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Richmond Theatre to stage programme of events for the UK wide Family Arts Festival this Autumn.

Posted: 19 June 2013
Richmond Theatre to stage programme of events for the UK wide Family Arts Festival this Autumn.

Today sees the launch of the first ever Family Arts Festival, happening this autumn, from 18 October to 3 November, at arts venues across the country. Richmond Theatre will be joining leading arts venues and institutions programming events to entertain family audiences.

The Family Arts Festival will be the first UK-wide festival including theatre, dance, music and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts and building on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad.

As part of the festival, Richmond Theatre is holding a series of Shakespearean themed tours and workshops, all of which are free to take part in, with activities for the whole family to enjoy. From a Macbeth Madness Family Tour, to a Midsummer Mayhem! Drama Workshop, there really is something for everyone. For a full list of events happening at Richmond Theatre as part of the Festival, see below.

The website for the Family Arts Festival has launched today with full details of over 400 events taking place at venues across the UK already confirmed to be part of the Family Festival celebrations. Further shows, concerts, workshops and open days will be added over the summer with more than 1,000 events expected to make up the UK-wide family arts extravaganza by the time the Festival starts on 18 October.

The Family Arts Festival has been introduced following extensive research undertaken by the Family Arts Campaign which revealed that 55% of families believe there is a need for focus on family friendly activities at a specific time of year; however only 28% of families think there are enough high quality activities for families, and 35% of families do not find it easy to find out about appropriate activities. The research also highlighted that half of all families think there is a need to create work for older and young people to enjoy together and 79% of families agree that there is a need for a family friendly badge to recognise an agreed standard. The Family Arts Campaign and Festival are initiatives of The Association of British Orchestras, The Theatrical Management Association, The Society of London Theatre, the Independent Theatre Council, the Visual Arts & Galleries Association and Dance UK, and are funded by Arts Council England.

Nicola Ward, Richmond Theatre’s Creative Learning Manager said: 'We’re so pleased to be able to participate in the first ever Family Arts Festival alongside so many other leading arts venues. By offering a range of activities that are suitable for everyone to take part in, we hope to encourage more people to think of Richmond Theatre as a venue where they can spend time with their families - and not just parents and children, but grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles... These events are a great opportunity for the whole family to come together, have fun and develop their creativity. Our door is always open for families and hopefully this Festival will showcase that.'

Kathryn McDowell, Family Arts Board Chair and Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, said: 'The research undertaken by the Family Arts Campaign shows a clear desire from the public for a festival that brings together imaginative arts initiatives programmed for the enjoyment of people across the generations. We’re delighted by the response of the sector to this campaign and to have 200 of the UK’s arts venues, both great and small, programming work for this Festival shows the arts sector wants to build on the audience development opportunities London 2012 presented us.

'The Family Arts Festival will be a fantastic programme of events for families taking place the length and breadth of the UK in our leading arts venues. By launching the Family Arts Festival website today we are providing an online resource for families to find great events happening near them that will be suitable for their families.'

Leaders from arts venues, institutions and organisations from across the UK attended a Family Arts Conference in April where they were asked by Festival organisers to break down barriers to participation for families.

David Brownlee, Family Arts Campaign Director, said: ‘When we asked arts organisations to put on events that would be attractive to family members of all ages, we also stressed the need to look again at how welcoming they are to families. I’m thrilled that all our partners have responded with such a fantastic programme and we are now working with a range of performing and visual arts organisations from up and down the land to set new standards in putting families at the centre of our work.  This autumn we will also be launching the Family Arts Festival Awards where audiences and participants can vote for their best experiences.’

The Campaign and Festival have been made possible by a major Lottery grant from Arts Council England. Chief Executive Alan Davey commented: ‘The arts offer a space for people of all ages to spend time together, to have fun, to learn new things about each other as well as the world around them, and to build a stronger sense of community. This is why our investment in the Family Arts Campaign is so important in not only encouraging families to access the vast array of exciting arts events that take place up and down the country, but also to help arts organisations improve and build upon their offer to families.’


