Creative Learning

The Grand’s Storytelling Festival July 2024

5 min read

Creative Learning

5 min read

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More Stories for More People’  We have been working with our local Young Story Ambassadors, schools, artists and Cultural Education providers across the town to plan our pilot Story Telling Festival in July 2024. 

Storytelling festival

As part of our Arts Council England funding, and with support from Goldsmiths Company Charity and Blackpool Council, we are hosting our first-ever storytelling festival at Blackpool Grand Theatre.  

This pilot event will kick off with a bang on Monday 8th July with a ‘Young Story Ambassadors Day’.  Young people from across Blackpool and Fylde coast schools, came together in January this year, to plan the event. They chose themes of Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Horror to be the genres of story writing that will be created and shared on the day. Taking inspiration from stories about ‘The Black Pool’, our Friends of the Grand that marched to save the theatre in the 1980s, we cannot wait to see what the young people will create! 193 children will take part in this creative story-making day.

The Story Ambassadors will be busy helping to shape a townwide event next year, so please ask teachers to get in touch if they want their students to be involved by joining our teacher’s network using the QR code below. 

Storytelling festival

Our award-winning schools ‘Tales Retold Project’ work will also be featured during the festival. This work with six local Primary schools and 380 children, uses our Story-Led Resilience™ Programme to harness the power of the stories on our stage to help young people identify tricky moments and capture the appropriate resilient moves to strengthen the characters’ journey. To find out more see Story-led Resilience Programme – Blackpool Grand Theatre This year they are making new stories inspired by ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’ which they will share on stage with family and other children from school. 

Earlier in the year our community Shakespeare Nation group went on tour performing themes of Love, Conflict and the Supernatural from Shakespeare’s plays. You can see them in action in our foyer rotunda, at the theatre main entrance on Mon 8th July from 6.45pm, pre-show the premiere performance of Black Liver’s ‘Devilled Eggs’.  

We are delighted to co- commission this new work by acclaimed and very funny local theatre makers Black Liver. ‘ Devilled Egg’s is their latest two-hander play about a guest house over the span of a one night stay (breakfast included!). Like the eggs’ The Dakota B & B ‘serves at breakfast, this show is fresh, cheeky and devilishly spicy!  Book now

As part of the Grand’s partnership with the RSC we took part in the national ‘37 Plays project’. This resulted in us producing script in hand performances of 3 award-winning plays performed in our studio. We worked with local writers to help them shape and develop their plays. One such play was ‘’Decay of Autumn written by local writer Jonathan Hands. This will be shared with a private audience to further develop the work.

Accomplished writer and performer Jack Holden have been commissioned by us to research and develop a new work inspired by aspects of Blackpool and its’ unique identity of place. During the week he will be getting to know local stories to help him on his creative journey. 

Storytelling festival

Blackpool Grand Theatre have recently facilitated a Cultural Education Network to work collaboratively with organisations and artists across the Fylde coast to widen access to stories and culture for our local children and young people. Representatives from Merlin, The Grundy, Libraries, B & F School of Arts, Showtown and the National Literacy Trust will be at the theatre on Wed 10th July to present stalls about their story at our Teachers Cultural Education Fayre 6-7pm. It’ll be a one stop shop for teachers to find out about the cultural education offer across the town and perhaps get ideas for pupil premium spending. Sign up to our Teacher’s Network QR code below to be on the invite list. Not only will you get access to cultural organisations we’ll then treat you to a ‘Teacher’s Tipple’ and a complimentary ticket to see ‘’Pram Talk’by writer Rosanna Jahangard 

‘Pram Talk’  was first presented at Blackpool Grand Studio as a script in hand performance as part of the RSC 37 Plays playwriting competition. We are now delighted to be presenting a premiere of ‘Pram Talk’ as a play in development in our main stage. Limited £5 tickets will be available to the public and will be on sale soon.  

As you will see we have a busy programme for our first Storytelling Festival pilot event. There are two public events. ’Devilled Eggs’ and ‘Pram Talk’ we hope to see you there. We are also making a ‘Reading Space’ at the Grand’s stage door café bar where you can drop in with your book! 

 Please get in touch if you want to know more or are interested in finding out about the Creative Learning Team and future projects.   

creativelearning@blackpoolgrand.co.uk 

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