Snowball Fights, seasonal singalongs and comedy legends lead Brighton Dome’s Festive Programme

7 Nov 2023

December at Brighton Dome includes theatrical and orchestral re-imaginings of traditional festive tales, snow-filled fun for all ages and music, comedy and club nights to celebrate the season. Bringing to life the recently refurbished spaces, this year’s festive programme promises creativity, music, dance and downright joy throughout Brighton Dome.

Headlining the season from 20-24 December is Han’s Christian Anderson’s beloved winter’s tale The Little Match Girl, brought to life through dance and song by award-winning choreographer, Arthur Pita. This production for ages 4 and upwards takes place on a cold Christmas Eve in an imaginary Italian town, where a girl wanders the streets and uses her matches for warmth. Hailed by The Guardian as a ‘funny and moving production that adults should beg, borrow or steal a child to get in to’, The Little Match Girl is a timeless tale about the importance of kindness and hope.

Running from 13-15 December, interactive family show Snowed In is also for children and adults alike. In a mountain village, four friends awaken to find themselves surrounded by snow and what follows is an energetic and imaginative performance, an audience-friendly snowball fight and a magnificent adventure.

Young children and babies can paint a room with light in the interactive and multi-sensory Touch & Glow, from 1-24 December. A delightful and calming break from the hectic festive season, children can explore the wonders of technology, playing with colour and light to create their own arctic world, featuring penguins, mammoths and narwhals!

For older audiences, comedy legend and star of Black Books, Dylan Moran headlines a special festive edition of Live at Brighton Dome on 14 December. Brighton’s biggest comedy night showcases household names alongside up-and-coming comedians, to spotlight the array of talent in the comedic world. Moran will be joined by award-winning ventriloquist Nina Conti and Mock The Week’s Maisie Adams, with more acts to be announced.

For sing-a-long Christmas party fun, ORGANOKE brings together karaoke and the historic Brighton Dome organ for an energetic night of festive pop music, hosted by self-declared ‘People’s Pensioner’ Ida Barr, on 7 December. Audience members can witness Barr’s hilarious rapping style, dubbed Artificial Hip Hop, and even have the opportunity to belt out Festive favourites - from Slade to The Darkness - on the Brighton Dome Concert Hall stage.

More mellow music lovers can look forward to a seasonal show from Mercury Music Prize and BBC 2 Folk Award winner Kate Rusby on 12 December, who will be performing songs from her festive albums alongside her band and a brass quintet. On 18 December, winners of Mojo Magazine’s Folk Album of the Year, The Unthanks will be performing their new work, which captures the magical moments of Winter. 

Returning for a night of feel-good music, homelessness charity choir, The Choir with No Name, bring their Big Christmas Singalong to the Concert Hall on 19 December. Featuring Christmas classics and guest appearances from soul sensation Alice Russell and the Hullabaloo Quire, the evening will raise money and awareness to support the homeless this season, and beyond.

Celebrating 20 years of festive performances at Brighton Dome, the Brighton Festival Chorus will return on 10 December, for Christmas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This joyful and comedic celebration of carols, classical music and Christmas jumpers will get the whole family in the festive spirit. The audience will even be encouraged to share their best (and worst) Christmas jokes and may even be invited to join in the conducting.

December will also see the screening of two classic festive films accompanied by live orchestras in the Concert Hall: first up is festive favourite The Snowman on 17 December, and the inimitable retelling of Dickens’ classic, The Muppet Christmas Carol will take place on 9 December.

Brighton Dome brings the festive season to a close with two wildly contrasting events on 31 December: in an uplifting afternoon performance of Lehár, Johann Strauss and Prokofiev, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra stage their New Year’s Eve Gala, led by the ever-engaging British conductor Stephen Bell and joined by young operatic soprano Ellie Laugharne, fresh from English National Opera and Grange Festival.

Following its sold-out launch at this year's Brighton Festival, clubbing extravaganza Our Roots returns to ring in New Year's Eve at the newly refurbished Corn Exchange. This inclusive night celebrates Brighton's LGBTQIA+ community and is created in partnership with local club legends Polyglamorous and Gal Pals, with a special guest set from Brighton-based DJs Dykes on Decks.

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