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Pop Up Festival brings books & stories spectacularly to life through a packed programme of imaginative events, activities & art-works created especially for Pop Up by writers, illustrators, poets & storytellers. This free, world-class event for children of all ages will be popping-up in Shropshire, Essex & London. See below for full details.

Have a look at our album with pictures from the first Pop Up Festival of Stories, 19 April 2014, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire here, pictures of the second Festival, 3 May 2014, Purfleet, Essex are here.

Pop Up festival 2014 programme & poster

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2012 Pop Up Festival

In our new site of Granary Square, King’s Cross the second festival drew 6,500 visitors to a total 90 hours of free arts experiences. Highlights included: Laura Dockrill’s Dahl’s Dazzling Dreams, featuring hilarious performances by characters from Roald Dahl’s books; James Mayhew co-creating a gallery of famous paintings with hundreds of children; Candy Gourlay’s Filipino-themed Fiesta! involving a local children’s brass band, game shows, and bamboo dancers; Marcus Sedgwick’s performance inspired by his best-selling vampire novel, My Swordhand is Singing; Sarah McIntyre’s comic convention, with ‘drawing duels’ between brilliant comics artists; Nii Parkes’s invigorating mixed-bill of song and dance, storytelling and illustration; Hervé Tullet’s collaboration with local children and parents to install play-sculptures across the festival site; and Society for Storytelling’s packed programme of world story-telling. Authors Francesca Simon, Adam Stower, Sita Brahmachari, Sarwat Chadda and Rod Campbell of Dear Zoo entertained in The Guardian Bookshop.

Candy Gourlay – novelist and film-maker – curated a Filipino-themed ‘Fiesta’ featuring a local children’s brass band, children’s authors in game shows, and – as a finale – a troupe of bamboo dancers. Explore her website here.

Candy Gourlay

Hervé Tullet – leading French artist and illustrator – collaborated with local children and parents, and fine art students from Central Saint Martin’s, to create a series of play-sculptures across the festival site. Explore his website here.

Hervé Tullet

James Mayhew – illustrator and author of the famous Katie picture books – invited hundreds of children to create a gallery of famous Monet, Van Gogh, Turner and Mondrian paintings throughout the day in his ‘Pop Up Picture Pavilion’. Explore James’s website here.

James Mayhew

Laura Dockrill – performance poet and children’s author – designed a ‘Roald Dahl Experience’ featuring hilarious performances by characters from Dahl’s books, original songs and dance music. Explore Laura’s website here.

Laura Dockrill

Marcus Sedgwick – acclaimed novelist – recreated parts of his best-selling vampire novel, My Swordhand is Singing, as a site-specific performance featuring a cast of actors, singers and shadow puppetry. Explore his website here.

Marcus Sedgwick

Nii Parkes – poet and author – curated a mixed-bill of song and dance, storytelling and live illustration with a host of dazzling artists, their performances all linked by the motif of ‘the circle’. Explore his website here.

Nii Parkes

Sarah McIntyre – comics creator and children’s illustrator – presented a children’s comic convention where children learned how to make their own comics, featuring a series of ‘drawing duels’ between some of the best contemporary comics artists in London. Find Sarah’s website here.

Sarah McIntyre

Society for Storytelling – our first curating organisation – presented a jam-packed programme of world story-telling. Explore their website here.

Society for Storytelling
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2011 Pop Up Festival

 

Our first ever free festival attracted 5,000 visitors to historic Coram’s Fields, The Brunswick Centre and Curzon Renoir in Bloomsbury. Highlights included: Mice Up Da Place with Rastamouse creators Michael De Souza and Genevieve Webster; Axel Scheffler’s live drawing show; Philip Ardagh’s House of Illusions, a phantasmagorical Victorian world of magical mystery and illusion; Catherine Johnson’s Nest of Vipers, an 18th century tavern serving stories to customers; Geraldine McCaughrean’s troupe of actors creating brand new myths;  Karin Littlewood and friends enchanting audiences in Immi’s Igloo; a Moomin Tea Party with guests Peter Rabbit and Spot the Dog; and Michael Rosen and the Homemade Orchestra performing a fantastical feast of music and poetry to end the festival.

Catherine Johnson – novelist and screenplay writer – recreated an 18th century tavern from her book The Nest of Vipers, where her troupe of story-tellers told stories – and lies! – throughout the day. Explore Catherine’s website here.

Catherine Johnson

Geraldine McCaughrean Carnegie Medal-winning author of Peter Pan in Scarlet accompanied by actors, scenery and sound effects, created a performed story over five hours, inviting the audience to contribute to the narrative throughout. Explore Geraldine’s website here.

Geraldine McCaughrean

Joelle Taylor – poet and director of SLAMbassadors UK at the Poetry Society – staged a live line-up featuring dozens of emerging, established and outstanding poetry, spoken word, beatbox and rap artists over two festival sites. Explore the SLAMbassadors’ website here.

Joelle Taylor

Karin Littlewood – illustrator and author – transformed the world of her picture book Immi into a giant igloo where Immi came to life, and where dancers from The Place, storytellers and illustrators delivered performances, music and art-making activities. Explore Karin’s website here.

Karin Littlewood

Michael De Souza & Genevieve Webster co-creators of Rastamouse – entertained hundreds of children with their unique Jamaican-patois storytelling style, then – with a steel band and carnival artists – developed a themed carnival event involving the children. Explore the Rastamouse website here.

Michael De Souza & Genevieve Webster

Michael Rosen – prolific poet, author and former Children’s Laureate – created a mixed bill of art, magic, performance and music, and featured adaptations of his poems performed with jazz band The Homemade Orchestra. Explore Michael’s website here.

Michael Rosen

Philip Ardagh – Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning author – created a ‘House of Illusions’ incorporating an upside-down Victorian living room, children’s authors, puppetry, magicians and mime artists. Explore Philip’s website here.

Philip Ardagh

Vayu Naidu storyteller – worked with local Somali Women’s Speakers Group to create a series of stories informed by their culture, which members of the Vayu Naidu Company performed throughout the day. Find their YouTube channel here.

Vayu Naidu
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Supported by

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  • King's-cross
  • European-Diversity-awards