Storytelling alive here in Hastings

Billy Childish at St Mary in the Castle
Billy Childish at St Mary in the Castle

LAST week proved that the ancient art of storytelling is alive and kicking in Hastings.

Adults and children filled museums, libraries, children’s centres, shops, restaurants, halls and marquees to laugh, join in and listen spellbound as a myriad of stories from around the world unfolded.

Through the medium of puppetry, music, dance, comedy, poetry and pure spoken word, Fishy Tales, Hastings’ second annual Storytelling Festival, brought sea-themed tales to life.

The festival was put on by the Hastings Old Town Residents Association.

Mandy Curtis, of 18 Hours, who produced the event, said: “We aim for diversity in our choices. We mixed local storytellers with global, we mixed comedy with drama, music and puppetry to bring alive a whole range of stories. I really think the programme had something for everyone and most of it was completely free.”

On Thursday, queues formed in Waterstones as the festival’s patron, Quentin Blake signed books for fans and on Saturday artist and poet, Billy Childish, gave a rare spoken word performance in St Mary-in-the-Castle.

The festival ended on Sunday with a day of sunshiny stories at The Stade.