Giant sculptures lead the way to The Big Malarkey Festival

Children from Newington Primary School making giant sculptures for The Big Malarkey Festival 2019.

With just a month to go until The Big Malarkey Festival, final preparations are underway as giant sculptures lead the way to a world of stories, characters and imagination at Hull’s children’s literature festival.

Newington Primary School and Ganton School have been working on a special project with Hull ScrapStore at its new theatre space. From a Minotaur to a Greek ship, five giant sculptures inspired by Greek mythical creators are being created out of recycled and scrap materials. 

The sculptures will be on display in the Festival Big Top at The Big Malarkey Festival, inspiring children to explore stories and characters.   

Ellen Bianchini, Director of The Big Malarkey Festival, said: “With just one month to go until The Big Malarkey, final preparations are well and truly underway and we’re really excited to be working with ScrapStore, Newington Primary and Ganton School on this exciting project. 

“We wanted to give children the stimulus to think about stories of Greek mythology from a different angle and to share their ideas by bringing designs to life.” 

Japdeep (10) from Year Five at Newington Primary School: said: “We’re really excited to see our designs on display at the Big Malarkey. We went last year, I think it’s a great idea for children as you get to meet authors and it’s like your imagination has come alive.”

Chris Lillywhite, General Manager at Hull ScrapStore said: “ScrapStore is very excited to be involved in this year’s Big Malarkey. The people of Hull are lucky to have such a lively, creative and interesting festival. After several years of being involved with the festival, we are very happy to continue our association by being commissioned to make sculptures inspired by the Greek myths – including Medusa, the golden fleece and a rainbow Trojan unicorn! We’ve got two great local schools on board – Newington School and Ganton School – and we couldn’t be more pleased with their positive and enthusiastic approach from the moment we approached them.” 

The Big Malarkey Festival park 2018. Photo: Jerome Whittingham

This year’s The Big Malarkey Festival, has something for children of all ages, including an extensive programme for teens. Guests include major award-winning children’s authors Caroline Lawrence (Roman mysteries series), Lisa Williamson (The Art of Being Normal) and illustrator Nick Sharratt. 

New for 2019 is an exhibition on the history of writing, ‘Make Your Mark’ and a marquee run by Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City (HYMC), where children can meet characters from the city’s maritime past. 

Local artists include Joe Hakim, Mambo Jambo, Cassandra Parkin, The Herd, Hull Truck Theatre, Camille Malaawy and Hull Freedom Chorus. Hull’s very own children’s author, Phil Earle, is the festival’s Writer in Residence for the weekend and Hull Libraries will be launching their own children’s picture book for early years. 

The Big Malarkey Festival includes a comprehensive schools programme as teachers and school children are invited to step into Malarkey Park from 25-28 June. 

The Festival has been awarded funding for the next two years from Arts Council England and the James Reckitt Library Trust. Business Sponsors are Living with Water, who will be running activities for schools and a ‘design-a-city’ competition. KCOM is also supporting the festival for a second year. 

The Big Malarkey Festival runs from 25-30 June in East Park, Hull.  It opens its doors to the public on Saturday 29 June. 

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online at or from Hull’s libraries. Adult tickets are priced at £5 per day, children’s tickets are £2.50 and under ones go free.

Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy in Malarkey Park while refreshments and food will be available to purchase from a range of vendors.   

For further information visit 

[Rebecca Aspin – Home PR]

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