Brighton Festival 2019Public booking opens: Fri 24 Feb, 9am

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Happy Birthday Michael Rosen

The author and poet celebrates with Brighton Festival 

Today was another fun filled morning at Brighton Festival full of a great range of events across our sun filled city but there was one very special occasion to celebrate in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange– that was the 67th birthday of our Guest Director Michael Rosen which takes place on Tuesday.

After a sold out performance of ‘Bear Hunt and Chocolate Cake’ and another ever popular performance of ‘Big Book of Bad Things’ some of the best cake bakers in Brighton – Jan Hansen and Martha Sheppard of Catwalk Cakes, Bond Street– presented a Michael with a ‘bear hunt’ cake complete with chocolate teddy bears, sugar figures and lashings of chocolate icing.

The audience of children and mums and dads then sang a loud and cheerful round of ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday guest as the bakers took to the stage to surprise Michael with the delicious treat.

Michael joked, “Thank you! Twenty eight again?!”

Michael’s actual birthday is on Tuesday. Why don’t you send him a birthday tweet on his special day @michaelroseyes

You can get your own special cake by emaling info@catwalkcakes.co.uk for more details or visiting them in Bond Street, Brighton. 

One City, One Book

Today is World Book Day!

What better way to celebrate than with the launch of the first ever Young City Reads project as part of Brighton Festival 2013.

Brought to us by Collected Works CIC, the organisation behind Brighton & Hove’s annual citywide reading festival City Reads, Young City Reads offers children across Brighton & Hove the experience of reading and exploring a book as a part of a community.

The book in question is the classic children’s adventure story, Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner’s which has been specially chosen by Brighton Festival 2013 Guest Director, Michael Rosen.

‘Emil and the Detectives flowers with inventiveness, excitement, humour, originality and tension. I think it’s wonderful that a whole city is going to read the book at the same time. I think this will build up a great sense of everyone exploring the book together.’ Michael Rosen

Young City Reads will be engaging the young people of Brighton until the 24th May through a host of special events, workshops and performances that will allow children to discuss, debate and creatively engage with one of Michael Rosens’s favourite books with the hope of inspiring a new generation of story lovers.

For more information about the project and how to get involved, visit cityreads.co.uk

The making of ‘Bear Hunt’

This year we decided to do something different to raise awareness of Brighton Festival, and with a Guest Director like Michael Rosen what better way to kick things off by making a film based on one of his most iconic poems? 

Brave Brighton-based filmmakers Fat Sand Productions took on the challenge of helping us in our mission and tracked down Michael Rosen himself, friends of the Festival, members of the public and even some of our own team to each read a line of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt each in an iconic setting in across the city.

One of the filmmakers, Sarita Tam, commented, "I remember being in primary school, sitting on the floor watching my Year 3 teacher read this poem aloud to us, actions and all. But what I didn’t remember was quite how long the poem is: 99 lines to be precise! From the onset, we knew it was a rather large mountain to climb for a sleepy January, but we wanted to burn off the Christmas calories!"

Over a 16 day period and working through some very snowy conditions and late into the nights, the Fat Sand team managed to film a varied bunch of people including Michael Rosen, the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, our local BBC news crew, lawyers, engineers, journalists, artists, surfers, students, builders, councilors, ice-cream men, artists, choirs, chefs and even a dog named Archie; who all valiantly read a line of ‘Bear Hunt’ to camera.

Fat Sand ventured into the depths of Brighton Dome and then onto the roof, into the sea, onto the pier, up to Preston Manor and even over to visit some school children in the Book Nook in Hove during the filming.

Each of our brave participants read one or two lines from the poem, which Fat Sand cleverly edited together for a full, and rather interesting, recital of the poem. We were proud to show the film at our launch events on Wed 27 Feb, but you can watch it online here.

See more of what Fat Sand Productions get up to by visiting fatsandproductions.com or follow them @fatsand