Deer Shed 6 Arts: The best of the Edinburgh Festival and beyond.

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Deer Shed Festival have completed their 2015 line-up by announcing an amazing arts programme which includes punk legend Viv Albertine, beatboxing sensation Shlomo, and the winner of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014 - Panel Prize, Funz and Ga

With Deer Shed Festival’s commitment to presenting family-friendly, PG art and comedy shows, the arts line-up strikes an impressive balance of being suitable for kids, whilst not being solely aimed at kids. There will be no juvenile gunge gags here … well, maybe one or two!

2015’s Big Top is going to be buzzing with new and returning acts. Alongside Funz and Gamez, Saturday headliners, Pappy’s, will be making a welcome return with their anarchic brand of sketch comedy; and comedy-cabaret troupe, Slightly Fat Features, will be bringing their acclaimed variety act from London’s West End all the way to the Deer Shed Festival on Friday night.

The Big Top also boasts shows from comedy improv-extraordinaires, Racing Minds; World Loopstation Champion and international beatboxer, Shlomo; junk percussion duo, Bang On!; and a history of magic abridged from delightful illusionist, Otiz Cannelloni. Deer Shed Festival’s Up in the Air theme – which runs firmly throughout the arts line-up – is also addressed with shows from the professor of paper aircraft, Andy Chipling; and the world famous bubbleologist, Samsam Bubbleman. Samsam’s shop was a firm favourite last year and the show promises to be incredibubble too.

After the successful addition of Literary and Spoken Word to last year’s festival, the Deer Shed Festival team have brought it back for 2015, and this time there’s an edgier line-up which promises to pull no punches. There will be spoken word shows from Andy Kershaw, and Paul Arthurs (aka Bonehead from Oasis), whilst idols Billy Bragg, and Viv Albertine will each be giving undoubtedly candid, and certainly fascinating interviews with Guardian journalists Dave Simpson and Laura Barton respectively.

Laura Barton will also be interviewing Betty Trask Award winning children’s author, Emma Janes Unsworth. World Book Day illustrator and author of Where Bear?, Sophy Henn, will be doing a special interactive reading of her newest book Pom Pom Gets the Grumps. And the creator of The Beano’s Derek the Sheep, Gary Northfield, will be talking about his latest book as well as running a very exciting comic book workshop.

The comic book workshop won’t be the only interactive arts feature of Deer Shed Festival 6. Thanks to Northern Festival Network, Deer Shed has secured some amazing walkabout acts. Mufti Games are promising to bring festival-goers the kid’s game Battleships like they’ve never seen it before including a 100 metre distance between the boards, an impressive outlook post, and highly-decorated Captains to over-sea proceedings. For a little Up in the Air interactive-arts, visitors will have to look no further than Pif Paf Flycycle who will be flying you around the world on their magnificent pedal-powered Flycycle.

For those theatre-lovers, there will be some wonderfully whimsical theatrical performances from Open Umbrella Theatre, Bird-Forward Theatre Project, Central School of Speech and Drama, and Tusk Theatre, all of which are guaranteed to make the audience laugh, smile, and marvel in wonder. Whether it’s life-sized puppets, slapstick comedy, or hot air balloons, there’s something for everyone from these performances.

The evenings are for storytellers. Youngsters can snuggle down with a pillow and a blanket and lose themselves in the wonderful worlds of word-weavers Lorna Mallet’s Bedtime Stories, Time Travelling Toby, or Mud Pie Arts – Miss Cloud. It’s a perfect pre-bedtime wind-down for the littlest festival critters.

Regular visitors to the Deer Shed Festival will know that the Sunday cinema is always a favourite for those who’ve just had too many fun-filled days at the workshops, games and arts. With the Up in the Air theme firmly in mind, 2015’s selected movies are Legend of the Guardians, Galaxy Quest, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and two-time Oscar-winning, family-favourite Up.

For the first time ever, Deer Shed Festival are giving festival goers a chance to stay over Sunday night, and there’s a real treat for those who do. Nine-time Gold Sony Radio Award winner, Andy Kershaw, will be transforming the Obelisk stage into a Global Dance Night, pioneering extraordinary world music with the motto: “not here to give the public what it wants, here to give the public what it didn’t know it wanted”. It’s sure to be a real end-of-the-festival delight.

Published on 08 May 2015 by Ben Robinson

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