Friday, 5 June 2015

Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival 10 July

Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival 

A festival encouraging creativity & curiosity in all ages

Friday 10th July 2015 10am – 7.30pm

ALL activities are 100% FREE!!  
Click on the image below to download our brochure.

The festival also has on offer self-directed activities and drop-in sessions so even if you don't book in for a time-set offering you won't be at a loss for things to do!

The programme has been set out under site headings but we encourage all visitors to explore the whole estate in all its beauty & history

Please note – we strongly advise you to arrive at least 20 minutes in advance of any events and activities you book. This is to allow you plenty of time to park, discover the location of your event on the estate and make your way there in a leisurely manner.

The Ballroom,  Cambo House

‘Lapin wants Ice-Cream' – Le Petit Monde Puppet Theatre   11.30am-12.10pm
Booking required   Duration 40mins
Aimed at 3 – 5 yrs

It is summer time! Just back from French Brittany, Tania has brought in her suitcase a tiny beach where Lapin, the lovely French rabbit has made his holiday home. But it is hot! And Lapin is thirsty. What will he have to quench his big thirst?

Le Petit Monde brings you this engaging puppet performance for 3 – 5 year olds. This show was rated 4* in The Herald – "The simple theme of trying to feed a fussy rabbit had the target audience fully engaged with Lapin & his friends"

Le Petit Monde workshop: Make your Book  12.30 – 1.10pm
Booking required Duration 40mins
Aimed at 3 – 7 yrs (Children must be accompanied by an adult)

After listening to Tania reading her storybook ‘Lapin is too hot’, join her in a relaxed craft session and create your own little bilingual book to take home. Tania is qualified in Childcare & Education & has been running French creative workshops & classes for pre-school children since 2008.

What’s in the Brain Box? 3-4.30pm
Booking required          Duration 1 hour 30mins
Aimed at 8 – 12 year olds (with room for a bit younger & older)

Explore the Brainbox & discover just how amazing your brain is! Become a brain scientist & try to work out how it works. In the BrainBox you’ll find the clues but you’ll need to use your brain to work it out! Follow on twitter @brainboxone

The Living Brain – Adult Presentation  3-4pm
Booking required     Duration 1 hour
This event is aimed at adults but young people with a strong interest are very welcome

A short introduction to the brain & how it changes throughout a lifetime & what might cause those changes. There will then be a showing of a short film The Living Brain by Anne Milne, which tells the inspiring story of William & Jean & their involvement in two unique studies of the ageing brain in Edinburgh (The Lothian Birth Cohorts 1921 & 1936). The film will be followed by a discussion about what the brain means to us, different kinds of intelligence which change differently with age & what the implications of this are for all of us. Some brain changes with age are inevitable, but there may be some things we can do to limit those changes: should we focus on ageing or on living?

The ‘What’s in the Brain Box’ & ‘The Living Brain’ events have been scheduled simultaneously to provide an opportunity for some parents to attend the presentation while their children are engaged in the workshop. After the presentation parents can rejoin their children to experience some research as a family.

Info Desk @ Cambo Tearoom – Meeting Point 

Wonderland Woodland Wander  10-11.30am
Booking required      Duration 1 hour 30mins
Aimed at 4-8 year olds (under 6 must be accompanied)

Let’s go on an adventure! What will we find? We will journey through the grounds hunting the Snark & finding out about what’s in the wood. We will explore nature through play and art, with our brave adventurers creating their own log book to take away with them.

Nordic Walking Session
Booking Required Duration Approx 1 hour 
11am  12.15pm & 2.15pm

Under the expert guidance of Carol Urquhart, registered Nordic Walking UK Instructor, come and enjoy a Nordic Walk.  Nordic Walking is recommended for adults and those aged 15 years and over.
You need to bring a bottle of water and wear walking shoes or trainers (walking boots not recommended).

The Young at Heart can enjoy a great day out at the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival:

'Nordic Walking' 11am - 12.15pm then a lovely lunch in Cambo Tearooms and a stroll around the walled garden followed by a fascinating presentation on 'The Living Brain' in the Ballroom 3-4pm. After the presentation go explore the fabulous Stables before settling down with your picnic for the Fife Reel & Strathspey Society performance on the lawn. 

Tweedledee & Tweedledum Treasure Hunt  12-1pm
Booking required       Duration 1 hour
Aimed at 4 – 10 year olds

An Alice-in-Wonderland themed scavenger hunt where participants will scavenge in pairs (older with younger mentor style pairs where possible), in order to solve riddles and clues to find the hidden treasure.

