Visitors have a whale of a time at Coalville Writes festival

Visitors have a whale of a time at Coalville Writes festival

The first ever Coalville Writes festival, which featured award winning authors, poetry and a giant performance-hosting metal whale, has been hailed a success.

Joanne Harris, famed for her hit novel Chocolat, headlined the weekend-long event with her ‘Storytime’ show at the town’s Century Theatre.

The festival celebrated the written word with a range workshops, performances and films all around the town. This included the very popular giant metal whale which swallowed each of its small audiences whole for a fun and heart-warming performances inside.

Dave Wood, better known as Dr Rhyme, was at the Belvoir Centre to create spot poems about everything and anything depending on the requests of each person that paid him a visit. There were also appearances from authors Emma Pass and Emma Bamford, poetry workshops and a variety of films shown at the Century Theatre.

Coalville Writes was organised by Mantle Arts and sponsored by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC), the National Forest and the Arts Council.

Matthew Pegg, Director of Mantle Arts, said: “We had a great variety of things happening. We tried to include something for everyone, from young children to adults. And all the feedback we’ve had has been really positive. People were happy to see something new happening.”

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “I think it’s great that something so different came to Coalville, and I know that those that went along really enjoyed themselves. We want people to choose Coalville when it comes to shopping, socialising and entertainment, and having a festival like this in the town a great way of encouraging this.”

Joanne Harris said: “I really enjoyed the Coalville Writes festival. It was a great atmosphere, terrific venue, and all the staff were warm and helpful. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Visitor to the festival, Lucy Hine, 28, from South Derbyshire, said: “It was well worth a visit, especially the performance inside the whale – I’d never experienced anything quite like it before!”

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