Week-long festival celebrates storytelling

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THE Hastings Storytelling Festival 2013 ended with a rousing banner parade at the Children’s Day event at The Stade.

More than 300 children and parents carried colourful banners through the old town on Sunday afternoon (November 17) to the beats of Dende Nation drummers.

Dende Nation drummers

Dende Nation drummers

The paper banners had been made to celebrate the drawings of Sir Quentin Blake, the festival’s patron.

This was the last event in a week long programme of storytelling events all over town, in which children and adults enjoyed stories in a variety of forms, from traditional tales, to saucy songs, creative writing workshops and pop-up stories.

Many of the events were free, and most were full to capacity, including a talk at the Jerwood Gallery by Sir Quentin Blake, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland puppet show, and the burlesque adult-only Velvet Curtain show at the Royal Victoria Hotel on Saturday evening.

In the lead-up to the festival, more than 300 local schoolchildren took part in banner making workshops with artist Sarah Evans.

Children's Parade. Hastings Storytelling Festival 2013. Photo by Molly Grayburn

Children's Parade. Hastings Storytelling Festival 2013. Photo by Molly Grayburn

Mandy Curtis of 18Hours, which programmed the event, said: “Around 2,000 people across the town took part in the festival in some way.

“We programmed exciting acts that would appeal to all ages and backgrounds as well as raise the bar in terms of quality storytelling in the town.”

Dick Edwards, of the Hastings Storytelling Festival, said: “From small beginnings three years ago the Hastings Storytelling Festival is becoming a very popular event in the town’s calendar.

“This year it was bigger and better than ever. It’s rewarding to see how much people enjoy live stories, whatever their age.”