Hastings’ Storytelling Festival drew to a close on Sunday with Children’s Storytelling Festival Day at the Stade.
After a stormy Saturday, the sun emerged to warm the throngs of people who turned up to enjoy free shows, including The Ugly Duckling by Thingamajig Theatre, Isabella Bicycle, The UK Africa Acrobats, Theatre Rotto, Richard Storybeard and a huge 50 foot whale by Circo Rum ba ba.
Mayor Judy Rogers headed the children’s parade with Dende drummers and the UK Africa Acrobats as it snaked down George Street accompanied by hundreds of children blowing whistles and carrying colourful banners they had made.
The week-long festival included a medley of live storytelling events for children and adults, based around this year’s theme of ‘Displacement’, including, for children, free shows in Ore by The Three Half Pints from CBeebies Spotbots, storytelling in local schools from Emmanuel Okine and a talk by much–loved author Dame Jacqueline Wilson at the White Rock Theatre.
Adults taking part in the ‘Hastings Midnight Run’ enjoyed live performances, singing, outdoor games, guerilla gardening, shadow drawing, outdoor cinema and mulled wine during a six hour creative ‘ramble’ around the town.
Other adult events included storytelling workshops, performances from some of the UK’s finest spoken word artists, a talk by local author and psychogeography expert Gareth E. Rees and the outstanding surreal stage show ‘Coulrophobia’ by Pickled Image Theatre - a riotous two-man show described as ‘laugh out loud, inventive and full of craziness’.
Throughout the week, Shared Space and Light’s Talking Lampposts in Robertson Street saw bizarre, supernatural stories told by displaced spirits from two Victorian lampposts.
“It’s been a brilliant week,” said Mandy Curtis of 18 Hours, producer of the Hastings Storytelling Festival.
“It’s so exciting to see Hastings residents enjoying really high quality, exciting live storytelling, whatever their age or background.”
Dick Edwards, festival chairman, said: “It seems Hastings has a healthy appetite for storytelling and the festival is growing every year.
“We’ve had incredible support from our Patron Sir Quentin Blake and from the Arts Council England, which enables us to provide free storytelling for the under 10s.”
Since 2011, Hastings Storytelling Festival has celebrated the artistry and magic of storytelling through spoken word, dance, puppetry, parades, theatre, talks and digital media.
The event will be back next year with the theme Re-imagine India. For more information, visit www.hastingsstoryfest.org.uk.
Photos by FS Event Photography.
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