PLANS for a special one-day Ravenfest at Irvine’s harbourside this October are taking shape.

The team of Poetic Justice Productions made up of Neil Smith, Helen Aitken and actor Steven Duffy, will bring the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe to life at this special prelude to a bigger festival in 2022.

For the last two years the Three Towns community interest company have been working on plans for Raven Fest, a two-day festival devoted to raising awareness of Poe’s dark work with workshops for the community, staged performances and graveyard tales tours.

They even want to host a grand masquerade ball at the harbourside in celebration of Poe, who was inspired by his childhood in Irvine to go on and become one of the most respected American authors of the 19th century.

But this year the focus is on a prelude to the big festival with a one-day extravaganza at the harbourside planned complete with drama and music.

It’s been a challenging year for the drama group who was chosen as one of six Ayrshire production companies to receive mentorship from the Gaiety Theatre.

From taking part in Zoom meetings with experts from the theatre world to being given a mentor to help them, they have been working hard on projects they had started before lockdown struck.

And one of them is Sadie’s 100, a living history project that saw the trio visit sheltered housing to hear stories from residents about their lives over the last 100 years, right up to the pandemic.

Neil went on: “We wanted Sadie’s 100 to be about the people in the South Ayrshire communities who could share their memories with us and we are thrilled to have spent time with these amazing people who all had a story to tell.

“Our hope is that this can be used as a template across North Ayrshire and East Ayrshire as we learn more about the lives of the residents there.”

Now, their focus is on making October a success and paving the way for a bigger festival next year.

“There is only one other Poe Festival in the world and that is in Baltimore,” explained Steven. “We want it to be as big as the Whitby Goth Festival which attracts thousands each year and it would be great to see it here.”