Announcing the Family Arts Festival 2013
18th Sept 2013
|Full programme announced today for first ever UK-wide Family Arts Festival
The full programme for the Family Arts Festival was announced today at a special preview event at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The Family Arts Festival will launch one month today, running 18th October – 3rd November 2013 and aiming to build on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad. [Click here to download images of a dramatic unveiling of Globe Education’s Muse of Fire, which will premiere at the Family Arts Festival from 28th October.]
The first ever UK-wide Family Arts Festival will see over 500 organisations host over 1,000 family friendly arts events. From an operatic version of The Importance of Being Earnest in Derry / Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to Out of The Shadows, a dance and acrobatic extravaganza in Cardiff, Wales, West End favourite Stomp in Cornwall, life drawing with sheep at the Royal Academy, London, and a world premiere of Dragon, a Scottish / Chinese co-production in Inverness, Scotland, the whole of the UK will be alive with arts activities that will appeal to a wide range of families. Over 25% of the festival’s programming will be free, with many more events under £10, and lots of special offers, including reduced price and family tickets. All events are listed on the festival’s website www.familyartsfestival.com.
The Hallé Orchestra will present the world premiere of A Rumble in the Jungle, where audiences will see Hallé musicians as never before, reciting poetry, singing and dancing as well as playing their instruments. RSC actor and rising star Ansu Kabai will entertain audiences in To Sir with Love, an inspirational story of courage and hope touring to Nottingham, Edinburgh and Wolverhampton. Much-loved children’s author Michael Rosen will perform Centrally Heated Knickers, a new production with music from The Homemade Orchestra, in Ipswich, Basingstoke and Warwick.
London will host a diverse range of exciting events during the festival, with the capital’s top arts organisations, large and small, all getting involved. See Birmingham Royal Ballet perform classic ballet Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells, explore Shakespeare’s Globe with Globe Education’s Muse of Fire, or try your hand as the Philharmonia Orchestra’s conductor for the day at Universe of Sound: The Planets at the Royal Festival Hall. Take your instruments to play along with the London Symphony Orchestra at their family concert, Witches, at the Barbican, or head to Rich Mix in Shoreditch to see Sita’s Story, which will introduce children to one of the world’s greatest sagas, The Ramayana.
Internationally renowned circus company NoFit State will take Noodles, a surreal cooking show featuring aerialists, contortionists and magicians to Warwick Arts Centre, and there will be sock puppet hilarity as Edinburgh Fringe favourites The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre present In Space at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds.
The Big Draw, the world’s biggest drawing festival, will present a wealth of events across the UK during the festival, inviting participation from people of all ages, skills and backgrounds. The Big Draw at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will see visitors delve deeper into the history of the palace, whilst families can draw on the walls at mac Birmingham, create a 3D futuristic city at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, learn silverpoint drawing as an artist’s apprentice at the National Gallery, London, or take inspiration from the animals at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable.
Michael Morpurgo, one of the nation’s favourite children’s authors will see his work celebrated across the UK during the festival. I Believe in Unicorns will be brought to life with a mix of music, theatre and poetry by Theatre Alibi in Bath, Portesham and Exeter, while Olivier Award-nominated company Wizard Presents will take their version to libraries in Welwyn Garden City, Bishops Stortford, St Albans, Hitchin, Watford, Leighton Buzzard and Stevenage. There’s a stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s multi-award-winning The Butterfly Lion in Nottingham and Glasgow, and !Toro! !Toro!, will delight audiences in Bath and Poole. Avid fans can hear Morpurgo talk about his much loved books in Exeter.
The Family Arts Festival is part of a wider programme, The Family Arts Campaign, which is working to help arts organisations attract more and a wider range of families. Devised in consultation with over 1,000 arts professionals and 2,000 families, the campaign has drawn on data from the DCMS’s Taking Part Survey, as well as its own new research to expose the barriers to family participation and attendance at arts events.
