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Spoken Word & Literary

Just words

Good friends of Deer Shed, Dave Simpson and Katherine Stanton, have curated our line-up of literary and spoken word delights for the Buckends tent, brand new for Deer Shed 9.

Chris Difford

Chris Difford

Grammy nominated lyricist and Double Ivor Novello Award-winning enigma Chris Difford has brought us characters and sketches from everyday life, and has successfully turned the mundane into the beautiful, the urbane into the exquisite, for over 40 years.

Ahh squeeze... Chris along with his partner, collaborator, friend and Squeeze co-founder Glenn Tilbrook, has written some of the most enduring and best-loved songs of our time. 'Up The Junction', 'Cool For Cats' and 'Labelled With Love', ‘Tempted’ to name just a few. Chris Difford will join us in the brand new Buckends tent to talk about his life in and out of Squeeze, with his new book, Some Fantastic Place: My Life In and Out of Squeeze... AND he’ll getting his guitar out!

Cosey Fanni Tutti

Cosey Fanni Tutti

“It did shock some people, but we just wanted to short circuit peoples’ notion of what music could be.” From humble beginnings growing up on a council estate in Hull, Cosey Fanni Tutti became one of Britain’s leading avant-garde artists; continually breaking down the barriers of art throughout her career with the bands Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey.

Her recent book, Art Sex Music, is a memoir of a life spent rejecting societal convention and embodying the spirit of individuality through her performance art, some of which caused the police to run Cosey and her cohort out of Hull. Punk, pioneer, provocateur: our Dave Simpson will be chatting to the performer whose art and music inspired a generation and rocked the establishment to its core.

Lucy Mangan

Lucy Mangan

We all have our own cherished childhood stories. Travelling down rabbit holes to topsy-turvy wonderlands, learning the secrets of the wizarding world and having green eggs and ham for tea … again. While we may not have realised it on first reading, these stories shape our lives in countless subtle ways.

Lucy Mangan, the much-loved author and Guardian journalist, is heading to Baldersby Park this summer to speak about her brand new book, Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading. ‘Passionate, witty, informed and gloriously opinionated’ (Jacqueline Wilson), Bookworm brings the favourite characters of our childhood back to life – prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate – while telling Lucy’s own story: that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.

Angela Saini

Angela Saini

Angela Saini is an award-winning science journalist, author and broadcaster. Her latest book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, investigates the mistakes and bias that have plagued scientific research on women for more than a century, and the empowering new work that promises to transform the way we think about women’s minds, bodies and place in the human evolutionary story.

Saini looks at everything from whether little boys really do prefer playing with cars rather than dolls, to whether the structure of the female brain is different from the male. She brings her discoveries to Deer Shed this year with a talk that promises to be truly eye-opening.

Angela Saini

Fiona Mozley

Now here’s an author who must have the whole of Yorkshire beaming with pride. Fiona Mozley was raised – and lives now – in York. She works part-time as a bookseller in the Little Apple Bookshop near York Minster, is studying for a PhD at the University of York and wrote her debut novel, Elmet, during her daily commute.

Elmet, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker, is a contemporary rural noir steeped in the literature and legend of the Yorkshire landscape. It tells the story of Daniel, his sister Cathy and their Daddy, who live in a house they built with their bare hands in a small copse in Elmet. The family believe the copse is theirs alone, but local men, greedy and watchful, begin to circle like vultures... Elmet is a lyrical commentary on English society and an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can really go.

Liz Flanagan

Liz Flanagan

Liz Flanagan writes for children and teenagers; she is the author of Eden Summer (nominated for the Carnegie Medal) and Cara and the Wizard, as well as the forthcoming Dragon Daughter which will be published in October.

She has recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing, and now divides her time between teaching – currently at Newcastle University – and writing. Previously, Liz was Director of the Ted Hughes Arvon writing centre, and before that worked in children’s publishing. Her passion for reading, writing and children’s books has been a constant thread throughout.

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart

William Lee, it's me, I'm Cathy I've come home! Still has the same ring, right? Michael Stewart’s latest novel Ill Will is is about William Lee, previously known as Heathcliff, who is travelling across the moors to Liverpool in search of his past. Along the way, he saves Emily, the foul-mouthed daughter of a Highwayman, and the pair journey on together. Roaming from graveyard to graveyard, making a living from Emily’s apparent ability to commune with the dead, the pair lie, cheat and scheme their way across the North of England.

Michael Stewart us multi-award winning writer, born and brought up in Salford, who moved to Yorkshire in 1995 and is now based in Bradford. He has written several full length stage plays, one of which, Karry Owky, was joint winner of the King’s Cross Award for New Writing.

John Hegley’s Animal Alphaboat

John Hegley’s Animal Alphaboat

The Animal Alphaboat comes to inland northern Yorkshire and parks up in Baldersby Park, where its elephants, guillemots, camels, armadillo, xylofox and socktopus will disembark from the ship and descend on Deer Shed 9.

