Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Soul Dome immersion - Cartoons for kids, chill-out for adults in 360 degrees at Brighton Fringe

Last night was the debut of the 360 Soul Dome in a community centre on Carden Hill.  What I wanted to know was what could a 360 degree soul dome actually be?  and would I care?  We were asked to take off our shoes and enter a small blacked-out inner tube and zipped in.  Claustrophobic?  Eh, yah.  However, after a moment the other end was un-zipped and a domed space with images projected across the ceiling was revealed, claustrophobia entirely gone. 

Bliss journey, Soul Dome

Across the floor people were lying down with their heads on cushions looking upwards in silence.  Above span a world of images and colours reaching to the outer edges of peripheral vision.  The first segment projected onto the dome was from the Bliss Journey, which the Soul Dome had successfully taken on the festival circuit last year.  This was also the most enjoyable for me, playing chill-out music, we watched as a series of colours and images morphed into the next. 

Over too soon, I could have watched that for hours and left completely blissed out.  And that is how the Soul Dome really comes into its own.  By lying down, the visuals spanning the dome take over your line of vision and by doing so become completely immersive, combined with surround sound acoustics, the whole experience gives you a heightened response.

From a state of bliss we were quickly whisked into the tale of Freddy the Fox, a children's story told in rhyme and illustrated by the author Samira Harris.  The colours already so vivid became even more so enlarged on the ceiling of the Dome.

By now accustomed to our transformative journey, it seemed logical to find ourselves experiencing a Yoga backdrop in the mountains before listening to a live performance by a female singer accompanied by guitar.  This gave a wonderful illustration of how well the acoustics work in amplifying sound.

Our final destination and another must-see was a film about street food in Kolkata, India.  Born out of Angus Denoon's passion for Indian street food, Angus was on site to provide us with Jhal Muri, an Indian street food snack from his street-art cart.  Jhal Muri tastes incredible, it's more-ish, with an explosion of flavours in your mouth.  Taste the dish, watch a condensed version of his film about street food in Kolkata and join the street food revolution.  Follow Angus on Twitter @jhalmuriexpress and find out about him at the noisy streetfoodkolkata.

The Soul Dome will be open from Friday 24 May to Sunday 2 June, for just over a week in Jubilee Square, surrounded by the library, Pizza Express and My Hotel, if you need a few markers.

The Soul Domers aim to create a space that caters for all ages from 10:00 in the morning til 11:00 at night.  Most of the shows range in price from £5 - 7 making it affordable and accessible to anyone, mostly (check age restrictions).  Organised by a group of people from Sussex with an exclusive schedule of events, there will be family yoga, kids shows, live performances including a DJ set by Nico de Transilvania called Music without Frontiers as well as immersive cinema.

Outside of the dome will be a seating area that people are encouraged to enjoy even if they are not tempted to take a dip inside.  There will be tables and chairs, jugglers and face-painting, two vintage vehicles, one converted into an ice-cream bar and the other into a cocktail bar, which will all be lit up at night.

For more details and to book tickets go to Brighton Fringe.
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