The DCMS survey shows that lone parents continue to be less likely to attend or participate in the arts than parents with live-in partners or adults without children at home, and that lone parenthood has a greater correlation with low participation and attendance than age or personal income. The Family Arts Campaign’s own research has revealed a huge appetite for quality family arts programming, with 55% of families believing there is a need for a focus on family friendly activities at a specific time of year, and only 28% of families believing there are enough high-quality activities for families at present. 35% of families surveyed said that a key issue is difficulty in finding out about appropriate activities. 50% of families believed there is a need for work that different generations of the family can enjoy together, and 79% agreed that there was a need for a family friendly badge to recognise an agreed standard of content.
The Family Arts Festival looks to address these issues and will be the first UK-wide festival including theatre, dance, music, circus and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts and build on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad. The website for the festival, www.familyartsfestival.com, provides full details of over 1,000 events confirmed to be part of this family arts extravaganza.
The Family Arts Festival Awards will recognise organisations that have produced exceptional family experiences through their events in the festival. These awards will be voted for entirely by the public, with no submissions from the organisations themselves and no judging panel. Awards will be given in three categories to the top five organisations from across the UK in each category: Best Overall Family Welcome, Best Family Venue and Best Family Event.
The Family Arts Standards have been produced by the Family and Childcare Trust and the Family Arts Campaign, in consultation with families and arts organisations from across the UK. Launched 9th September 2013, arts organisations can sign up to the Standards and display the logo, indicating to families that they have pledged to meet and adhere to certain basic considerations for families experiencing the arts.
Kathryn McDowell CBE, Family Arts Campaign Chair and Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, said: “We’re delighted to present such an extensive and diverse programme at the first Family Arts Festival. We hope to engage families across the UK with the wealth of high quality programming which truly offers something for everyone. From the music lover, to the aspiring artist, the dancing queen or the budding thesp, people of all ages, backgrounds and interests will be able to find inspiring arts events near them. We’re counting on the families of the UK to recreate the Olympic spirit of participation and join in an event in their area.”
David Brownlee, Family Arts Campaign Director, said: “The Family Arts Festival will prove to be a fitting crescendo for the first 18 months of our work with arts organisations to make families more welcome. We’re delighted by the enthusiasm of the sector to improve what we offer and work together to make it easier for families to try new things together. Through our new Family Arts Standards and the first ever Family Arts Awards we will be shining a spotlight on excellent practice around the UK during and after this year’s Festival.”
The Family Arts Campaign and Family Arts Festival are initiatives of The Association of British Orchestras, The Theatrical Management Association, The Society of London Theatre, The Independent Theatre Council, The Visual Arts & Galleries Association and Dance UK, and are funded by Arts Council England.
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England commented: “We are very proud to support the Family Arts Festival and Family Arts Campaign. The festival has brought together a programme of events that are not only fun for the whole family, but also innovative, daring and really encourage participation in the arts.”
Visit www.familyartsfestival.com for full details of all confirmed events. See below for programme highlights by region.
Programme Highlights by Region
East of England
Classic adventure story Emil and the Detectives is adapted for the stage by Red Earth Theatre and mac Birmingham in a production that will delight children and adults alike as they follow a madcap pursuit through the streets of 1930s Berlin at The Garage, Norwich and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich. The New Wolsey Theatre will also host Centrally Heated Knickers, a new production performed by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, with songs, grooves and flights of musical fancy from The Homemade Orchestra, taking audiences on a voyage of discovery around the world.
Emil and the Detectives, The Garage, Norwich:
Emil and the Detectives, The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich:
Centrally Heated Knickers, The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich:
The Natural World Centre, Lincoln is inviting people to contribute to their ‘Growing’ Exhibition by bringing along photographs, memories and keepsakes representing their family throughout the generations, or themselves growing up. The Touring Consortium Theatre Company will present To Sir with Love at the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, an inspirational story of courage and hope that sees RSC actor and rising star Ansu Kabai portray Ricky Braithwaite, a Cambridge graduate and ex-RAF fighter learning what it is to be black in post-war London. Zest Theatre invites teens to Gatecrash at Lincoln Drill Hall, putting them right at the centre of an epic houseparty, using Silent Disco technology to listen in as the night unfolds. The Curve Theatre in Leicester will give families the chance to brush up their dance moves in a series of Bollywood Dance Workshops led by Nupur Arts.
