Farrah the Fox is on her journey across the country to explore and celebrate high streets, as well as the people who love and look after them. Created in partnership with Historic England, Farrah is a 5-metre tall mechanical puppet of a young fox who is travelling the country on her scooter, bringing a touch of carnival and free street parties to seven high streets. Taller than a double decker bus, Farrah has been designed by Tony Mason and is animated by two puppeteers.
With resilience in her genes, Farrah the fox has adapted to live in a changing environment and will spark the question in each town or city she visits: how can high streets do the same? At each high street party Farrah will meet a different largescale puppet, who have been created by each community in collaboration with puppet makers Thingumajig Theatre.
Hi! Street Fest is Historic England’s largest and final commission as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zone Programme, a four year programme to revitalise more than 60 high streets. The commission is also supported using public funding from Arts Council England.
So far, Farrah has visited:
See below for map of events.
For more information see our news update
Hi! Street Fest is an ambitious project, aiming to bring together people and place to support bright futures for high streets. Across the country, Hi! Street Fest has engaged more than 5,000 people in the development of these events, with thousands of hours of community participation through outreach and workshops. The project aims to reimagine the high street, attract visitors and bring people together to celebrate each high street’s culture. The concept of Hi! Street Fest has been open and flexible, giving room for co-creation in each place. In 2023, after weeks of outreach and community workshops the project is culminating in free, spectacular, home-grown processions around each high street.
Since the beginning of 2022 EEA and Historic England have been working with local partners to develop Hi! Street Fest, and through the collaborative process, Manuela Benini has been appointed Artistic Director for Hi! Street Fest. Her specialism in dance, procession and carnival will take hundreds of participants through a creative journey through music, dance and costume.
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said "Hi! Street Fest will give communities from six high streets across the country the chance to connect with their local places and get creative to celebrate what makes them special. We strongly believe that the combination of capital investment and cultural programming is an effective way to encourage people to view their high streets positively – as vibrant, active places where people come together. And we have seen that heritage is a powerful catalyst for growing civic pride. We’re pleased to be working with experts in outdoor arts events, Emergency Exit Arts, for this finale to our High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, and hope these events will encourage future cultural collaboration on each high street, driven by local communities."
Daniel Bernstein, CEO of Emergency Exit Arts said "Emergency Exit Arts are so excited to be working on this important, co-created national project. We are determined that there are opportunities for hundreds of local people in each place we are working with to get engaged in the culture of their high street and help make a real long-term difference to their place. We will bring spectacle – but the development opportunities for people to put on more events in their place, is paramount."
Artistic Director: Manuela Benini
Executive Producer: Daniel Bernstein
Project Manager: Katrina Wesseling
Farrah the fox
Designer & Fabricator: Tony Mason
Fabricators: Pablo Cattermole, Mike Pattinson, Emma Garofalo, Katie Currie, Rebecca Sainsot, Sam Noble, Melissa Dawkins, Danielle Williamson, Debz Eastlake, Amy West
Soundtrack: Ben Raine
Poetry: Niall Moorjani
Sat 17 June 2023 • 12:00pm
22 Sept 2023 • 8:00pm