Jabbering on about Jabberwocky, by Grace Wakes

Posted on Wednesday 11 March

Darlington’s very own small scale theatre festival has previously been described as ‘completely refreshing‘, ‘always stimulating and ‘super awesome.’  As it is approaching its fourth season, I thought it was highly appropriate to see just why the Jabberwocky Market is so good:

1) The festival brings theatre to unusual venues, previously there has been shows in a fitness studio, in the Market Square and in a local hotel. This year, the most unusual place to catch a show has gotta be on board a vintage bus!

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2) Jabberwocky Market is staffed mainly by volunteers, without them it would be impossible to run. Volunteering also offers local folk valuable experience working within the arts, it looks great on your CV and you can also meet lots of new friends from it!

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3) It’s not just about seeing shows, the festival also provides theatrical workshops. Previously, community groups have been able to work on ‘their own stories’ and explore the art of physical theatre techniques.

4) The concept of ‘scratch nights’ have been introduced to Darlington through the festival. This is where a theatre group have the opportunity to show an unfinished piece to an audience and gain valuable feedback to decided which direction they need to take the piece to next.

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5) The concept of theatre is often aimed towards an adult audience, however Jabberwocky Market shows are usually aimed at those of all ages, with some shows especially for children. ‘The Incredible Book Eating Boy’ and ‘Mr Doom and Mrs Bloom’s Story Emporium’  have previously wowed young audiences.

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6) The shows are great value for money! Ticket prices are often a lot lower than if you visited a regular theatre with some events even being free or using the great idea of ‘pay what you decide.’  (Have a read of this Guardian article about this type of ticketing.)

7) As well as theatre shows and workshops, the festival offers panel discussion often with influential figures in the arts world. This season you can get involved in a panel discussion on why a theatre company tours.

8) The Jabberwocky Market promotes creativity, especially in the upcoming season, where they are inviting local people to contribute a piece of art for their fundraising auction.

9) The festival is part of a much bigger picture! Did you know it is one of six festivals which take place in the UK and their main aim is to inspire a whole new generation of theatre-goers!

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10) Last but no means least, the Jabberwocky Market is so good because it brings innovative, creative and exciting fringe theatre to our doorsteps.

Grace Wakes

You can read more from Grace at her own arts blog http://darlingtonvisual.co.uk