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Giant whale heading to Shepton for All the World’s Our Playground Festival

SHEPTON Mallet is gearing up to become a playground for a weekend.

The town will host the All the World’s Our Playground Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14.

Organisers of the event – now in its fifth year – are promising “something for everyone” at the event, with attractions ranging from a 50m life-sized sperm whale (with theatre shows inside), to pop-up swing dance workshops and walkabout scenes from the movies.

Programmed entirely by young people, the festival features 26 artists and 21 performances across Shepton Mallet town centre, Collett Park, and at venues including The Art Bank, Shepton Mallet Library and St Paul’s Junior School.

Louise Lappin-Cook, director of organiser Make the Sunshine, said: “We are hugely excited about this year’s festival, which is set to be our biggest yet.

“We have some truly incredible local acts and performances and international artists coming to Shepton.

“Across this programme we have worked in partnership with seven schools and their youth programming panels – it’s been amazing to see how young people have made their decisions.

“We have such an exciting line-up this year with over 26 different artists joining us over the weekend and 21 different shows.

“And thanks to support from The Arts Council and Shepton Mallet Town Council, most of the events are free and all tickets are £3 or under.

“We want to make sure theatre and performance is accessible to all.”

Theatre and more are promised for visitors to the All the World's Our Playground Festival in Shepton Mallet

Theatre and more are promised for visitors to the All the World’s Our Playground Festival in Shepton Mallet

Nine-year-old Leo, a young programmer from St Paul’s School, said: “It means a lot because we get to plan activities and make people happy, as well as making sure that everyone has their say.

“Young people don’t always get recognised, a lot of others say it’s for older and more important people, but we are all important and different in our own special way.”

One performer who is causing ripples of excitement is Matt Pang, who returns to the festival with his incredible new show Those in Glass Houses – a comedic international touring show from this amazing inventor-performer and his partner, which includes swinging bricks, comedic catapults and orchestrated glass-shattering chaos in the Market Place.

Collective ContaKt will also showcase some incredible acrobatics in their live show, Foley. The company has its roots in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France and the UK and specialise in high-level acrobatics and live music.

There will also be a theatre show created entirely out of soap suds by a window-cleaning theatre-making duo Crow’s Nest, celebrated author Kristina Stephenson (of Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and The Museum of Marvellous Things fame) will run an immersive prop-tastic storytelling session, and aKa Dance Theatre will wow audiences with their magical moving shed.

Sunday sees Maypole dancing and incredible Bristol theatre-making team Cardboard Adventures come to Shepton Mallet with their show Boxville – where everything is made out of cardboard.

As well as a range of national and international theatre companies the festival will also feature workshops and performances from schools and community groups across the town.

For more information, a full programme and details of ticketed events, visit www.makethesunshine.co.uk.

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