a bit of history

artichoke was founded in 2005 by solange leon in Hove as a crafts lesson. Only when her sister, theatre actress florence leon joined solange in the teaching was it that a wide concept developed and a wish to celebrate and teach children arts as a wide experience. roberta young and james de malplaquet perfectly completed a team that works together enthusiastically and creatively, achieving great results with children from 4 to 11 years old.

All teachers and collaborators of the group come from very varied backgrounds and come together on a not for profit basis. Our gifted multidisciplinary team come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and this richness and diversity is displayed in the highest arts standard and technical expertise and service.

Our approach and continued reputation is built on professional integrity and providing a personal, flexible and innovative approach to all aspects of arts teaching. We include and plan for inclusion of the school curricula in the contents of our yearly courses and work closely with school staff.

We enjoy teaching. The collaboration happens first within our team. No member is able to monopolise practice decisions. An ability to embrace the contributions of all participants in the group - teachers, school and students alike - results in a natural and ever growing group of artists of all ages coming together.

We are an inclusive practice with a holistic approach to creative environments in order to support, learn, inspire and enjoy.

artichoke also acts as a creative platform for Brighon-based artists to realise art actions and installations around our city.

For more details on what we offer please visit our workshops page.


  • "A visually impressive collage of creative performance from award winning Artichoke.....You will be surprised in a good way at the ease with which these children take to the stage - dance, move, act, mime and mask-perform. Each item on this delightful showcase menu is unique, impressively made and performed... There's an engaging variety of material and the inventiveness natural ease and ensemble discipline is always of consistent quality. Very unique, very special...Show off they do, and very good they are too."
    Paul Levy - Fringe Review
  • "A terrific night! The kids were brilliant - It was lovely to see such confidence and commitment in them - and their execution of their devised material was amazing! - Creative, funny, clever! The grown up stuff was a gas too! I had a fun time! Bundles of charm in the event! Congratulations for a sterling job."
    David Scinto - Writer & Award Winner of the British Independent Film Award & Golden SatelliteAward for 'Sexy Beast'
  • "The performances by the children of the artichoke artgroup were just inspirational. They delivered their own short plays and mimes which were dazzlingly complex, fast paced and breathtakingly executed. The young artist’s energy, creativity and overwhelming sense of fun was evident in everything they did. How this was channelled so successfully into such a professional performance from very young people is a mystery! How do you do it Artichoke?"
    Bruce Dickinson - Education Director BIMM - Brighton & Bristol Institutes Of Modern Music
  • "You know what’s wrong with kids today? They’re a bit too good. And we're getting jealous. With remarkably good moves and sharp wit, these kids switched from a bank robbery to the inside of a spaceship with frankly astonishing discipline. Seriously, there’re a good few improv and sketch groups three times the age of this gang that could learn a few lessons from these youngsters. Throw in a couple of genuinely beautiful short films – at least one shot in Brighton – and you had something rather special. Encourage them to show off, because it really is true: the kids are alright."
    4/5 from Andrew Allen, Latest 7
  • "A totally professional and hugely original show immaculately performed by a bunch of talented kids who I fully expect to see on TV in a few years – maybe less! It's invidious to pick out stars anytime but just because it's kids I won’t be patronising. Every movement that actress/dancer Imogen Meston made had drama, and her starring performance in 'Somerhill', Wasp Video's video for The Miserable Rich, showed she is a star already. I've never seen a truer representation of real Brighton . No gangsters, no sleaze, no club music, no hype but riveting to watch. Brighton's got talent."
    4/5 from Bill Smith, Latest 7
  • Brighton Fringe: Top 5 recommended children's shows listed on fringereview.com
  • "Fabulous: Congratulations to all involved."
    Alan Phillips, parent and architect
  • "A truly rich, visual and multi- sensory feast, fantastic! Well done."
    Ged Cotton, Headmaster Davigdor Infant School
  • "Wonderful exhibition + brilliant physical theatre! Really enjoyed it all."
    Ben Parkhurst, Headmaster Somerhill Junior School
hand making art with sand. children painting and creating art on a red desk child holding hands in the air with palms forwards and fingers open making a star shape with each hand. children standing in line particpating in a class Two children acting during a play