Emerge log lock up



So, it is that time of the project where festival planning is well underway. Exciting times indeed. However, it goes without saying that there are a million and one questions floating around.

Will everything slot together perfectly? Will we have enough audience members? Will people enjoy it? Do we have too much content? When is this going to happen? What are we going to do with that? But, all questions aside, Corby’s festival is looking to be a kaleidoscope of inspiring, thought-provoking, entertaining and colourful activity, all organised and put together by our amazingly talented and creative young people. Their ideas have been paramount to the organisation of the festival. Often young people’s ideas are the best kind of ideas, as they see no limits and aspire to reach the highest heights.

Our festival will be on Saturday 21 April 2018 and will be from 11am-3pm taking place in and around The Core at Corby Cube in Corby. This includes a procession of sound and colour around the town centre and craft activities in an incredible yurt tent that we are all very excited about, not to mention the performances by our young people of course.

The procession will feature an array of banners and flags made by the young people of Corby, and maybe little surprises made by audiences on the day in the craft yurt. The procession will be guided by our community lab, who will be performing pop-up spoken word on the route back to The Core (hopefully grabbing the attention of the Saturday coffee-drinkers and bustling- shoppers, and rallying audiences back to the performances). Once audiences have taken in the vibrant procession and crafts, they will venture into our indoor performances where they will embark on a trail of Shakespearean discovery: a reimagined telling of The Tempest, an improvisation piece amalgamating celebrated Shakespearean scenes with themes, and performances discussing interpretations of power and the voice. There may also be a scrumptious treat for those eager audience members that participate in all activities. But I’m not giving too much away- you’ll just have to attend to find out!

It’s remarkable what the young people of Corby have come up with and I have such confidence in their ideas and capabilities that I wish I could take them everywhere with me. They have taught me so many things about my artistic practice already. Most notably, that I do not need to be a master of every art form to ignite creativity. Sometimes all it takes is a conversation, facilitating a discussion or just playing silly warm up games that can spark an idea and develop into something great. It’s acknowledging your own skills as a facilitator as well as an artist and utilising those skills, sometimes together and sometimes separately. But it is also about learning new skills on the way. The community lab has just completed their skill share as part of their Arts Award, and I’ve learnt about origami dragons, ballroom dancing to the Game of Thrones theme song and using physical theatre to choreograph a Star Wars fight scene, some combinations that I would never have put together.

So yes, Emerge Festival Corby is just around the corner and there is still a lot of work to do to showcase and do justice to the inspiring work the young people have and are still creating. What’s next? I guess putting together all the jigsaw pieces and hoping that you have all of them, and one has not dropped out of the box somewhere along the way. We have a lot of exciting visits from other artists as well as trips to performances and The Core at Corby Cube. We will continue our journey of inspiration and creation. The biggest part of the adventure is still yet to come!

Emily York

Emerge Corby will take place on Saturday 21 April from 11am-3pm at The Core at Corby Cube and around the outside and around town centre . Emerge Festivals are FREE. Booking information here.



Emerge is a regional programme of one-day festivals led by young people in the heart of local communities. The festivals are directed by a commissioned young artist, in partnership with schools and community organisations. Over the past two years Emerge has delivered 24 children and young people-led arts festivals in 12 Midlands locations. These festivals celebrate the life and work of William Shakespeare, with an emphasis on language and storytelling using a range of different disciplines from performance to visual art.

The Emerge festivals happen simultaneously across the midlands over one day. The festivals are planned, programmed and promoted by young people, led by artists selected through an open call. The festivals will take place in these geographic areas:

East Midlands – Horncastle, Spalding, Boston, Corby, Mansfield and Ashfield

West Midlands – Cannock Chase, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Tamworth and Wolverhampton