The ancient city of Winchester eagerly awaits the taking over of its streets and green spaces by its annual festival of street theatre, Hat Fair, Winchester, 6-8 July 2012. This year there are many new surprises in store….
The Broadway is to be transformed into an outdoor living room – complete with carpet and furniture – and a heady mix of music, theatre, a Friday early evening tea dance and a dark and thrilling Friday night show – presented by Dutch company Close Act.
Venues never before used during Hat Fair are likely to be pressed into use for Hidden Hat Fair, another new addition to this year’s Hat Fair. Three intimate shows away from the crowds – from Rotozaza, Tilted Productions and Shady Jane – increase the intensity and delight of this year’s event. Also away from the main bustle is the Time Out Zone in Abbey Gardens – a relaxed space in which to eat and chill out. There you will also find an outdoor theatre show specially commissioned for the under 5s – Little Universe.
The Brooks and The Square are great places to go to catch favourite ‘hatting’ acts, with traditional acts from performers who come to the Fair for free, sending round the hat after each show (now you know where the name Hat Fair comes from!
The Discovery Centre and Theatre Royal will transform into a delightful and safe place for the very young, with a specially created summer garden with green grass and deckchairs, and some enchanting Small Wonders – storytelling, activities and performances.
The Cathedral Zone will host high octane shows and workshops from the likes of Tumble Circus, Upswing, Mimbre, Blue Apple Theatre and others. Saturday night’s big show, ‘Waterlitz’ will take place at the King George V Playing Fields, while Sunday night’s Hat Fair finale from young British Square Peg Circus, ‘Rime’, will take place in another one-show zone, at River Park.
And the UK’s biggest outdoor dance event comes to The Great Hall/Law Courts, thanks to Hampshire Dance, with is brilliant ‘have a go’ Big Dance.
Oram’s Arbour on Sunday will still be the place for a fantastic fun-filled family day, with street theatre performances, Arts and Crafts and Fairtrade Market and The People’s Stage – an opportunity to experience the best in local talent.
Winchester’s Hat Fair, with its new status as a National Portfolio Organisation, is funded by the Arts Council, ZEPA (European Zone of Artistic Projects), Winchester City Council and Winchester Business Improvement District.
For more information about this year’s Hat Fair go to: www.hatfair.co.uk.
The 2012 Hat Fair will run from 6-8 July.