Meet the Executive Producer
Esther Ferry-Kennington, Executive Producer - Lancashire Encounter
I’ve been working in the arts in Lancashire for well over a decade as Producer and then Executive Director of Horse + Bamboo and The Boo Theatre in Rossendale and as Chair of Arts Lancashire.
I have had a close relationship with Encounter so far presenting commissions in 2016 and 2018. The Theatre Ballads in 2016 was a folk song and puppetry piece presented in the Harris Museum. This piece went on to receive a larger commission from the English Folk Dance and Song Society in partnership with PRS and toured to London, Bristol and Bury. The Rawtenstall Annual Fair was a farcical outdoor theatre piece presented on Winckley Square in 2018. I have thoroughly enjoyed presenting both of these pieces and really look forward to ensuring the festival continues to develop and to put Preston on the national festival map.
As a Director I have started, developed and produced two annual festivals; Todmorden Folk Festival and Waterfoot Wakes. Waterfoot Wakes features a parade as its central arts activity and is grown from the previous Horse + Bamboo Puppet Festival. Todmorden Folk Festival programmes music and dancing throughout the town in pubs, cafes, shops and churches ensuring the impact and benefit of the festival activity is maximised for businesses as well as audiences. There is great potential to increase parade participation at Lancashire Encounter 2020 and building on its history of the Guild we will position Preston as the home of the English procession. In doing this we’re going to celebrate all of the cultures that share the city, starting with Preston Caribbean Carnival and welcoming traditional processional Morris dancing from the North-West.
I visit many festivals every year throughout Europe as a shanty singer with She Shanties, a 12 pieces women’s shanty crew, and with North West morris dancers with Rivington Morris, based in Bolton.
I love festivals. They are a moment to see our every-day environment differently, to celebrate our favourite things about Preston and to bring new people to this brilliant city.