Monday, 29 June 2009

A Weekend's Wackiness

Had a crazy weekend performing and having a book stall at the Summer Science Day at Tapeley Park a few days ago, part of the North Devon Festival. Yolande of Bideford College had booked the Junk Carnival (one of the many workshops/events that the Collective offers) and us storytellers plus 'Porlock the Warlock' stall. The weather started cloudy, and rained a bit on the way...we looked at the sky warily. Tapeley Park front lawn being one of the windiest venues we regularly do, as the wind comes straight off the estuary and sea below! A fantastic view, but...I remember last summer, and out of the three events we did there, one time there seemed to be a force 10 gale blowing off the estuary, and there were only four of us battling to put up the Pavilion (there's an image of it on the Collective homepage etc.) and it had ideas of its own about turning into a giant kite, and whisking the lot of us off to Oz... 
   This time, however, we had better weather! Having looked gloomy, it cheered up, only spat and then got sunny later. The wind was a bit of a trial - laminated posters are all very well, and cards in plastic boxes, books are good and heavy, but flyers... But the stall kept together nonetheless. It was all go, with the Pavilion on one side, and an awning on one of the vans. Our big new, if homemade - sign for the website looked eye-catching, and Wayne made a stand for it there and then with his customary skill. We caught up with one of the Collective's newer members and partner, and performed in their own stylish awning-space which went up a bit later on... So that we were quite a set up! Pavilion, large van plus awning, even bigger van plus another awning, with various spaces in front for flag making and carnival dragon construction...! I sometimes think the Collective could put on a festival by itself... There was lots going on, and many attractions, fellow storyteller Deor warmed up the audience for the magician, who then passed on to us, who then handed over to Victorian re-enactors from Exmoor Zoo. - Including a very convincing Charles Darwin - complete with tarantula, skunk, and the rest! We met some interesting people, and the Junk Carnival itself was packed - kids and parents making and painting flags and banners, all the recycling rubbish we'd been saving up put to excellent use in some wonderfully effective and quirky musical instruments! The parade seemed to go on forever, at 3pm, and the video is now up on the Carnival's microsite. The prize giving was terrifying as hordes of small folk surged about, and I pointed out the judges so they could surge that way instead, for the prize giving. It looked like a miniature army - or was that the sheer number of flags and drums and having been to one too many Civil War battles...? Krafka the She-Troll and Darwin awarded the prizes, including a 'Porlock' book, and altogether it fitted well with the event which was a great success and very well attended. 
   Other stuff included making a juggling video on Sunday morning for another new associate member, and the party on Saturday night...the music was great - pure electronic dance/trance/house, but the volume - was that legal?? Still, the glade was a great place for it and the lights did the business. 
   Thanks must go to 'Charles Darwin' for being such a sport and a good judge, and Yolande for organizing the whole thing with such unfailing professionalism and good-humour!  

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