Families will be well catered for in Chester this February half term as WayWord Festival is set to return for its 2nd year. Produced by Chester Performs, the festival will take place at Chester Town Hall and in the region’s libraries from February 14th – 21st.
In addition to a host of children’s and young adults’ authors talking about their latest books and inspirations, the festival will also be offering a raft of diverse events and activities from maths, astronomy, and coding to beatboxing, stand-up comedy and TV writing.
Paul Lavin, Festival Manager at Chester Performs said ‘We’re delighted to be welcoming so many exciting speakers to this year’s WayWord Festival. With free activities across the area’s libraries complementing the festival’s other events, we’ll be helping more families than ever to tackle their half-term blues. As well as lots of well-known authors there is plenty more for people to get their teeth into. If you want to be a gaming expert, a TV writer, a stand-up comedian, a coding wizard, a ghost story writer, a maths genius, an expert stargazer or an illustrator, then there is something for you at the WayWord Festival this year. We’re really grateful to our supporters, especially Cheshire West and Cheshire, Arts Council England and The Philip Barker Trust who make it possible for us to offer this exciting programme to everyone throughout the region’.
The Wayword Festival opens on Saturday 14th February with iconic comic-book character Dennis the Menace when Stephen Butler, author of The Diary of Dennis the Menace, will explain how to create mayhem and award winning Nicholas Allan will also be here talking about his well-loved classic The Queen’s Knickers. Plus one of the country’s most popular children’s writers Nick Butterworth (Percy The Park Keeper) will talk about Q Pootle 5, the hero of his latest books that also feature on Cbeebies featuring the voice talent of Joanna Page.
On Tuesday 17th February author and illustrator Jonny Duddle, recently commissioned to design new covers for the Harry Potter series, will discuss his own latest book The Jolley Rogers And the Ghostly Galleon. Duddle’s work has also been seen on the big screen, in Aardman’s hit, The Pirates! featuring Hugh Grant and David Tennant.
Writers and directors from CBBC make appearances during the festival, including Chris Tichborne, director of hit animation series Strange Hill High and a new version of The Clangers (Sunday 15th February) and Emma Reeves, writer on The Dumping Ground and creator of brand new hit series Eve (Tuesday 17th February).
On Wednesday 18th February astronomer and broadcaster Mark Thompson from the BBC’s Stargazing Live, will discuss his new book Stargazing and on Sunday 15th February
Alex Wiltshire, author of the Minecraft encyclopaedia, Blockopedia, will be sharing Minecraft secrets, and also later on that day will reveal how to get ahead in a career in gaming.
There are plenty of chances to get involved at the WayWord Festival by coming to a series of workshops including an opportunity to build a computer with Kano Computers on Tuesday 17th February, a stand-up comedy workshop on Friday 20th, and writing workshops on how to create a Ghost Story and how to pen ‘fact into fiction.’ Vocal pyrotechnics are scheduled on Wednesday 18th with Shlomo, an international beatboxer whose career has seen him work with Bjork, Damon Albarn and Jarvis Cocker.
New for 2015, the festival has an illustrator-in-residence, Daisy Hirst, author of The Girl With The Parrot On Her Head – Hirst will also run workshops about building a cardboard box den and drawing animals.
The festival programme also boasts a series of FREE drop-in activities all week long, both at the Town Hall and, in a new departure, also in the region’s libraries. Chester, Upton, Ellesmere Port, Winsford and Northwich libraries will all be hosting themed days of crafting and activities including Space Invaders, Giants Wizards and Elves and Animal Magic.
Tickets went on sale on Friday 16th January and start from just £5 . Plus, as with all Chester Performs events, under 12s go free. View the full programme and book online at wayword.co.uk