Tickets go on sale for what promises to be the biggest and best ever Rye Arts Festival on Monday (August 1).
Rye will play host to a packed programme from across the arts spectrum with more than 60 events in the 45th edition of the festival from September 17 to October 1, 2016.
There will be everything from Irish folk music to two different operas; literary talks by authors to historical walks; free street theatre to Tuareg musicians from the Sahara; and films in the Kino to plays in a caravan.
The organisers have scoured the world to find the very best talent to bring to Rye, ensuring world class performers and performances will be the order of the day, as well as the best from the local area.
Two critically-acclaimed Celtic folk bands kick off the contemporary music programme.
Rye welcomes Lynched, a young band from Dublin, who were nominated in three categories at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, on September 17.
Then Welsh folk band 9Bach will be playing on September 22, having won Best Album at the 2015 folk awards.
On September 24, Rye will get its first ever experience of Saharan music as Terakaft will be performing for the Milligan Theatre audience at Rye College. Terakaft’s Tuareg Blues combines the traditional music of this proud desert people with the modern electric guitar.
The literary events always pull in the afternoon crowds with a series of talks by authors on a wide variety of subjects.
Topping the bill this year is Joan Bakewell who has turned 80 but is as active as ever.
Now a baroness the former journalist muses on the passage of time and how it has affected her.
Television chef Loyd Grossman talks about the artist Benjamin West and Henry Jeffreys will talk about a subject dear to many a Ryer… alcohol.
Classical music has always been at the heart of Rye Arts Festival, attracting world class performers to the town.
And this year, for the very first time, the classical concerts are bookended by live opera, with not just one but two operas.
September 17 sees a performance of Turn of the Screw and the festival finale on October 1 will be a fun-filled performance of Don Pasquale.
There are plenty of other classical concerts between these operas including the Wihan Quartet on September 29, young Taiwanese pianist Tzu-Yin Huang on September 21, and the Polish pianist Anna Szalucka performs on September 19.
Theatre is represented by For All Time on September 19. The play is set one night in 1613 when William Shakespeare and John Fletcher (who was born in Rye) have until dawn to finish their collaboration on the play The Noble Kinsmen.
Rye actor Martin Wimbush offers an evening entitled A Meeting of Minds on September 25, in which he performs poems by John Betjeman and Philip Larkin and essays by Alan Bennett.
There is also a 10-person capacity theatre inside a caravan parked outside the Kino offering several performances of two 15-minute plays on the opening Saturday.
On the opening Sunday, the youngsters from Rye Dance Centre will again perform at Rye College.
The film programme marks the passing this year of two of the greatest popular musicians of our era. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence stars David Bowie, while Purple Rain is a biopic of Prince.
Another screening is Tony Benn: Will & Testament – a biography of the Labour Party politician – which will be introduced by Rye’s Michel Duvoisin, who wrote the film’s soundtrack.
There is much more on offer during the fortnight, so for more information and tickets call the box office on 01797 224442 or visit www.ryeartsfestival.co.uk.
The box office will be open for personal bookings at Phillips & Stubbs in Cinque Ports St, from 9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Saturday.
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