Award-winning poet Joseph Coelho launched the Big Imaginations Festival at Just So… with an exclusive poem performed to a handful of children and their families. (Click here to watch the performance)
Theatre is a Rhythm Walking Child was written exclusively by the poet for the Big Imaginations Festival and references the far-reaching venues hosting the 100+ performances across the region including Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside.
Poet, author and theatre-maker Joseph Coelho, known to many as Poetry Joe has toured several children’s theatre shows such as The Poetry Joe Show and Pop-Up Flashback and regularly travels the country giving workshops to school children. He will be enchanting children with poetry as part of the Big Imaginations Festival this Autumn, with two performances designed for children of different ages, Grannylocks/The Monstrous Duckling is aimed especially for children aged 3+ whilst Zombie-rella/Blood Red Hood is aimed at children aged 6+. Both performances use Joseph’s unique storytelling style to unwind the true stories behind the happily-ever-afters which are maybe not as charming as you remember.
The Big Imaginations Festival takes place from the 19 October – 5 November at 26 venues across the North West and Yorkshire: from Liverpool’s Royal Philharmonic Hall to libraries, village halls and regional theatres. Spread across the key regions Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, children and families are invited to choose from 9 performances and experience the wonderful magic of children’s theatre.
The festival is the only one of its kind to take place across the whole of the North West. The last festival in 2013 attracted national interest, with CBeebies’ star Ben Faulks (Mr Bloom’s Nursery) and CBBC actress Victoria Cook (DNN, Wave) launching the festival at Media City. This year English radio and television presenter Anita Rani has partnered with Big Imaginations to help increase the diversity of theatre. Anita commented:
“I grew up in Bradford and early theatre opportunities allowed me to see that a journey and career in the arts is possible for young people like me. Big Imaginations and lead partner Z-arts are committed to investing in the voice of diverse artists; paving the way for the best work for young people to truly reflect our society and beyond.”
Immerse yourself in the best in children’s theatre from around the world. Bhuchar Boulevard, in association with Polka Theatre and Big Imaginations, will perform Child of the Divide, a poignant and compelling story of friendship, belonging, love and loss that takes place just after the Partition of India in newly-formed Pakistan.
For dance lovers, Darren Pritchard’s Body of Light weaves its magic through dance, presenting a seamless landscape of flowing images, where graphics bend effortlessly around the arcs of a live dancer, using Kinect technology.
Action Transport Theatre will perform their critically-acclaimed fairy tale Happily Ever After – a story about a Prince who isn’t impressed with any of the princesses his mother wants him to marry, until one day a princess arrives accompanied by her brother…
There’s something for tinier tots too! Little Angel Theatre mix puppetry, live music and song in Handa’s Surprise, a vibrant story of a little girl in Kenya taking different fruits past a few mischievous animals to surprise her best friend. Come and share in the magical tangerine surprise!
Award-winning clarinettist Arun Ghosh brings his exciting energy and original music to the Big Imaginations Festival with Big Imaginations Jazz Club, a specially created performance for young audiences.
Tales of Birbal by Mashi Theatre takes audiences on journeys around the world, using puppetry and humour to share the glorious richness and zest of traditional fables that have been loved across the Indian sub-continent for generations.
Last (but certainly not least) Adriano Adewale’s Catapluf’s Musical Journey will carry audiences on the wings of harmony and rhythm across the globe, creating a wonderful adventure where, in the hands of a team of talented musicians, everything is an instrument, from saxophones to saucepans!
The Big Imaginations Festival is the result of a year-round programme of children’s theatre in venues across the North West. Established in 2012, the network of venues has reached thousands of children and their families, inspiring them with the wonder of children’s theatre.
Liz O’Neill, CEO and Artistic Director of Z-arts – who lead the Big Imaginations network – says: “We’re incredibly excited to work with such inspiring artists and performers. The Big Imaginations Festival 2017 is going to be an unforgettable celebration of the best in theatre for children and families and we can’t wait to share it with audiences from the North West and beyond.”