It's World Book Day - marked in over 100 countries and designated by UNESCO as a celebration of storytelling, writing and reading - HERE'S A GUIDE TO TORBAY'S Sharing Stories Festival ACROSS THREE MUSEUMS...
Note, due to the Bay's snow storm, most of the festival was postponed - some new dates are listed below!!
There's no doubt that the place we call home inspires people to put pen to paper. Authors of the past - Agatha Christie, Charles Kingsley, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling - all created notable works from their time in Torbay and our dramatic coastline remains irresistible to today's cohort of creative writing talent from Adam Neville to Kate Furnivall, Robert Garnham and Richard Dee (to name but a few of our personal favourites!).
Beyond the written word, Torbay seems to be experiencing a renaissance of spoken storytelling too. There's Sara Hurley with her Isabella Necessity Story Bike - popular with both kids and their grown-ups. The Hear and Now project from Sound Communities - local stories recorded by mostly young volunteers. Stories Live! from the team behind International Agatha Christie Festival - catch the first live event on the 23 March at the Palace Theatre! The vibrant poetry and spoken word scene at The Blue Walnut Cafe, Artizan Gallery and Brixham Theatre. And the new Fish Hawkers project from Encounters Arts seeks to fill the gaps in the history of Brixham through collecting and displaying the stories of the towns women.
The Sharing Stories Festival brings together many of these storytellers over 3-days at Torbay's three museums - Brixham Heritage Museum, Torre Abbey and Torquay Museum. Each museum will be hosting 3-days of events, tours, talks and presentations on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd March 2018. The Shorely has put together another handy guide to plan a day trip or to spend the whole weekend at the festival:
THURSDAY 1 MARCH
10.30 to 11.30am: The Archers with John Scotney
With 20 years experience at BBC Radio, John Scotney will give an insight into the world of producing the iconic BBC Radio show 'The Archers' - how do you create and sustain an everyday story of the Borsetshire folk?
12pm to 4pm: Hear & Now recordings
Sound Communities will be collecting stories from locals just like you. Give it a go and share a memory from your past in the Bay. Contact Sound Communities to book a time slot: email@example.com | 01803 84-982.
12.30 to 2pm: Books in the Bay
Meet Brixham Writing Group - featuring Linda Mitchelmore (novelist/short stories), Cate Frances (travel writer), Ian Carr (historical novelist), Michelle Heatley (novelist) and Kate Furnivall (historical novelist) - discover how they get ideas, research books and get them to a published standard.
2.30 to 3.30pm: Exploring Poetry with The Oxleys
Brixham based Patricia and William Oxley will talk about Patricia's experience of running a poetry magazine and anecdotes from William's book, 'On and Off Parnassus' with readings from his Collected Poems.
4 to 5pm: Writing and Publishing in the West Country
Over the past 35 years John Risdon has written about his beloved West Country from Dartmoor to the Dart estuary. His talk will account his experiences in writing and publishing
with discussion on the highs and lows of the reference book world.
11am to 12noon: A Wild Life and Wild Stories
Andrew Cooper is a broadcaster, presenter, writer and international award winning wildlife film-maker - travelling worldwide with the BBC Natural History Unit. Hear a fascinating insight into his life and career.
2 to 3pm: Owl Sense
Dr Miriam Darlington is an author, journalist, and teacher of English and Creative Writing at Plymouth University. Her latest book 'Owl Sense', is about the human relationship with owls and was Radio 4's Book of the Week in February. Listen to her experiences as a writer and the creative writing process.
7 to 8.30pm: Retrospective Poetry Evening
An evening of whimsical poetry, spoken word and performance inspired by the Museum's collections with local poets Ken Beevers, Jason Disley, Melanie Crump, Becky Nuttall and Robert Garnham.
FRIDAY 2 MARCH
11am to 4pm: Fish Hawkers Installation by Encounters Arts
An interactive story sharing installation based on inspirational Brixham women, as part of Encounters Arts 'Fish Hawkers' project.
1 to 3pm: Researching and Writing Local History
Join local historians - Samantha Little, Fiona Freer, Rolf Solderlind, Mike Holgate, John Tucker - as they discuss creative thoughts and processes in researching and writing about local stories.
10.30am to 1.30pm: Creative Writing Workshop
Join Storyteller Sara Hurley as she shares her passion and experience in developing narratives and considers how fact can collaborate with fiction, poetry and other forms of writing. This is a creative, exploratory session - finding inspiration in the museum and developing new writing and ideas. All levels are welcome.
1 to 2pm: Exploring Journeys Tour
Suitable for people with mild to moderate memory problems* - this tour discovers the ‘Lost City of Z’ exhibition - tracing the story of Torquay Explorer Percy Fawcett, his search for the lost city in the Amazon and the recent Hollywood movie. An illustrated information sheet is available to take home and carry on the conversation. Spaces are limited to 10 people to ensure the best possible experience. (*must be accompanied by a friend, relative or carer)
7 to 8pm: The Awkward Squad: Radical Torquay
Discover radicalism, rebellion, riot and counterculture in Torbay with stories from the 1800 and 1900s, plus modern day activism. Dr Kevin Dixon presents Torquay’s ordinary, and not-so-ordinary, residents and visitors.
SATURDAY 10 MARCH
10am - 5pm: Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed
A ground-breaking new exhibition opens today! Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed features cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors. This is the largest gathering of real objects and original tattoo artwork ever assembled in the UK featuring over 400 original artworks, photographs and historic artefacts. Each part of the exhibition - every tattoo, reveals a hidden history and personal story. Exhibition runs until 3 June 2018.
10.30 to 11.30am: Children's Poetry with Mic Brazil
Mic B is a raggedy rhymer, storyteller and purveyor of super natural verse. His poetry performances are wildly entertaining and fun for children and adults. Suitable for 4 years+
12 to 1pm: Meet the author: Karl Gale
Karl Gale retired to Brixham in 1997. From his home, the view overlooking the busy harbour of Brixham developed his interest in fishing boats. The adventures of the Little Fishing Boats of Brixham began to form in his mind! A storytelling event with a nautical theme, suitable for children aged 3 to 10 years.
2 to 3pm: Meet the author: Richard Dee
Richard Dee, a Brixham native, writes Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures. With 7 published novels and 2 collections of short stories, Richard is a well-loved author amongst young people. Richard will be reading a short excerpt from his book ‘Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café’ and talking about his new publication ‘Andorra Pett on Mars.
3.30 to 4.30pm: Cpt’n Blackheart and his magical adventures
Cpt’n Blackheart lives between his magical cave and his ship called the ‘Fire Dragon’ and with the help of some of his friends, goes off on many magical adventures both on land and out at sea. Bring the kids and listen to his wonderful stories.
10am to 12noon: What's the story?
Find out about Charlie Cook's favourite book, then make up your own stories using characters and props at the museum. Suitable for ages 3-12 years (parents must attend too).
12-3pm: Roald Dahl themed puppet-making workshop
Join Doorstep Arts with inspiration from Roald Dahl’s most loved characters. The workshop will be held for kids aged from 3-14 years (parents must attend too).
Find out more about the Sharing Stories Festival, swing by or book tickets - events are free, as part of museum entry prices, but some have limited capacity: http://www.torbaymuseums.com/