The Kaavad Picnic

Stories, Samosas and the Smallest Theatre in the World

Presented by Storyteller Seema Anand in collaboration with the notably British and wonderfully eccentric Grand Theatre of Lemmings, this trio of afternoon picnics in August  invites village communities across Essex to gather together for a feast of fables, fantasy, performance and percussion along with a complimentary samosa to delight the senses.

The Kaavad box is a centuries old storytelling medium hailing from Northern India; a small wooden shrine made up of panels and secret compartments, intricately decorated and illustrated which unfolds as the storyteller reveals epic tales of love, heartache, adversity and battles won and lost. The skill of the narrator and the craftsmanship of the Kaavad are art forms in their own right, techniques which have been embraced by the Manningtree based theatre group, The Grand Theatre of Lemmings and proprietors of the smallest theatre in the world. Transforming their two-seater playhouse into a giant Kaavad box, they will bring to life professional storyteller Seema Anand’s dramatic folktales with vibrancy, absurdity and humour. Providing an added flourish of energy and an intoxicating soundscape are the Bhangra DEA Dohl Drummers, virtuosos of India’s rich portfolio of stringed and percussive instruments who manage to honour tradition in a thoroughly modern context. This is an utterly unique opportunity to become immersed in the ancestral customs of Rajasthan translated through the multi-faceted talents of English and Anglo-Asian performers and instrumentalists.

Audience members are asked to bring their own picnics, rugs and cushions to enjoy the hour- long performance and then invited to participate in a workshop where they will create their own Kaavad box exploring their personal stories, demons and fairies. The events are completely free of charge and should rain stop play, will be relocated to adjoining venues.  The Essex Cultural Diversity Project in association with Arts La’Olam and generously supported by Arts Council England and Essex County Council Cultural Development is delighted to present this series of magical storytelling events that celebrate the heritage and lore of rural Rajasthan. 


Hurst Green Brightlingsea, 3pm, Saturday 27th August

Rowhedge Recreation Ground, 3pm, Sunday 28th August

Old Hall, East Bergholt, 3pm, Monday 29th August