St Ethelburga’s Hallowtide Fair – Punchdrunk Enrichment

7 Oct

Usually I concentrate on reviewing shows and events that have already happened or are currently running. I’m going to make an exception this time because I think this project deserves to be featured and promoted.

Eastbury Manor and Punchdrunk Enrichment present
St Ethelburga’s Hallowtide Fair

This Halloween, Punchdrunk Enrichment are working with local Barking and Dagenham residents to reimagine a legendary Hallowtide Fair that visited Barking every October in the nineteenth century but has long been forgotten.  Created for and by the community in a magnificent Tudor building – Eastbury Manor House – St Ethelburga’s Hallowtide Fair will be a magical experience for local families featuring stalls, festive music and traditional games to captivate all ages.

St Ethelburga was Abbess of Barking Abbey and each October pilgrims would flock to Barking to commemorate her Feast Day.  A local fair was held in her honour attracting visitors from far and wide. Eastbury Manor House is an enchanting property that has changed little in appearance since it was built in the 1600s.  The building has been used as a museum, an Air Raid shelter, a hospital, a stable, a merchant’s house, an outpost to Barking Abbey and may even have played its part in Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot.

Over the last few months, Punchdrunk Enrichment has invited Barking and Dagenham residents to Eastbury Manor to share memories of the local area and their responses to this extraordinary building.  These stories have inspired the Hallowtide Fair which will take place over three days from 31st October to 2nd November and will be designed, built and brought to life by the local community.

This will be a Halloween celebration like no other – something unexpected and new, created from local history, memories and legends. Visitors who delve a little deeper will be rewarded; discovering unexpected mysteries, hidden rooms and surprises within this magnificent Tudor building.  As the Hallowtide Fair is brought back to life the stories of the past begin to seep into the present…

Tickets are available to Barking and Dagenham residents here:

If you happen to be a local resident and find yourself with some spare time around Halloween I urge you to give this a go. It’s bound to be a great event for adults and kids.

Here’s some info about Punchdrunk Enrichment:

Since 2008, Punchdrunk’s Enrichment team has taken this immersive practice into communities, creating performances with and for children, young people and the wider community. Punchdrunk Enrichment has enjoyed widespread success, working with over 40,000 young people and community members since its inception. Punchdrunk Enrichment has worked with over 200 schools, creating groundbreaking educational projects which place pupils and teachers at the heart of the experience and provide a real catalyst for learning.
Punchdrunk Enrichment aims to give audiences and participants an unforgettable experience, which ignites and inspires their imaginations by involving them directly in an enthralling theatre story.

Here’s one example of the great work Punchdrunk do through their Enrichment programme.



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