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Review: Enchanted Park Lewes

We were invited to come and preview the Enchanted Park in Lewes last week, so the boys and I bundled up and headed to Southover Grange Gardens. Even before you enter you can hear and see there's something special going on inside. There's a *glow*... and strange sounds.
Visitors will be swept away into an enthralling 45-minute journey to explore Southover Grange Gardens as never before through a series of projections, striking visual effects, sounds, performance and artwork – all created by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid, the renowned artists behind the unforgettable projections on Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and on the Houses of Parliament during the 2012 Olympics.
The trees and buildings of Southover Grange Gardens (which is a beautiful place in normal daylight even) are lit up with all manner of colours and images; Medieval stained glass is brought to life, buildings transform into gingerbread houses, giants appear in windows, who knows what is around the next corner.
hope makes us human, family, xmas, winter, lewes, brighton, light, celebration, enchanted park lewes, projection
The above projection i was my personal favourite. Littlest (age 3) was fascinated by the images on the main building and Big (age 9) liked the interractive bird sound piece the most. It took me a while to work out the xmas connection with that one, only when I saw the title '4 Calling Birds' did it make sense! (pic below)
four calling birds, enchanted lewes, installation
The main criticism that I would have was that as a promenade piece, it would have been fantastic to have either some narrative connection between the pieces, or perhaps the guides in character. The performance element confused my youngest a little ('Are they sad?') and me too if I'm honest. Perhaps I'm old and tired and didn't 'get it'!
enchanted lewes, performance, xmas, family, brighton
Overall I'd say it's a good alternative winter event. Better than going to see the xmas shopping lights getting turned on in town and an antidote to the overly sweet stuff that's generally on offer. However, it is maybe more Banksy than Disneyland. We may be a hard audience (my partner works in film and I'm an LED performer) the kids definitely enjoyed it and it's rather special to see something emerge shining brightly in the night.
There's still time to go and experience it for yourself! Check out the website here for info on tickets.
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