THOUSANDS of people attended a festival at Chester's Storyhouse theatre complex.

Headliners at WayWord this year included Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler and Aardman animation studios.

A host of children’s authors also took part, alongside WayWord Flicks movies, creative workshops, performances in the theatre, activities and free arts and crafts.

The seven-day event had a line-up of more than 40 events, with nearly 3,500 tickets sold and hundreds more attending free activities.

Other activities including workshops on clay modelling led by Early Man creators Aardman Studios, ballet classes for all the family, lectures on the Science of Star Wars and Dr Who, silent discos, storytelling, Crystal Maze style puzzle rooms, performances by acclaimed world-music group Kabantu, stand-up comedy for kids and craft activities ranging from rain stick to chimpanzee puppet making.

In the Garret Theatre the micro sculptor Willard Wigan had an exhibition of his work – so tiny it had to be viewed through a microscope.

Axel Scheffler talked to an audience of 800 about his latest book The Ugly Five.

Alex Clifton, artistic director of Storyhouse, said: ‘WayWord was so much fun! Storyhouse was filled with families coming together to play and create. We were delighted to welcome some of the country’s most popular children’s writers and illustrators to Chester and offer a programme that appealed to so many interests and ages.’

WayWord is supported by the Philip Barker Trust, the festival takes place every half term at Storyhouse, the next festival is May 26 – June 2.

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