lilac Lark Fair – Withdean Park

Join us again for another relaxing afternoon among the lilacs. Dog show (register at 12:30), music, refreshments, home made cakes, stalls, children’s activities, Punch and Judy, stroke an owl.

11th May

Free Ki & Aikido Taster Sessions – Brighton Ki Centre

Applying Ki principles to harmoniously lead opponents for self defence applications. For participation in workshops wear loose and comfortable clothing like a tracksuit. Please arrive promptly, attending Ki workshop is prerequisite for attending the Aikido workshop. All children attending are to be accompanied by an adult. “Ki is living power”. (Brighton Ki Society)

18th May

The Big Tissue –  26 Gerard Street

Ben, aged 7, got upset one evening and drew dots on some kitchen towel instead of going to bed… join him and guest artist Craig Morris whose work features even more dots… Towels provided. Workshop and exhibition. In support of The Big Issue Foundation.

11th, 18th May

DB - Borchure Image- if you go down in the woods today...- Visual artsIf you Go Down in the Woods Today… – 46 Golf Drive

Visit our little house on the edge of the woods and escape the bustle of city life. Inside: an assortment of artisans’ work including glass, recycled jewellery, painting, photography and ceramics. Outside in a hidden woodland: a thought provoking environmental art installation for all ages, questioning humanity using curiously familiar creatures! Stop a while for tea, cake and chat round the fire. Then wander through the trees to find a veritable menagerie of mysterious beasties…

10th-11th, 17th-18th May

Happy Planet Doodlefest – ONCA Gallery

Weekend of doodle-inspired, eco-friendly, pro-happiness activities. An opening workshop Friday night May 2nd, Doodle Marathon May 3rd, and a celebrity doodle auction May 4th…

2nd May – 7pm  
3rd May 12pm
4th May 7pm 

Andy Seize: Off the Rails – Hilton Metropole Hotel

Andy Seize is an artist who has always had an awareness of the ‘bigger picture’. The variety of his output stems from a diverse range of influences, abstract expressionism, pop art, graffiti, cartoons and custom cars. However it’s ‘how’ he joins up all of these populist elements into an extraordinary and condensed visual language that provides the power behind his latest work, which will literally make your eyeballs pop!

7th-14th May

Baby Loves Disco: Beside the Seaside – Audio / Above Audio

Fringe sell-out 2012/13. ‘Baby Loves Disco’ returns to transform Brighton’s coolest cocktail bar for some bank holiday day-clubbing. Parents and kids, get your respective grooves on while our club DJ spins retro disco and pop tunes. The fun spills out onto the glorious seafront sundeck where the BBQ will be sizzling. Seaside fancy dress and it’s Brighton vs Miami, so there’s summer cocktails and mocktails to be won for the best outfits. Free face-painting, crafts, kids’ hot dogs, ice creams and more.

5th, 26th May
12pm, 3pm
£8 (Non-walking babies free.)

Funk The Family Festival - Kids & Youth - Press ImageFunk the Family Festival – Big Beach Cafe

8 hours of funky fun for all the family! Keep the kids happy and the grownups smiling at this seaside festival. Kids Zone: Sky Full of Stories interactive storytelling, kids yoga, balloon-making, face-painting. Live Music: The Muppets’ Rowlf The Dog (piano), Rhythm of the 90s (live 90s dance covers), Bloco Branco (live samba funk), King Tafari Love (reggae soundsystem), Gyratory Allstars (live p-funk), Elle J Small. *** (Radio Reverb). Scrumptious nosh and drinks from The Big Beach Café.

1st June
£12.50 (Under 12’s £6.50; Family Ticket £35)

The Moscow State Circus – Preston Park

The Moscow State Circus returns to the UK with its latest and greatest production Gorkogo Park. Superstar clown Val Defun invites the audience to this wondrous and mysterious place in the company of a multitude of flying trapeze, back flipping acrobats, amazing jugglers and roller skating whizzes and lots more.“In the circus world the Moscow State has probably the best reputation in the world… it’s a thrilling spectacle for all the family!” (The Gazette)

Win tickets HERE.
Get 241 tickets HERE.

11th, 18th May – 2pm
10th, 17th May – 3pm
8th-9th, 11th, 13th-16th, 18th May – 5pm
17th May – 6pm
8th-10th, 13th-16th May – 7.45pm
Ringside – £35 (£30, Grandstand Deluxe – £30 (£25), Grandstand – £26 (£20), Side View – £18 (£14), Rear View – £10 (£7)

The Marlborough Fringe Street Party – The Marlborough Pub & Theatre

Join us for a street party like no other! Our outdoor stage will be showcasing the best of the Fringe’s alternative music, snippets of off-beat theatre plus there’ll be arty surprises! Fill your faces with delicious food from our in-house gourmet burger specialists, Half Man! Half Burger! and wash it all down with a tasty libation from our outdoor bar. Upbeat, fun and full of surprises – it’s the perfect way to launch your Brighton Fringe

3rd May


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