Be a part of Storyhouse community launch event

Storyhouse is opening this May, with the help of 300 primary school-aged children, local organisations and performers, who will come together in a carnival event to celebrate the opening of Storyhouse as the local community’s cultural centre.

On Thursday 4 May between 10.15am and 2pm 300 children will gather on Northgate Street in Chester city centre, to pass up to 5,000 children’s books from the former city centre library, to inside the brand new Storyhouse children’s library – creating an enormous 250-metre long human ‘book worm’. Local buskers, dancers, drummers, musicians, dancers and storytellers will perform to the children and around the ‘book worm’ to celebrate the opening of Storyhouse as a community cultural centre.

The children will then be invited inside Storyhouse for party games, storytelling and cake, as well as being awarded certificates and library cards. The children participating have been invited by Storyhouse’s partner, Passion for Learning, a community interest company supporting primary schools in Chester and Ellesmere Port.

Diane Clark from Passion for Learning commented: “We are delighted to be involved with Storyhouse in this great event and know that the children will be so excited to see inside the new building for the first time. This is a great opportunity for children and their families from our local communities to come and explore what this wonderful cultural centre has to offer them.”

Members of the public are welcome to come and watch, take part in special sneak-peek tours of the building being conducted throughout the day on the hour (from 11am ending with the last one at 6pm; people can sign up on the day in person, first come first served), and at 5pm to help move the remainder of the children books into Storyhouse in another ‘book worm’.

Alex Clifton, Artistic Director, Storyhouse, said “This is a building that will be brought to life by the community. The community of local performers and the brilliant local buskers will be the first to perform at Storyhouse, with music, dance and live art performed to and with primary school children from across the borough.

Our innovative 21st century library is putting the community at the heart of its collection, and our book worm carnival is the perfect way to start, and the only way we could start.”

Volunteers from Principal Sponsor of Storyhouse, MBNA, will be part of the community launch by supporting the team delivering the event and transporting the books. Employees at the credit card provider’s Chester Head office have been involved with Storyhouse from the outset, and are now ramping up their activities including participating in test events, in the library handover and through the building’s unique innovation wall.

Mark Elliott, Director of Corporate Affairs at MBNA, said “People are at the heart of what we do at MBNA. We want to make good stuff happen for the community around us. So we’re hugely proud to be able to support this incredible new cultural investment for the region.”

The directors of Storyhouse associate company, Yet Another Carnival, Freyja Winterson, Thomas Frith and John Young are artistic directors of the community launch.

Storyhouse opens May 11 with a production of musical comedy The Beggar’s Opera, its opening season of shows include Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar.

To take part in the ‘book worm’ from 5pm on Thursday 4 May, sign up below: