Family entertainment, street theatre and music have been added to the menu for the return of a County Durham food festival next month.

Seaham Food Festival, which is taking place in just three weeks, has a full line-up of entertainment planned in addition to the hundreds of delicious dishes and celebrity chefs on offer along the coastline.

The free festival is a key part of Durham County Council’s festival and events programme, reflecting the council’s commitment to cultural-led regeneration. It is set to play a key role in supporting the region’s economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic and raising the profile of County Durham as a cultural destination.

The festival will launch Gala Durham’s summer tour with a Wrongsemble production of Billy Shakes: Wonder Boy!, in the amphitheatre area. The play is bursting with live music and fun as it tells the tale of William Shakespeare to children aged over four, and their grownups. Other theatre productions include Do What Yah Mama Told Ya! on Saturday, featuring a mother and daughter circus artist and chef, as well as an epic seaside tale from six multi-instrumentalists in Hero & Leander, Or, I Love You, But Everything’s Under Water.

Visitors can also look forward to performances from the Easington Colliery Band across the weekend. One of the premier brass bands in the north, Easington Colliery Band has continued to perform for over 100 years and has strong links to the Durham Coalfield.

On Saturday, visitors can enjoy a magical music, movement and lighting spectacular from The Spark!. Those attending the festival on Sunday will be able to make the most of a high energy party atmosphere with performances from Hannabiell & Midnight Blue, fusing together Afro-Caribbean and Latin percussion, Jazz, Afro-beat, Funk and Reggae.

Walkabout acts are set to create happy mayhem along on the seafront. An invasion of giant birds and their riders will be let loose among the crowds thanks to Les Oiseaux de Lux, while a parade featuring Bell and Bullock will traverse the front on a quest for treasure.

As well as entertainment, children can take part in creative workshops from The Barn and Creative Pop, crafting their own willow sailing boats and origami birds.

There are also fantastic opportunities for people to learn more about coastal foods that can be foraged locally through the Seascapes ‘Foodscapes’ project. Seascapes is a National Lottery Heritage Funded partnership scheme which aims to reveal and better manage the hidden heritage of the county’s unique seascape and create opportunities for learning, access and enjoyment to help protect the coastline for generations to come.

In addition to a Seascapes stand helping visitors to understand more about local foods, those looking for some adventure over the weekend can try beach yoga in collaboration with Blooming Bamboo Yoga, or free taster sessions in Kayaking and SUP boarding with Access Adventure Seaham. The sessions are being held on both days of the festival. People can sign up by visiting www.exploreseascapes.co.uk

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “There really is so much to look forward to at this year’s Seaham Food Festival, with something for everyone.  As well as sampling some of the best local produce from across the region and watching demonstrations from some of your favourite chefs, we hope this fantastic range of entertainment will help bring everyone together.

“After such a difficult year, I have no doubt that such a range of performances will help bring cheer to everyone’s weekend and showcase the best of what County Durham has to offer.”

For a full list of family entertainment and more information about the festival, visit www.seahamfoodfestival.co.uk and follow @SeahamFoodFest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.