Journey to Old Halloween
The House of Fairy Tales ‘Travelling Art Circus’ comes to Gallery Square, Walsall.
Saturday 31 October, 11am – 11pm
Sunday 1 November, 11am – 4pm
Fresh from an extraordinary summer tour, the now legendary House of Fairy Tales presents one of their unique interactive child-centred art events for all ages.
Catch the magic at The New Art Gallery Walsall with this pioneering community arts group founded by artists Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis.
Events at TATE Modern, Glastonbury, Latitude, Port Eliot and National Trust Clumber Park, saw The House of Fairy Tales build its fan base throughout the country. A Hijack of Times 2 culture section in May presented the project to a million readers, and the audience at events through the summer has exceeded 100,000.
The launch event will take place over the Halloween weekend around the square outside and throughout the gallery building. There will be over 60 artists and performers from all over the country creating an active immersive environment for all ages.
Outside in the square a feast will welcome the people of Walsall with parkin, spit roasts and miniature toffee apples served from the Witches Gingerbread House as a series of characters welcome you to the past.
The mischievous and melancholic side of winter is celebrated by this unique celebration of all things dark and ghoulish. Entertainment, as it used to be before TV, will transform Gallery Square into a haunted fairground, with sideshow booths, games and strategies.
Come and join the circus for a journey to old Halloween and be taken on a time-travel journey through Celtic Samhain, Roman (the Goddess Pomona) and Early Christian All Hallows Eve mythology. Meet many characters and cultures along the way including a quick detour to the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Throughout the week, Strangeworks will be running a series of lantern workshops in the gallery and flags and masks workshops at youth and community centres around Walsall. The creations from all these workshops will become part of the lantern parade adding a different feel to the festive atmosphere. The workshops are funded by The Learning Revolution Festival, Arts Council England.
StrangeWorks is a group of artists who design, construct and facilitate theatrical performances that are specific to people, place and occasion. They work alongside local community groups, arts collectives and individuals to create provocative, inspirational performances and workshops. Every year, StrangeWorks artists and local residents put on a Halloween parade in East London.
Haunted Fairground, Gallery and Lantern Parade
Join us in a Medieval March through the streets of Walsall, led by the Musical Hall musicians The Dead Victorians. Explore the ghosts and dark side of our nature through drawing, puppets, drama and theatre with Pegasus, the travelling Horsewagon theatre. Experience Carnival Games with a twist, treats from The Witches Gingerbread House and Navarac the mirrored caravan. Witness improvised drama and storytelling from the Story Pirates, film projection, potato sculptures with NoNose, the Museum of Prodigies, Live Freak Shows from Mental Floss and Georgina White Aldworth the Visitors From Another Dimension, medieval band Princes in the Tower, folk singers Fanny Feeney with Tudor Ballads and The Marvellous Sam Lee with his old English voice, Zombie DJs, Mexican wrestling displays and Material Transformations from Ian Dawson. Join Matt Harling in his Bubble Dome for mad science experiences, Jim Bond and his Kinetic Ghost Challenge, fortune teller Madame de La Cartomancer and her tarot cards, Sefi the Snake Lady and her snake charming act, burlesque French DJ’s Les Apaches, Marika Rauscher singing Macabre Opera, The Lonesome Cowboys From Hell and their unique Texan Shakespearean stage act. Rhiannon Evans and Liam Ramsden present and gather Herbal Medicine, Folklore for the Ethnomedica project at Kew Gardens and spooky tales of the night with Don’t Tell Stories, courtesy of writer and storyteller Rachel Newsome. Also discover a Surreal installation, from creative arts organisation Container PLUS.
Saturday 31 Oct, 12pm – 5pm over a dozen workshops including lantern making, props, costumes, potato sculptures, fortune telling, exploricating, herbalism, freak shows, museums of curiosity.
Sunday 1 Nov, 11am – 4pm Gallery Square and various rooms throughout the Gallery itself.
Saturday 31 Oct at 6pm, Dress up and join us for a parade with a difference from the Sister Dora statue on the Bridge all the way to Gallery Square.
Saturday 31 Oct until 11pm, Gallery Square and in the Gallery foyer, including live stage with bands and performances.
For more information visit www.houseofairytales.org