First Ripon Festival offers fun for all

Ripon is gearing up for its first Theatre Festival – four days of events and activities to brighten the city.

With over 40 events from more than 20 professional acts supported by community performers, organisers say it is a packed programme and a logistical challenge.

“A team of volunteers met on Monday night to get prepared for Festival Saturday which is the focus for the street theatre, walkabout acts and open air family theatre,” said a Festival spokesman.

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“Sponsors MKM Ripon supplied hi-vis waistcoats for the team (pictured) and Wolseley has put together a Walkabout Squad of a dozen volunteers to support the acts on the move around the Festival Zones – Market Place, Canal Basin and Ripon Spa Gardens.”

The running order for each zone are now published and feature The Comedy Waiters, The Green Finger Folk, the Million Dollar Mermaids and The Flying Wheelnuts among many others.

Saturday also sees four family theatre performances, each lasting 20-55 minutes in various locations.

“Children of all ages will enjoy Winnie and Warwick’s Magical Menagerie (Strange Twig Theatre), Tales from the Great Wood (Badapple Theatre), Flotsam and Jetsam and The Fisher and his Wife (both Lempen Puppet Theatre),” added the spokesman.

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“Plus there’s pop-up events in The Little Ripon Bookshop, at the Library and at the Curzon cinema – storytelling, puppetry, drama and hands-on activities.”

The Festival kicks off on Thursday (June 23), with morning, afternoon and evening shows.

Opening night sees Fell-Foss Theatre Company’s Crusoe’s Island – one man’s story of shipwreck, solitude and salvation.

Other festival highlights include Red Ladder Theatre Company with their acclaimed production of The Damned United, the comic Holmes and Watson – The Farewell Tour and Illyria Theatre Company’s A Midsummer Nights Dream at Fountains Abbey.

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“Ripon Theatre Festival is organised by a team of volunteers from the Ripon City Festival Trust, driven by the aim of brightening Ripon with professional and community performances and celebrating the unique city with four days of fun,” added the spokesman.

For more details on the festival, June 23-26, go to:

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