Campfire Tea Party  3-4pm
Booking required          Duration 1 hour
Aimed at 4 – 12 year olds (Under 6 must be accompanied)

Join us for a wild tea party under the trees. We’ll learn how to light a fire & then create an assortment of delicious treats to cook – you’ll be amazed by what we can make on a fire. Try your hand at twizzle-stick bread, and discover how to make a cake on a campfire, it’ll be a tea party you won’t forget!

Den Building  4.30-5.30pm
Booking required         Duration 1 hour
Aimed at 6+

Come with us into the woods to create dens for creatures big & small! Get creative and build your own woodland mansion, or why not build a home for a woodland animal? We’ll also have a go at using natural materials to make wonderful expressive creations.

The Stables

Amazing Drawing Machines!  10.30– 11.30am / 12-1pm / 2-3pm / 3.30-4.30pm
Booking required - 4 x 1 hour session available
Aimed at age 8 and over

 A kinetic sculpture artist, Lara Greene, involved in the creation of interactive mechanical sculptures, will lead this workshop giving participants the opportunityto create beautiful& curious drawings using machines powered by pendulums.

You will also be challenged to see if you can work out how they are working & to have a go at creating your own unique drawing machines, learning how simple combinations of levers & link rods can move in surprising ways!

Also on hand, will be David Bradley, an engineer who has worked on the design of complex systems such as robots. David will explain the technical processes & introduce other aspects of engineering design including structures, machines & numbers.

These sessions are sponsored by the British Science Association

The Story Team 10.30-11.30am & 2-3pm
Booking required        Duration 1 hour
Aimed at 4 – 11 year olds

Jane Yolen, "America's Hans Christian Andersen," author of over 350 books for children and young adults, will share the Map Way of making a story. Jane will lead young participants through an hour of story making, with everyone helping to make the story deeper, bigger & more exciting.

Potted Poems in the Garden   4.30-5.30pm                
Booking required         Duration 1 hour
Aimed at 4 - 9yrs – Under 6s must have accompanying adult or older friend/sibling to support writing

Come and enjoy hearing some garden inspired poetry and then creating your very own flower pot poem celebrating summer! This is guaranteed to be a poetry session like you’ve never before experienced!!

‘Caravan Obscura’ Ongoing / drop-in from 11.30am – 6pm

The Caravan Obscura art/science installation has been touring Scotland in this UN International Year of Light 2015 and we are delighted to be hosting it as part of the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival this year!

Caravan Obscura is essentially a camera obscura inside a caravan that uses mirrors and lenses to project the landscape outside onto the ceiling inside the caravan. The simplicity & ethereal nature of the image amazes everyone who enters. Lens Artist, Kenny Bean, will give a short talk about the camera obscura principle & the ‘Upside Down’ arts project.

‘The Ivo Kohler Challenge’ is available for those waiting to access the Caravan Obscura. Ivo Kohler was a scientist who carried out a legendary experiment by wearing special goggles that made him see upside down for four weeks night & day.

Visitors to the festival can drop-in and try out the special obscura boxes to make them see the world in reverse. Can you walk around walk around a special course upside down?!

The Main Lawn

Mad Hatter Mini Athletics   2pm – 5.30pm
No booking required
Aimed at families / 5 years & over

2pm     Hurdle practice
2.30pm           Hurdle Race
3pm     Javelin practice
3.30pm           Javelin Competition
4pm     Long Jump practice
4.30pm           Long Jump Competition
5pm  Family Relay Race

Picnic Performance with Fife Reel & Strathspey Society   6.30 – 7.30pm
No booking required       Duration 1 hour
Aimed at all ages

We are delighted this year to be welcoming members of the fabulous Fife Strathspey & Reel Society to the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival to entertain audiences with a varied programme of Scottish traditional music.

We warmly invite and encourage all visitors to be part of the ‘performance’ and take to the floor – or in this case, grass - if the toe-tapping takes you!

The society draws its membership from all walks of life, and all ages from teenagers’ right up to octogenarians, who all have the common interest in playing traditional Scottish music. Some are members of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. For more info go to

Across the Estate

Drop – in & D.I.Y @ the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival  

‘Clock around the Rock’ Challenge   10am – 6pm

Back for 2015, come beat your 2014 personal best or set your personal time record at ‘Clock around the Rock’ challenge – great fun to race against friends or family!

Reading Roots 10am – 6pm

In partnership with the fabulous Barnardo's Bookshop in St Andrews you will find, across the Cambo Estate, the festival Reading Roots Trees – look out for the signs and rugs, encouraging you to pop under the shade of these natural canopies and 'leaf through', read and share a bit of the magic to be found from a small selection of books.

