Fun-filled family theatre shows give festival taster

The Rascally Diner performance.
Family theatre performance The Rascally Diner will be staged in Rochdale town centre and at Queen’s Park in Heywood. Photo courtesy of Alex Brenner.

Published: 25 May 2022

Free outdoor family theatre shows are rolling into Rochdale and Heywood in June 2022.

The free taster events are being staged this June in anticipation of the launch of a new family event called the Feel Good Family Picnic, which starts in 2023. Over the Platinum Jubilee weekend of Saturday, 4 June 2022 and Sunday, 5 June 2022, the LASTheatre Company will be performing their fun-filled madcap show for children ‘The Rascally Diner’.

Described as a joyful outdoor show for children and families aged five-plus, it explores food, sustainability, and healthy eating in a silly, song-filled, riotous performance, complete with water pistols, songs, dances and lots of jokes. It features chef Rufus Skumskins O’Parsley, who is famous for creating some of the world’s most disgusting dishes in the award-winning children’s book The Rascally Cake, written by Jeanne Willis and Korky Paul.


On Saturday, 4 June 2022.The Rascally Diner will be staged in Rochdale, performed outside Number One Riverside in the town centre, and on Sunday, 5 June 2022 at Queen’s Park in Heywood. There are 2 50-minute shows on each day at 11am and 1pm. 

The shows are supported by WithoutWalls and Arts Council England. Entry is free although there will be an option to make a donation, and no booking is required.

In 2020 the council originally revealed plans for the Feel Good Family Picnic, a new free annual summer event organised by the team behind Rochdale Feel Good Festival, promising a huge day of activities, performances, sports and shows for children and a ‘magical day out in a beautiful setting.’ They were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic but the council and its partners plan to launch the event in 2023.

Councillor Janet Emsley in Number One Riverside.

Councillor Janet Emsley. The Feel Good Family Picnic will be launched in 2023, but this year smaller free taster events are being held, including outdoor theatre show The Rascally Diner.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for events, said:

“We were so excited about the Feel Good Family Picnic and had booked some fantastic acts so we have these brilliant Rascally Diner outdoor theatre shows coming up and are planning other tasters later in the year. We will also be focusing on making the first Feel Good Family Picnic truly amazing. This year we are running a smaller programme of events that we can deliver with available resources before we return to a fuller line-up in 2023 but there’s still a lot to be excited about.”

An outdoor performance of The Rascally Diner. Photo courtesy of Alex Brenner.

A performance ofThe Rascally Diner. Photo courtesy of Alex Brenner.

LAStheatre, who are performing the ‘Rascally Diner’ shows, are an award-winning theatre company based in the UK. They create layered, heart-driven stories that engage people of all ages. Their shows tackle important and complex ideas in surprising, joyous and participatory ways; harnessing puppetry, live music, circus and immersive technologies. Since 2012, over a quarter of a million people have seen a LAStheatre show.

The Rascally Diner performances are staged in partnership with Without Walls Touring Network Partnership.

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