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Back to Live 2022: Exciting line-up of events celebrating live performance for children & families

Back to Live brings together three groups who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic: young children who have never had the chance of experiencing live performance; performers whose tours have been cancelled and their new work not shown; and venues who have a mountain to climb to win back audiences.

Easter School Holidays: Saturday 9th – Sunday 24th April 
Komedia, Ropetackle, Brighton Open Air Theatre and The Old Market

The incredible full programme has been announced for Back to Live, a unique children’s festival from four Sussex seaside venues – Komedia, Ropetackle, Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) and The Old Market (TOM). This special season of children’s events celebrates the return of live performance and includes the international phenomenon Stomp – which originated in Brighton back in 1991 – along with work from fantastic companies including The Minack Theatre, Theatre Fideri Fidera and Box Tale Soup.

Back to Live is staged by four amazing Sussex venues: Komedia, who are best known for comedy, present one of the largest, most diverse arts and entertainment programmes in the UK, and have been programming children’s work since its inception in 1994. BOAT is Brighton and Hove’s premier outdoor venue – a 400-seat amphitheatre nestled in Dyke Road Park. Situated on the banks of the River Adur in Shoreham-by-Sea, the Ropetackle Arts Centre is a multi-award-winning, purpose-built venue that attracts some of the biggest stars in the UK and beyond. TOM has been hosting innovative family shows since opening in 2011; its festival-like programme is the cornerstone of its identity, hosting over 200 different events every year from the venue’s multi-format space.

Back to Live brings together three groups who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic: young children who have never had the chance of experiencing live performance; performers
whose tours have been cancelled and their new work not shown; and venues who have a mountain to climb to win back audiences. The founding directors of Komedia, Colin Granger and Marina Kobler, comment, After two years of lockdowns, closures, and the terrible consequences of a pandemic, we feel there has never been a better time to celebrate live performance and all the joy that it can bring. We are therefore delighted to be working with the charity Komedia Kids and our colleagues at the participating venues to take what we hope is a small step towards recovery. Back to Live will include a ‘Pay it Forward’ campaign where audiences can buy an additional ticket or two which venues will then, in partnership with local charities, allocate as free tickets to families who might not usually be able to afford to come. This echoes the overall ethos of Komedia Kids which aims to create affordable and meaningful opportunities in the arts for children and young people. The exciting Back to Live programme is as follows:

The Old Market
Tuesday 29th March – Sunday 1st May (no shows on Mondays), various times
The internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning phenomenon is coming ‘home’, returning to Brighton and Hove, the city where it all began! See the full-scale spectacle up close and personal like never before.
All ages

Dig by Pied Piper Theatre Company
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Saturday 9th April, 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2pm
A gentle theatre experience for the very young, with music, rhythm and songs, bringing to life the world of growing plants, busy bugs, wriggling worms and ever-changing weather!
Ages 6 months – 2 years

The Hug by Long Nose Puppets
Saturday 9th April, 11am (Doors 10.30am) and 2pm (Doors 1.30pm)
Based on the heart-warming and funny book The Hug by Eion McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar. Starring a Hedgehog and a Tortoise both in search of a restorative hug.
Ages 2 – 7

The Bubble Show
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Tuesday 12th April, 2pm
The Bubble Show is a unique blend of magic, storytelling, and bubble art! Enjoy bubbles inside bubbles, smoke bubbles, square bubbles, giant bubbles and even fire bubbles!
Ages 3 – 12

Will Tell and the Big Bad Baron by Theatre Fideri Fidera
Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th April, 2pm (Doors 1.30pm)
Inspired by Robin Hood and Sir Lancelot, our feisty heroine Will Tell goes on a madcap comic adventure to rescue her dad Wilhelm Tell from the Bad Baron Boris’s deepest darkest dungeon. Perfect family entertainment.
Ages 6+

Short Stories Tall Tales: The Giraffe Who Wouldn’t Bath by Hannah Summers
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Friday 15th April, 11.30am and 1.30pm
Short Stories brings stories to life through live performance and interactive, creative play. Join an adventure, explore through the senses and let your little ones’ imaginations run free.
Ages 1 month – 4 years

