Home   Stowmarket   Article

Subscribe Now

Primadonna Festival in Stowmarket wows audiences with weekend of literary fun



More news, no ads

LEARN MORE


Primadona Festival returned on Friday to transport audiences to a world of books, ideas and thought-provoking conversations.

The three-day literary festival took place on The Food Museum’s grounds in Stowmarket and saw many festival-goers in attendance.

With an emphasis on giving women, people of colour, LGBTQI+ and disabled people a platform, it also featured conversations with musician La Roux, Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, author Juno Dawson and screenwriter Abi Morgan.

Many attended the fourth Primadonna Festival in Stowmarket. Picture: Mark Westley
Many attended the fourth Primadonna Festival in Stowmarket. Picture: Mark Westley
Daphne Astor, founder and owner of Hazel Press. Picture: Mark Westley
Daphne Astor, founder and owner of Hazel Press. Picture: Mark Westley
Ros Green, Peggy Rescue Maggie Hambling, Edie 4 and Jessica Astor with Daphne Astor founder owner Hazel Press. Picture: Mark Westley
Ros Green, Peggy Rescue Maggie Hambling, Edie 4 and Jessica Astor with Daphne Astor founder owner Hazel Press. Picture: Mark Westley
Jude Kelly with Julia Hobsdawn at their conversation 'The Way We Work'. Picture: Mark Westley
Jude Kelly with Julia Hobsdawn at their conversation 'The Way We Work'. Picture: Mark Westley

Going into the event, ‘Suffragette’ and ‘The Iron Lady’ writer Abi Morgan said: “This will be my first time at the Primadonna Festival and I’m thrilled to be invited.

“I’m excited by the focus on female talent, the mix of writers, comics and musicians and all in such a beautiful and intimate setting.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the fantastic Cathy Rentzenbrink, saying hello to the brilliant Kit de Waal, congratulating C.E. Riley whose forthcoming book ‘Is This Love?’ I loved, and to meeting Viv Groskop in person.

Julia Rackham -Meikle aged 10 with her free book. Picture: Mark Westley
Julia Rackham -Meikle aged 10 with her free book. Picture: Mark Westley
Author Zoe Antoniades with her children's book, Cally & Jimmy. Picture: Mark Westley
Author Zoe Antoniades with her children's book, Cally & Jimmy. Picture: Mark Westley
Abi Morgan during her conversation with Kit De Waal. Picture: Mark Westley
Abi Morgan during her conversation with Kit De Waal. Picture: Mark Westley
Author Monika Radojevic hosting the women's equality party witting workshop. Picture: Mark Westley
Author Monika Radojevic hosting the women's equality party witting workshop. Picture: Mark Westley

“She recently interviewed me for her ‘How To Change the Room’ podcast on Zoom so it’s great to see she’s recording a live one at Primadonna.

“Plus of course hanging out with my agent, listening to some music and drinking something cold in the sunshine. The weather forecast is looking promising.”

The festival offered many activities for audiences to engage with, this included author talks, live music, debates, food and drink, massage, tarot readings, a cinema, campfire stories, hula hooping and dancing.

A big attraction for this year’s festival was the Walkabout Alice In Wonderland performance.

Joni Taylor aged 3 with Sasha and Cad Taylor from Ipswich enjoying Mad Hatter's Teaparty. Picture: Mark Westley
Joni Taylor aged 3 with Sasha and Cad Taylor from Ipswich enjoying Mad Hatter's Teaparty. Picture: Mark Westley
Walkabout Alice in Wonderland by Magic Floor Theatre Productions. Picture: Mark Westley
Walkabout Alice in Wonderland by Magic Floor Theatre Productions. Picture: Mark Westley
The theatre production wowed children and adults alike. Picture: Mark Westley
The theatre production wowed children and adults alike. Picture: Mark Westley
The production lead audiences through the festival grounds in a fun and silly way. Picture: Mark Westley
The production lead audiences through the festival grounds in a fun and silly way. Picture: Mark Westley

Hosted by Magic Floor Theatre Productions, the performance featured iconic characters and brought Lewis Carroll’s classic book to life.

Co-founder of the festival Shona Abhyankar said: “Like everyone, the past couple of years have been challenging so we’re even more proud of the hard work and planning that’s all coming to fruition.

“We are passionate about inclusivity and diversity, and we are not as some think, a festival only for women.

Felicity and Anthea Road from Stowmarket. Picture: Mark Westley
Felicity and Anthea Road from Stowmarket. Picture: Mark Westley
Author Kit de Waal speaking at her conversation about the candid book club. Picture: Mark Westley
Author Kit de Waal speaking at her conversation about the candid book club. Picture: Mark Westley
Colin Lay and Judith Thompson showing their artwork. Picture: Mark Westley
Colin Lay and Judith Thompson showing their artwork. Picture: Mark Westley
1912 Steam Traction Engine rides. Picture: Mark Westley
1912 Steam Traction Engine rides. Picture: Mark Westley

“We want to ensure women get prominence to balance out with other larger festivals but we welcome all genders.

“Primadonna Festival really has changed lives.”