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Frenchgate Shopping Centre, Doncaster, is set to host a summer-long Literary Festival offering a wide range of events for families and children of all ages.

Beginning on Tuesday 3rd August and running throughout the school holidays, the Frenchgate Literary Festival will offer a number of creative workshops and activities as well as a meet and greet with a very famous literacy bunny.

Local theatre company, The BugLight Theatre, are launching a pop-up shop in the Centre, called Create Space, which will provide arts activities to the local community as part of the event.

Over a six- week period they will host a selection of theatre and arts activities in the shop, which will be located in unit 77 on the lower mall, between Coffee Time and the brand-new children’s clothing store Pud. The activities, accessible to all, will include storytelling, crafting and puppetry workshops. The project is being funded by the Arts Council England and Doncaster Creates.

On Friday 20th August Peter Rabbit will be visiting the Centre to meet and greet his fans at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. He will also be holding narration sessions at 11am and 3pm. This will be a free ticketed event, head to the Frenchgate website to collect your ticket and secure your child with a slot. One ticket allows the entry of one child.

Presented by the National Literary Trust, children’s author Philip Shephard will be hosting storytelling and draw along sessions on Wednesday 11th and 18th August between 1pm and 3pm outside Waterstones.

In addition, Doncaster-based advertising photographer, Jamie Bubb, will be introducing his photography exhibition, ‘The Books That Made Us’ on the Art Space at the rail end of the centre towards the end of August.

Jamie said, “We all have a book, 'that' book, the one that changed us, our thinking, our outlook, our perspective. Perhaps it made us laugh when we hadn't had much to laugh about for a while or maybe it made us cry for all the right reasons. It caught us just at the right time, the right age, and it spoke to YOU. 

“I've tried to explore that special relationship we have with literature in these portraits of Doncaster folks in and around our town. If you haven't found 'that' book yet, I hope these images and stories convince you it's worth looking for.”  

The Centre’s popular book exchange will be re-opening outside Waterstones for the duration of the festival for those who want to take an old favourite book and swap it for a new one.

Ian Leech, marketing manager at Frenchgate Shopping Centre, said: “We are really looking forward to launching our literary festival. It is important for us as a Centre to champion literacy and the arts so the festival is our way of celebrating them and involving the local community. We have such a wide range of activities planned, there is something for all ages to enjoy.”


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