More RAF news, reviews and photos


With more than 60 events, Rye News coverage of the Arts Festival includes slide shows of some events, lengthy reviews of others and briefer reports on some – all of which are featured somewhere in our “Culture” section. In the meantime here are a few bits and pieces of “Gossip” from our Rye News team.

The Swing Kings, swinging away
The Swing Kings, swinging away


Queens Head customers were treated to an evening of show tunes and classic hits on September 17 in an Arts Festival fringe event. Performing as the “Swing Kings”, Town Councillors Rebekah Gilbert, Jonathan Breeds (who is also Deputy Mayor) and Andi Rivett sang their hearts out, with Helen Ridout providing faultless accompaniment on the keyboards.

Following on from the Arts Festival’s “Beer and Bach” night the preceding week, with a classical guitarist showing his lighter side, this was more like “Sinatra and Soda”. The Rye Bay Crew will be hosting Bond nights on October 2 and 3 at the Queens Head. Tickets are £25 and include a three course meals, Bond songs, casino and quiz. For tickets call 07974 001818.


Altan in full flow

The Irish band Altan (pictured above) featured in the Milligan Theatre last Saturday, September 19, in a flying visit as they were collected from Gatwick before the concert, fed and watered, and driven back to Gatwick afterwards by Niki and Andy Stuart, who got home in the early hours of Sunday but were still back in play mid morning (after St Mary’s 10:30 am service) to help with the laying down of the stage for Sunday night’s English Cornet and Sackbut Ensemble (pictured below) in St Mary’s where the vergers were still recovering from the piano marathon during the preceding week.

The historic period instruments (mainly wind ones) for the evening’s performance of “Echoes of Venice” were being unloaded from cars as the wreath laying took place by the war memorial behind St Mary’s to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain against the Germans, and Japanese tourists were battling it out with back stage staff in front of St Mary’s to get into the church. (Source: Rye Arts Festival)

English Cornett and Sackbut Ensamble


Meanwhile, back at the start of a hectic weekend, local artist, illustrator and director Dave McKean ( whose illustrations have been on show at the “Right Here, Right Now” showcase of contemporary art at the Studio School) was narrating his film “The Gospel of Us” in our Kino cinema (pictured below) , giving a shot-by-shot account of how the film was put together, including (if you watched very carefully) local scenery such as waves under Hastings Pier, and giving a fascinating insight into the artistic process. (Source: Rye Arts Festival).

Gospel of Us - Dave McKean

Apparently setting up the platforms in St Mary’s, and moving pianos and other gear in and out, was “a doddle” (they joke) compared with the few minutes of set-up and take-down time available for events in the Kino cinema, a brand new venue for this year’s Festival. The Stuarts are heading to the Lake District to relax once the festival is over, and they no longer have to cope with artists, artistes and sets, or posters, billboards, banners and lamp-posts, as Niki Stuart is responsible for stage and project management and Andy Stuart is responsible for marketing.




Photos: Ray Prewer and Seana Lanigan

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