Claque Theatre

Claque Theatre / News / Mon 02 Apr 2012

Children's book festival brings new chapter to Hartfield

Children's book festival brings new chapter to Hartfield

Article taken from: This is Sussex

Three mums will bring a new chapter to Hartfield with the launch of the area's first children's book festival.

Storyfest is aimed at inspiring youngsters not only to read but to create their own stories in the historic setting where the classic Winnie-the-Pooh tales were born.

Emma Stillwell, 43, from Withyham; Sally Paynter, 42, from Hartfield; and Buff Baughan, 43, from Blackham, will present the two-day festival in the village on the weekend of May 12 and 13.

They hope the initiative, which will feature a number of well-known authors and run in conjunction with the Hartfield Community Play, will become an annual event.

Mrs Baughan said: "In Storyfest we are aiming to provide our avid bookworms with access to their favourite authors and illustrators, and also create a vital opportunity to hook in reluctant readers."

Headlining authors performing at the festival include Liz Pichon, winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011, and Ian Whybrow, famous for Harry And His Bucketful Of Dinosaurs.

Various workshops and storytelling sessions will run throughout the weekend, as well as a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, dressing up, a stage play, comic-strip workshops and more.

The Hartfield Community Play, which is organised by Claque Theatre, has received funding from the Arts Council and the Gatwick Airport Community Trust.

Claque Theatre company manager Liz Carter said: "With it being AA Milne country, we thought it was an ideal opportunity to build up the programme with a children's book festival.

"The idea is to encourage young people who might be a bit shy about reading or writing and to show them that books can be active and fun."

Organisers have announced the play will be called Parallel Lives and will be shown for 12 nights at St Mary's Church from June 25.

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