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Roll out of new programme of community fun art and theatre

The second season of an exciting new three-year programme of creative events is being rolled out by Libraries Unlimited in Torbay this summer and autumn.

Events at Paignton Library will include open mic sessions, theatre for children, poetry workshops and crafting.

Last year Libraries Unlimited, the charity which runs libraries in Devon and Torbay, secured a £720,369 grant from Arts Council England to put on an exciting new programme of high quality community events between 2023 and 2026.

‘Get Creating!’ will encourage local communities to try their hand at all kinds of different creative activities.  

The sessions kick off in August and run through until November at three key libraries – Barnstaple, Exeter and Paignton.

Charlotte Harris-Sumner from Paignton Library said: “We’re really excited to be building on the success of our first season of new events to welcome people in Torbay to get creating. We kicked off last season with our first ever Library Lates, which offered creative workshops, music and a silent disco after hours in our library. This season thanks to the Arts Council England grant, there’s so much more.”

“Our team is enjoying changing people’s perception of what a library can be, and we hope this season is full of surprises! Libraries are now buzzing, welcoming community hubs that are about so much more than books. We’re deliberately making these events affordable and some even free of charge and aimed at families as well, so we can encourage even more people to come to their local library and see everything we have to offer. Everyone has creative potential, and it’s never more fun when we’re learning new skills and creating things together.”


Monday 21st August          Three performances 10am, 11am and 1pm.
Silly Squirrel with Above Bounds Theatre£3        Family event for under 7s

Pull up a picnic blanket and join Above Bounds Theatre for this playful pop-up puppet show. Silly Squirrel lives in a big oak tree and has big ideas. Watch as the squirrel emerges from a picnic basket, to explore beyond the oak tree and discovers just what they can do! Silly Squirrel was first commissioned by Libraries Unlimited for the Summer Reading Challenge in 2020 and was created into a short film, playing across 50 libraries in Devon social media channels in August 2020. This is the perfect introduction to theatre for under 7s.

Saturday 9th September   Two performances 10 – 11am and 2 – 3pm
Paddleboat Theatre presents – ‘Framed’ (in partnership with the Agatha Christie Festival)
£7 Adults, £4 Children      Over 8s

The legendary detective Rufus Caper has been framed and needs your help to uncover the truth. PaddleBoat Theatre Company presents a thrilling family whodunit. Expect music, puppetry, physical comedy and more. Come and help catch the clues and spot the suspects before Rufus goes down for a crime he didn’t commit!

Saturday 7th October 12noon – 2pm
Poetry & Art Workshop & performance with Chris Tutton
£5    Adults

Can a poem be written about an image or a piece of art? Celebrate National Poetry Day with leading poet, author and raconteur, Chris Tutton, exploring links between poetry and art in this friendly and interactive workshop. The afternoon will then conclude with a performance of Chris’ poetry.

Saturday 28th October 7 – 9.30pm
Open mic and scratch night
Free    All ages

Join the team at Paignton Library for live music, comedy, poetry and theatre at the first ever Open Mic and Scratch night! Doorstep Arts will be hosting the event, where the floor will open to local artists to showcase their skills and perform. The atmosphere will be laid back and cosy with hot refreshments to purchase and comfy seats to sit back, relax and enjoy. Join in with the songs, laugh along to the comedy and be inspired by the theatre, the open mic night will be a new library experience for all ages and identities.

Tuesday 24th October 10.30am – 12.30pm
Inky autumn tales with Participate Arts
£4  Families

Inspired by The Big Draw Festival, a chance to explore lots of different fun drawing materials and inks to create some wonderful vivid images. Make an artwork to take away and participate in a large collaborative drawing.

Tuesday 24th October  2.30 – 4.30pm
Light up lanterns with Participate Arts
£4    Families

Inspired by your favourite stories, create black silhouette characters and landscapes on to colourful backgrounds. See your images illuminated as they are transformed into a magical paper lantern. Designed for the days getting shorter in the autumn season, the lanterns will come with a battery-operated light.

Saturday 18th November 10.30am – 12.30pm
MED theatre story crafting workshop
£4   Families

Watch a short performance of a Devon mythology from two MED Theatre performers…but the story is missing its ending! Participants are invited to come up with an ending to the folktale of Jan Coo, before the professional performers from MED Theatre act their endings. Will Jan Coo’s story end happily or does he come to a sticky end? The answer is in the minds of the library goers on the day!

More information about events at Paignton Library here

Following on from Get Creating, in December ‘A Better Tomorrow’ will launch as a programme of events to celebrate local action and the global environment.

The award secured Libraries Unlimited place as an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).

Libraries in Devon and Torbay are run by Libraries Unlimited, an independent staff and community owned charity. Join up for free by filling in the online form. Join the Library – Devon ( or Torbay ( Follow Libraries Unlimited on Facebook. 

For further information and full contact details please visit our web page

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