Celebrity performers will create “warmth and laughter” for panto season.

*EDIT: Since this post was published Melinda Messenger has had to withdraw from this year’s pantomime*

The New Theatre Royal in Lincoln has announced some of the stars of this year’s pantomime this week.

Running from December 3rd, 2019, to January 5th, 2020, the production of Robin Hood will welcome both familiar faces and new celebrities to its Clasketgate stage.

Barney Harwood - Press AnnouncementBarney Harwood returns to the city as the brave hero Robin Hood.  Last year’s Huntsman in Snow White, the winner of a Children’s BAFTA for Best Presenter will be wielding a bow and arrow this time.

Chris Johnson - Press AnnouncementAlso back by popular demand is Chris Johnson who will play Will Scarlet.  CBBC’s “Yonko” has been a regular in both Christmas and Easter pantomimes at the New Theatre Royal since Cinderella in 2017.  Speaking about returning to Lincoln Chris says, “The thought of once again spending my festive season at the New Theatre Royal makes me a very merry man indeed! In fact, I’m all aquiver!”

Melinda Messenger - Press AnnouncementModel and presenter Melinda Messenger is heading the list of new celebrities due to tread the boards.  Performing the role of Fairy Stardust, Messenger says, “Panto is such a great Christmas theatre tradition that the whole family can enjoy, I really love the warmth and laughter it brings to everybody and can’t wait to work with Natalie and the team at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln”.

Zoe Hedge - Press AnnouncementRounding up the star casting is Zoe Hedge as Maid Marian.  Zoe appeared on The Voice UK (2017) as one half of the duo Capital B, who were chosen to be on Sir Tom Jones’s team.

The theatre’s visitors can expect this Christmas season to be full of laughs, boos and audience participation for all the family to enjoy.  Artistic director Natalie Hayes-Cowley says, “Robin Hood will be filled with high energy dance routines, outstanding vocalists, comedy and, of course, added surprises in the script for those stand out wow moments.  Perfect entertainment for all the family this festive season.”

There will be a signed performance on January 3rd at 6pm and a relaxed performance on December 7th at 11am.

Tickets start from £16.50 and can be booked via the box office on 01522 519999 or online at www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk 

Lincolnshire is positively prehistoric!

Stomp and roar your way through the 2019 summer holidays

Lincoln is taking its tagline “Steeped in history” seriously this summer as it’s inviting its visitors to travel back even further in time than usual to when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  Whilst the Natural History Museum’s exhibition will be housed at The Collection in the city, the museum is not the only county venue hoping to give families a roar-some experience…   

DinosaurEncounterDinosaur Encounter
The Collection, Danes Terrace, Lincoln
Saturday, July 13 – Sunday, September 8
Come face-to-face with your favourite dinosaurs in this exhibition from London’s Natural History Museum.  The animatronic dinosaurs feature a roaring, snorting T-Rex, lifelike models and fossil replicas.  The exhibition is supported by a trail and events including craft activities and fossil handling.  Relaxed sessions also available.
Adults £7.50, Concession £6.50, Children (age 5-16) £5, 4 and under free, Family £20.

dinosaurpawprints.jpgDinosaur Footprints
Lincoln City Centre
If you are headed to the exhibition at the museum then look out for some giant footprints to lead the way there.  Laid by Lincoln BIG, the dino-footprints will lead visitors from across the city centre to The Collection in Danes Terrace.

DinosaurIfIHadDinosaur Galore – Sunday Storytime
Waterstones, 297a High Street, Lincoln
Sunday, July 28, 10.15am-11am
The bookseller will be reading dinosaur stories galore. From new books to old favourites and some even containing underpants!  Fun for ages 3 to 7 years though any age welcome.  Held on the middle floor in Cafe W.
Free.

DinosaurHuntDinosaur Hunt
Boultham Park, Lincoln
August 7 and 8, 10am-3pm
There are 11 dinosaurs loose around the park – track them down for a roar-some prize.  Pick up a dinosaur hunt sheet from the Access Lincoln marquee near the cafe on the day.
Free.

