Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wa-HAY! What a week...

Last Wednesday Lorenzo and I hopped on a train bound for the English/Welsh border.  Our destination?  The beautiful market town of Hay-on-Wye.  Our mission?  To perform three shows, over three days to over 1000 children at the 25th annual Hay Festival!

It all kicked off in the BIG tent with the first of our school shows ... which was EPIC!!!

We'd never seen so many enthusiastic children packed into such a ... well ... rather large space actually!  The atmosphere was electric and the students participating were incredible. Funny, funny stuff.

The Telegraph, now sponsoring the festival, were there to report and review on all the action. Their verdict of our shenanigans? - "...the audience, including all the adults present, loved the zaniness of the show."

Lovely.  On Friday we saw a similar sized secondary school group, again in the Big Tent, and then it was on to Saturday and our public show on the Starlight Stage.  This was to be a VERY special event as our Mum and Dad were finally getting to see us perform!

Here they both are looking slightly horrified at the grubby state of a blackboard bearing our name...

We've seen thousands upon thousands of children and adults at festivals and schools all over the country ... but the nerves were jangling at the thought of amusing our parents.  Backstage we had a little quiet moment of reflection...

...and then we were OFF!  I decided to repeatedly let the rest of the audience know where our folks were sitting (just in case they had any complaints about the quality of our jokes), while Lorenzo did his best impression of an astrophysicist giving a lecture.

Afterwards we headed for the Pemberton bookshop tent for a laughter-filled signing session.  And there were bonus treats to be had as we were presented with two mint condition copies of the exclusive DFC comic launch issue - only a hundred or so printed. We almost refused to daub our names on the cover, it was so rare ... but we did anyway!

Our work done, the family retired to the grazing tent for some belated, and much deserved, lunch.  The hospitality at Hay really is second to none.  And Dad agrees!

We were lucky enough to run into lots of incredible authors and celebs during our stay, including Michael Morpurgo, Francesca Simon, Michael Rosen and Chris Evans.  And just as we were heading home, Oliver Jeffers (awesome picture book creator and artist) nabbed me - ME! - to paint a design on a jumper as part of a huge mural.  Lorenzo had already represented us in fine fashion and I can only draw skulls ... so I splodged a skull jumper!  It was NOT my finest work but the children watching got a laugh!

Many thanks to everyone at Random House and the Hay festival for helping to make our stay so enjoyable. We look forward to returning next year with a brand new show!