‘Growing’ Exhibition, Natural World Centre, Lincoln:
To Sir with Love, Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham:
Gatecrash, Lincoln Drill Hall:
Bollywood Dance Workshops, The Curve Theatre, Leicester:
NI Opera and Wide Open Opera will present the first ever Irish tour of Gerald Barry’s new opera The Importance of Being Earnest. Based on Oscar Wilde’s much-loved comic play, this production is no ordinary opera, featuring orchestral parts for pistols, a duet sung through megaphones, and a climax of plate smashing. The opera will tour to the Grand Opera House, Belfast and the Millennium Forum, Derry / Londonderry. The Ulster Orchestra will reveal just how music can be used to evoke tension, excitement and atmosphere in workshops based around Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven at W5 at Odyssey, Belfast.
The Importance of Being Earnest, Millennium Forum, Derry / Londonderry:
The Importance of Being Earnest, Grand Opera House, Belfast:
Ulster Orchestra’s The Raven, W5 at Odyssey, Belfast:
Newcastle and Gateshead will be buzzing with family friendly activities, with Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, and a Gruffalo-themed Family Fun Day at Sage Gateshead, featuring music-making, story-telling, arts and crafts and much more. The Live Theatre, Newcastle will present the Girls’ Sketch Group, where families with older teens can experience new material by some of the most promising young female comedians.
Happy Halloween Pumpkin Carving, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, NewcastleGateshead:
Family Fun Day, Sage Gateshead:
Girls’ Sketch Group, The Live Theatre, Newcastle:
Budding artists should head along to Sheepish Shenanigans, a Big Draw event at the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, where they can sketch sheep from life in the courtyard, or create fluffy landscapes with wool. Aspiring musicians can become the Philharmonia Orchestra’s conductor for the day at Universe of Sound: The Planets at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank. The London Symphony Orchestra will also present a wealth of events for all the family, including Witches, a family concert at the Barbican where children can bring their instruments and play along.
Globe Education will present Muse of Fire, a story-based treasure hunt for intrepid families, who will meet strange and magical characters as they explore Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank. The adventure theme is carried on in east London by the Barbican, whose Big Barbican Adventure will encourage families to discover the secrets of this iconic London landmark through clue-solving, drawing and games. Sadler’s Well’s Theatre, Islington will play host to the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s family classic Sleeping Beauty. The Bloomsbury Festival will present a wealth of family fun, including dance, world music, singing and much more. Shoreditch’s Rich Mix will see Sita’s Story introduce children to one of the world’s greatest sagas, The Ramayana, using scarves, masks, dance and song.
Sheepish Shenanigans, Royal Academy, Piccadilly:
Universe of Sound: The Planets, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank:
London Symphony Orchestra Family Concert: Witches, The Barbican Centre:
Muse of Fire, Shakespeare’s Globe, South Bank:
The Big Barbican Adventure, The Barbican Centre:
Sleeping Beauty, Sadler’s Wells, Islington:
Bloomsbury Festival, Various Venues, Bloomsbury:
Sita’s Story, Rich Mix, Shoreditch:
Eden Court Theatre & Cinema, Inverness will welcome the world premiere of Dragon – a fusion of music, puppetry, and physical theatre that will take audiences on an extraordinary adventure. Dragon is the first co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland, Vox Motus and the Tianjin Children’s Arts Theatre. The Big Draw at the Palace of Holyroodhouse will see visitors delve deeper into this historic palace with a family audio guide and activity trail. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will bring to life family classic The Wizard of Oz at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, with their live performance of the original soundtrack as the film plays out on the big screen.
Dragon, Eden Court Theatre & Cinema, Inverness:
The Big Draw at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh: http://www.familyartsfestival.com/event/The_Big_Draw_at_the_Palace_of_Holyroodhouse/1125
The RSNO presents The Wizard of OZ, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall:
The Dance Touring Partnership will bring Out of the Shadow to Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, an extraordinary mix of breaking, popping and locking, contemporary dance, acrobatics and ballet by innovative Austrian dance company Nobulus. Out of the Shadow will tell a cautionary tale from the creation of the universe and evolution of man, right through to an imagined apocalyptic future. Arad Goch, Aberystwyth will host Ble Mae’r Dail yn Hedfan / Where the Leaves Blow, an interactive theatre performance and art workshop that will see audiences become part of the action.