These creatures will be carefully shepherded from the vessel, with songs, poems and waving of wings and tentacles by the new age Noah, John Hegley. John is an all-singing, all-dancing performance poet whose wit and silliness make this family show an absolute hit.

Scott Allen

Scott Allen

What happens when eleven llamas unknowingly eat the ashes of one of the greatest footballers of all time? They become brilliant at football, of course! Managed by eleven-year-old Tim, his unusual friend Cairo and Scottish World Cup-winner McCloud (yes that *happened* apparently), Llama United goes on an amazing cup run. But who wants to lose to a team of stupid llamas? Nobody, that's who!

Rival teams will do anything in their power to stop the team in its tracks. When the best cup in the world is at stake, football can be a nasty old business. Our new favourite footballing underdogs (underllamas?) are in town, and their genius creator is heading to Deer Shed 9 to chat about cup glory!

Josie Brookes

Josie Brookes

Josie Brookes is an Illustrator from Newcastle-upon-Tyne who combines drawing, print and collage to create beautifully odd characters. Josie uses an intuitive approach to creating her work. Often inspired by a snippet of textured paper or a colourful scrap of packaging, she enjoys playing with combinations and exploring how different colours, patterns and materials can provide the creative spark for her next illustration.

Josie will be showing her recent work and sharing her process. She will also be doing a live character making demonstration to show the younger Deer Shed audience how to make their own weird and wonderful ‘Deep Sea’ characters. They will be using recycled sweetie wrappers and collage, inspired by Josie's methods and this year’s ‘Making Waves’ theme!

Ski Oakenfull

Ski Oakenfull

Ski Oakenfull likes making music so much he began making a career of it in 1991 with the band 'The K-Creative'. More recently his music production skills have turned him into a bit of a viral sensation, recording live deconstructions of popular tracks on Ableton such as this one of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.

This summer, Ski will deconstruct the Massive Attack classic Unfinished Sympathy live at Deer Shed 9, and talk Deer Shedders through making music production that little bit more accessible!

Gecko

Gecko

The first time we saw Gecko was at a Sofar Sounds gig performing his acoustic guitar-backed spoken word to about 30 other people packed into a tiny Nottingham flat. His charm and witty word play won the hearts of every single one of those people, and we're overjoyed he’ll be doing the same in a not-quite-so-tiny Baldersby Park this summer!

Gecko is a North London based ‘singer-storyteller’ whose playful songs take on the big subjects of our day. “If knowledge is power, how come Boris is powerful?” is one of our personal favourite lyrics from his humorous ode to libraries, ‘The Library’! He released his debut album Volcano in November 2017, which was subsequently named 'Album of the Year' in the Morning Star.

Nasty Women Panel

Nasty Women Panel

Craftivism and Embracing the “Nasty”- Small Acts of Making to create a sea change.

We can guess your first question: what is craftivism? Craftivism is a form of activism, typically incorporating elements of anti-capitalism, environmentalism, solidarity, or third-wave feminism, that is centered on practices of craft.

At Deer Shed 9, panellists Michaela Wetherell, Lady Kitt and Dr Alex Lockwood will discuss the development and achievements of the global art and activism movement “Nasty Women” since its inception in November 2016. They will first focus on four Nasties who have been particularly influential in the UK movement (including 5-year-old Finn, .and Jan who is 69 and a half). Then, looking particularly at examples of Craftivism from all over the world, the panel will consider the small but significant ways in which people of any age can create change in their own communities and globally.

Say Owt Slam

Say Owt Slam

If you’ve never heard of a poetry slam before, here’s a little rundown: a poetry slam is a competition where each poet gets 3 minutes to impress the audience with exciting, raw and dynamic poetry. Say Owt Slam, based in York, take inspiration from these slam contests for their poetry collective’s name.

Led by Henry Raby, one of the most hardworking poets, theatre-makers and playwrights in all North Yorkshire, Say Owt Slam are returning to Deer Shed for a second year running with a star-studded line-up of wordsmiths to perform their impromptu poems. And if you can’t wait until then, be sure to check out their popular podcast. A good start would be this one with our Megan, Deer Shed creative director.

Rowan McCabe

Rowan McCabe's Tent to Tent poetry

Rowan McCabe is quite the inspirational human being. He is the world’s first door-to-door poet whose spoken word talent is secondly only to his empathy and ability to connect with total strangers. The Geordie points out in this wonderful Ted Talk that more than 1 in 4 houses in the UK now has someone living alone in it and goes on to tell of his mission to combat loneliness.

The door-to-door poet knocks on houses around the country to offer his services: writing a poem on any subject of the answerer’s choice. Rowan will be travelling from tent to tent in the Deer Shed 9 campsite to pen a poem about anything you fancy hearing. Your very own personalised bit of verse. How’s that for a festival memento?

