Exciting tour of outstanding family arts

In 2014 programming the Northern Festival Network tour included:

Walk The Plank’s magnificent light carousel “Shadowplay”.


“…when the Piper is heard calling ‘harness music with dance’, come travel to Arcadia, lost in a trance, from day into night and night into day, a glorious celebration where shadows play…”. Created by artists Hannelora Johansson and Simon Williams, Shadowplay is inspired by European folklore and draws on the aesthetics of German expressionist art forms. With a pinch of the Dickensian and the spirit of vaudeville, Shadowplay made for a fantastical, mythical, optical treat.

“Imaginary Menagerie” a bonkers vaudeville family show by Les Enfants Terrible.


“How many legs does a ‘Decapus’ have? Is the fabled ‘Massive Paw’ just a myth? Have you even seen a ‘Bumblewasp’? What do you feed a ‘Whistling Pank’?” Family festivalgoers journeyed with them as they ventured through sizzling safaris and snowy Siberia. Floated among the clouds and plunged into the murky depths of the sea as they searched for fascinating animals both exotic and rare. Wildly entertained by the world’s weirdest wonder emporium!

“Something to Hold” the gravity-defying aerial show by Pif-Paf theatre.


Audiences sat astounded, watching the journey of an Astronomer as he searches the sky for a power and beauty that won’t be held. Two stars are drawn in -the tale of all of their rides to a new life unfolded in what was a non-stop feast of movement, breath-taking

Willow lantern workshops, and twilight parades held by Fi Smith Arts


Willow artist, Fi Smith led families in lantern making workshops, involving sculpting different shaped lanterns, moons, stars, animals and triangles, and then in the evening lighting them from within for a spectacular twilight parade.

The consortium is just set to expand to include a number of festival associates, who will also benefit in an exciting touring programme of the best family arts from the UK, and an outstanding piece of international work.

Activity by the Northern Festivals Network has also involved pioneering Family Arts Programming and shared understanding through talks at The Association of Festival Organisers and in house knowledge sharing, which will continue with its new associates.

Whilst the NFN will also continue their work with the brilliant Tales from the Wild, an engaging one-stop-shop for families, designed to draw attention to the best arts available for families in the North West.