Groups get the nod for festival

Maison Foo''Photo by Robert DAY
Maison Foo''Photo by Robert DAY

Derby Festé has announced the names of the two Derbyshire-based companies who will be creating new work especially for this year’s festival.

Performing during the Festé weekend will be Maison Foo and Freckled Mischief.

In January, Derby Festé put a call out to local artists to apply for the commissions offered by the festival.

Following on from last year’s performances by Lost Boys and Babbling Vagabonds, this is the second time that local artists have been sought and commissioned to create new work specifically for this annual highlight of the Derbyshire cultural calendar.

Maison Foo, a highly acclaimed theatre and events company from Derby which has enjoyed wide success, will present Person Birds, which promises to be a hilariously comic and surreal show.

The Person Birds are life-sized characters – half person, half bird – and will use physical theatre to attract crowds of all ages to gaze in wonder at this new mischievous species and it’s most ridiculous tricks.

Freckled Mischief, a mischievous street theatre company based in Derby, will present a unique take on The Wizard of Oz. The Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow will ask members of the public for directions and guidance as they try and find their way to the familiar yellow brick road. Family friendly clowning around will filter through the streets of the city centre bringing entertainment and mischief wherever they go.

Both companies will be an integral part of the amazing local, national and international line-up of exceptional street artists and performances that will amaze and entertain the people of Derby during Derby Festé 2015.

Stephen Munn, Festé programming group and director of Déda, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to commission more new work for Derby Festé from these two exciting Derbyshire companies. We think that it is hugely important that a festival like Festé supports and nurtures local talent and now that the funding for the festival is secure through to 2016 we are in a position to be able to offer this exciting opportunity.”

More locally-based artists will be selected to perform during the festival weekend and will be announced shortly.

n Fans of best-selling thriller writer Peter James can enjoy the second theatre adaptation of one of his books when Dead Simple comes to Nottingham’s Theatre Royal this week until April 18.

Following the nationwide success of The Perfect Murder this year, Dead Simple - Peter James’s all-time best-selling novel - will be the second claustrophobically thrilling stage adaptation in conjunction with producer Joshua Andrews (The Perfect Murder, A Streetcar Named Desire).

Tina Hobley (Holby City) as Ashley Harper, Jamie Lomas (Eastenders, Hollyoaks) as Michael Harrison and Gray O’ Brien (Coronation Street) as Detective Roy Grace are joined by Rik Makarem (Emmerdale, Torchwood) in the role of Mark Warren and Michael McKell (Doctors, Emmerdale) as Bradley Cunningham to complete the lead cast.

Michael Harrison thinks he has it all; great career, good friends and a beautiful fiancée. But when his stag night prank goes horribly wrong, Michael finds himself alone and staring death in the face.

As time runs out and the terror grows, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace tries to solve his mysterious disappearance, but begins to fear that Michael will never be found in time.

Peter James has gone straight in at no 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller charts seven times in the last four years with his Roy Grace series. He has sold over 15 million books of his Roy Grace series.

Peter James said:“As a writer, all my characters begin in my mind. I flesh them out for the printed page. But nothing can compare to the joy of seeing them turn into real flesh and blood. We were blessed with both casts of The Perfect Murder and we are just as blessed now with the cast for Dead Simple.”

Ticket details are available on 0115 9895555.