What We Do

Performing Poetry & Prose Workshops

Brainfruit delivers spoken word workshops at Brighton’s Museum and Art Gallery and Dome

Facilitation is on hand to draw out the best from the participants and to create an atmosphere which is stimulating, fun and creative. The sessions are free. In 2017 we will be we delivered community workshops to hard to reach groups and traditionally excluded groups in the Brighton and Hove area.

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The iOpen Youth Project

Students were able to access the materials in different ways and the sessions were well planned and resourced… thanks for coming to work with us…‘ Deputy Head – Downs View School.

In 2012 Brainfruit started the ‘iOpen Youth Project’ which aimed to increase the self-esteem of young people aged 14-19 in the Brighton and Hove area – in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our session leaders delivered spoken word workshops to a number of schools within the area.

Downs View School – for pupils aged 4 to 19 years, who have severe learning difficulties. Some pupils have additional disabilities such as autism, hearing and/or visual impairment, physical disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The Crew Club: Whitehawk (bi-weekly night for 12-19 year olds) – involving young people with rhyming structures and exploring rap/poetry/grime artist crossovers.

Brighton Youth Centre (The Bandbazi Youth Group) – working with refugee communities to build on existing performance skills from drama and applying these to spoken word performances.

Longhill School – developing a programme of 6-7 workshops, working, provisionally, to the theme of ‘Telling my Story’ with the potential to build towards a showcase performance event.

The key objectives of this project were to, be constructive and engaging. Seek to foster an appreciation of performance poetry and prose in its many different forms, from rap, to free verse, through to haiku. Encourage participation and Inspire young people to get involved.

The session leaders are supported by Brainfruit’s artistic director and our Project Administrator, in association with Rebecca Fidler, Learning Access and Participation Manager at the Brighton Dome and Festival, and Pippa Smith, Head of Learning Access and Participation, Brighton Dome and Festival. Each session leader has attended a Brainfruit: train-the-trainer spoken word workshop and has an Enhanced Certificate (CRB) The project is funded by:


iOpen Youth session leaders:

MICHELLE LAING Based in Brighton, Michelle Laing is a visual artist, poet and performer. She works in various mediums, and creates unique artworks that stimulate the onlooker through exciting materials and thought provoking results. Currently Michelle is studying Spanish, Ninjutsu and oil painting.

ELAN STARK Elan began performing his poetry after moving to Brighton in 2007. He has always had a passion for lyrical word-smithing; and his rhythmical, story telling delivery style -bring his poems to life on stage.

CHARLIE WILSON Charlie has been performing poetry since 2009. He has run writing workshops at festivals under the SAFE Collective. He is part of the Brighton Forum Theatre Collective who put on plays every year. Charlie works full time in Children’s Homes in the Sussex area.

ALEX CRUMBIE Began writing poetry in 2012 and has since become increasingly interested in writing and performing poetry and spoken word. He has read his work at several spoken word event s and recently had his poetry published. He is currently in his third year at Sussex University, studying International Relations and Philosophy.

TRISTAN OVINGTON wrote his first poem when he was15 – a piece about farmers killing animals for food and foxes for fun. Since then he has explored topics like spirituality and childhood. A regular performer on the Brighton Poetry scene – he is currently studying his second degree at the University of Brighton.

Feedback from our community poetry workshops at Brighton Dome:

RoyPoet-9“I’m completely new to this. I’m very pleased with the amount I learnt today. From knowing nothing to understanding the beginnings of this art – I can continue with confidence on my own or with others”

“Very enjoyable and informative. Excellent facilitator.”

“Warm and encouraging teaching style Informative and relaxed environment professional but friendly and reassuring Brilliant!”

“There should be more of these workshops – supportive environment encourages learning, builds confidence”

Critical feedback from our theatre production

Darwin’s Nose:

‘Like a Molotov cocktail with the zing and the bite of a Martini chaser – funny, bright, touching, merciless.’  What’s On Stage

‘Classy stuff… unfailingly elegant… blazingly powerful.’ The Scotsman

‘Quietly exquisite . . . political anger with a human face… chock-full of wisdom and experience.’ The Herald

Audience feedback from our Events & Youtube poetry postings:

“Very moving. It’s powerful. I don’t think anyone listening to this could fail to get the message”

“Just beautiful Thank you very much.”

“I´ve been listening to them. They are brilliant. A real treat!!”

“The material and performance are fabulous and would fill the Albert Hall So super sharp and animated”

“So cutting edge”

“My favourite line was about the “old smile that you could warm your hands on” Powerful indeed – you could hear a pin drop”

And finally, some feedback from Varndean School Brighton:

“Absolutely inspirational – Robbie Mitchell” – Head of Music

“I loved joining in with the poet – it was really fun” – Yr 7 girl

“When the man read out my poem I felt really proud” – Yr 7 boy

“It made me think about writing some more myself” – Yr 7 girl