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Students from two secondary schools in South Holland are working together in planning a Shakespeare-themed arts festival for Spalding in April




Young people from two South Holland schools are hoping “All’s Well That Ends Well” for a Shakespearean-themed arts event in Spalding on April 6.

Spalding High School and University Academy Holbeach students will be stirring up “The Tempest” with Emerge South Holland Illumiland at Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens .

The students are working with lead artist George Barnett, who with younger brother Alfie make up quirky musical duo Alfie Jack, festival producer Simon Hollingworth and Leicester-based arts charity The Mighty Creatives to make sure the festival is anything but “Much Ado About Nothing” for Spalding.

Students from Spalding High School and University Academy Holbeach launch Shakespearean Emerge South Holland festival to be held at Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens on Saturday, April 6. Photo by Andrea Tait.
Students from Spalding High School and University Academy Holbeach launch Shakespearean Emerge South Holland festival to be held at Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens on Saturday, April 6. Photo by Andrea Tait.

George, of Weston, said: "This project is a youth-led programme and all their own ideas.

"Everything people will see is going to be in the young people's own vision, with Emerge being commissioned by The Mighty Creatives.

"There will be eight festivals around the East and West Midlands, all on one day, celebrating the life of William Shakespeare.

George Barnett, lead artist for Emerge South Holland. (7212477)
George Barnett, lead artist for Emerge South Holland. (7212477)

"So we're part of something that is so much larger than just one projects, with two groups of students from Spalding High School and University Academy Holbeach."

Billed as "celebrating the works of Shakespeare with light, colour and wonder, the festival will feature music, theatre, arts and crafts, games and even cooking.

Lily Sandell (11), of Moulton, will be baking and selling cakes during the event to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity after she was diagnosed with the condition in 2015.

The UAH Year 7 student said: "I wanted baking to be a part of the Emerge Festival because it's been a big part of my recovery from a brain tumour.

Liz Kelleher, head of art at Spalding High School. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG101116-194TW.
Liz Kelleher, head of art at Spalding High School. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG101116-194TW.

"I love watching people smile when I make and give them food that I've prepared as that makes me smile too.

"During Emerge, we'll be running a stall called Bakespeare where we'll be baking cakes and other savoury treats, all with Shakespearean names, to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity which is very close to my heart."

Liz Kelleher, head of art at Spalding High School, said: "We were approached by George to ask if we would be interested in creating an arts hub for the festival.

"We asked our senior arts students, who have a particular interest in arts, events management and performance, and a group of 15 students have become core members of Emerge.

"There is also a larger group who will be creating input for, and on the day.

"We meet regularly after school to discuss this an amazing opportunity to be creative in bringing a professional arts event to Spalding.

"In preparation for the festival, we are currently liaising with local primary schools in order to offer student-led workshops in making illuminated fairy lanterns and fireflies with some of our younger members of the community.

"Their work will become part of the festival at Ayscoughfee Gardens, creating a magical walkway within the beautiful yew trees.

"Various other spectacles will include an illuminated silent disco, multiple film projections and a sculpture garden feature lining the canal to prepare actors for the 'Shriekspeare' walk.

"There will also be a 'Where’s Willy?’ game, a stunning short contemporary adaptation of a Shakespearean play and a full line-up of musical acts from both the school and local bands.

"The students have a real heart for making this event one to remember by celebrating the arts and the quality of local talent in such a magical setting."



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