Mercury hosts Cultural Feast at local Food & Drink Festival

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On 24 & 25 June, the Mercury Theatre hosted a celebration of diverse arts and culture as part of Colchester’s Food & Drink Festival. The event, which took place in lower Castle Park, was funded by Big Lottery’s Celebrate England fund and aimed to bring people together to get to know their neighbours better.

A programme of performances, talks and workshops provided those visiting the Food & Drink Festival with the opportunity to discover and explore the rich and diverse cultures that make up our local community. Activities included drop-in Bollywood dance workshops, African drumming sessions, and the chance to try your hand at Chinese calligraphy.

The event featured performances from Indian percussionist, KV Balu, and Linos Wengara, who will be playing the Zimbabwean thumb piano. Workshops were delivered by Jaymini Bedia (Bollywood dance) and Anna Mudeka (African drumming), which proved a real hit with families! There were also contributions from local cultural societies such as African Families in the UK, Colchester Nepalese Society and Colchester Chinese School.

The Mercury’s Cultural Feast tent was organised by our very own Make It team, and run by Mercury Theatre staff alongside three Gold Arts Award students. The team engaged with over 2000 people across the weekend.

Don Quinn, organiser of the Food & Drink Festival, said:

“The Food & Drink Festival has always given the people of Colchester the chance to try food from around the world and now they can explore the arts and culture from some of those countries too. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I hope residents from across Essex will join us to celebrate all that makes us unique.”

The Mercury Theatre’s Head of Creative Learning & Talent, Martin Russell, said:

“Supporting Colchester’s diverse communities is at the heart of what we do through Make It, our programme of participatory activity at the Mercury – from coordinating Colchester’s Great Get Together to hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations, and through our wide range of Youth Theatre groups and summer schools. All of our Cultural Feast activities are free, so come along and try your hand at a new skill!”

If you missed this, catch the Make It team delivering activities for the John Ball Day Festival 2017 and Big Sunday all coming up in July!

To find out more about Colchester’s Cultural Feast and other opportunities to get involved, please visit

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