Selected highlights from the 2015 Truro Festival by Kirstie Newton
Truro Festival takes place from March 27 to April 5, ending in triumphant style on Easter Sunday. For 10 days, Lemon Quay will be transformed into a festival village, with two yurts named Kenwyn and Allen and the interlinking Tinney Green. These will host theatre and music performances, seminars, and workshops with artists in residence. Here are some selected highlights:
News meets theatre with the Truro Paper Trail, which will lead guests on a journey through Cornwall’s historic capital city, led by the West Briton in collaboration with Simon Harvey. Around every corner, expect unexpected tales from the local newspaper archives, famous faces from the past and theatrical surprises from #HFC Youth Theatre. Performances are at 1pm and 3pm on Sunday, March 29. Tickets are free but limited – book early via the Hall For Cornwall box office on 01872 262466, hallforcornwall.co.uk
Scary Little Girls return with Salon du Chocolat in the Kenwyn yurt on April 2. When chocolate was first brought to England in the 1600s, it was considered a taboo substance, enjoyed only by the elite in private salons. Some of our finest literature was also once considered too provocative for public consumption, to be heard by only the boldest of ears. Tonight, a female-only audience will enjoy an intimate evening of storytelling celebrating the relationship between salons, chocolate and forbidden literature. Expect tales which explore female desires from authors such as Lord Byron, Angela Carter and Sarah Waters – and chocolate treats too!
The Roughcut 90-second film competition. Roughcut is a bi-monthly film event, hosted in Falmouth by o-region theatre company and Dogbite Film Crew, dedicated to showing work by new and emerging directors. The Truro Festival challenge: to make a film of no more than 90 seconds, in any genre or style incorporating the chosen theme of JOURNEYS. The shortlist will be screened at the Plaza Cinema on Thursday, April 2, in the presence of film critic (and regular Plaza visitor) Mark Kermode. There will be two prizes: the judges’ vote, sponsored by Falmouth University to the tune of £500, and the audience choice, sponsored by AW Event Consultants offering £250. There’s still time to enter: deadline March 23. Visit www.dogbitefilmcrew.com/roughcut/
The top 3 floors of the NCP car park will be turned into an urban centre on March 27 and 28, with a skatepark, wheelchair basketball and graffiti workshops. And for one night only, the NCP will host a silent disco with headphones featuring a host of local and international acts supplied by worldwide music brand MTV. Club MTV will supply DJs Rewire and Varski with headliners The Wideboys, famous for the international hit Sambuca, closing out the evening. Local acts involved will be playing a mix of different genres for people to choose from; Stratus Records open the night with a mix of hiphop and dance, then Freerange DJs and Rollers Inc go head to head with funk, house and drum & Bass. There will also be a floor dedicated to street art, where a selection of South-west artists will create an urban masterpiece.
You’re bound to find something to tickle your fancy in the Artist and Workshop Programme in the Allen Yurt. Watch the artists at work, or get involved. Make a musical tube or pipe with automata maker Dom Allen; create your own Mexican shrine; explore animation with Tony Johns, or printmaking with artists Jesse Leroy Smith and Sally Cole; or invent your own bonkers cartoon characters and put them into a comic strip.
April 1 is wellbeing day in the festival village, bringing together Cornwall’s leading health professionals and experts, bridging the gap between traditional complementary and alternative medicine and healing. Sample free half-hour workshops, learn how to grow your own veg, make healthy chocolate, think clearly, manage stress and improve your posture. Laugh, express yourself and change yourself through colour and art. This event is organised and led by life coach and hypnotherapist Lisa Dick, who will host an evening event on conquering phobias. email@example.com
There is plenty of fabulous music on offer. The festival will be launched at the Hall For Cornwall on March 27 by Stornoway, a four-piece British alternative indie folk band named after the Hebridean outpost, but hailing from Oxford (tickets £18 to £22 Concession and group rates available www.hallforcornwall.co.uk Box Office 01872 262466. As their fans say, a band that will always put you in a good mood – no matter how bad your day. And on Easter Saturday, lifelong surfer and songwriter Lloyd Yates performs an intimate one-off gig in the festival village with tickets just £5.
The Story Republic takes up residence at the Royal Cornwall Museum in River Street throughout the festival. Intrepid story travellers of all ages are invited to begin their own voyage into a realm of tales, poems and songs of journeys real and imagined. In the Waiting Room, alongside the creative work of artists Amanda Lorens, Alessandra Ausenda and John Keys is artwork and stories by young writers from schools including Richard Lander, Perranporth, Bosvigo, Blackwater and Mount Hawke, along with students from Falmouth University. 10am to 4pm (except Sundays). Free. The Story Republic also hosts an evening of readings by Cornwall-based writers including Philip Marsden, Emily Barr and Annamaria Murphy, on Monday, March 30 in the Kenwyn Yurt.
Local illustrators Caroline Pedlar and Rebecca Cobb join children at Truro Library on Easter Saturday for a day of adventurous illustrating. Caroline’s dog, Bobo, is need of a new adventure and needs new story ideas to take him to faraway lands of myths and legends. Booking essential. Recommended for ages 8+; please bring a packed lunch.
Don’t miss the festival finale on Easter Sunday. It’s party time in the festival village, with a free family event from 2pm to 4pm, featuring music, food, arts and crafts, and not forgetting chocolate.
For further festival information, visit www.enjoytruro.co.uk