The annual weekend-long camping festival for children and their families provides an imaginative outdoor adventure like no other, showcasing the art, music, literature, comedy and theatre for children of all ages all taking place in the amazing landscape of woodland clearings and parkland that is Rode Hall Estate in Cheshire from the 21st to the 23rd of August. Both Day tickets and weekend camping tickets are available to suit the inquisitive newcomer or the seasoned adventurer.
Inquisitive and adventure driven family explorers like ourselves can look fr forward to touring the most curious of lands and encounter creatures and characters beyond our wildest dreams.
Here's a taste of what we're looking forward to the most...
ON THE VILLAGE GREEN
IAN DOUGLAS: JACK ON THE GREENWe’re all familiar with Jack and the Beanstalk, or Jack the Giant Killer, but there are many more Jacks, and in this brand new show Ian Douglas will be weaving a tapestry of stories on that most traditional of storytelling venues, the village green. A long time ago there was a young lad called Jack, who lived on his wits and never looked back. Jack’s journeys were many, his adventures well known, from humble beginnings his legend has grown. But all is not well in his fairy tale world; the stories we know have all twisted and twirled. Who knows what will happen if things don’t go back, to the way that things were when Jack was a lad. So come let’s adventure to where we think we have been, let’s go back to the time of Jack on the Green.’
SPINELESS CLASSICS: CONSEQUENCESHe said… she said… and the consequence was… Spineless Classics will be welcoming you to the Village Green for a large and rather ridiculous game of Consequences. Come with your most nonsensical scenarios, ideas for the most outrageous of costumes and let’s see how the story turns out. (Spineless Classics publish whole books on single sheets and believe that having a great work form part of the backdrop of your life figuratively shouldn't stop you having it there literally.)
IN THE SPELLBOUND FOREST
HANDMADE THEATRE: FLYING THE NESTWelcome to Hatchling College, an eggciting place to learn all about native birds and how to be a good birder. Join us in this interactive eggsperience led by our three eggstrodinary professors. Filled with a fantastic mix of music, puppetry, facts and fun, this humorous show brings to life native bird characters in a new and engaging way. A newly devised show inspired by British Bird, an interactive theatrical experience designed with and for children and families including those with Special Education Needs.
JAMES CAMPBELLFor children over 6, their parents and anyone who likes comedy without the rude words, a show which might or might not discuss lollipop ladies, quantum chromatic disruption machines and tartan badgers. Performing a very special gig in our woodland theatre, come and see comedian James Campbell, a playwright, comedian and storyteller do his thing. He has been described as ‘the only stand-up comedian for children in the known universe’. Last but not least, he’s also an author, of books.
IN HEAD OVER HEELS THE BULLZINI FAMILYRecently married 25m in the air, The Bullzini Family are a British high-wire couple, who will be performing the most incredible of tightrope shows and feats of equilibrium for your enjoyment and delight. A storytelling show at its heart, where the past in future blur together as you hear and see stories of famous Victorian wire walkers performing their most spectacular stunts.Christopher ‘Anaspitos’ Bullzini Has been wowing crowds with his rope walking daredevilry for over 10 years combing nostalgia with wonder. Phoebe Babette Bullzini, has been learning the ropes from Chris for the last 3 1/2 years, originally from a theatrical costume making background. She fell in love and ran away with the circus.
IN THE HIGH SEAS MUFTI DOES GAMES: MASSIVE BATTLESHIPSA super-sized team version of the classic naval guessing game, played across Just So’s High Seas. The cowardly Captain has abandoned his post, leaving just the brave but clueless cabin-boy in charge of the whole fleet! Will you step aboard to save the day? Using binoculars, with flags and flashcards to signal spectacular hits and unlucky misses hundreds of yards apart, it's all hands on deck to try and sink the enemy's aircraft carriers, destroyers and submarines before they sink yours. Join the crew and use all your cunning to call in the shots and plot your opponents' downfall. Mufti make fun, playable experiences for all ages, based on childhood amusements. They are completely bonkers
AT THE SILVER SCREEN ARGO THEATRE: ACTIOOOON!Take a trip to the beginnings of the world cinema. A small producer with big doses of humor embarks on one of the biggest overproductions. Three characters from different places meet to travel round the city with sole aim “to find the actors to make a film”. Could you be one of those actors d’you think?
AT GRAND CENTRAL THE MARIE CELESTIALA mystery metallic creature of unknown origin has crash landed on Earth. Departed from an unknown location in outer space, it has seen untold wonders and unimaginable danger. It has lain at the bottom of an ocean for many long years. Its kind and peace loving crew is missing. This poor, sad machine is broken, but at its core, exposed by the ravages of deep space travel, a gigantic lonely heart is beating. The mysteries of its voyage are about to be unlocked and its secret mission revealed. Live circus theatre performed on board a mechanical, space-faring beast, the Marie Celestial is a magical performance, incorporating large-scale puppetry, suitable for all the family.This is the Marie Celestial’s debut National tour, co-commissioned by the Northern FestivalsNetwork and Glastonbury Festival.
