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A week-long festival of activities, skill-sharing, poetry, dance, walking tours and joy!

16-22nd December 2022

A storytelling smörgåsbord for winter.

Devised by Annie Rogers

noun: smor·​gas·​bord | \ ˈsmȯr-gəs-ˌbȯrd 
- Swedish, from smörgås ‘(slice of) bread and butter’ (from smör ‘butter’ + gås ‘goose, lump of butter’) + bord ‘table’.
1.  a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (such as hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes)
2. 'A Sharing Platter'
3. 'Coming together, across Greater Manchester, to tell stories in the warmth'.

This December, we are bringing a festival of joy to the centre of Manchester from Friday 16th December for a whole week!

The inspiration for the festival came from the desire to bring different communities together to learn new skills and find new hobbies.

We wanted to find a way to bring lots of different communities together under one roof, so along came SMÖRGÅSBORD, a week long festival in and around Manchester City Centre, that will have you meeting new people, making puppets, writing poems, zumba dancing and learning about why Manchester is the best city in the world.

Each day will be a new exploration
 of joy, a celebration of our inner child. Discovering new hobbies, skills and bringing communities together. We have DJ sets, poetry workshops, a debate club, movement and dance, craft workshops and so much more lined up!

Jordan Skelly, a brilliant Manchester poet shared their wisdom with us this week. Jordan’s workshop was about debunking the idea that poetry is difficult or elitist and proving that the only thing that differentiates a writer from a non-writer, is doing the writing!

Below are some videos of the poetry that came out of the workshop.

Smorgasbord Workshop Video (David)
Smorgasbord Workshop Video (Heidi)
Smorgasbord Workshop Video (David)

Here you will find some extracts from our Writing Workshop with Steve Bassam.


The challenge was to write for 30 minutes without stopping. Steve then gave us words in which we had to use to inspire where the story would go. Those words were: Bench, Lie, Outlook, Bush, Literacy, Situation, Genetic.


Can you hear those words in each of these extracts?

The Bench - Steve Bassam
An Artistic Bench - Emily Bold
The Lying Bench - Annie Rogers
The Bench - Jennifer Roberts

Below is an extract of one of the poems written and delivered by Annie Rogers on the opening event of the festival: 'The Happy History of Manchester Walking Tour' 


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Annie Rogers



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Rory Kelly


Actor: Symonie

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Gabriel Clark

Assistant Producer


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