Out of the Shadow, Sherman Cymru, Cardiff:
Ble Mae’r Daily n Hedfan / Where the Leaves Blow, Arad Goch, Aberystwyth: http://familyartsfestival.com/event/Ble_Mae%27r_Dail_yn_Hedfan_-_Where_The_Leaves_Blow_~_Art_Workshop/357
Albert Einstein: Relativity Speaking will celebrate the ideas, ideals and idiosyncrasies of this revolutionary scientist in a mix of music and comedy at The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford. Artist David Price will lead Easy Holidays – Draw!, a Big Draw workshop inspired by the beautiful landscape sketches by Turner, Constable and their contemporaries at the Turner Contemporary, Margate. Critically-acclaimed company Rhum and Clay will present A Strange Wild Song at The Theatre Royal, Margate, a darkly comic story about the friendship between three abandoned boys and a lost soldier during World War II. The Sea Show at the Canterbury Festival Spiegeltent will entertain families with its quirky and hilarious mix of puppetry and comedy cabaret. Comedy 4 Kids at the Oxford Playhouse will get the whole family laughing as the finest comedians on the circuit do what they do best, just without the rude bits.
Albert Einstein: Relativity Speaking, The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford:
Easy Holidays – Draw!, Turner Contemporary, Margate:
A Strange Wild Song, The Theatre Royal, Margate:
The Sea Show, Canterbury Festival Spiegeltent:
Comedy 4 Kids, Oxford Playhouse:
The internationally renowned Hallé Orchestra will present the world premiere of There’s a Rumble in the Jungle at Hallé St Peters, Manchester. Composed by the Hallé’s Education Director Steve Pickett, this concert will see Hallé musicians perform as never before, reciting poetry, acting, singing and dancing as well as playing their instruments. The audience can get involved with the body percussion ‘Jungle Riff’ and samba dance finale. Cbeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell will introduce her new picture book Snowflake at the Family Reading Day at Manchester Town Hall.
The Lowry in Salford will host The War of the Buttons, an energetic mix of puppetry, clowning, music, movement and sign language, taking audiences on a journey of imagination into a world drawn by a child. Theatre by the Lake in Keswick will give families an exclusive backstage tour where they can discover what happens behind the scenes to make sure the show goes on. The Palace Theatre, Manchester will host the first date of the UK tour of West End favourite Wicked, and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s All Aboard! will take youngsters on an epic adventure with music from The Titanic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thunderbirds, Thomas the Tank Engine and much more at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
There’s a Rumble in the Jungle, Hallé St Peters, Manchester:
Family Reading Day with Cbeebies Cerrie Burnell, Manchester Town Hall:
The War of the Buttons, The Lowry, Salford:
Backstage Tours, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick:
Wicked, The Palace Theatre, Manchester:
All Aboard!, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall:
We Are Family: Global Roots of Football, a boat tour and workshop hosted by the Arnolfini, Bristol will appeal to football fans, who can test out their artistic skills designing their own football kit or mascot with illustrator Rose Robbins, as well as learn about the international history of the beautiful game. The Egg Theatre, Bath will present !Toro! !Toro!, an adaptation of acclaimed children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s passionate and dramatic tale of growing up in the heat of war. West-End favourite Stomp will take its explosive rhythms and unique combination of theatre, dance, comedy and percussion to the Hall for Cornwall.
The Dance Touring Partnership will bring Out of the Shadow to Lighthouse, Poole, an extraordinary mix of breaking, popping and locking, contemporary dance, acrobatics and ballet by innovative Austrian dance company Nobulus. Out of the Shadow will tell a cautionary tale from the creation of the universe and evolution of man, right through to an imagined apocalyptic future.
