Humans have been telling stories for hundreds of thousands of years – it’s how we passed down our history and culture, and still do to this day.

That’s why this year’s Kingston Connections week is billed as a festival of stories, including of ancient kings, space exploration and the seedier side of snooker.

People of all ages can not only watch, listen and read but get involved, with music and dance acts and even more.

The week of activities, running from June 21-29, will build on the concept which started last year.

Project manager Molly Freeman said: “We want to encourage everyone to tell their own story and both to appreciate just how much is going on within the borough, and contribute to the creative atmosphere themselves.

“It was important that all that storytelling was not limited to the written and spoken word but seen in the context of all engagement forms such as dance, music, photography and film.

“Our hope is that through Kingston Connections we can bring together an empowered, creative borough where resources, skills and assets are shared to everybody’s benefit.”

Highlights include: 

Helen Sharman

Surrey Comet:

Helen Sharman (above) will describe life on the Mir space station, including weightlessness and coping in confined quarters with four other cosmonauts.

She will cover her gruelling space training and show photographs from her life above Earth.

From Surbiton into Space with Helen Sharman; Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing at Kingston University; June 23, 6pm; £5; Ages 8 and up

The People's Champion

A theatrical re-telling of double snooker world champion Alex ‘The Hurricane’ Higgins – a hell-raising genius of the game.

He was banned in 1986 for headbutting an official, battled throat cancer and died in 2010 in his native Belfast.

The People’s Champion; Rose Theatre Studio; June 29, 7.30pm; £8; Ages 16 and up due to strong language, and sexual and violence references


Bollywood meets soul and funk in this innovative, high-octane performance rebooting sub-continent-style classics.

Botown will have you on your feet, dancing and singing along.

Botown; Rose Theatre; June 28, 7.30pm; £10; Suitable for all ages

King Athelstan

Kids can get involved step back in time to learn about ancient King Athelstan.

They can sing and dance along in an interactive story workshop, following the king as he is crowned in Kingston, and goes on to defeat the Vikings and even more.

King Athelstan – First King of England; Rose Theatre Studio; June 23 and 28, 10.30am; £3 for one child, £5 for two

Simon Callow - the Garrick Lecture

Surrey Comet:

Actor Simon Callow (above) has long been fascinated by David Garrick, and how ‘Garrick’s acting was revolutionary’.

In the first annual lecture commemorating Garrick’s Kingston connections Simon Callow gives a thrilling reminder of what has made him such an electric performer himself.

The event is subject to the availability of Simon Callow.

Simon Callow - The Garrick Lecture; Rose Theatre auditorium, High Street, Kingston; Wednesday, June 25, 7pm; £5; Suitable for ages 14+

For a full list of events, visit the Rose Theatre website.