Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Hay Festival Frolics


It always feels like going on holiday when I set off for the Hay Festival and last week was no different.

I love the setting, the way its so laid back, the eclectic mix of folk - the amazing events and of course, the lovely Templar illustrators and authors who came along this year, to what seemed a bumper number of visitors.

Jonny Duddle and Adam Stower quickly teamed up and had lots of fun – their events were great too. Though poor Adam had a late Friday afternoon session, when it was at its hottest. The Hexagon venue was a mini-conservatory and at one point a few of the children were lying spread out on the cushions almost comatose – but still listening to the story.

For Jonny’s events people were encouraged to dress up in pirate costume - and they all joined in with their ooo aaaargh’s in hearty pirate voices. Jonny looked a pretty convincing pirate too, in his new gear and I rigged up our very sad parrot on his flip chart.

Thomas Docherty brought his usual magic to the festival and his two events were lovely – the children and parents really joining in, and lots of compliments from teachers there with their own children.

On Friday evening Adam very kindly met up with 15 students from Hereford Art College for a mini-masterclass – they passed around their sketch books and chatted about life as an illustrator. I think Adam was very impressed with the standard of their work.

Not too much partying that night as Adam had a 9am event on Saturday morning – which went well. Much cooler for a start and he had charmed the bookshop lady so he was signing books for ages.

Johnny O’Brien arrived in the nick of time for his 11.30 event - which played to an audience of over 100 and everyone loved the enactments and his memorabilia. He also took a writing masterclass later that afternoon with about 10 people ranging in age from 12 to 30’ish. Then he was off – flying to Japan I believe.

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