Walking along North Street late yesterday afternoon, about 4pm, I noticed a group of people gesturing towards Hopewell House. As I got nearer, I realised it was a theatrical performance, giving a taster of The Ashford Tales. This is a family-friendly play-cum-walking tour, sharing dark tales, heroic deeds and – my favourite bit – “sheer idiocy” of famous and infamous Ashford residents throughout time.
Photo © http://www.thecompanyuk.com
The play is being produced by site-specific theatre specialists, The Company (one of whose patrons is Raymond Briggs, famous for writing ‘The Snowman’ and ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’, amongst many other fantastic, visual, story-books). The Company’s plays ‘reflect local lives, in the past and right now’. Love that. That’s what Ashford’s heritage is all about.
This production is all part of the Ashford Create Festival. Last year, I loved the David Bowie tribute act that headlined the party in Victoria Park and who are returning again next month. This year, for the first time, the Festival is going to be a week-long celebration of all things ‘Ashford’. The Ashford Tales promises to be a fun way of engaging with our local buildings and people from centuries gone by who lived, worked and shopped in them – just as we do today.