DinoSlimeDino Slime Making Workshops
The Little Pottery Studio, The Lawn, Lincoln
July 28, August 3, 10, 31

The Little Pottery Studio is taking things as far back as the primordial soup with slime workshops – make DIY slime, pick your colour and dinosaur and take it home in a dinosaur egg.  Paint your own dinosaur foot activity available throughout the summer too.
Booking essential.  £10 per person.
Also:
Make Your Own Dinosaur – Ceramic Workshop, Monday, July 29th, 10am-11am, age 8+, £12
Make Your Own 3D Dinosaur Egg – Ceramic Workshop, Monday, July 29th, 11.30am-12.30pm, age 8+, £12

DinosaurJurassicJurassic Farm Park
Rand Farm Park, near Market Rasen
August 24 – September 3
Meet Pete the Dinosaur, dig for fossils and, during the Bank Holiday Weekend, build your own dinosaur.
Entry from £8.95 to £41.80.  2019 Summer passes available for £15 per person.

DinosaurBirthdayDino’s Birthday Party Week
Springfields Outlet Shopping & Leisure, Spalding
July 29 – August 4, noon and 2pm
Dino will dance his way on to the Festival Gardens stage twice daily to teach his audience some party tricks and attempt to bake a cake.  Fancy dress competition at every show.
Free.

Are you heading into the primeval past with your mini ones this summer?  Share your dinosaur selfies with us on Facebook or Twitter.

An elephant, a Froojamaflip and SuperKitty

Newark Book Festival 2019

Hands up those who had lots of fun at the annual Newark Book Festival last weekend – we certainly did!  And we’ve been heads down with hands busy turning pages ever since re-reading our new addition to the mini’s home library, SuperKitty by Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles.

With Luke and Daddy at Beavers camp for the weekend it was just us girls that took the bus and train to the Nottinghamshire town to enjoy lots of literary activities.

On Saturday, there was hula hooping, singing, Maisy Mouse meeting and ear-wearing, SuperKitty storytelling, drawing, mask making and face painting.

On Sunday, there was an elephant!  And there was a person made out of fruit and vegetables!  There was painting, octopus crown making, a ball pool, sand pits, a hot air balloon trail, Paddington Bear craft and, of course most important of all, there was ice cream to finish the weekend off with.

As well as a boost to her desire to be able to read all the words herself, Willow also came away from the festival talking excitedly about vegetables thanks to Fred and his friend Froojamaflip.

Huge thanks to everyone who helped us get the pushchair on and off trains and up and down steps in Newark and to all the lovely festival volunteers who helped this very directionally-challenged mummy.

Next year’s festival dates are July 10th-12th, 2020. 

Something for readers of all ages

Newark Book Festival 2019

NBF1This July the Newark Book Festival is once again set to captivate young readers with a whole host of family-friendly fun.  Alongside its numerous adults’ events, the programme includes children’s panel talks, writing and craft workshops, storytellers and street theatre, as its organisers explain…

Between July 12th and 14th, this year’s festival theme of Home and Away will be brought to life with tales from Newark and beyond, circus and carnival themed entertainment at Newark Castle and seaside fun, Paddington Bear crafts and the Greatest Show in the centre of the town.

With a wide selection of both ticketed and free events, there is something for everyone to see and do.

The children’s programme includes a schools’ event featuring young adult (YA) fiction award-winning and bestselling authors, Kim Slater, Sara Barnard and Paula Rawsthorne.

On Sunday 14th July, there is also a chance to meet the authors of some of this year’s biggest new fiction titles for ages 9 to 12 in the Magic, A Malamander and Mystery event. Thomas Taylor, illustrator of the first ever cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, talks about his stunning new novel Malamander. He is joined by Michelle Harrison, author of beautiful new spell-binding story, A Pinch of Magic, and Newark Book Festival favourite, Elly Griffiths, who has released her first children’s book, A Girl Called Justice.

