Battle Festival’s eclectic arts mix through October

The Winter Giant at Battle Festival SUS-170925-095854001

Battle Festival 2017 launches on Saturday October 7 with an outstanding free outdoor show to bring the whole community together, which will see a 20ft giant puppet move through the streets, along with choirs, musicians, actors and a children’s lantern procession.

The Winter Giant from award-winning producers Beautiful Creatures Theatre, tells the heartwarming tale of a giant looking for a place to call home. The Winter Giant tells the story of anyone who has ever been lost or looking for shelter. It speaks of our common humanity, of the importance of a community that welcomes everyone.

The show is in the form of a procession through the streets of Battle on Saturday setting off from Battle Recreation Ground starting on North Trade Road by the Guide Hut at 7.30pm, proceeding down the High Street and finishing on the Abbey Green in front of Battle Abbey at 9pm.

This performance, the most ambitious Battle Festival event to date, is rooted in the community - a series of lantern-making workshops for children is underway and music will come from a group of more than 100 singers from community choirs, alongside professional musicians and actors. Other highlights of the month-long festival, now in its fourth year, span music, visual art, literature, film, poetry, comedy, and family entertainment.

Martin Brockman is the festival’s artist-in-residence for 2017. He is is developing An Armada Of Hope, linking our lives to the past, and will be showcasing a range of works which tie in with objects on display at Battle Museum. New works can be seen as they are created.

A unique take on the historic Battle Abbey Gates will be provided this Sunday by artist Andy Hamblin, from 2.30-4.30pm at Battle Memorial Halls, who will be putting the finishing touches to a hyper-realistic oil painting that reveals 14th Century life at the Abbey.

On Wednesday October 4, Dr Darren Clarke, Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions at Charleston, former home of Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, will give a fascinating insight into the history, achievements of the Bloomsbury Group (Battle Memorial Halls, 7.45pm, £7 - doors open from 7.15pm).

The festival also features classical concerts by some of the UK’s finest chamber musicians and soloists at St Mary’s Church, including the Primrose Piano Quartet, opera singer Louise Winter (October 15), and world class clarinettist Michael Collins (October 27), while Battle Sinfonia is joined by top London soloists for special family concert Magic.

Award-winning dancemaker Joseph Toonga will be taking up residency in several Battle schools, followed by a mixed bill of dance and music at Claverham Community College on October 19 along with R&B singer-lyricist Orin Norbert, while Battle Festival patron Tim Rice-Oxley and fellow Keane member Jesse Quin bring their band Mt. Desolation to Battle on October 21 for an intimate show at St Mary’s Church.

Booking and info at www.battlefestival.co.uk. Tickets can also be purchased at the Crafty Norman, Battle High Street and AHA Stationers in Mount Street.

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