Calling all Brightonians! Stuck for ideas of things to do with the kids this coming week? Looking for a new experience for you and your family? Well, look no further!
Gammon, Chips and I were lucky enough to attend the press preview a couple of weeks ago of the totally-unlike-anything-I’ve-ever-seen-or-been-to-before Brighton Fringe venue, the Soul Dome.
‘Well, what is it’, I hear you ask. Hmmm. Now, let’s see. How should I best describe it? It’s billed as 360º immersive cinema… but what exactly does that mean? Well, the exterior is kind of like a tent attached to a yurt that is shaped like the Eden Project. You take your shoes off at the tent door, but have to wait until the crew are ready to let you in, because you must respect the natural equilibrium of this complex 7 metre biosphere dome (i.e. it’s inflatable, so you can’t just waltz in or it might collapse – you need to wait until the outside door is closed before you can enter the inside door – exciting stuff in itself!)
Once the canvas air lock was secured, we were then led into the inner dome, which really did resemble a yurt – there were mats, pillows and cushions scattered on the floor and everyone was encouraged to find their own space lying on their backs.
A film was then projected onto the inside roof of the dome in all its swirly bulbous glory. It’s like watching The Magic Roundabout on the lounge room telly but from inside a fishbowl, not being aware that your student owners have just laced your fishtank water with acid (and I’m talking LSD, not hydrochloric).
That sounds scary, but it’s not. It’s just a bit psychedelic. Kids will love it – Gammon didn’t know where to look at first, so instead he just looked everywhere; Chips didn’t quite understand the ‘lie down’ concept and was toddling around the dome in wide-eyed wonder, but both were totally immersed by this friendly assault on their senses.
The screen essentially took up the entire curved roof and the film had obviously been developed specifically for the screen space. The accompanying soundtrack must have been played using some sort of surround sound technology, as the acoustics were pretty good too, definitely completing the 360º ‘immersive’ experience.
We watched a showreel showing a selection of some of the great films they will have on for kids during their just-over-a-week-long Brighton Fringe run from Friday 24th May to Sunday 2nd June, including the gorgeous animation of ‘Freddie Fox’, our quirky alien friends ‘The Pleebles’, and the space rollercoaster, ‘Galaxy 9’, for all those budding little astronauts out there.
The Soul Dome will be housed in Jubilee Square, Brighton – right outside the front of Jubilee Library – over the course of its run.
It will even host yoga sessions for all the family (parents with babies or toddlers) – we saw a taster of some of the projected backgrounds for this – blissful mountain scenes, inviting waterfalls and luscious jungle landscapes.
For that after-yoga treat, the ‘Kolkata Street Food Snack Bar’ will be on site, serving up scrummy Indian snacky treats, and making a ‘not-so-spicy’ version for kids too – we sampled some at the press preview and they are genuinely 100% delish!
Plus there will be a whole array of tantilising shows and treats in the evenings for grown ups too… like ‘The Cockatoo Cocktail Emporium’ – a converted 1965 Morris Ambulance with a giant revolving birdcage above, hosted by a flock of wild bird women trained in both live performance art and mixology. The birdcage can also be configured as an exclusive top table with table service for up to 4 guests – how’s that for a unique experience!
And ‘Sugar Mice’ will be serving yummy soft scoop ice creams, frozen treats and alcoholic ice creams from Betty, the gorgeous vintage caravan.
2 for 1 Soul Dome ticket offer for Friday 24th May
I’m told that the Soul Dome are running a special 2 for 1 offer for their opening day of Friday 24th May. To get the 2 for 1 tickets (kids AND adults shows), all you need to do is to LIKE the Soul Dome Facebook page and you’ll go on their special 2 for 1 guest list. Just turn up on the day to pay for your tickets, which are at a special Concession rate of £5 anyway, so if you do the above, your tickets will be only £2.50 each – literally cheap at half the price!
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to Jubilee Square on the 24th May for what I guarantee will be the most fun you’ve ever had with the kids at the library – it sure beats waiting in the queue of buggies for Baby Boogie!