Where better to launch the third Gravity Fields Festival than the birthplace of the man it celebrates, Sir Isaac Newton?
On Tuesday a number of people involved in the production of the five day festival spoke about the itinerary that thousands of visitors can expect when the festival takes off on September 21, continuing through to the following Sunday.
The festival is already enjoying success with more than 26,000 tickets sold for the hundreds of events that will be crammed into the five days.
The launch on Tuesday saw amateur actors play plague victims in the surrounds of the Manor. It was 350 years ago when Isaac Newton was forced to return home from Cambridge University to escape the plague and while at the Manor produced some of his more influential work.
The Manor will play a big part in the festival being the venue for its own mini-fest. The bubonic killer will hit the village, with schools and family ‘Plague Days’ re-enactments, plague doctors and body collectors with their sinister bird masks courtesy of Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre. There will be a range of talks and events. TV presenter Michael Mosley will track Galileo’s rise from an unlikely background, and Cambridge engineer Dr Hugh Hunt celebrates The Genius Engineers of WW2.
Festival curator Rosemary Richards said the theme running through the festival would be ‘Genius’ and, focusing on Woolsthorpe Manor, she said: “It’s a great honour to have an even bigger relationship with Gravity Fields this year than we have had in previous years because of the 350th anniversary.”
Also at the launch were Paul Chantry and Rae Piper, of Grantham’s Chantry Dance Company which will put on a perfomance during the festival. They performed a short dance for the launch and will perform two pieces on September 21 at the Guildhall Arts Centre. These are two ballet pieces called Ulysses Unbound and The Stacked Deck.
Among the many events during the festival will be the exploration of the science of Doctor Who, festival patron Professor Valerie Gibson chooses her top ten of Newton’s scientific achievements and physicist and festival co-curator Dr Harry Cliff, from Cambridge University, brings news of CERN’s High Energy Frontier.
Join TV science presenter and festival patron Dallas Campbell for a special hosted evening and what will Joanna White’s microlight find as a result of recording audio in the ether above Woolsthorpe Manor?
There will be an ‘Ingenius’ Saturday town centre finale with a spectacular LED umbrella display from Cirque Bijou, in which circus artists, street performers, puppeteers and magicians evoke the era of alchemists, fire, flame and stars and Newton’s time at the Royal Mint.
For more details on all the events taking place during the festival and how to buy tickets go to www.gravityfields.co.uk