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Line-up for Big Malarkey Festival announced - 15/05/17
The line-up for Hull’s first children’s literature festival has been confirmed ahead of free tickets being released next week.

The Big Malarkey Festival will bring together writers, illustrators, cartoonists, performers, musicians and artists to a fantastical tented village for children inside East Park to celebrate children’s literature in all its forms and invite creativity through activities and workshops.

Taking place at the end of June, the festival is a week-long celebration of children’s literature for everyone aged 0 to 16 years to enjoy alongside their families and friends.

Made possible with funding from the James Reckitt Library Trust, Hull Culture and Leisure and Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the inaugural event will see an exciting, inspiring and diverse programme aimed at children and young people, their families and educationalists. Promoting many different art forms, from writing to illustration, drama, storytelling and music performance. Visitors can expect author readings, interviews, workshops and opportunities in writing development.

The artists and authors participating in this inaugural festival have been confirmed, with:

• Author talks from Jeremy Strong, A F Harrold, Steve Cole, Tanya Landman, Jamila Gavin, Nick Arnold, Akala, Julian Clary, David Roberts, Lydia Monks and Annabel Pitcher.
• Poetry with Rob Gee, Simon Punrucker, Adisa and Park Bench Poets
• Puppetry with Dark Horse Puppetry and Indigo Moon
• Performances/Storytelling from Discover Storytelling Centre, Just Soph, Mudpie Arts, Hekima, Broccolily, Settle Stories, Travelling Treasury and Karvan
• Movement/drama workshops with Ten Foot Dance Company, Dave Windass
• Illustration with Neill Cameron, Calvin Innes, Andy Sanders, Shoo Rayner, Hull School of Art and Design

Hull Culture and Leisure Library Service are establishing the new children’s literature festival with the intention it becomes an annual event in the Hull festival calendar.

The week-long festival has a programme for both schools and the public.

From Monday 26 to Friday 30 June, a schools programme will feature author talks and hands-on workshops in writing, play-making, illustration and 3D model-making/craft and digital art. Each day will have a different theme: Funny Bone, Cliffhanger, Jeopardy, and Myth and Magic.

The public programme will begin with ‘Teatime Tasters’, an after-school experience with readings, stories and workshops, taking place from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Each day will have a different focus and festival-goers will be able to meet an author, try their hand at different activities or enjoy a performance. The opening day Teatime Taster session will see the new Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate, due to be announced on 7 June, take part in a Q&A and book signing in The Big Malarkey Tent.

There will be no Teatime Taster on Wednesday 28 June as the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award, now in its 10th year, will bring together 400 children from Hull primary schools to choose the winning author from this year’s shortlist. This is a schools-only event, not open to the general public.

The main public programme will be a free ticketed event taking place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July between 10am and 5.30pm. It will feature drop-in workshops, author talks and book signings, performances and storytelling. Hull Carnival Arts will be there on Sunday to help children make costume/headdresses for the finale, a StoryBook Ball with a live band.

The festival will see all kinds of tents for all kinds of activities, especially designed and programmed for children, schools and families including:

• The Big Malarkey – a large tent for author talks and performances
• Digi Tent – with laptops, for digital illustration, creative writing, animation and anything else digital that we come up with!
• Make it, take it – for 2D and 3D making activity
• Live and Kicking – for smaller performances, talks and workshops
• Little Larkeys – Under Fives’ area
• Other assorted elements: Waterstones bookshop, theatre and storytelling caravans, shadow puppetry and walkabouts

Scrapstore, Hull’s play resource centre, is dressing the festival with tantalizing features such as a puppet booth, wacky furniture including a bed with a steering wheel and a poetical piano which has books as its keys.

In the weeks prior to the festival, children are invited to take part in a puppet workshop being run by Oddsocks, one of the UK’s best-loved theatre companies, to make a sock puppet to take to the festival. The first workshop will take place on 10 May at 6pm in Central Library.

The festival is free but will be ticketed for Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July. The weekday Teatime Tasters will not require tickets. Tickets will be bookable via the Hull 2017 website from 16 May. Further details about the festival can be found online at Hull Libraries staff will be able to assist customers who are unable to book tickets online.

The Big Malarkey Festival is a family festival with all activities designed to be enjoyed by children accompanied by an adult. Unaccompanied children and adults attending without children will not be permitted to enter the festival.

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