There is plenty happening across Brighton Festival’s third weekend, including theatre from Kyle Falconer, frontman of indie rock band The View, Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson in conversation with this year’s guest director Frank Cottrell-Boyce and pop-up performances across the city from outdoor arts specialists Without Walls.

Falconer’s No Love Songs at the Theatre Royal tonight is inspired by his and partner Laura Wilde’s experiences of becoming parents.

Co-written by award-winning writer and director Johnny McKnight, No Love Songs explores the weight of postnatal depression through a powerful blend of music, tears and laughter. Songs are taken from Falconer’s hit second solo album, No Love Songs For Laura and reimagined live on stage. It received five-star reviews on its debut in Scotland and this moving production makes its English premiere at Brighton Festival.

On Sunday afternoon at Brighton Dome, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and award-winning author-illustrator of Grimwood Nadia Shireen welcome families to a live recording of their popular podcast The Island of Brilliant.

Their guest is much-loved children’s writer Julia Donaldson, who will explain how she creates her unforgettable stories. Following the event, all three authors will be signing copies of their books.

Earlier in the day, Frank will introduce readers aged seven to 11 to his new magic-themed novel The Wonder Brothers, accompanied by live drawing from its Brighton-based illustrator Steven Lenton and other children’s authors.

Pioneers of British space rock Spiritualized bring their psychedelic and experimental sounds to Brighton Dome on Saturday evening. Performing music from their Grammy nominated album Everything Was Beautiful, which was created in collaboration with more than 30 musicians and using 16 different instruments, they will create an intense celestial soundscape live on stage.

In the classical programme, Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange hosts the premiere of award-winning Brighton-based composer Ed Hughes’s new score States Of Innocence on Sunday. Inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost and marking 350 years since his death, the piece features renowned opera singer Sir John Tomlinson in the role of Milton, with adaptation by acclaimed librettist Peter Cant.

The story will be further brought to life by immersive video projections, created by media and performance artist Ian Winters.

There are lots of free events on offer too, as Without Walls returns to Brighton with a series of free pop-up outdoor performances across the weekend, sponsored by Graves Son and Pilcher.

Highlights include premiere Anchored In Air, a groundbreaking, gravity-defying aerial theatre show from disabled and non-disabled company Head Over Wheels and two unwritten languages meet through the movement of dance in British-Caribbean choreographer Jeanefer-Jean Charles MBE’s dance piece Patois.

Promenade piece The Journey from award-winning brass band Perhaps Contraption is a collaboration with deaf and BSL poet Zoe McWinney featuring a blend of physical theatre, signed poetry and mime.

Discover the full programme and book tickets at

Elsewhere, interactive art installation 100 Miles Of String from Brighton artists Leap Then Look and sponsored by Southern Housing New Homes is open in the Royal Pavilion Gardens.

Participants have woven together metres and metres of string to create an ever changing, temporary community landmark – and there is more to add. There is also a children’s book illustration exhibition to explore at The Book Nook in Hove.

Established in 1967, Brighton Festival is the largest annual curated multi-arts festival in England. This year’s guest director Frank Cottrell-Boyce invites everyone to imagine a better world through a vibrant and colourful celebration of “Hope, Magic and Wonder” with a sense of fun and play for adults and children alike.