Hitum society revels

High jinks, high society and hilarity at the annual dinner of the Friends of Tilling, led by Gyles Brandreth at the Mermaid - who will reappear shortly at the Rye Arts Festival on September 21, but in the Milligan Theatre this time... and after lunch.

Memoirs of Georgian intrigue

The first performance of AP Waxkirsh's new one-man play "Spite and Smut and Tales and Lies" will take place at the historic 17th century thatched Barn Theatre, Smallhythe on Saturday September 20th at 7.00pm in the grounds of the early 16th century Smallhythe Place, home of renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry - now owned by the National Trust. Lord Hervey (pictured) was Vice-Chamberlain at the Court of King George II and Queen Caroline.

Curtain up on Rye Arts Festival

Rye Arts Festival opens this Friday for two hectic weeks from Friday September 12th to Sunday September 28th with a free concert at the Community Centre, and some events are already sold out - or the best seats have gone. But many are still available either online from www.ryeartsfestival.co.uk or the Phillips & Stubbs' box office in Cinque Ports Street, open 9.30am to 1pm Monday - Saturday. Charlie Harkness reports on the full programme and there are further reports on our Culture page

Scots on the edge

As Scotland stands poised to vote for or against independence, a young author talks at Rye Arts Festival about Robert the Bruce, a historic figure in the fight for nationhood.

The Rain That Washes

Live and breathe one man's extraordinary and dramatic journey from escape to finally returning to his homeland to witness Robert Mugabe's betrayal

Art creeps into fringe

An Open Studios Day is being held at the School Creative Centre along with three talks as part of art's contribution to the Rye Arts Festival. Charlie Harkness reports.

Local artists shine in superb show

Rye Art Gallery's latest exhibition "A Celebration of Light" opens on Saturday September 6 with works by Andrew Blyth and Andy Wood PRI RBA who now live in the Rye. For admirers of watercolours the exhibition promises to be one to savour with beautiful images of land, town and sea. And both artists will be working in the gallery at various times during the exhibition.

Art pays for repairs

Almost 100 paintings by Winchelsea artists were displayed at the annual Bank Holiday art exhibition to raise funds for the town's Millennium Artefacts Fund.

Brickwall plays on

Brickwall Music and Arts Society completed its forty-seventh season last month with a wonderfully enjoyable concert in the Great Space at St. Ronan's School, Hawkhurst.

Fairlight’s secrets revealed

Fairlight's hidden secrets include a bunker under the Fire Hills - and a dinosaur's footprints. Haydon Luke reveals these secrets in his new book about this pretty Sussex village

Joyful jazz festival is the best yet

Now in its third year the jazz and blues festival has been embraced by locals, tourists and businesses alike and not even the wettest of bank holiday Mondays could dampen the enthusiasm of the musicians, performers and especially the audiences over the weekend. In the words of festival director Ian Bowden: "Rye was buzzing!"

Friday’s one day special

This Friday the artist Djibo will be exhibiting his vibrant and exotic work to raise money for charity at one of Rye's loveliest shops providing an appropriately chic backdrop for Djibo's African based work. The proceeds will go to help children... and there's free fizz as well

There is nothing like a dame . . .

The first auditions for Acting Up in Rye's christmas pantomime took place at the Queens Head on Wednesday August 20 and Old Mother Hubbard herself would have been proud. With a clutch of enthusiastic thespians and a witty script that leaves no entendre undoubled, the group enjoyed a most productive evening that will be repeated at the second audition night on Tuesday August 26

Chim chim in Rye chim chim in Rye

There will be theatrical mayhem by the Ypres tower at the weekend when the Rye Shakespeare Company takes to the green

Tuesday painters go daily

Only One Direction to go - and that's to Rye's Tuesday Painters' annual exhibition at the St Mary's Centre in Lion Street, which has more than 250 paintings and etchings on display from 70 local amateur artists. But the show closes on August 25

Wicked weekend at the Wipers

The Ypres Castle Inn, affectionately known as the Wipers, hosts a fantastic collection of bands during this year's International Jazz and Blues Festival. With more than a dozen different acts strutting their stuff on the outdoor stage the bank holiday weekend is bound to be a blast. And it's all free!

Showing next . . .

The Grand Budapest Hotel, a comedy that scores 8.2 with the public on IMDb, is the Rye Film Club's next feature on Friday September 5. It...

Of war and love . . . etc

At a time when the nation has been reflecting on World War 1, this poem caught the eye of a Rye resident. Its title is the name of a local High Street shop

And so au reservoir BBC . . .

For two long months the BBC filmed EF Benson's comic "Mapp and Lucia" novels in Rye, and the Memorial Hospital is expecting a donation from the BBC. One of the many extras comments on the final days - and wonders if the cheque is in the post

Tickets selling out fast

The Rye Arts Festival which comes to town on September 12-28 has opened its "walk-in" box office. Tickets are fast disappearing and, if you're unlucky enough to miss out, remember there's also an impressive package of free events