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Stage Editorial

ironpress17.jpg Put some IRON in your soul

Get set for Words! Music! Oddities! as the third IRON Press Festival hits Cullercoats seafront venues over four days in June.

An existentialist walks into a French café and says: “Can I have a coffee without cream please,” to which the waiter replies: “We don’t have cream, will you take it without milk?” That’s the only existentialist joke I know, and I mention it here because the title of this year’s festival, IRON in the Soul, takes its name from a Jean Paul Sartre book.

The festival, as ever, features the kind of eclectic line-up that will have you leaping into the air and clicking your heels with delight. Back again is the irrepressible Ian McMillan (pictured), the Bard of Barnsley, whose unstoppable energy and wit bowled festival goers over the last time he appeared in 2013. The festival will be opened with Those in Peril: A Cullercoats Tragedy featuring an amalgam of talents, combining theatre, music and dance, all with a local flavour, with Ruth Henderson penning a short theatre piece based around the events of 1848 when four fishermen drowned as they battled huge swells in view of onlookers on the Cullercoats shore.

Other highlights include: A Cullercoats walk and workshop with poet Colette Bryce; the official launch of Kitty Fitzgerald’s The Water Thief; SHTUM: The Stutter Poems with David Bateman; Cold IRON Ghost Stories (at St. George’s Church at midnight…); No Man is an Island (a kayak trip around St. Mary’s Island!); as well as music events, a quiz, workshops and more besides. Oh! And there will be, but of course, an Existential Breakfast followed by a lecture on what the heck existentialism actually is. I’ll take my coffee without cream (or milk).

IRON Press Festival, Thursday 8-Sunday 11 June, Cullercoats. More details and tickets: facebook.com/ironfestival; ticketsource.co.uk/iron-press