Spark Festival launches ‘fortnight of unforgettable family entertainment’ – with many events free

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Aiming to provide a welcome splash of ‘sunshine’, children’s arts event The Spark Festival begins today – and for the first time ever, it is taking place online, due to current restrictions.

Running until Saturday, February 20, the festival promises a fortnight of unforgettable family entertainment.

Designed for children aged 0-13 years and their families, this year’s festival programme is the most accessible ever, with a ‘Festival On Demand’ service so you can take part when it suits you.

The Festival, supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Leicester City Council, is the largest independent children’s arts festival in England and aims to offer the very best theatre, dance, music and workshops around.

Families will be able to enjoy a range of extraordinary and entertaining shows from across the world.

Potato Needs a Bath

Prepare to get your groove on as Bangers and Mash-Ups with Mr Shay fuses cooking and beat-boxing in an online, live-streamed, kitchen takeover.

There’s an invitation to the vegetable party of the year and Potato Needs a Bath (he’s not keen on the idea, though).

Mountain Goat Mountain will help you step into your own imaginative world, in which you’ll be able to explore tunnels, lava pits and underwater caves without leaving your home.

Autistic and neurodivergent children can immerse themselves in the sounds, sights and scents of a rain forest in Tribe DIY, an empowering and unique sensory experience.

For the festival’s youngest audience, Mmm Ahhh Whoosh has live songs, humming and singing for babies, toddlers and families.

There’s also a number of festival workshops to take part in. You could write four plays in four days with 14/48 Takeover or join Words Between Us for live personal poetry-making.

Make a map full of stories with Leicester Gallery’s Here Be Dragons and turn slouching on the sofa into an art form by joining Mimbre’s acrobats for a Sofa Acrobatics family movement session.

It’s not only national and international performances and adventures taking place during the festival.

Families of Belgrave, the ‘Golden Mile’ of Leicester, have been sharing their stories, their personal histories and their family traditions with writer Satinder Chohan.

These Secret Stories will be performed by professional actors on Zoom during the festival.

Between Monday, February 8 and Friday, February 13, The Spark’s At Your School programme remains at the heart of the festival, with many performances and projects adapted to be shared by schools as part of the home learning timetable.

Full details of all this year’s festival events can be found on The Spark website here.

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