SHOWS featuring a touch of technology and a giant 50 foot whale will be among the highlights for the seventh Settle Stories Festival in April.

"With so many events in the town centre, we think the festival will be a boost for the market place, but what stands out for me is the high quality of artists we have this year," said communications and events manager Charles Tyrer.

The theme for the Settle Stories Festival, which takes place from April 6 to 8, is 'technology' and various kinds of technology will be used to tell stories.

"Generally speaking the festival is targeted at adults, but with some big family events that have been supported by Settle Town Council, who have provided Settle Stories a £900 grant.

Along with £900 raised from a Settle Stories Christmas raffle, Charles said: "This has allowed us to put free events for families and young people at the festival. We work with local schools and North Yorkshire Children and Families Services to ensure all young people have access to great art."

The festival will begin on Friday, April 6, with two highlights.

The Listening Gallery is an 'adopted' telephone box on Duke Street, and inside will be an vintage phone where people can dial a number and listen to a story.

The festival's first theatre performance on Friday will be the edgy political show A Machine They Are Secretly Building by Proto-type Theatre, which will focus how digital technology affects people's lives.

On Saturday, April 7, Charles said a big family highlight will be The Queen and the Jester, performed by Ursula Holden Gill and Keith Donnelly, which tells the story of a queen obsessed with love and a jester who is always up to mischief.

Also featured on Saturday will be Even in Wartime Children Play, a play that fuses sonic art, poetry and visual manipulation; Reflecting Fridas and On the Wings of Butterflies, both performed by Brazilian storyteller Ana Maria Lines; and Wi-Fi Wars, a live comedy game show hosted by comedian Steve McNeil.

Then on Sunday, April 8, one of the highlights will be And the Birds Fell From the Sky, which allows a person to experience theatre through a pair of video goggles and become the central character in a show with two other actors.

Other Sunday offerings include Ursula Holden Gill's retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2 Magpies Theatre's Last Resort, a show which presents an alternative future for Guantanomo Bay, and hip hop artist and storyteller Alim Kamara's performance of Hip Hop Griot.

A free event highlighting the festival this year will be a 50 feet inflatable whale in Settle Market Place.

Charles said families can enter the "belly of the whale", where Circo Rum Ba Ba Theatre Company will give free 30-minute shows throughout Saturday and Sunday.

For only 50p, families with children can follow Swim in the Deep trail around Settle's shops. The trail is inspired the Julia Donaldson book The Snail and the Whale.

Another event for children will be a teddy bears picnic, which features a story based on Jack and the Beanstalk.

Tickets for Settle Stories Festival are available online now at, which includes heavily discounted gold, silver and bronze ticket deals.