Fun for families at upcoming Rochdale festival

Date published: 22 September 2019

Children and families can look forward to an abundance of events and activities at this year’s Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival.

Children’s author and television presenter Konnie Huq will present her family science show at Number One Riverside on Monday 21 October – introducing you to Cookie and The Most Annoying Boy in the World, the first in her sparkling new series. Prepare for non-stop comedy fun with live draw-alongs, brain-busting quizzes and games galore.

The session with Konnie is followed by the chance to try out real life science and engineering experiments with a team of STEM Ambassadors from the Museum of Science and Industry. Whether you love chemistry, dinosaurs or engines, there’ll be something to get your brain ticking!

Olivia Lomenech Gill, award-winning illustrator of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is also the acclaimed illustrator of Michael Morpurgo’s Where My Wellies Take Me, shortlisted for the Kate Greenway Medal. At The Curtain Theatre on Saturday 19 October she’ll be talking about the processes she uses to bring JK Rowling’s magical creations to colourful life.

Anne Fine OBE, the second Children’s Laureate will be celebrating 30 years since her classic novel ‘Madame Doubtfire.’ On Saturday 19 October she’ll host a question and answer session at Rochdale Sixth Form College Theatre as well as talking about her work and upcoming novels, followed by a showing of the Mrs Doubtfire film on the big screen.

On Wednesday 16 October at Touchstones Arts and Heritage Centre performance poet Terry Caffrey will be presenting his work live on stage.  The National Football Museum’s multi-award winning poet in residence will be delivering a laughter packed as well as educational workshop. The children’s favourite has performed in over 3,000 schools and he’ll be bringing his trademark mischievous humour to Rochdale for the first time.

Harry Heape’s Shiny Pippin books have proven a big hit with children of all ages and he’s promising a fun and very interactive family event to celebrate his popular series, aimed at children aged 7+. 

On Monday 21 October Hannah Lee will be discussing her vibrant new children’s book about one little girl’s search for the best party hair! Her session will include crafts and laughs as children listen to the story and then design their own unique hairstyles.

Marie Basting, author of the new children’s book Princess BMX will be bringing fun, laughter and a love of sports to Rochdale Sixth Form College Theatre on Sunday 20 October.

As well as the children’s programme there’s a full line-up of shows for grown-ups from 14 to 21 October.

To see the full line-up, please visit:

Councillor Janet Emsley cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said: “Family friendly activities are always an important part of the festival and we’ve got 10 great children’s events in our packed programme.  Comedy, science, art, story-telling with top authors and some classic family films. Whether you’ve got children who want to be entertained or are looking for something a bit different, you’ll find it at this festival. Activities are good value, with tickets starting at £3.”

Tickets can be booked online or you can visit the box office at Touchstones between 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, supported by the Maskew Bequest and sponsored by creative digital media company - JGM Agency, The Royal Toby, and Rochdale Sixth Form College.

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