A festival coming to Folkestone this week aims to help you worry less and be more creative.
The third Normal? Festival of the Brain, presented by Folkestone Quarterhouse, Folkestone Fringe and Living Words, launches at Quarterhouse on Thursday, May 25, where visitors can try brain-fuel cocktails and canapes.
The programme brings together science and art over four days and looks at that latest buzzword, mindfulness.
The festival will also explore empathy, memory, self-help, the benefits of laughter and awkward dancing, as well as the positive effects of exploring creativity and engaging with your community.
An awareness session led by Elizabeth Taylor of the Alzheimer’s Society discusses everything from being more patient in shop queues to volunteering and campaigning on Friday, May 26 at 11am.
Boost your energy and nourish your spirit with The Happy Kitchen’s Good Mood Foods on Friday, May 26 at 5pm as journalist and writer Rachel Kelly is joined by local health-conscious foodies and chefs Dr Legumes, to discuss her new book The Happy Kitchen. Written with nutritionist Alice Mackintosh, The Happy Kitchen explores eating to stay calm and well, while festival co-curator Susanna Howard of Living Words presents Shutnell on Friday, May 26 at 7.30pm when she will show a short film exploring her 10 years working as a writer with those experiencing advanced dementia.
For younger visitors there will be a Neuronal Disco for Kids on Saturday, May 27 at 11am, with a scientific dance workshop for seven to 11-year-olds, devised by Dr Selina Wray and artist Charlie Murphy. Children are invited to animate the development of the brain and the connections between cells through a series of choreographed movements to fun pop songs. For baffled parents, there’s an adult session later in the day.
Created by comedians Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, the Sunday Assembly began as a way of creating a Sunday church-like all-inclusive event where people sing songs, hear inspiring talks and create a community. Anyone can join in with the Sunday Assembly in Folkestone on Sunday, May 28 at 9.30am at Quarterhouse.
Performance artist and poet Byron Vincent returns with Fetch, Roll Over, Play Dead, after asking locals to dress up as Noel Edmonds and chase him through Folkestone town centre to overcome his fear of the presenter in preparation for his performance.
His show on Saturday, May 27 at 11.30am, looks at whether you can teach an old dog new tricks as he tries to drop the fags, booze and pills and looks for ways to live better and face his fears.
Stacy Makishi’s Vesper Time offers a playful reflection on ageing and on acting before it’s too late, drawing on her former training as a missionary, her roots in stand-up comedy and writing, Hollywood blockbusters and the existential undercurrents of Moby Dick, on Saturday, May 27 at 7.30pm at the Quarterhouse.
Edinburgh Festival comedy powerhouse Richard Gadd brings his stand-up show Monkey See Monkey Do to the festival on Sunday, May 28 at 7.30pm, looking at the depths of who he is – and what it means to be a man.
Each morning from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, May 28 you can learn meditative and mindfulness techniques with clinical psychologist Dr Gemma Beckley at morning mindfulness sessions, or Philip Cowell will stage a Breathing and Writing workshop on Saturday, May 27 at 11.30am.
Normal? Festival of the Brain 2017 runs from Thursday, May 25 to Sunday, May 28 at Folkestone Quarterhouse. A festival pass costs £40 and a day pass is £15.
Visit quarterhouse.co.uk or call 01303 760750.