6 o'clock Wednesday evening on the 17th July saw us all in Midsummer Place shopping centre in Milton Keynes on the next stop of the TOTU tour. We were welcomed by a cheery band of MK Fringe Festival helpers wearing brilliant green official t-shirts led by Festival Director, Jessica Rost. As the shoppers left we started building.
Jessica had negotiated our spot ( right next to Pret, very handy) with the Shopping Centre management as part of the Fringe Festival entertainments. We were keen to show TOTU in such a public environment to test visitor's reactions.
We had to stop work at 10 as it got too dark to see but managed to officially open the next morning at a wee bit past 11. Practically our first visitor turned out to be someone we had met before when we had our initial stand at Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show two years before. Fiona Bureau had taken away a questionnaire determined to donate her particular Unfinishable . However, she confessed, the more she looked at the piece and thought about it the more she realized how precious it was to her. She allowed us to photograph it and we were happy to hear her story and were able to reassure she was not alone in her experience.
The sight of the pavilion in the corporate surroundings of the shopping concourse caused a lot of surprise and intrigue and we collected some lovely comments. Although some passers by, fully committed to their retail therapy, thought we were selling curtains! Others were drawn in and spent quite a time getting involved with all the stories.
As we were part of the Fringe Festival we had lots of helpers to take over at lunch breaks etc. Megan, in particular, was with us each day and by the end of the Festival was fully competent to run the show on her own.
Half way through the setting up we were interviewed by MK Citizen for their online news. We looked a bit dishevelled and were relieved when our next media encounter was a radio interview!
The Drawing Machine joined us for Friday and Saturday inviting members of the public to join in the draw an Unfinishable picture. The picture was built up on an acetate screen over the two days and was a good companion to the Extravaganza. The two linked activities made the many passers by stop in their tracks and get involved.
Tales of the Unfinishable appeals to all age groups!