In 2018, the minis enjoyed mask making, story stone crafting and
fairy house hunting as part of the Newark Book Festival.

Interactive fun happening across the Festival weekend aiming to get young readers and artists inspired includes a promenade theatre performance of Robin Hood and the Monk and Fairy Tales for under-fives at St Mary Magdalene Church, poetry workshops with Troy Jenkinson, Chitra Soundar and celebrity children’s author, potty poet and illustrator, Chris White.

At Newark Library, the festival and the creators of Super Kitty will be helping to launch this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and there will also be the chance to meet Maisy Mouse and see the Festival’s Helen Cresswell Exhibition.

The market place and town hall will be alive with activity all weekend with street theatre performances from Adambara and Zhim, Frroojamaflip and Fred and Angie Mack Hula Street Show.  On the Newark Book Festival market stall, visitors will be able to find information about events and pick up for free this year’s special festival postcard produced by illustrator Mark Chambers.

In 2019, the Festival is also introducing its first ever Primary School programme, matching authors Gareth Baker, Chris White, James Nicol, Ian Douglas, Wilf Morgan, Daniel Henshaw, Frances Stickley and Thomas Taylor with schools across Newark for a day of writing and art workshops, readings and inspiring a love of books and reading.

For the full programme of events visit www.newarkbookfestival.org.uk or pick up the festival brochure from venues across Newark and beyond including the theatre, festival venues, coffee shops and libraries.  To book tickets call Newark Palace Theatre on 01636 655755 or visit www.palacenewarktickets.com.  Stay up to date with the latest festival news on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Stepping into the page of a book in time for tea

The sad news of the passing of author and illustrator Judith Kerr this week will have many readers, young and old, mourning her loss.

Well loved for titles such as the Mog series and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, it’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea that’s a particular favourite in our house.

A celebration of the hungry orange and black visitor took us to National Trust property Gunby Hall, near Spilsby, at the end of last month just in time to enjoy the Seven Stories touring exhibition.

Firstly we toured the country house searching for striped residents bearing letters – clues to the answer to a question that would win the completed trail holder a sticker.

Then we headed into the room of the exhibition itself and straight into Sophie and her mummy’s kitchen.  The huge tiger was already sat at the table and the minis soon set about fixing him an appropriately large afternoon tea as well as trying on some stripes themselves.

A slightly smaller tiger was purchased from the shop on the way back to the car.  Fortunately daddy bought some biscuits too as obviously our tiger got a bit hungry on the way home and Willow needed to keep him sated with an extra portion of the chocolatey treats.

TT10

Is the exhibition coming to a National Trust house near you?  Find out at www.sevenstories.org.uk

A stage adaptation of the book is being performed at the:
New Theatre Royal in Lincoln on June 22nd and 23rd
Skegness Embassy Theatre on June 30th and July 1st
Grimsby Auditorium on October 2nd and 3rd
For other tour dates click here.

The Tiger’s 50th birthday may have been last year but there are lots of other children’s classics that are celebrating big anniversaries this year too – The Gruffalo is 20 years old, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is turning 50 years old and Elmer and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt were published 30 years ago.

Engineering festival Sparks interest

SPARKFestThe biennial SPARK! Engineering Festival is back in Lincoln this week for its fourth year.  Here co-organiser the Education Business Partnership tells us what’s in store for the event’s visitors this weekend…

Thousands of people are expected to flood to Lincoln Cathedral next month for the return of Spark Festival, a free three-day event (May 3-5) which celebrates Lincolnshire’s excellence in engineering.

Aiming to inspire future generations and showcase Lincolnshire as a leader in engineering innovation now and in the future, this year promises to be even bigger and better.

Siemens has been announced as the headline sponsor at the biennial festival and, for the first time ever, the event will incorporate civil engineering with an opportunity to find out more about Lincoln’s new Eastern Bypass.

In previous years, the event has seen more than 9,000 people attend across the weekend. This year will see the addition of the Institution of Civil Engineers Bridge to Schools, along with the return of exhibits from top engineering businesses.

