‘All The Park’s a Stage’, declare the posters advertising tomorrow’s Malvern May Day event in Priory Park.
The theme for this year is Shakespeare and from a Shakespeare look-a-like competition to street theatre and some interactive Shakespearean drama there will be lots of themed events taking place throughout the day, along with live bands, a craft market, an organic cafe, storytelling and a chill-out area for teens.
The Malvern May Day event in the park and the May Day Parade through the town centre have become an annual tradition in the town. Organised by Malvern Fringe, a registered charity, it has been taking place on the Saturday before the May Bank Holiday for the last 18 years.
Last year saw record numbers of people attending the event and organisers are hoping for another good turnout this year.
Malvern May Day is very much a family event, organised by local people for local people. Taking place in the heart of Great Malvern in Priory Park most of the fun is free and organisers simply want people to turn up and enjoy themselves.
“It’s very much a day for families and we have lots of things going on to appeal to all ages,” said Ginny Lee, of Malvern Fringe Arts.
These include a dressing-up workshop and bouncy castle for younger children and a special DJ tent set up as a meeting place for local teenagers.
“It’s somewhere especially for them. Somewhere to be with their friends,” said Ginny.
The May Day is a community event and attracts support from local businesses and community organisations, from schools and local craftspeople, musicians and artists and entertainers of all kinds.
This year a £500 Positive Activities for Young People grant from Worcester County Council enabled youngsters at Powick Primary School to learn batik and create colourful batik banners that will be carried in the May Day parade.
Much Ado About May Day kicks off at 11am with the fun going on until 5pm.
One of the highlights this year will be the performances by the professional theatre company Finding The Will. A mixture of performance and interactive drama based on Macbeth, Hamlet, Twelfth Night and The Tempest.
To feel part of the Shakespearean theme people can dress up - costumes can be hired from Malvern’s Coach House Theatre.
There will be the Malvern May Day’s traditional Bardic Address from Jai Hill, the Bard of Malvern, story telling and poetry readings. The winners of the Malvern May Day poetry competition for local schools will also be revealed during the day showing what budding young bards from Malvern have to offer.
At 2.45pm the May Day Parade through the town takes the fun and music from the park out onto the streets.
This family event will have something for everyone with live music, street theatre from Covent Garden’s Dr Philistine, circus skills with Mark Solo, a London double decker bus serving as a cocktail bar, a cafe with organic food from Greenlink and The Fold, a relaxation and healing area, Drumlove drumming workshops, 20 craft stalls and much more.
This year, as has become traditional, the May day event will also be the place where the winners of the Malvern Well Dressing competition are announced.
Organisers Malvern Fringe started planning for this community event last September and it is the hard work of volunteers and the involvement of the local community that have made the event so popular and successful.
With funding cuts impacting on grants to community events like the Malvern Fringe May Day the organisers supported this year’s event with funds leftover from last year’s May Day and a fund-raising busking event held on April 2. There will be programmes for sale on the day but there is no admission charge and most activities are free. To make a donation or to find out more about this community event go to malvernfringe.co.uk.