York’s walls were overrun by white-bearded wizards. This is why

Is it Dumbledore? Or maybe it's Pleb Theatre… Photograph: Harry Elleston
17 Sep 2017 @ 8.29 pm
| Entertainment

No, it wasn’t a Dumbledore convention. Or a gathering of the Lord Of The Rings reenactment society.

So why were there wizards on York walls this weekend, you ask? Let me spell it out!

If you crossed the city walls on Saturday afternoon (September 16), you most likely passed a selection not only of weird but wonderful wizards but also very pink travel agents and inspiring storytellers.

It’s because this year’s TakeOver team from York Theatre Royal transformed the old fortifications into a multipurpose stage for its wonderful performers.

Takeover Festival

York Theatre Royal

Oct 23-28

More details

They occupied five different stations, stretching the walls to promote the TakeOver Festival, which runs from October 23-28 at York Theatre Royal.

“The idea behind the postcard trail was to help publicise the main festival in October by bringing performance out to the people of York,” said Katie Smith, associate director of TakeOver Festival.

“A lot of people think that theatre isn’t for them, and wouldn’t think of ever going into a theatre, so the aim of the trail was to bring exciting, engaging performance onto the walls to show people what TakeOver is all about.”

Who performed on the walls

Pleb Theatre. Photographs: Harry Elletson

Hold onto your hats, passports, dogs and all-things-precious because Pleb Theatre’s wacky wizards love cooking up your valuables in their make-shift umbrella cauldrons!

The two performers were a hit with the kids, inviting them to cast spells and take part in their show, while adults attempted to decifer their weird wizarding language.

Unfortunately, their disguises were unfurled as one woman passing by pulled the beard off of a rather shocked-looking wizard!

Lord and Slater

Fancy a trip to Bognor Regis? Well this pink and prancing comedy duo are the ones to take you!

Their flamboyant flag-waving and playful choreography was fun, simple and required a wide berth.

For a partially safe and entirely fun flight, fly with Lord and Slater!

Caitlin and Ahlaam

Ahlaam and Caitlin’s first ever spoken word performance struck a cord with passing audiences who were impressed by their intellectual maturity and ability to deliver such a powerful performance.

Their performance fit in well with this year’s theme of social barriers and, being only sixteen, they hope to continue performing and inspiring others.

What’s to come at TakeOver

TakeOver Festival is a multi-arts festival run entirely by young people, aged between 12 and 26.

Expect a week packed with spectacular dance choreography, quirky physical theatre, muscials and pulsating drum rhythms – featuring critically-acclaimed Phoenix Dance Theatre, the hilarious Hollie McNish, and much more.

Associate director Katie Smith said:

We’ve got a really clear theme this year. A lot of the work we’re aiming to do this year centres around ‘walls’ – how we can use walls and existing architecture in a positive way, what walls exist physically and conceptually around us, how to break down difficult boundaries between us all.

We’ve tried really hard to curate a festival that has something for everyone, and will hopefully encourage new audiences to York Theatre Royal.