Festival organisers line up the stars

November 30 2016

AWARD winning folk singer Cara Dillon, the comic capers of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and foot-tapping band Stringfever are included in the line-up for the next Thornbury Arts Festival.

AWARD winning folk singer Cara Dillon, the comic capers of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and foot-tapping band Stringfever are included in the line-up for the next Thornbury Arts Festival.
Professor Lord Robert Winston, antiques expert Judith Miller and Thornbury Choral Society will also feature in the nine-day festival, which brings in audiences from a wide area of South Gloucestershire and Bristol.
The event will be launched by former shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe - now also known to many as a past Strictly Come Dancing contestant and pantomime star.
She will get the festival off to a flying start with a talk about her life, which still involves serious debate and regular TV documentaries.
The team of volunteers behind the festival has been working since the end of the 2016 event on the next programme, which again features a mix of music, comedy, drama and a range of talks.
The concert by Cara Dillon, whose legion of fans include Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, is expected to be a sell-out, with the Reduced Theatre Company set to attract a big audience to see its production William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play.
Professor Winston - one of Britain’s best known scientists and a leading fertility expert - will give a talk on genetics and has also agreed to give a separate talk to students at the town’s Castle School.
Other festival highlights include Thornbury Choral Society singing Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Coronation Anthems, BBC Antiques Roadshow regular Judith Miller giving an illustrated talk on collecting antiques and Squashbox Theatre’s The Sea Show, which is aimed largely at children and families.
Among the topics for lunchtime talks are the work of the Bristol Film Office, the restoration of Dyrham Park’s gardens, the Badminton railway line and the history of the Women’s Institute.
After the success of a guided walk in the last festival, there will also be a two-hour ramble around the Purton hulks - abandoned boats and ships deliberately beached next to the river Severn near Sharpness.
The festival, which runs from May 5-13, will be brought to a close by Stringfever, which mixes electric instruments and beat-boxing with musical skill.
Visit the arts festival website for further details.