Rivermeet Arts and Heritage Festival promises to be a day of folly and imagination where Giants will roam Christchurch and myths are bought to life. Follow the crocodile footsteps to jump into our fantastical past... Through the Paradise Gardens, past the looming Castle, around to the Norman House with a stage in for the very first time, hosting incredible musicians and performers including the fantastic Dorchester Youth Theatre who will be performing 'Dark Dorset' (Performed earlier this year see previous blog entry Spooky tales of Dorset); then along the Mill Stream where you’ll pass sights of wonderment and down to the Quomps for revelry around the Bandstand!
Music, theatre, dance and nonsense are the order of the day. Find award winning musicians including BBC Radio 2’s Folk Singer of the Year Chris Wood at the Norman House and puppet shows by the Mausoleum. Help create a new play with Treehouse theatre in the gardens and follow a real life Giant down the river. Race Crocodiles in the stream then jig the night away on the quay.
Leading up to and alongside the festival, with the support of Heritage Lottery Fund and the Red House Museum, is the new oral history project. River Meet have been meeting up with locals and letting them share their memories of Christchurch for all to hear. These vivid memories of circuses and escaped crocodiles, can-can dancers and the sea have helped build the programme for the festival. On the day you’ll find stories of local myths and legends; hear songs of the sea and smuggling and see local folklore bough to life.
Local schools and youth groups have been working with educational leaders to bring the memories to the festival. Come and see Mudeford Infant’s dance based on the escaped crocodile; find circuses on the Quomps again; cower at tales of women buried alive; marvel at the can-can girls and make a crocodile to join in the race on the stream!
For more details and events programme visit the festival website at www.riversmeetarts.co.uk