Hot Lists Monday, May 23rd

8 things to see & do at Leominster Festival 2016

Hot Lists Monday, May 23rd

8 things to see & do at Leominster Festival 2016

Who said Leominster was a cultural desert?? Ok, someone we met the other day said it.

We're confidently rebutting the charge laid against the north Herefordshire town. And to help the cause, here are our top picks from Leominster Festival 2016, running May 27 to June 5.

An audience with Deborah Moggach

When: Friday, May 27 at 7pm

Where: Grange Court

How much: £5/£4, free for accompanied under-12s

Deborah Moggach, award-winning Presteigne author will be at Leominster Festival

A highlight of the 2016 Leominster Festival is an audience with award-winning Presteigne writer Deborah Moggach, author of 19 novels, many of which she's adapted for TV.

'These Foolish Things' became the hit movie 'The Best Marigold Hotel' and the adaptation of 'Tulip Fever', set in Vermeer's Amsterdam, will be released this year starring Christoph Waltz, Judi Dench, Alicia Vikande and Cara Delevingne.

One of her earlier success stories was the screenplay for Anne Fine's 'Goggle Eyes', broadcast in a primetime slot by the BBC .

Deborah's adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice', starring Keira Knightley, was nominated for a BAFTA, her latest novel is 'Something To Hide' and she's just adapted her comedy 'Heartbreak Hotel', set in Presteigne, for ITV.

At Leominster, she's also judging the festival's writing competition.

Wurlitza in concert: live soundtrack to a silent film

When: Playhouse Cinema

Where: Friday, June 3 at 7.30pm

How much: £12

South coast-based band Wurlitza will provide a live soundtrack to GW Pabst's impressive 1929 film Diary of a Lost Girl, a masterwork of silent cinema.

Carefully choreographed music will fit the film as it traces the journey of a young woman from the pit of despair to a moment of personal awakening. The film has been described as a hypnotic portrayal of a woman betrayed, while Wurlitza has been praised for "bringing the magic".

Open Mic Night 

When: Playhouse Cinema

Where: Saturday, June 4 at 7pm

How much: Free for performers, £5 otd 

The Fireside Family, due to play at the Leominster Festival open mic night

You know how open mic nights work. At Leominster Festival, organisers want undiscovered local musicians, poets, actors, and singers to turn up and perform. Register on the night, from 6.30pm to 7pm, or find out more by calling 01568 612583. 

Ian Sherwood

When: Monday, May 30, 7.30pm

Where: Leominster Community Centre

How much: £12

Canadian Ian Sherwood is a singer/songwriter, instrumentalist and story-teller whose music dances the line between folk and pop.

He won a 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer of the Year and in 2012 was named Male Artist of the Year at the International Acoustic Music Awards. And he's stopping in Herefordshire to be part of Leominster Festival 2016. 

Bookfair: browse and buy

When: Monday, May 30. 12pm to 4pm

Where: Grange Court (John Abel Room)

How much: Free

For book lovers: an array of local authors and publishers, plus authors giving giving short talks in the foyer cafe.

Writers and publishers taking part include: Ann Ashley, Robert Crompton, Peter Ellis, Kim Gravell, Wilma Hayes, Clare Lockley, Janice Moore, Anne O'Brien, Trevor Robinson, Deane Saunders-Stowe, Manda Scott, Fay Wentworth and The Alchemy Press.

The grand opening will be by festival guest of honour Anne O'Brien, author of best-selling historical romps including The Virgin Widow and The Queen's Choice.

Haydn's The Creation

When: Saturday May 28, 7pm

Where: Priory Church

How much: £10 in advance, free for under 10s 

The Creation C

This is Haydn's masterpiece, an oratorio depicting the creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis and Paradise Lost. No room for frivolous lyrics back in 1798

Leominster Choral Society, performing this as the opening concert of 2016's festival, will be directed by James Atherton. They are working with Chameleon Arts Orchestra and four professional soloists to deliver a memorable evening.

Clapper Box / Fetch Theatre Company

When: Monday, May 20 from noon

Where: part of the Family Funday at the Grange

How much: Free

Interactive (slightly madcap) street theatre with puppets, booths with popcorn.

Fetch Theatre Co's stories and playlets are wonderfully quirky adaptations of classic movies, and their puppet booths means parents and kids can get invovled.

Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra: Nature's Realm

When: Sunday, June 5 at 7.30pm

Where: Priory Church

How much: £12/15

bpo 2

Bringing festivities to an end in the traditional way will be the rich sound of the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra. Back at Leominster Priory, they'll be playing Dvorak 'In Nature's Realm', Bax 'Tintagel, and R.Strauss 'An Alpine Symphony'.

The 32nd Leominster Festival runs from May 27 to June 5, celebrating music, literature, talks, walks and films based around the theme of Nature and Landscapes.

Other highlights include the Leominster Through Time Photography Project, the Big Pub Quiz, an art trail, urban safari and writing courses.

Tickets are available at the Tourist Information Centre in Corn Square, Leominster / 01568 616460.



This feature was first published on April 17

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