We’re lucky that Brighton is a pretty lively place to grow up year round, but in May it really comes into its own with Brighton Festival and Festival Fringe offering all manner of entertainment for small people. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be checking out some of the shows and experiences and reporting back. We took part in the brilliant Children’s Parade on Saturday, which marks the official opening of the festival, and on Sunday saw our first show, Orion and the Dark. Kitty is a fan of Emma Yarlett‘s books Poppy Pickle and Nibbles the Book Monster, and this was an adaptation of another of her stories, about a little boy called Orion who was scared of everything, especially the dark. This all changes when he actually meets The Dark and he turns out to be rather nice! They form a friendship and end up exploring the night together, discovering that all those strange noises and shapes are not really as frightening as they seem.
It’s a classic tale of confronting your fears to overcome them and this production, by Peaceful Lion, was lovely. Engaging, energetic actors, colourful costumes, simple but clever sets, plenty of humour (with a few jokes for the grown-ups thrown in), catchy songs and just enough mild peril so as to be exciting. Kitty really enjoyed it and barely moved for the entire hour – always a good sign! She described it as, ‘Funny and not scary.’ The Fringe brochure suggests it’s suitable for ages three to seven, but I’d say there’s enough in there to entertain slightly older children as well. More performances are planned for autumn – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. There’s also a printable activity sheet to accompany the show here.