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Vibrant children’s play at library this half term holiday

Article date - 19 October 2017

Chester Lane Library is to host a vibrant theatre production for families in the school half-term holiday as part of the ninth season of the nationally-renowned Cultural Hubs programme.
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Handa’s Surprise, will transport audiences to Kenya following in the footsteps of Handa as she journeys to see her best friend Akeyo in the next village. Handa carries a gift of seven delicious fruits for Akeyo, but seven different animals have seven very different ideas.

Handa’s Surprise is based on the beloved children’s book of the same name by Eileen Browne, first published in 1995. The play features in the Big Imaginations children’s theatre festival being run in venues across the North West by Manchester-based children’s arts hub Z-art, with local events held in libraries and The Citadel.

Filled with vibrant costumes, singing, stomping and Swahili rhythm, Handa’s Surprise is suitable for children aged 2-6 years and their families.

Two showings have already sold out. Organisers have scheduled an additional showing, lasting 35 minutes, at 12:30pm on Thursday 26 October, Chester Lane Library.

Tickets cost £3 or £8 for a family or group of four. Book yours without delay to avoid disappointment online at or call into any St Helens library to purchase tickets.

Cultural Hubs, the award-winning arts-in-libraries programme, is delivered by St Helens Council’s Library Service and funded by Arts Council England.

Covering October to December, the ninth season has been curated to offer something for everyone, with a mixture of small theatre productions, music and comedy performances, arts exhibitions, and creative craft events to promote wellbeing – all adapted in imaginative ways for unique library spaces across St Helens.

Councillor Sue Murphy, Cabinet Member for Leisure Services and Libraries, said of the new season: “We are really proud of our new season for Cultural Hubs. This is a brilliant programme with something for everyone in the borough and a real opportunity to explore and experience the arts in our library spaces.”