Swaledale Festival 2018

Written by: Elmtree Press

This year Swaledale Festival has programmed a series of exceptional events designed specifically for children and adults to enjoy together, all taking place in the summer half term holiday (starting Mon 28 May).


PuppetCraft - The Tin Forest
Monday 28 May, 12:00 to 13:00 - Reeth Memorial Hall

A humorous and touching puppet show with mechanical birds, a wind-up circus, exotic animals and live music - for everyone, all the way down to 3 year-olds. The show has no words, but has a sound-scape of live music played on hurdy-gurdy, dulcimer, harp, music box and piles of rubbish.

An old man who lives in a dreary junkyard dreams that one day his world will be full of life, colour and sound. His wish is about to come true…

It is a privilege to welcome Devon-based PuppetCraft back to Swaledale Festival after a couple of years off. Puppet maker John Roberts is an absolute legend in the world of puppets and his company is amongst the finest in the world.

This show is ideal for families, and for children aged 6+ with tickets to the show we offer a limited number of free places in the preceding workshop which runs from 10:00 to 11:30 in the same venue. Workshop participants will create pictures from discarded materials which they can take home afterwards. They will also have the opportunity to play in a small orchestra of junk instruments at the start of the performance.

Advance booking is essential for the performance and the workshop.

“Beautiful… A truly magical show, full of enchantment, ingenious craftsmanship and marvellous ideas… Inspiring.” - Audience members

The Young’uns Folk Singing Workshop
Friday 1 June, 11:00 to 12:30 - St. Andrew’s Church, Grinton

The extraordinary vocal and instrumental trio from Stockton-on-Tees has taken the folk world by storm - winning ‘Best Group’ in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2015 and 2016. This puts the trio in rarified company - Lau is the only other group to have collected this top award in two consecutive years.

The Young’uns concert in Grinton is, of course, eagerly awaited, but we are especially pleased that they have agreed to conduct a workshop in the church in the morning.

No qualifications are required for taking part in the relaxed workshop session: the group’s camaraderie is infectious!

Slot Machine Theatre: The Boy, the Piano & the Beach
Saturday 2 June, 14:00 to 15:00 - Influence Church, Richmond

This new one-hour show is designed for children and their families to enjoy together. It has been commissioned by Brighton Festival and Swaledale is the second stop on what is hoped will be an extensive national tour.

The adventurous, high-energy show is designed to be enjoyed in a relaxed, un-stuffy setting - perfect as an introduction to ‘classical’ music, helping to make it accessible and fun.

The charming story is told in puppetry, dance and projections with a world-class young pianist, Edward Liddall, performing beautiful music by Bach, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Bartok, John Adams, Philip Glass, Amy Beach and Florence Price - on a top-of-the-range Steinway concert grand piano.

Slot Machine Theatre has been making exceptional work for over 20 years - shows that are magical, funny and extraordinarily creative, but not impossibly obscure.

“…makes you dizzy with its non-stop invention” - The Guardian