River Stories by Walk the Plank, part of the Reading-on-Thames Festival

On Saturday 16 September, award-winning outdoor arts company, Walk the Plank, will be presenting a special theatrical event on the Thames which promises to be a highlight of the first ever Reading-on-Thames Festival.

River Stories will be performed to a large audience watching from the banks of the Thames at Caversham Court Gardens.  The spectacle will take its inspiration from the folklore, traditions and ecology of the magnificent River Thames as it winds its way through Reading. Working with artists and the people of Reading, River Stories will be a multi-sensory spectacle to delight people of all ages with poetry, music, lights, fire and pyrotechnics. It’s a unique chance to experience the river in a way you hadn’t imagined before.

Walk the Plank is one of the UK’s leading outdoor arts organisations, creating unique outdoor shows across the UK and all over the world. In 2017, they have already staged the opening ceremony to celebrate Pafos as 2017 European Capital of Culture. They also produce the annual Manchester Day Parade and in 2015 won Best Outdoor Event at the prestigious Event Awards for their weekend of events, including a floating Loch Ness Monster on the River Foyle, as part of the Derry-Londonderry UK Capital Culture celebrations.

John Wassell, Walk the Plank Creative Producer, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in this exciting new festival to create a magical spectacle on the river.  25 years ago we set up the UK’s first touring theatre ship so it’s poignant in our 25th anniversary that we get to work on one of the most famous rivers in the world for the people of Reading.”

The inaugural Reading-on-Thames Festival takes place between 9 and 17 September 2017 with support from Arts Council England and Reading’s newest office building, R+.  This new arts and cultural festival for Reading was born out of the ideas, enthusiasm and momentum from Reading’s Year of Culture in 2016. It aims to put Reading’s waterways back at the heart of the town as the backdrop and inspiration for an inspiring eight-day arts programme from national and local cultural groups.

River Stories will take place on 16 September at 19:45 (doors 18:00) in Caversham Court Gardens. Tickets are available from www.readingarts.com or 0118 960 6060. A family ticket is £15 (adult £8, child £5).

Reading Buses are operating a shuttle bus service from the north side of Reading Station to and from the event, starting at 17:45.

More information about the event and the Reading-on-Thames Festival at www.readingonthamesfestival.org


Walk the Plank

Founded in 1992, Walk the Plank is one of the UK’s leading outdoor arts organisations with an award-winning portfolio of work drawn from an exciting range of creative projects nationally and internationally. From village square to international stage, we work in collaboration with diverse communities and artists to enrich lives through shared creative experience.  Based in Salford, we are a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England.

In 2017, Walk the Plank’s work has taken it to Pafos where it staged the  opening ceremony     to celebrate Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture, returning again in July to produce   Eternal Voyages  one of the highlight’s the city’s summer cultural programme.  In June, it produced the eighth successive Manchester Day parade, an annual celebration of all things Mancunian, and in October of this year it will be helping Milton Keynes celebrate its 50th anniversary as new town with a Feast of Fire programme of events in the city’s iconic urban spaces.  In 2015, we won Best Outdoor Event for Return of Colmcille as part of the Derry-Londonderry UK Capital Culture celebrations.

A highly creative and disruptive force in outdoor arts Walk the Plank’s work challenges and inspires both the artists who create it and the communities in which it is seen, experienced and shared.  Everything we do tells a story in some way.  The very nature of our work and its outdoor context means that it is ephemeral.  Once it has been performed and experienced it disappears.  But once we’ve gone, our aim is to leave a legacy among both artists and communities – and a lasting memory in the minds of everyone who has experienced our work. www.walktheplank.co.uk