The Kiss That Missed by The Minack Theatre
Brighton Open Air Theatre
Friday 15th and Saturday 16th April, 2pm (doors 1pm)
The Little Prince’s goodnight kiss has escaped into the forest and the brave, fearless knight must bring it back… But is he fearless enough? This classic picture-book is a favourite bedtime story for boys and girls everywhere.
Ages 3+

Kidz With Attitude – Hip Hop, Funk and Soul for Kidz and guardians
Saturday 16th April, doors 11am
This day-time club is for kidz and guardians to break out their best moves on the dancefloor. Expect DJs, dance-offs, a fully stocked bar, vinyl giveaways, soft play and face painting.
Ages 6+

The Little Prince
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Saturday 16th April, 2pm
A musical adaptation of the magical tale by French author and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Join the Little Prince as he explores love, life, and friendship. The Little Prince is the latest collaboration by Sam Chittenden and Simon Scardanelli, the writers of the award-winning musical
Ages 8+

Little Grimm Tales by Box Tale Soup
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Saturday 17th April, 2pm (doors 1.15pm)
A co-production with the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham. Beasts and breadcrumbs, wolves and
witches, frogs and fairies all join the fun in a stunning new adaptation of Grimm’s most magical tales.
Ages 3+

Great Grimm Tales by Box Tale Soup
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Sunday 17th April, 7.30pm (doors 6.45pm)
A co-production with the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, this is a remarkable new adaptation of Grimm’s most delicious tales. Join us for the weird and wicked, the horrible and hilarious. Behind the wildest stories hide the darkest truths.
Ages 12+

First: Snoofilated by Spun Glass Theatre
Brighton Open Air Theatre
Wednesday 20th April, 11am (doors 10am) and 1pm (doors 12pm)
Welcome (small people, tall people and those of medium height too) to… The Snoofery of Stories and Imagining! A collection of stories for babies and their grown-ups. A relaxed storytelling event which reflects on the parenting world and illuminates a baby’s one.
Ages 0-18 months

Out Of The Deep Blue by Autin Dance Theatre
Brighton Open Air Theatre
Friday 22nd April, 11.30am (doors 10.30am) and 2pm (doors 1pm)
A moving tale about our earth’s climate emergency, told through dance, movement and masterful puppeteering. Ideal for children and family audiences. An outdoor spectacle featuring a 4-metre tall puppet.
Ages 6+

The Hogmoor Troll by 440 Theatre
Brighton Open Air Theatre
Sunday 24th April, 2pm (doors 1pm)
The Hogmoor Troll is a delightful new children’s production full of music, magic and wonder. A tale of forgetful trolls, short-sighted bats and heartwarming friendship for everyone aged 4 and up.
All ages

Sundae Club
Sunday 24th April, 11am (doors 10.30am)
Over three fabulous hours of creative fun for Kids! Featuring The Bag That Went BOO!, One Bum Cinema Club, a creative workshop from Pull & Pin and Linos Wengara & Zimbaremabwre Mbria Reggae Vibes! You’re also welcome to bring your own picnic and yes… ice cream sundaes are available!
Ages 3 – 8


Full details of the Back to Live 2022 programme including prices and running times can be found online.
Back to Live has been funded by the charity Komedia Kids, the Chalk Cliff Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation, and sponsored by Premier Energy.

Website www.backtolive.org.uk
Instagram @KomediaProductions2021
Twitter @Komediaproduct1

Locations & Tickets

Book online at www.komedia.co.uk/brighton or call 01273 647 100
Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UN

Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
Book online at www.brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk or call 07367 271223

Brighton Open Air Theatre, Dyke Road, Hove, BN3 6EH

Ropetackle Arts Centre
Book online at www.ropetacklecentre.co.uk or call 01273 464 440
Ropetackle, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5EG

The Old Market (TOM)
Book online at www.theoldmarket.com or call 01273 201 801
The Old Market, Upper Market Street, Hove, BN3 1AS