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Free Pop Up Festival of Stories Comes to Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge (3rd March 2014)

Children’s writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers will be entertaining and inspiring families during an exciting day of free events, activities and art workshops celebrating children’s literature at Enginuity and Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron in Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge on Easter Saturday, 19th April 2014.

This children’s literature festival with a twist, brings children and families together to enjoy and participate in stories by creating a magical event where play, experiment, creativity and collaboration are celebrated.

The Pop Up Festival of Stories is free for all, including admission to Enginuity and Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, so everyone can experience the joy of children’s books. Children and families can expect to see fantasy author Sarwat Chadda’s Marvel Comics inspired interpretations of classic myths, told through roaming performances and monster puppets, novelist Julia Golding’s Arthurian Pavilion, featuring medieval game shows, knights, minstrels and the legendary Round Table and illustrator Jane Ray’s giant toy theatre, telling tales of mermaids, firebirds and flying horses, which children help bring to life on the day.

Other highlights include Mr Big illustrator Ed Vere’s 50s era jazz joint with a cabaret line-up, whacky cocktails and compulsory dressing-up; Katie’s Picture Show creator James Mayhew’s pop-up art gallery, where giant art-works by classic artists – co-created with children and parents – come to life and Illustrator Thomas Docherty’s enormous mobile installation of an enchanted city, co-created with hundreds of children and parents who attend the Festival.

During the day visitors can also enjoy visiting Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, the Darby Houses and Enginuity, all of which will be open free of charge on the day. Visitors are advised to park at the Ironbridge Park and Ride, a short distance away at the top of Jiggers Bank (TF43QE).

The Ironbridge Gorge Pop Up is preceded by an extensive outreach programme including 20 days of author workshops in Shropshire Schools and high profile author events at venues in Telford and Ironbridge. Local children will then have a stake in the Festival and encourage their friends and families to come to Ironbridge Gorge on 19th April, helping to build a diverse and loyal audience.

First in a three-festival tour, the Ironbridge Gorge Pop Up will be followed by similar events at High House Production Park in Essex, in partnership with the Royal Opera House Bridge, on 3rd May and Swiss Cottage in London on 12th and 13th July, supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Fund for the Arts and Bloomberg. Each Pop Up Festival offers over 100 hours of free events, enriched by a Royal Opera House team creating sets, costumes and other design elements to enhance the commissions.

At the heart of Pop Up’s work is the conviction that by facilitating pleasurable encounters with authors and their stories, they can ignite imaginations, inspire future readers and writers, and build more literate communities.

For more information about the Pop Up Festival of Stories visit and for the Ironbridge Gorge Museums visit or call 01952 433424.