We Are Family: Global Roots of Football, Arnolfini, Bristol:
!Toro! !Toro!, The Egg Theatre, Bath:
Stomp, Hall for Cornwall:
Out of the Shadow, Lighthouse, Poole:
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon will host Blown Away, a beautiful and engaging new piece of theatre for three to six year olds produced by Birdsnest Theatre in association with Royal & Derngate, Northampton. Visitors to mac Birmingham can make their mark on the wall of the Terrace Gallery by scraping and scoring their drawings into a ‘scratch-offable’ silver surface at Scratch, a Big Draw event. Internationally renowned circus company NoFit State will take Noodles, a surreal cooking show featuring aerialists, contortionists and magicians to Warwick Arts Centre. Yumm-A-Yukk-A-Boo continues the foodie theme with a taste odyssey through other countries’ foods with the help of music and dance, taking place at local libraries across Birmingham. Being Human at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry will see three performers’ present poems from around the world about what it is to be human.
Blown Away, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon:
Scratch, mac Birmingham:
Noodles, Warwick Arts Centre:
Yumm-A-Yukk-A-Boo, Various Venues, Birmingham:
Being Human, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry:
Yorkshire and the Humber
York Theatre Royal’s Blood + Chocolate will take audiences on a city-wide, multi-media performance adventure through the streets of York, telling the story of World War I York as events unfold in and around the city’s landmark buildings, with audiences listening in to the characters’ conversations via headphones in a surprisingly intimate way.
Opera North will perform Benjamin Britten’s witty and engaging operatic interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Leeds Grand Theatre. Edinburgh Fringe favourites the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre present In Space, a new show of songs, sketches and socks with a sci-fi theme at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds.
Blood + Chocolate, York Theatre Royal:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Leeds Grand Theatre:
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: In Space, Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds:
Notes to Editors
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The Family Arts Campaign
The Family Arts Campaign aims to support organisations in providing high-quality family events. It has been devised in consultation with over 1,000 arts professionals and 2,000 families. It is an initiative of The Association of British Orchestras, The Theatrical Management Association, The Society of London Theatre, The Independent Theatre Council, The Visual Arts & Galleries Association and Dance UK, and is funded by Arts Council England.
Family Arts Standards
The Family Arts Standards are designed to help families know what they should expect from an arts organisation that displays the Family Arts Standards logo. They cover the basic considerations for families visiting an arts experience, whether it's an art gallery, a play, a dance performance or anything else. We ask that across their work, organisations try to appeal to a wide range of family audiences. Not every show or activity held by the Standard Holder will be suitable for families, but organisations that sign up to the Family Arts Standards should provide clear information to enable audiences to decide what is/isn’t suitable for families with children and young people of different ages. The standards have been developed to be tested during the 2013 Family Arts Festival.
The Campaign for Drawing and The Big Draw
The Campaign for Drawing aims to get everyone drawing. It promotes drawing as a powerful tool for thinking, creating and communicating. The Campaign’s annual flagship, The Big Draw, proves that drawing can be a public activity as well as a private passion. Every year, The Big Draw season includes hundreds of drawing activities in schools, museums, galleries and heritage sites UK-wide, and now in 20 other countries. Launched in 2000, The Big Draw has encouraged an estimated million people back to the drawing board.
The original inspiration came from visionary Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin, whose mission was to teach people to see through drawing. The Campaign shows how drawing can support learning, and connect generations and cultures. 2013 is the first year of a two-year partnership between The Big Draw and the Family Arts Festival.
Mumsnet and Mumsnet Academy
Mumsnet, the UK’s biggest website for parents is the digital partner of the Family Arts Festival. Mumsnet is the UK’s largest network for parents, with over 50 million page views and over 9 million visits per month. It has 200 local sites, as well as a network of over 3,300 bloggers. It regularly campaigns on issues such as support for families of children with Special Educational Needs, improvements in miscarriage care and freedom of speech on the Internet.
Mumsnet Academy was established in May 2012 to bring together Mumsnet users offline by offering a series of thought-provoking masterclasses, workshops, courses and events. Users were asked what they wanted from the courses, and the programme is a reflection of their responses - creative writing, history and scholarship, entrepreneurship and social media to name a few. The courses have been run by some of the biggest names in the business including: Kate Mosse, David Nicholls, Mary Beard, Lynne Franks, and Alain de Botton. The Mumsnet Academy is now offering online courses too, including on Starting Your Own Business and Photography.