The minis enjoyed a day out at the SPARK Festival in 2017

John Latham, chair of the Spark Engineering Festival steering group, said: “We are delighted to bring this festival to Lincoln for the fourth time and are thankful to Siemens for making the event possible by being this year’s headline sponsor.  It has become one of the standout events in the annual calendar for engineers, teachers, students and businesses from all over the county.”

Organised as a partnership event by the Education Business Partnership, the City of Lincoln Council and local businesses, Spark aims to promote Lincolnshire as an engineering hotspot and inspire local young people to consider a career in the industry.

“The festival is about increasing awareness of Lincolnshire’s pioneering excellence in engineering both locally and on the world stage. Our county is responsible for the supply of some of the best engineering people, services and products across the globe and we want everyone to know about it.”

John added: “The incorporation of civil engineering this year gives us a great opportunity to celebrate and showcase Lincolnshire’s achievements in this arena. Housed in the Lincoln Cathedral, a historic civil engineering feat in its own right, Spark is an event that should not be missed.”

Visitors can expect to see a number of interactive displays and impressive exhibits, including a showcase of early civil engineering archaeology to show the historic roots of engineering. This will be joined by the return of our infamous 50ft timeline which details the evolution of the industry in Lincolnshire, along with a display about the use of robotics in engineering to show the stark contrast between past and present. Science busking demonstrations will also be taking place, as well as a variety of hands-on activities suitable for all ages.

John added: “It is incredibly important to encourage an interest in engineering from a young age so children understand the benefit of science and maths. We want to give an insight into the career opportunities on offer in this sector so a real focus can be given to the skills needed in early education.”

The free event will be open to local schools on Friday, May 3rd, and will showcase cutting-edge developments in science, technology, engineering and maths happening across the county right now.

“We’re also really keen to engage the community and show people why investment in engineering and development projects is essential to economic growth across the county. Lincolnshire has lots of exciting projects lined up for the future and we hope that Spark can help to bring them the attention they deserve.”

Find out more at www.sparklincoln.org

Pass through portals of light into the worlds of your imagination

Lincoln Luminarium 2019

“Enter a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes” 

There are lots of events and activities on offer to keep you and your mini ones entertained this Easter but few can be as sensorily stunning as the return of a Luminarium to Lincoln.

Our minis were guests of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) for the launch of the interactive sculpture last night which the Brayford venue is hosting for an extra day this year due to its popularity in 2018.

For 2019, the city is hosting the QODLUMIN, inspired by the beauty of natural geometry and by Islamic architecture.

Luke was won over even before passing through the airlock when he was handed a map of the domes as cartographer may feature highly in what he wants to do when he grows up.  As Willow often cites rainbow colours as her favourite colour, an experience that immerses you in radiant light and colour was sure to impress and she made it quite clear that, because she was enjoying it so much, she wasn’t ready to go when it was time to leave.  And I loved that it was as much of an experience for Faith who, as well as enjoying the freedom to crawl around the space, enjoyed spinning under the beautifully patterned ceilings.

Entering through the green portal-like dome was a highlight for me as I felt it immediately transportative but it was the monochrome dome (“inspired by the chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp designed by Le Corbusier”) that Luke was fascinated by and kept returning to.

Visitors are invited “to wander, to lie down, to sit down and enjoy the ambience and the space” – for Luke, he was moved to dance through the interconnecting tunnels, pods and domes which, of course, added a delightful new dimension to the experience for me to see.

An immersive experience in itself it’s also a springboard for imaginations both young and old.  Step into the picture, fall down the rabbit hole, follow the yellow brick road through the looking glass, pass through the irresistibly enticing portal, hack into a digital state of being, ride through a wormhole and find yourself in an otherworldly forest as you’re transported to extraterrestrial territory – the only limit to your mind’s travels is your own creativity.

It’s only here until Sunday so find out more quickly at https://lpac.co.uk/ and www.architects-of-air.com