The Tail Trail  10am – 6pm

Pick up your ‘Tail Trail’ at the Info Desk by Cambo Tearoom. Inspired by the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, the trail will send you off to track down the white tails located across the estate. You will need all your wits and observational abilities in tip-top form. There will be small prizes for those who succeed in this challenge.

The Stroke Assocation 10.30am – 6pm

Drop in to the Stroke Association stand and learn more about how you can make choices that support a healthy brain, get your blood pressure checked and take the opportunity to speak to those who have a vast knowledge of strokes and their impact on individuals and their families
A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are over 120,000 people in the Scotland living with the effects of stroke and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability.

Booking Form for your convenience

We aim to make the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival as easy to access as possible and we include booking activities in that accessibility so, for your convenience this year, we have added a little booking table below.

All you have to do is complete the table marking in the ‘Quantity of Places’ your requirements. If it will be children only place one figure, if adults will accompany please place adult figure in brackets as (+ 1). See example below:

Once you have completed the ‘At a Glance’ booking form please just copy and paste the table into an email and send to


There are lots of drop-in and self-directed activities to keep you busy in between!

General Festival Info you might find useful 

Opening Hours
The Estate grounds will be open from 9am with café & shop open 10am
Festival will run 10am – 7.30pm

Food and Drink
We have the Cambo Tearoom at the House
With the whole of the estate to explore and enjoy, we warmly invite you to bring picnics with you but do ask you keep all litter from you picnics and deposit in any of the many bins and recycling options available.

Disabled facilities
We make it as easy as we can for disabled visitors to Cambo Estate. Disabled parking is available and this is situated next to the house, toilet block, café & shop.

Our volunteers will be on hand but please do not hesitate to contact us in advance to discuss any concerns you may have about your visit with us.

Be part of the chatter before, during and after

Follow the Mad Hatter, Grey Matter Festival on  Twitter  @MHGMFestival

Follow Cambo on

Contacting Us
If you have any queries or would prefer to book activities over the phone please use:
By telephone +44 (0) 1333450054
Address Cambo House, Kingsbarns, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8QD

We simply can’t wait to welcome you at Cambo
For Mad Hatter, Grey Matter 2015

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The HandleBards present A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Wednesday 2 September 7pm

The HandleBards present A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.  

Performers – Callum Brodie, Tom Dixon, Calum Hughes-McIntosh, Matt Seager Director – James Farrell Producer – Peculius

"4 actors, 4 bicycles and a 1500 mile adventure."  

Touring the UK, carrying all their set, props and costumes by bicycle, the HandleBards present their all-male production of Shakespeare’s woodland extravaganza – all 21 characters of it. Bring a picnic and join us in the great outdoors for a fast-paced farce. Described by Sir Ian McKellen as “outrageous” and “uproariously funny”, this is Shakespeare performed with eight very sore legs.

***** ‘An unmissable show’ – Broadway Baby (Macbeth, 2014) **** ‘It’s back to basics storytelling in the BEST way’ – WhatsOnStage (The Comedy Of Errors, 2014)

Follow the boys on Facebook and Twitter: @HandleBards.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Synopsis

Hermia loves Lysander, but her father, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius. Demetrius was recently in love with Helena (but isn't any more), and Helena still adores Demetrius. Duke Theseus advises Hermia that she should abide by her father's wishes and marry Demetrius. Because of this, Hermia and Lysander decide to run away together.
Helena turns up and is devastated that Demetrius no longer loves her. To console her, Hermia tells her of their plan to escape to the woods - if Hermia is gone, then perhaps Demetrius will love Helena again. However, Helena tells Demetrius this and the two of them give chase into the woods.

In the woods the fairy kingdom reigns, presided over by Oberon and Titania. The two of them are quarrelling and so the kingdom is in disarray. A group of local tradesmen have decided to come to the woods to rehearse an amateur performance to be shown at Duke Theseus' wedding. Bottom the weaver is the keenest actor of all the tradesmen. During a rehearsal, Bottom is transformed by the fairies into a donkey.
Oberon, the fairy king, instructs his servant, Puck, to put a love potion in Demetrius' eyes so that he and Helena may fall in love. However, Puck puts the potion in Lysander's eyes, who wakes up and falls for Helena. Puck later puts the potion in Demetrius' eyes, who also wakes and falls for Helena.

Oberon has also used the love potion on Titania, who wakes and falls in love with the donkey-headed Bottom. Oberon enjoys this sport for a while, but eventually removes the charm from all but Demetrius. Oberon and Titania reconcile, the lovers pair off, and Bottom returns to perform ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’.

HandleBards on YouTube:

2014 Ice Bucket Challenge with Sir Ian McKellen -

Macbeth on Dunsinnan Hill -