26 January 2023

Brighton Dome has announced that the much-anticipated opening event for its refurbished Grade I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre will be the ground-breaking immersive experience Van Gogh Alive.

The exhibition, which runs from 12 May to 6 August, will be the first event to welcome back audiences to the fully restored venues ahead of a packed schedule of live performances returning from autumn 2023.

Multi-sensory experience

This unique multi-sensory experience explores the life and work of the seminal Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. More than 3,000 images will be spectacularly presented in stunning detail, including iconic works such as 'Sunflowers' and lesser-known paintings.

Having welcomed over 8.5 million visitors in 80 cities around the world including sell-out runs in Edinburgh, Manchester and London, Van Gogh Alive, created by Grande Experiences, promises to be one of the highlights of the spring and summer events calendar.


Glorious and stunning

Van Gogh Alive has been described by The Sunday Times as ‘glorious, stunning…(and) very moving’ and will give Brighton visitors first access to a brand new ‘Starry Night’ installation.  


There will also be a dedicated artist studio that invites people to replicate Van Gogh’s artistic style.


Audiences will be able to create their own souvenirs within a life-sized walk-in representation of Van Gogh’s 'Bedroom in Arles' painting, and the iconic ‘Sunflower selfie room’ – a 360° mirrored space complete with hundreds of sunflowers – that has delighted Instagram feeds across the world.


State-of-the-art SENSORY4™ immersive gallery technology will display Van Gogh’s work in a kaleidoscope of colour.


Set to an evocative classical score, delivered via a high-fidelity 3D sound system, this combination of sound, visuals and even aromas of Provence will give visitors the sensation of the artist’s paintings as if they are living and breathing.


Major restoration 

This inaugural event will mark the completion of a major project to restore and protect Brighton Dome’s Grade I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre. 

Audiences will be able to explore the spaces prior to the full performance programme launching in autumn 2023.


‘Anita’s Room’, the newly constructed creative space for artists and communities supported by The Roddick Foundation, will also be available from the spring.

The restoration of these historic buildings is the result of a long-term vision between Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Brighton & Hove Museums (formerly the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust) to reunite the historic Royal Pavilion estate as a major UK cultural destination.


Landmark centre

With the first phase of the Royal Pavilion Estate regeneration project almost complete, this historic collaboration will position Brighton Dome and the wider Estate as a landmark centre for heritage and the arts, equipping it for a sustainable future which reflects the unique spirit of Brighton & Hove.


The Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre refurbishment is realised with leadership support from Brighton & Hove City Council, Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, in conjunction with support from trusts & foundations and many individual donors.



Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “We are thrilled to announce that Van Gogh Alive will be the inaugural event at Brighton Dome’s newly refurbished Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.


"After extraordinary partnerships working with Brighton & Hove City Council, our other funders and donors and the painstaking restoration work to our venues, this innovative and immersive exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to welcome audiences old and new to these unique historic spaces, ahead of our own performance programme from autumn 2023.”



Phélim Mac Cafferty, Council Leader, Brighton & Hove City Council said:

“It is only fitting that the first art exhibition in the city’s new Corn Exchange will celebrate Van Gogh, an artist renowned for his innovative technique and unique view on the world.

"We are delighted that the city’s newest arts venue is able to attract this prestigious Van Gogh Alive exhibit.


“Brighton Dome as we know it today was built when Van Gogh was a teenager, so this is a powerful marriage of people and place; a visionary building with a celebrated artist.

"As well as offering an inspiring new way to see this art, Van Gogh Alive will afford visitors an opportunity to appreciate the magnificently restored heritage features.


"These, along with the innovative new spaces have created a sought after venue for artists and performers for many years to come.


“We have worked hard with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Brighton & Hove Museums to bring these iconic buildings back to life. Such a landmark opening exhibition signals a bold, new start for the city.”


Rich, artistic heritage

Bruce Peterson, Founder & CEO, Grande Experiences, said:"We are thrilled to bring Van Gogh Alive to Brighton and to be the first event on show at the beautifully restored new Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre at Brighton Dome – one of the country’s most beautiful Regency palaces.


"Brighton, with its rich artistic heritage and abundance of creative talent, is the ideal location for the next stop of the hugely successful UK tour. We look forward to sharing it with the Brighton community very soon."


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