I’m delighted to report there will be a Storytelling Festival between 10th and 22nd April 2017. The Festival will be marking the first year of the Write Now development programme at The Berry Theatre, designed to encourage writers.
Image Credit: All images were supplied to Chandler’s Ford Today by Eastleigh Borough Council.
The dates, of course, cover the Easter holidays. I love the whole idea of a festival of this nature. Hopefully, it will encourage reading and creative writing.
There will be a wide range of events, including creative writing workshops covering stage, videogames and songwriting.
Creative Writing Workshops
The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl Wednesday 12th April 11.30am-1pm
This workshop aims to re-create on the Berry Theatre’s stage some of the most wonderful moments from Roald Dahl’s fantastic fiction. It is aimed at young actors and puppetry and song will be involved. Sounds fun. (Definitely not one for me – I am not young or an actor! – but maybe a starting point for actors in the future? I hope so).
Adapting for the Stage Wednesday 12th April 6-8pm
This workshop is for those interested in adapting work for the stage or who already have some experience in doing so. It will be led by Matt Beames and director, Daniel Hill and looks at how to make your favourite tales work on the theatre stage.
Fairytales and Magical Monsters Tuesday 18th April 10-11am
The picture here is simply wonderful. Let’s just say those taking part in this image didn’t believe the old myth “if the wind changes, your face will stay like that”! (And I’m glad they didn’t!).
The workshop itself is a drama workshop for little storytellers and aims to produce playful theatre based on favourite fairytales. It is highly interactive and will introduce drama skills. There will be games and play. (Why oh why could I not have had something like this 40 years ago?! Would have loved it. Hope all who go to this one have a literally fantastic time).
Song Writing Wednesday 19th April 10am-12pm
The workshop aims to create and record a song from scratch and will be led by Daniel Hill and David Lewington. A wide range of musical genres will be covered here including one of my favourites (Motown). No experience of song writing needed.
The Little Mermaid Workshop & Behind-the-Scenes Tour Friday 21st April 12.30-1.45pm
Click on the link to see a road sign you won’t forget! The workshop gives a sneak peak backstage of The Berry Theatre’s new production of The Little Mermaid. You will see the costumes and set from the show before it opens, visit the theatre-making workshop with the creative team and recreate parts of the show.
Ellie’s Extraordinary Adventure
Matt Beames (of Blood and Valour fame along with Marcus Pullen and Guy Stauber) will be bringing Ellie’s Extraordinary Adventure to libraries across Eastleigh and Southampton and will use puppetry and song and lots of stories to entertain. Kelly Blackburn plays the lead role.
Without giving too much away, let’s say the story looks at what can happen if you really get lost in a book. This is suitable for those aged 3+. The link takes you to the page for the book and lists all the libraries where this play will be appearing. On 19th April, it will be the turn of Chandler’s Ford Library to host this.
You may recall I wrote about the wonderful Story Shuffle app, developed by Tec Hub associate Tin Raven. This put the story of Sir Bevis of Hampton as written by local school children into digital format. Each had a special code so they could go to one of the libraries taking part in this and “unlock” their story. They could also access, at random, the other stories.
Well, the good news is for the first time the public will now also have a chance to do this. The same libraries as before are taking part in this and our nearest one is our own much-loved Grade 2 Listed Chandler’s Ford Library. I hope they see an influx of visitors!
(I hope the other libraries do too, of course, but I maintain my view that this particular project is a great idea for getting youngsters into creative writing, finding out about Sir Bevis and visiting their library! I salute those behind this idea. Any one of those objectives is great but to manage to do all three in one go… well, I would take my hat off to you if I wore one.).
Lyngo Theatre will be presenting The Odyssey at the Berry Theatre on 13th April. This will star CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch (who is artistic director of the Lyngo Theatre, which is based in Aberdeen). A great way of bringing the classics to young people.
There will be a festival special edition of Saturday Storytime and, following that, Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox will be returning to the big screen.
The Berry Youth Theatre will also be taking part in the festival by putting on their version of Hans Christen Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
Finding Out More
For more information on The Storytelling Festival and to book tickets for any of the related events, please visit www.theberrytheatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 023 8065 2333.
I hope all who go to any or all of these events have a wonderful time. I love the whole idea of celebrating stories like this and hope the festival encourages those who might be reluctant readers to realise stories, books etc can be fun (and indeed should be. One of the developments I’ve welcomed in non-fiction is using storytelling techniques to make it more accessible. Far from dumbing down facts, it makes those facts more accessible to more people, which can only be a good thing).
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.
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