Launch of A Festival of Loveliness at MAST Mayflower Studios

MAST Mayflower Studios presents a FESTIVAL OF LOVELINESS

… because we all need some loveliness right now


MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton is delighted to announce the full programme for its Festival of Loveliness this autumn.

Across nine days in October (Saturday 2 – Sunday 10 October) the Festival will be a celebration of kindness, generosity and hope. It will be a fantastic opportunity for everyone to sing, dance, laugh, write and generally get creative following the challenges of the last year, with a programme of theatre, poetry, comedy, workshops and music.

The Festival will launch with a Fun Palace Family Day on Saturday 2 October, offering free activities for children and grown-ups. There will be workshops, face painting, performances, craft, a bookswap and lots more fun in every corner of the building. It is part of the nationwide Fun Palaces programme that celebrates art, culture and community. Inspired by the vision of Joan Littlewood and architect Cedric Price, who conceived the idea as a ‘laboratory of fun’, Fun Palaces take place all over the country, creating welcoming venues for people to have fun together.

The Festival will close with the 48 Hour Artist Challenge, where local artists will come together to create and perform a brand new work from scratch over just one weekend. Performers, musicians, writers, directors, beatboxers and storytellers will meet for the first time on Friday evening and collaborate to make something very special and lovely. The result will be shared with a one-off performance on Sunday 10 October.

366 Days of Kindness on 2 October is actress Bernadette Russell’s comic take on her real-life mission to answer the question “can kindness change the world?” by carrying out an act of kindness for a total stranger every day.

On 4 October Everlasting Cake Scratch Night is the story of octogenarian Elsie and her younger self, and the discovery of a mysterious cake recipe found in a nursing home. Playwright and director Dan Dawes is working with local community groups, artists and The Guildhall Trust on this project. The evening will open with a work-in-progress performance by MAST’s Young Company. Scratch Nights are opportunities for artists to test out new ideas and for audiences to be part of the creative process, giving their feedback on shows early on in their development.

On 5 October Hampshire’s madcap comedy duo Luke Bateman and Elliott Williams present their laugh-out-loud slapstick farce Kitty Rats about the adventures of two hapless housemates, Benjamin and Jed.

My Soulmate’s Husband’s Soulmate on 6 October is a black comedy about fate, love and relationships as happily married couple Erin and Adrian are knocked sideways when Erin’s soulmate arrives on their doorstep. What would you do?

National Poetry Day is celebrated on 7 October with Tongue Fu, in collaboration with Artful Scribe. Poets and storytellers take to the stage, amplified by the quick-witted improvising musicians of the Tongue Fu band.

During the week there is also live musical loveliness from local band collective Sofa City on 8 October featuring some of Southampton’s most talented musicians and singers at their gigging best.

Also on 8 October a Poetry And Mentoring Symposium looks at the history of creative mentoring, the stories about those who develop poets and celebrates emerging young poets.

MAST’s Artistic Director, Victoria Briggs, said  “During the difficult periods of lockdown over the last year, creativity has been a great healer and distraction for many. We want to build on that increased interest and produce a fabulous week of positivity where everyone can come together, get creative and feel inspired. MAST has quickly built a reputation as a cultural hub in the city and with our partners we want to share the creative love this autumn.”

Festival of Loveliness is part of MAST’s artist development programme which supports and works with a wide range of artists in and outside the venue. Since launching earlier this year, new initiatives have included regular Scratch Night and an Artist Network to share information and best practice. Alongside this, performance opportunities for young people include the recent summer production of Grimm’s Tales and the magical Peter Pan: An Awfully Big Musical Adventure this December.

Festival of Loveliness is at MAST Mayflower Studios in Southampton from 2- 10 October. 




We will be undertaking a refurbishment of our Grade II listed auditorium in summer 2018. Please consider a donation to our auditorium appeal. Your help is essential in securing our future.