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Production team behind Grantham festival Gravity Fields is moving on

The production team behind Gravity Fields in Grantham says it will no longer be involved in the festival and is moving on to other 'challenges'.

Rosa Productions says it will no longer be involved in the event following the creation and delivery of four Gravity Fields Festivals between 2012 and 2018.

The team worked closely with South Kesteven District Council from 2011 to shape and stage the first two festivals in the role of festival director and producer of the outdoor events, and then from 2016 as festival curator responsible for the outdoor arts, science, and education programme.

Gravity Fields Festival 2018 (4494812)
Gravity Fields Festival 2018 (4494812)

The production team also helped provide the framework for the Stamford Georgian Festival and started the council’s relationship with Coventry-based Imagineers who presented the ‘between-years’ production of Bridge in this September in Grantham Market Place.

Director of Rosa Productions Rosemary Richards said: "Since 2011 we have completely immersed ourselves in Grantham and South Kesteven to create Gravity Fields from scratch to become a national standard festival. The ambition at the start, following the council’s wide consultation in 2010, was to produce an outstanding event which would be a great festival for local people and enhance the national standing of the area, by celebrating the close links with Sir Isaac Newton in a programme of contemporary arts and science.

"With such a rich heritage the town and wider district proved a wonderful ‘stage’ for events with numerous partners – including the National Trust at Woolsthorpe Manor and Belton House, and venues such as Harlaxton Manor, St Wulfram’s Church, Grantham Museum and many others locally, and for national partners such as the Science Museum and National Portrait Gallery.

Rosemary Richards (17522280)
Rosemary Richards (17522280)

"We have fund-raised science grants for events like CERN Live at St Wulfram’s in 2014 which featured top scientists including Brian Cox and a live link to CERN. We have had two Heritage funded programmes in 2014 and 2016 which explored new research on Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Joseph Banks. And we reached a pinnacle of achievement with a fantastic outdoor arts, flowers and audience experience and a wonderful science and heritage programme in 2018 with Professor Brian Cox visiting the festival in person.

"We feel it is now time to hand over for others to develop the festival further. It has been a privilege to recruit and work closely with our festival patrons Professor Valerie Gibson from Cambridge University, Professor Rob Iliffe from University of Oxford, and Dallas Campbell, TV presenter, and our science co-curators including Dr Harry Cliff, who continues to partner Woolsthorpe Manor on a programme of science activity.

"We have made many friends and worked in partnership with many organisations in Grantham during the last eight years and we would like to offer our personal thanks to them all.”

The Gravity Fields Festival is a five-day event of science, arts, heritage, music and drama which attracted a record audience of around 83,000 people in 2018. In August a meeting was held for members of the public to have their say on what they would like to see in the 2020 event.

Creative producer of the outdoor events from Rosa Productions, Jeremy James, said: "It has been a privilege to work with national arts partners and international artists to create such amazing outdoor events over the four festivals and we have been proud that on each occasion Arts Council England has supported the additional programme of outdoor arts we have created.

"Developing a theme and a narrative for each festival has been an adventure which has brought such wonderful images as Newton among the planets flying above the Guildhall, a Newton’s Cradle with great balls of fire in the Market Place, a space rocket launch and Pleasure Garden at St Wulfram’s, a ship sailing up the High Street and a garden of light in St Peter’s Hill and the presentation of seven gigantic Giants of Science. We have invited companies and performers who tour internationally to bring their work to the streets including Cirque Bijou, The World Famous, Emergency Exit Arts, Shademakers UK, Gorilla Circus, Chantry Dance, TILT and many others. But in many ways most important element of all of this has been our work with Grantham College and local schools and colleges where we know we have inspired young people and children and offered the opportunity for new arts and science experiences, and opened up new career paths.”

Rosa Productions continue to work in festivals, outdoor arts and broadcast and currently has three BBC Radio 4 commissions in production, and this year has produced the Greenham Cold War Experience, a site specific theatrical production at Greenham Common, and the Carnival of History for the 900th anniversary of Leeds Castle Kent. The company says it has plans for a big singing project across Lincolnshire in 2020.

South Kesteven District Council has been asked for comment and the Journal is waiting for a response.

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