Friday, 22 February 2019

Henley Youth Festival programme announced

Henley Youth Festival programme announced

ORGANISERS of the Henley Youth Festival have announced the programme for this year's event.

The 26th annual extravaganza will take place at various venues from March 4 to 17 and will include workshops, performances and competitions in the fields of music, dance, art, film, creative writing and more.

It is open to all young people who attend or live in the catchment areas of Henley's four state primary schools and those in Kidmore End, Nettlebed, Peppard, Shiplake and Sonning Common as well as Gillotts secondary school in Henley, Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School and Bishopswood Special School, both of Sonning Common, and The Henley College.

Students of the independent St Mary's School and Rupert House School in Henley may also take part, as may those attending Shiplake College.

This year's theme is "dreams", which was inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and entrants are encouraged to consider their own or a fictional character's daydreams, fantasies or nightmares when coming up with ideas.

Throughout the fortnight, more than 2,000 young people will take part in workshops at the schools covering animation, block printing, floral arts, dream jars, cha cha cha and country dancing, singing, street dance, stunts and parkour gymnastics.

Children can also make designs in batik, a fabric-dyeing technique from Indonesia, and these will be used as backdrops for festival performances at the Kenton Theatre in New Street, Henley.

The Create 'n' Make and Red Van Man craft workshops will be making an appearance and youngsters will also visit the Explorer Dome, an inflatable indoor planetarium and science lab.

The Young Shakespeare Company will run workshops based on A Midsummer Night's Dream and there will also be an interactive theatre show for younger children by the Little Blue Monster company.

Some children who take part will be invited to perform at the Kenton Theatre while some artworks will go on display at the venue, the River and Rowing Museum at Mill Meadows or other locations around the town.

The first main event is a gig night at Lovibonds Brewery, off Greys Road car park in Henley, from 6pm until 10.30pm on Saturday, March 9. The concert is open to DJs, bands, singers and other solo performers between years 9 and 13.

The following day, the festival's junior proms will be taking place at Rupert House School in Bell Street for the first time. Primary school aged musicians and singers will be performing from 10am until 3pm.

Children and teenagers of all ages can take part in the HYF Entertain variety show at the Kenton Theatre from 7pm until 9.30pm on Wednesday, March 13.

Solo or group acts are welcomed and students may perform any entertaining routine, from comic or dramatic skits to reciting poetry or performing acrobatics.

The following night, youngsters from year 7 upwards will take part in the HYF Proms concert for classical, jazz and folk performances. This will also take place at the Kenton Theatre from 7pm until 9.30pm.

At the same times on Friday, March 16, the theatre will host an HYF Dance event for performers in years 5 and up. Youngsters may choreograph their own dances, either on their own or in a group.

The closing weekend kicks off with a fun run at 8.30am on Saturday, March 16, which will take place at Henley Rugby Club off Marlow Road for the first time and is now open to all ages from reception to year 11.

Every runner will receive a medal sponsored by Higgs Group, publishers of the Henley Standard, while the primary and secondary school with the most entrants will get £250 worth of sports equipment donated by the Physiolistic sports injury clinic, which is the organising sponsor, and Reading Children's Orthopaedic Unit.

The morning will also include free circus skills workshops for all ages on the club's artificial pitch. These will be provided by the Cornerstone arts centre at Didcot with funding from South Oxfordshire District Council.

Prizes for the festival's writing competition will be given out at the Bell Bookshop in Bell Street later in the day and the HYF Young Dancer event for children in years 1 to 4 will be held at the Kenton Theatre from 1pm until 3pm.

From 7pm until 9.30pm, the venue will host an HYF Sing concert for youngsters in years 5 and up. Singers may perform on their own, as a duet or in groups and there will be a performance by Henley Youth Choir.

An art and film exhibition will take place at the River and Rowing Museum from 11am until 4.30pm on the Saturday and again from 11am until 2.30pm on the Sunday. All entries in the festival's art and film competitions will be on display and prizes will be awarded to the best entries at 2.30pm on the Sunday.

Performing arts entries must be submitted by February 26 and competition entries must be in by March 1.

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