IN PEEKABOO THE ADVENTURES OF POMYellow petals, singing birds, soft grass beneath your feet; welcome to spring. Find yourself a lovely spot and stay a while. And here is Pom: climber of trees, chaser of butterflies, daughter of the gods. Her lovely cheeky face makes her mum so happy and all is good. But what’s this tiny hole in the lush green grass? This deep dark twinkling hole…you don’t want to go down there, do you? Pom recreates the Greek myth of Persephone for babies and little ones. Explore the sensory world of spring through projections, soundscapes, storytelling, live music and sensory objects. Follow the maze in to the Underworld and help save Pom! Leading early-years story-teller and performance artist Ruthie Boycott-Garnett has been commissioned by Big Imaginations to create a visual and sensory exploration of a Greek Myth with Live music and puppetry that will inspire and delight.
IN GRAND CENTRAL OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GOAs you arrive at Just So 2015 come and read aloud this tip top book, by Dr Seuss, with some hollers and yells for good measure. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Geoff Bird, author and producer will be leading great swathes of audience members in readings of Dr Seuss aloud together.
AT FOOTLIGHTS JOHN HEGLEY: I AM A POETATO
Poet, comic, singer, ukulele-player and glasses-wearer, John Hegley has an entertaining poem for every letter of the alphabet. In his A to Z of people, pets and potatoes, meet the inquisitive Quibble, Guillemot the bird and the Christmas Caterpillar who surprises Santa. He says … At Just SoI will talk potatoand armadilloand I will singabout stringin a one hour show.I will alsopoint my toein a danceand I will speak of Franceand my gran who came from there.Oh Yeah.Sit back and relax
DAVID GIBB: LETTERS THROUGH YOUR DOORAward winning songwriter, storyteller and tallest man in Derbyshire, David Gibb’s new musical children’s piece Letters Through Your Door is a fun and exciting stage show packed full of catchy and toe tapping numbers.
IN HEAD OVER HEELS EMMA CARROLL: THE GIRL WHO WALKED ON AIRRoll up! Roll up! Do you have dreams of the circus? So does Louie, the tight rope walker in Emma Carroll’s novel The Girl Who Walked on Air, and now might just be her chance. Join Emma to hear a reading from Louie’s story, and find out all about how Emma put her circus together. Trapezes, mysteries and daring stunts await! Emma Carroll is a secondary school English teacher. She has also worked as a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into filofax paper. She recently graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing For Young People.
IN THE SPELLBOUND FOREST
EMMA CARROLL: IN DARKLING WOODJoin Emma Carroll for a session packed with magic. In her new book In Darkling Wood, two girls – one in the present and one in the past – start to suspect there are fairies in the woods at the bottom of their gardens. But they both have their own worries: Alice’s brother is ill and her grandmother wants to chop down the woods, and Florence is waiting for her missing brother to return from the front line. Settle down for a story of hope, faith and fairies.
ON THE VILLAGE GREEN PAUL STICKLANDJoin Paul Stickland for a pop up monster workshop, where you can create your own amazing pop up monsters, and hear him read from Dinosaur Roar. Paul is the creator of many bestselling books, including Dinosaur Roar, Ten Terrible Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs Galore, The Christmas Bear, One Bear One Dog, A Number of Dinosaurs, Swamp Stomp,Truck Jam, Big Dig and Big Bug Little Bug.
ELSEWHERE ….. Join best-selling author Holly Webb for an interactive story-telling event to celebrate her 100th book The Truffle Mouse. Find out all about the ideas and themes that bring her books to life and the real animals that inspired her, in an event full of stories and a Q&A. Abi Elphenstein will be inviting participation in her exploration of The Dreamsnatcher.
Tamsyn Murray will reveal the story behind her book Stunt Bunny whilst getting audience
members up on stage to perform Stunt Bunny - The Play. Louise The Poet will be performing a modern fairytale; a re-telling of ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ The story of an adventurous girl, her sleepy Dad and a dog called Prince. A build-your-own audio pop-up poetry book of a tale.
GLOSSATREE. Hidden on the grounds of Rode Hall Estate — cultivated in secret by a select group of accomplished wordsmiths and scribblers-in-the-know — The Glossatree is the world’s greatest source of soon to be discovered words. Now fully-grown and brimming with unplucked verbosity, Just So Festival invites you to harvest…
Beanstalk, the national reading charity, will be hosting themed reading in The High Seas
Macclesfield Library will be hosting the 2015 Just So Festival book club and will be reading some of the best children’s fiction such as Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.
The Just So Festival 2015 bookshop is housed in a lovely painted caravan. Stock up on some old and new classics.
Winners of Festival Kidz Gold Award for three years running, Just So Festival aims to create memories treasured by families year-round. Rowan Hoban and Sarah Bird, Directors of Wild Rumpus who produce large scale family arts events in wild natural landscapes set up Just So Festival in 2009 to create a spellbinding weekend where families could play, dance and create together and see the world class breathtaking outdoor arts. Rowan says “At Just So 2015, audience members will be journeying through the most magical, awe-inspiring landscape for three nights. They must watch carefully the whole journey…as Roald Dahl once said, the best adventures and greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places”.
Sarah says “we immerse families into a world of imagination, letting their creativity run wild. We believe in the power of a wonderful moment to change the way that a family engages in the arts together. If we don’t give you goosebumps we are not doing it right.”
Here's a short video from last year's festival to give you a taste of what's in store...
There are still a limited amount of day tickets available so if you fancy joining in the fun, be quick!
If you've going to be coming don't forget to plan your journey by checking the travel information and why not get a head start on planning the weekend's activities by checking out the full line up on the website.
Connect with the folks behind the festival on their social media channels:
Twitter : @justsofestival