Get Creative Family Arts Festival

Z-arts leads the way in family entertainment for Manchester in October 2015

Z-arts will be delighting audiences across Manchester by bringing stories to life on stage, as part of the Family Arts Festival and BBC Get Creative

Participating in the arts as a family can be every bit as productive as spending regular meal times together. This Autumn families of all shapes and sizes from across the nation can get involved with a huge range of arts experiences on offer, many of which are free, as part of the Get Creative Family Arts Festival.

Z-arts, Manchester’s venue for children and families are carving the way for family audiences for the Get Creative Family Arts Festival. The Festival runs from 9 October to 1 November and showcases the quality, depth and diversity of talent in the UK arts scene through shows and events designed specifically with family enjoyment in mind.

The Get Creative Family Arts Festival is a national festival of family arts events presented by a range of organisations across the UK. Since 2013, the annual festival has so far entertained tens of thousands of families across the UK with its ambitious and diverse programme, with over 1,000,000 family members participating so far.

The 2015 Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever; not only has this year’s Festival been extended, now taking place over 24 days from 9 October – 1 November, but for 2015 the festival organisers have joined forces with BBC Arts Get Creative to become the Get Creative Family Arts Festival. Supported through public funding, the Festival aims to develop the range of arts events and activities available to families – the quality as well as the overall experience.

Z-arts are coordinating the Manchester Family Arts Network, which includes partner venues from across the city. There will be a jam-packed programme of events across the venues in Manchester with all generations’ welcome, with Z-arts programming a number of activities specifically created for non-traditional families.

Z-arts, will host four world-class performances over four weekends, as the lead organisation for the Family Arts Network in Manchester. First on the festival line-up at Z-arts is Flyaway Katie (Saturday 10 October) an inspiring flight of fancy about the power of imagination, based on the popular book by Polly Dunbar and presented as part of Manchester Literature Festival. Imagination is brought to life all the way from South Africa with Tree (Saturday 17 October) from the hotly anticipated Magnet Theatre. The traditional African story starts when a hungry child, who wishes to eat a peach plants a seed in the ground, the story unfolds when four actors let us in on secrets about day and night, the seasons and the animals.

Continuing the nature theme is Bear & Butterfly (Wednesday 28 October), a charming tale about a bright green caterpillar with puppetry, live music and storytelling. The festival continues with the arrival of The Possible Impossible House (Saturday 31 October) by the critically acclaimed Forced Entertainment in their first ever show for young audiences. Described by The Guardian as “Classic Forced Entertainment…messy, a little bit mad and strangely enchanting’, the story follows a girl who springs to life from the pages of an algebra book. For those tiny spectators 16 Singers (Sunday 1 November) blends breath, rhythm and song with movement and dance to create a beautifully crafted performance, drawing the Family Arts Festival draws to a close.

For further information, images, or for interview / press review ticket requests, please contact Laura Stevens at or 0161 226 1912.


Follow the Festival online #mcrfamilyfun @MCRFamilyArts

“Free events, world-class performances and hands-on activities – all part of the Get Creative Family Arts Festival at Z-arts and across the city, in partnership with the BBC.” Read the full article in Creative Tourist here

Z-arts – Z-arts is Manchester’s only dedicated venue for children and family theatre and the leading partner in Big Imaginations, a consortium of North West venues and promoters bringing world class family theatre to the region. Z-arts’ mission is to inspire young people through all forms of art and help them begin their creative journey.

Family Arts Festival – Z-arts Listings Information

Flyaway Katie

Sat 10 Oct, 11am & 2.30pm, £8/£6

Flyaway Katie is an inspiring flight of fancy about the power of imagination based on the popular children’s book by Polly Dunbar. Katie wishes she could feel less grey and lonely.


Sat 17 Oct, 11am & 2.30pm, £8/£6

All the way from South Africa, Tree tells the story of a hungry man who wants to eat a peach. The 30-minute narrative starts when a hungry child, who wishes to eat a peach, plants a seed in the ground.

Bear & Butterfly

Wed 28 Oct, 11am & 2.30pm, £8/£6

Theatre Hullabaloo and Theatre by the Lake present Bear & Butterfly. Written by Annie McCourt, based on an original story by Gordon Poad. Puppetry, live music and beautiful storytelling combine in this charming tale about love, loss and friendship.

The Possible Impossible House

Sat 31 Oct, 2.30pm £8/£6

An enthralling adventure from Britain’s greatest theatrical mischief-makers. In the library of The Possible Impossible House, a doodle of a girl springs from the blank page of an algebra book. She’ll take you on a night-time adventure around labyrinthine corridors, a deserted ballroom and a cupboard under the stairs, encountering a motley crew of characters.

16 Singers

Sunday 1 November, 10.30am, 12pm & 2.30pm, £8/£6

16 Singers is a special experience. Created by Katherine Morley for babies aged 0 – 18 months and their grownups, it cleverly captures the attention of tiny spectators using breath, rhythms and song, and by blending movement patterns and dance with an intricate, moving set. With its very young audience at its heart, 16 Singers is a rare opportunity to share a beautifully crafted performance with your baby.

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