A folk tale for all the family

A folk tale created for and, in part, by children is to spirit families away on a journey across the seas when it comes to Warrington Library.

Kindred Folk Dance Theatre has teamed up with Culture Warrington for the Arts Council-supported Lost.

The live performance will feature a mix of storytelling, music and dance and was developed after a series of workshops involving 350 children, mostly aged between seven and 10. It is free to view with public shows taking place at the Museum Street library on Saturday, 11 June, at 11am and 1.30pm.

Emily O’Shea, artistic director, said: “At Kindred Folk we create work with community at its heart. So the community is involved in every aspect of what we do from the development process to the performance itself.”

That development process saw youngsters from Birchwood CE Primary, Culcheth Primary, Callands Primary and Christchurch CE Primary attend workshops at Birchwood, Culcheth, Westbrook and Padgate libraries.

Orford resident Emily added: “It was really nice because for a lot of them it was their first school trip since the pandemic. They took part in a series of workshops so when we then went into the studio we had all these ideas from children which we could embed into the story.

“The aim is that they can all take ownership of it and when we bring the show back to them they can really relate to it and it makes them feel seen or heard. For some of the children, it could also be their first experience of live performance so it’s a privilege to be able to create those memories for them.”

Lost has been written by Felicity Goodman, who is also from Warrington. Aimed at children aged four and above, it is partly inspired by Emily’s family history living on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – with themes such as how we identify with home and finding your voice.

It is Kindred Folk’s first time collaborating with Culture Warrington as part of the arts charity’s plans to bring more live performances to the museum and library.

Emily said: “It’s really great to be able to connect with organisations like Culture Warrington and start building those relationships. Part of the reason I work in libraries is because I want people to use them more. It’s not just somewhere to get a book – they can become a real hub of the community.”

Lost will be performed at Warrington Central Library on Saturday, 11 June, at 11am and 1.30pm. Tickets are free but should be booked in advance here.