Acts arrive for SO Festival

Passepartout Theatre Productions present an adaptation of King Lear ' using puppets  ' for all ages to enjoy.
Passepartout Theatre Productions present an adaptation of King Lear ' using puppets ' for all ages to enjoy.

Last minute preparations are being made for the East coast’s SO Festival – during which 17 acts will perform at the free three-day cultural spectacular, one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

Following last year’s successful event, the 2019 SO will follow similar lines – with the historic links between the Lincolnshire coast and the Danes being celebrated.

Internationally recognised Danish artistic director Jens Frimann Hansen is bringing some of the best European artists to perform to audiences in Skegness and Mablethorpe, who will work alongside UK acts to ensure three days of fun for all the family.

Highlights from Europe include performances by Italian artist La Fabiola, French clowns Super Super, Denmark’s Passepartout Theatre Productions and street theatre company Albedo.

Top UK family entertainment comes from circus theatre company Hikapee, Helen Eastman Productions, Max Calaf Seve and Humanhood – all supported by Without Walls, an organisation dedicated to raising the profile of the outdoor arts sector.

Spitfire and Dakota flypasts (weather dependant), will also entertain the crowds, which are expected to top last year’s number of 40,000 over the three days.

Starting in Sherwood Fields, Mablethorpe, on Friday, August 30, at 12 noon, before moving to Tower Gardens, Skegness, for the Saturday and Sunday, August 31 and September 1, SO 2019 is also getting local people and community groups involved with activity zones and local performances.

Workshops, with booking advisable, are also running at the Embassy Theatre, in Skegness, on the Sunday morning – one being led by well-known German-French philosopher Guillaume Paoli. Other bookable performances are Leaving Normal by Woest and No One Belongs Here More Than You by Chiara Dellerba, and UKYA.

The festival has East Lindsey TED Age-Friendly status with a Blue Zone introduced - a dedicated area for visitors with disabilities, life altering conditions or special educational needs, as well as their family and carers, to relax and refresh.

Wrist bands can be booked in advance.

Over the last few years, SO has grown to become one of the UK’s largest outdoor cultural and arts festivals of its kind, with funding from Arts Council England and East Lindsey District Council enabling its organisation by the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture – the district’s premier operator of leisure, health and lifestyle venues with a successful cultural arm that is responsible for SO.

Of this year’s festival, artistic director Jens, who with colleagues puts together the successful Passage Festival in Denmark, said: “We are excited about this year’s SO Festival, we are always working on establishing a dialogue with the town, its people and tourists.

“Our hope this year is that people will take a chance to come along and see something new, something that they may think would not ordinarily appeal to them. We guarantee that everything is of the very best quality.”

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, added: “We’re proud to have 
supported SO Festival for more than 10 years, and it’s great to see it continuing to showcase local talent alongside international performers, ranging from circus and Shakespeare, to puppetry and outer space.

“SO has become a key event in the cultural calendar, bringing work from across Europe to Mablethorpe and Skegness, creating a truly memorable experience for locals and holiday makers alike.”

For more information, including the full programme of events, visit www.sofestival.org