A host of renowned storytellers, authors, illustrators and dramatists are set to entertain thousands of schoolchildren at this year's University of Worcester Storytelling Festival for Children.
More than 4,000 youngsters will be taking part in the annual event from schools around Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, the West Midlands and mid-Wales.
Authors, illustrators, storytellers and theatre companies will perform at the two-week festival, also known as Beeline, which is now in its 12th year and starts this Monday (October 15th).
Anne Hannaford, Director of Arts and Culture at the University, said: "This year's Festival offers a wide range of talented individuals and companies, with, we believe, something to appeal to everyone. Whether it is folktales from different parts of the UK, fantastical stories and myths from around the world or seeing how those characters are brought to life on the page or stage, we hope those attending will embrace the art of storytelling and come away inspired with a love of fiction and reading. The Festival is symbolic of the University's commitment to taking learning out into the community and making it accessible to all."
Among those attending are Katherine Rundell, whose recent book The Explorer earned her the prestigious Costa children's books prize, Steve Cole, behind the Astrosaurs children's books, and children's poet, Pauline Stewart. Renowned storytellers to feature are Peter Chand, Daniel Morden, Ben Haggarty, Cat Weatherill, Amy Douglas, Sally Tonge and Michael Kerins.
Martin Brown, cartoonist illustrator behind the hugely successful Horrible Histories series, will be sharing his drawings with the children, and author and illustrator Chloë Inkpen, who is the co-creator of the Zoe and Beans series, will be talking about her new character Mrs Blackhat and how she creates her characters.
Lempen Puppet Theatre performs The Golden Princess, Birmingham Playhouse tells the story of the Little Red Hen and Jump Start Young Theatre will run a showcase event. Salty's Studio Animation, based in Ludlow, will be running workshops.
In addition, the Festival will also be holding a dedicated Family Weekend for the first time at The Hive and venues around the University's City Campus, which runs October 27 and 28. Events include model-making workshops with Aardman Animation, the studio behind the critically acclaimed Wallace and Gromit films, shadow puppet theatre and a host of authors and illustrators and popular storytellers.
For more details or to book tickets for the Family Weekend, log on to www.worcester.ac.uk/beeline or http://www.thehiveworcester.org/family-events.html.