Rye Arts Festival – tickets on sale


The full programme of events that make up the 50th anniversary Rye Arts Festival go on sale on August 1 to members and on August 4 to the general public.

A packed and high-quality programme is on offer from September 10-26, covering classical and contemporary music, books and talks, drama and film, walks and exhibitions, with over 60 ticketed events.

After the Rye town crier announces the official start of the festival on Friday, September 10, the festive fortnight kicks off in earnest with a talk in the afternoon by Gyles Brandreth. Ahead of the official publication of his autobiography, “Odd Boy Out’” advance copies will be on sale at the event. The former MP, roving TV reporter, teddy bear fan, radio panel show wit and canal bargee, will deliver a funny and warm talk that is guaranteed to uplift the mood.

Further highlights include talks by the Rev. Richard Coles and Lord Kenneth Baker CH, who is focussing on political assassinations.

Other talks to look out range from the night-time sounds of the countryside to the 18th century aristocratic family, the Sharps. Thriller devotees should look out for a whole literary day dedicated to spies and another where crime writing is the focus.

Contemporary music features the red-hot blues of Errol Linton, and the gorgeous singing and guitar playing of the Vera van Heeringen trio, who offer an intoxicating blend of Americana and folk.

Vera van Heeringen Trio

The classical music programme is wide ranging. There’s a piano recital by Martin Roscoe devoted entirely to Beethoven, and a fun evening of improvised opera, where the audience give the cast the title, the setting and the storyline, and they make it up as they go along.

The film programme starts with a screening at the Kino of the “blaxploitation” movie classic Shaft, which was released in 1971, the same year the Rye Arts Festival was launched. The theme music by Isaac Hayes is truly iconic.

Richard Roundtree in Shaft (1971)

Drama will see a series of street theatre events on the opening Saturday, September 10, which will be fun for all the family, and the Rye Shakespeare Company will deliver a timely revival of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the Mermaid on the closing Sunday, September 26.

The full programme and tickets will be available online ryeartsfestival.org.uk or from the box office via telephone on 01797 462168.

As the safety of audiences, volunteers and artistes is essential, the festival plans to limit capacities to 75% at all venues, ensuring it adheres to the latest advice from SAGE.

Image Credits: Greg Macvean .

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