Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Ed of the procession at Carlisle Pageant

KING Edward III has been dusted off to join a cast of royalty parading through the streets of Carlisle today.

Like a puppet of a king! Stephen Dunn, arts officer at Carlisle City Council, with a couple of the giant figures including, above, the one of King Edward III

One of England’s most notorious monarchs is one of the giants from the city’s past being brought back to life.

He will have a starring role again after being recreated as a giant puppet.

The king is among the characters who will feature in a colourful puppet parade marking the start of the second Carlisle Pageant, which runs for the next 10 days.

He will be joined by a cast that will also include Mary Queen of Scots and Roman soldiers.

Stephen Dunn, an arts officer with Carlisle City Council, is one of the main players in pulling the procession together.

Yesterday, he was dusting off some of the favourite creations from last year’s inaugural parade – including the king – to join some new creations designed and built in a series of special workshops held over the last few weeks.

And he joked: “The puppet doctor had to spent a lot of time on him.”

It is hoped that a big crowd will turn out for the parade, which sets off from the Civic Centre at 2pm and heads towards the Old Town Hall.

The majority of the puppets have been made locally with help from organisations such as Prism Arts, with the inspiration for many coming from Carlisle’s history.

Stephen’s hoping that this year’s puppet parade can build on the success of last year’s launch as it aims to draw people into the city, boost its cultural credentials and the economy.

And he hopes a later start than the first time around will lure more out.

“It was a bit early last year and it was all over too early, so it should be even busier this year,” Stephen added.

The parade will be rounded off with a specially commissioned play – The Lion and the Unicorn – in front of the Old Town Hall.

It is written from the perspective of a football commentator describing what’s unfolding – with the one-act production featuring some of the time’s most influential characters. It has been created by the team at Carlisle-based Lakeside Castings – written and directed by Mitch Bridgewater and produced and cast by the agency’s boss, Phil McKay.

The performance, to be staged in front of the Old Town Hall at 2.45pm, builds on the success of Lakeside’s acting workshops.

Celebrations today also include a family fun day in the city centre, which will be followed by a ‘Best of Carlisle Market’ and then an international market into next weekend.

The festival will also see a giant cake replica of Carlisle Cathedral being pieced together.


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