Listings details for Family Arts Festival Events happening at Richmond Theatre:

Saturday 19 October

Macbeth Madness Family Tour: 11am – 12pm, for families with children aged 5+

While touring backstage find out about ghostly and mysterious goings on in the theatre. Inspired by our Shakespearean theme, families will also get the chance to stand on the Richmond Theatre stage to compete to see who has the loudest stage actor voice! A fun, interactive tour that all the family will enjoy!

Crazy Confusions! Drama Workshop: 11.15 am – 12.15 pm, for families with children aged 5+

Inspired by the Reduced Shakespeare Company who are performing at Richmond Theatre, rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” all in one hour! A light- hearted workshop where the kids will have fun and the adults will keep fit!

Fabulous Family Duels Fun and Games: 1.30 – 3.00 pm, for all the family

Gather your family and do battle with other families using drama, word play and brain power as your only weapons! Games will include Sebastian’s Sandals, Cleopatra’s Courageous Charades and a round of Banquo Bingo. Will you know your Helena’s from your Hermia’s?


Saturday 26 October

Miranda’s Musical Moments Workshop : 11.00 am – 12.00 pm, for families with children aged 5+

Join Miranda (Ferdinand may be around too) for a session of drama, music and movement based around Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. A fun, no pressure workshop where the adults will be cast away to sea and the children are definitely the heroes!

Arty Titania’s Got Talent  Workshop: 12.15 pm – 1.30 pm, for families with children aged 5+

Titania needs help to create the theatre of her dreams. She needs recruits to help make both her theatre and actors so she will win over the judging panel. Help her by creating your own puppet and then make the theatre for it to perform in then invite the judging panel to make their decision. A highly entertaining making and creating workshop which is a definite “yes” from us!

Carry On Shakespeare! Comedy Workshop: 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm, for families with children aged 7+

Impress all your friends whether you are 7, 70 or beyond by exploring how to make people giggle, titter and chuckle! Starting with Laughter Yoga, we will then explore Physical Theatre and Clowning techniques to create a mass of side splitting hilarity! A fun workshop for adults and children alike which will promise to leave you on an energy high!


Tuesday 29 October

Shakespeare’s Arty Royal People: 10.15 am -11.15 am, for families with children aged 3+

Create a regally royal person as you draw, colour, cut, stick and have lots of creative fun! An arts and craft workshop where all royalty are cordially invited to accompany participant home!

 Midsummer Mayhem! Drama Workshop: 12.15 am – 1.15 pm, for families with children aged 5+

Inspired by the Reduced Shakespeare Company who are performing at Richmond Theatre, rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” all in one hour! A lively, upbeat workshop where the kids will have fun and the adults will keep fit!


Thursday 31 October

Shakespeare’s Arty Spooky Halloween People: 10.15 am -11.15 am, for families with children aged 3+

Create a spooky friend as you draw, colour, cut, stick and have lots of creative fun! An arts and craft workshop where Halloween fancy dress is optional but actively encouraged!

Ghostly Goings On...Drama Workshop: 11.15 am – 12.15 pm, for families with children aged 5+

Inspired by the Reduced Shakespeare Company who are performing at Richmond Theatre, rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” all in one hour! Come and celebrate Halloween and have lots of theatrical fun!


Saturday 2 November

Talented Thespian Family Tour : 11.00 am – 12.00 pm, for families with children aged 5+

While touring backstage find out about the life of an actor and amusing theatre stories. Inspired by our Shakespearean theme, families will also get the chance to stand on the Richmond Theatre stage to compete to see who has the loudest stage actor voice! A fun, interactive tour that all the family will enjoy!

Tremendous Tempests! Drama Workshop: 12.15 am – 1.15 pm, for families with children aged 5+

Inspired by the Reduced Shakespeare Company who are performing at Richmond Theatre, rehearse and perform Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” all in one hour! A lively, upbeat workshop where the kids will have fun and the adults will keep fit!

Fabulous Family Duels Fun and Games: 1.30 – 3.00 pm, for all the family

Gather your family and do battle with other families using drama, word play and brain power as your only weapons! Games will include Sebastian’s Sandals, Cleopatra’s Courageous Charades with a round of Banquo Bingo. Will you know your Helena’s from your Hermia’s?

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