Rye Arts Festival is here

Husband and wife duo James Walbourne and Kami Thompson, who are The Rails, playing at Rye Arts Festival
Husband and wife duo James Walbourne and Kami Thompson, who are The Rails, playing at Rye Arts Festival

One of the biggest arts festivals in East Sussex launches tomorrow (Friday, September 11) with a sea-themed parade through the centre of Rye.

More than 60 events feature over the coming fortnight, including world-class live music, literary talks, cinema, art exhibitions and for the first time, an artist in residence.

Andy Stuart, spokesman for 44th annual Rye Arts Festival, said: “If music, theatre, literature, cinema or informing and inspiring speakers float your boat, then make sure you don’t miss one of the best arts festivals in the UK and the biggest in East Sussex!”

Students of Rye College, Rye Studio School and Rye Primary launch the festival at 11am today with a procession featuring giant octopi in the town centre.

Classical music highlights include the return of Euphonia Company, who performed la Traviata at last year’s festival, with a fully-staged production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni on Saturday (September 12) and a second performance on September 26.

All the singers and the musicians in the full orchestra are professionals and this is a must-see event.

The set and costumes have been designed and made by the students of Rye Studio School.

Many top-class concerts showcase a range of musical styles, from classical to contemporary.

“Contemporary music is of the highest quality this year,” said Andy.

“We are thrilled to have The Rails, the award-winning folk duo, on Saturday.

“And Altan on the following Saturday are an Irish band par excellence.

“They are flying in on the Saturday morning from Donegal for an exclusive one-off gig in the UK.”

A varied literary line-up includes a talk by Jamie Doward, senior reporter on national broadsheet The Observer.

Local film director and artist Dave McKean and Derek Jarman’s producer James Mackay will also appear.

The box office is in Phillips & Stubbs, Cinque Ports St, from 9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Saturday, or visit: to www.ryeartsfestival.co.uk.

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