Alex Lockwood

Alex Lockwood

The Chernobyl Privileges is a new psychological drama that connects the experience of siblings separated by the historical Chernobyl disaster to today's debate around nuclear power. Its author, Newcastle-upon-Tyne based Alex Lockwood, travels internationally to speak on issues including our relationship with animals, vegan life practices, food justice and running, and has also written for the Guardian.

Alex is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been recognised as a Winston Churchill Fellow for his work in using creative writing to build literacy and confidence amongst 5-19 year olds. As well as speaking about The Chernobyl Privileges, Alex will also join our Nasty Women panel in its discussion of craftivism.

Sunday Morning Papers

Sunday Morning Papers

When day breaks on Sunday morning at Deer Shed 9, we're betting on there being at least a few weary heads waking in their tents. Worry not: you can grab a strong cup of coffee or a hangover-busting juice from Smoothie Mania and relax in front of the Sunday Morning Papers, starring everyone’s favourite weekend breakfast radio show host, Nick Ahad, and the hilarious Katie Mulgrew.

Our panel will discuss the events that occur in the press over the weekend, so you can stay up to date with goings on beyond the gates of Baldersby Park. Expect breaking news and satirical views to banish those lingering hangover blues.

Talkaoke

Talkaoke

Talkaoke is an art project that has been running for over 20 years. It’s a pop-up talk show that enlivens festivals, galleries and street corners all over, and it’s coming to Deer Shed 9! We’ll take you on a conversational journey with other Deer Shedders, jumping from one unexpected subject to the next. It can be topical, funny, deep, surreal, or something else.

You generate the subjects and it’s the host in the middle’s job to keep everybody entertained and engaged. Talkaoke is an innovative way to hear the latest ideas people are talking about and to create and discover new ones together.

Thinking Space - SHED Talks

Thinking Space - SHED Talks

Aware that any one of the many kids who attend Deer Shed could possess the potential to surpass Plato or outshine Aristotle, we feel it important to promote any inkling of philosophical intrigue in Baldersby Park. In collaboration with Thinking Space, we’re very excited to present SHED Talks for a second year running.

Thinking Space uses philosophical conversation to help people think better together – especially within communities facing disadvantage. They help people develop their critical and creative thinking and see philosophy, not as something you know, but something you practice together. Picture an ancient Greek debate chamber transported to a field in North Yorkshire.

Sarah Bennetto’s Storytellers’ Club

Sarah Bennetto’s Storytellers’ Club

Sarah Bennetto is the genius behind Storytellers’ Club – an evening where comedians settle in for a night in front of a faux fire to recount their funniest tales. Usually held in the cosy attic above the legendary Prince of Wales Theatre in Brixton, for one Saturday only Sarah is transporting the club to Baldersby Park. Not only that, but joining Sarah will be comedy Big Top stars, James Acaster, Rachel Parris and Bec Hill.

We’ll create a cosy story time scene set, complete with faux fireplace, in the brand new Buckends tent for Sarah to spill the beans on all sorts of crazy scenarios, James’s classic scrapes, Rachel’s reminiscences and Bec’s babbling!

Problem Solving Booths

Problem Solving Booths

Sometimes when you’re feeling down, all you really need is for someone to hear you out. A friend, a family member, or even a total stranger. Consisting of simply two chairs, one for the “helper” and the other for the “helped” who may have a problem or need advice, Problem Solving Booths are popping up all over the country to get us talking about our emotions and our mental health.

novel approach to supporting wellbeing and connection in local communities has emerged with informal street booths popping up all over the country, where people young and old can discuss problems with one another. Deer Shed 9 will be the first ever festival appearance for Problem Solving Booths! Can we set a record for the most people problem solving together at one time?

Pip Theatre

Pip Theatre

Pip Theatre is an innovative arts organisation sowing the seeds within the local community to create, educate and connect. Returning to Deer Shed for a second year, they will be offering a fun and adventurous take on your usual storytelling workshops...

Everything from silly stories to exploring the deep, Pip will be encouraging you to get creative and join them on a voyage into the world of waves. All ages welcome, get ready to plunge in and take a few risks!

Mud Pie Arts

Mud Pie Arts

Mud Pie Arts specialise in multi-sensory story making with young children. They work extensively in Yorkshire schools, early year settings, libraries and festivals empowering children to find their voice, stretch their imagination and discover new possibilities through story and play.

Join Mud Pie Arts for some bedtime storytelling, ideal for under-fives, based on the book Billy's Bucket by Kes Gray. Billy sees a whole ocean in his magic bucket, but his parents don't believe him until they borrow his bucket to wash the car!

Storytellers

Storytellers

In addition to our top picks from the modern literary and spoken word spheres, Deer Shed 9 will also offer a vast range of storytelling events to hold the attention of young people and give parents a little relaxing break from the excitement that the festival inspires.

Notable storytellers include Solstice Storytelling Circle, Lorna Mallet but there will almost always be a wordsmith on hand to charm listeners in a quiet area aside from the main festival party.

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