City of Culture 2021 / Events / Staffordshire / Uncategorized

A taste of The Big Feast! – Appetite’s Taster Tour 2016

This year Appetite promises to bring art and entertainment to Stoke that will top last years Big Feast. Looking forward to big events such as Circus Remixed, an event that’s part of The Big Feast Cabaret Nights, there’s something for all the family to enjoy. But we’re all too excited to join in the fun! That’s why Appetite have brought together a little taster tour to whet your palette in anticipation for all of the cultural events they have planned.

Just this Saturday Appetite held one of their taster tours in the town of Stoke, right in the heart of Spode to celebrate International Clay Day! There we got a hint of what’s to come for The Big Feast, and the kinds of fun family things there are to do!

First up were Bees! The Colony, which brought bee boxes all over Stoke to show off just how interesting the little lives of bees can really be… Who knew that bees loved the Manchester nightlife! Wait, what?!

That’s right, these little bee houses are not what they appear. After speaking with James Macpherson, one of the ‘beekeepers’ from the group Artizani, I got to take a look into the secret life of bees and what they get up to when nobody is looking.

James told me how people reacted to the boxes, with apprehension at first and uncertainty as to whether or not there were actual bees inside! Most of the time the instillations in the boxes are met with a laugh, because who would expect to look into a bee box and see a surveillance system in place?! That’s it; the bees are watching you watching them… Weird. Not only this but there were boxes hinting at old clubbing nightlife, bees at the cinema, and so many other fun and interesting little scenes.

James also explained how the bee boxes had connections with flea circuses and peep shows, and how they all have the same thing in common. You’re looking in on something you don’t quite know if you should!

When asked what his favourite bee box creation was, James said he had a love for the original box- the bee cinema. He also loves the idea of looking at the security camera box!

The bees certainly surprised me! I expected to see the little workers buzzing around their queen, making honey and building a hive. I wasn’t expecting to peep into the little holes and see an entire scene before me, with bees in the ocean after falling off a ship!

After the hilarity of the bee boxes had settled in, I wandered around Spode’s Rose Garden to take a look at all of the other things that were happening. Free mint tea from the leaves grown right in the edible borders of the garden, tasty lavender cookies made with the lavender from the same place, and even a place to make your own flatbread pizza! Inside of Spode were workshops on sound and location, which I happily took part in. The first stall was all about sound and memories, and which sound you associated with certain buzzwords. I chose the word ‘Old’ and the memory I drew into a clay memorial was one of my grandma’s old cats. It was the first thing that came to mind when thinking of old sounds! Another table had visitors making their own plates with maps printed onto them, a really cool idea that had some curious results!

Not just a calm and enjoyable atmosphere, but one with a big surprise when we were introduced to three butt-kicking superheroes in Kapow!

Kapow is made up of three dancers, Ed Warner, Kai Tomioko and Louis Parker-Evans, all of whom wowed the audience with their superheroes and super villains dancing! With some incredible contemporary style moves, we were wowed by the boys throwing punches, showing off their super speed, and even flying! Well, not really, but those lifts were very well done! The boys are a part of 2Faced Dance Company  and brought a super twist to a super show.

Alongside the lovely atmosphere these three guys who were about to put on a show. Gathering a crowd with his contemporary dance to ‘Hero’ by Enrique Iglesias, Louis Parker-Evans began the superhero show with a comical entrance.

I got the chance to speak with the group when they’d finished their routine and found out a little more about Kapow!

“Every little kid loves superheroes!”

Ed, Kai and Louis all share the same goal of trying to get kids interested in dance, and what better way to do so than with superheroes? These full time professional dancers want to bring a little super dance to the lives of kids all around the UK, and are really excited to be featured in next week’s Big Feast!

Even though it’s hard to go to the bathroom, the costumes the boys were wearing looked great. They even had a ‘typical superhero changing routine’ where they threw off their alter egos and became the superheroes and super villains that made up the story!

Kapow and me by Clara Lou Photography

Kapow and me; Images by Clara Lou Photography

Kapow was definitely a fun filled family show that had the audience laughing, clapping, and even getting involved! One woman ended up slow dancing with one of the heroes, and another opened the superhero games and got to wear a crown! All of the kids seemed to love it, and a lot of people went up to get pictures with the three dancers after the show.

The Taster Tour gave us an insight into what we are to expect next week, and what a taste it was! Superheroes? Bees? What more could you want? Well, take a look at the Appetite What’s On list to see just what they have in store for this year’s Big Feast.

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