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Our first outing of 2014 was a two week residency over the Easter holidays in a disused shop in Truro as part of Truro Festival and it was such a success!

We saw nearly 800 people over the two weeks- visitors to the shop, participants in our workshops and people who had followed our Story Trail around Truro!

We had fun visiting the shops and rediscovering streets that we haven’t been down for years!

During the festival, our Story Republicans performed across the city centre armed with a repertoire of songs, poems and stories to wow audiences and also delighted individuals in the shop. 

Inspiring, interesting, very fun and enjoyable

Fantastic! Will be back soon with the grandchildren!

Superb, absolutely made my day

We very much enjoyed the range of people who visited us, and loved their reactions. From children who were entranced by an old fashioned typewriter, to adults who were tempted to create their own poem and families who stayed for 2 hours! KEAP Director Amanda Harris now feels that her new calling is as a shop keeper!

So, how do you transform a shop into The Story Republic? Our artist team John Keys, Amanda Lorens and Alessandra Ausenda began by creating 3D pieces inspired by our theme, ‘Trading Tales’. The festival also commissioned photographer Steve Tanner to create portraits of a selection of Truro’s traders and our writers came up with stories inspired by the trades. This formed a bespoke Truro trade element to our shop.

Makers Alice King and Mae Voogd invented children’s games based on poems and words, and Anna Murphy and Vicky Abbott decked out a writers desk and chair for our resident writers each day.

The work of the writer was also celebrated by the beginnings of a documentary photography project by Steve Tanner showing writers in their spaces and finding out what they needed around them to write, and where they felt comfortable. So far Steve has photographed Patrick Gale, Annamaria Murphy, Jill Murphy, Bill Scott and Pauline Sheppard. The aim is eventually to create a publication exploring the writer in their own space.

Where next? Our schools programme is working in Fowey and Looe clusters over the summer which will see us at Trenython Manor for the Fowey Family Fun weekend on 10 & 11 May and then at Looe Community Academy in June. In August we return to The Exchange in Penzance for an extended stay! Look our for our Story Republicans at festivals and events throughout the summer too!

Images by Steve Tanner & Sean Hurlock