Rye Arts Festival promises another year of world-class entertainment

Malinky. Photo by Thomas Gavin. Rye Arts Festival. SUS-170108-134419001
Malinky. Photo by Thomas Gavin. Rye Arts Festival. SUS-170108-134419001

Tickets for the 2017 Rye Arts Festival go on sale next week.

The festival opens on Saturday, September 16 – raising the curtain on a packed fortnight of events. And members of the public will be able to get their hands on tickets when the box office opens on Monday (August 7).

Kenneth Broberg. Photo by Richard Grebby. Rye Arts Festival. SUS-170108-134408001

Kenneth Broberg. Photo by Richard Grebby. Rye Arts Festival. SUS-170108-134408001

Once again, the Rye Arts Festival will offer a world-class programme of contemporary and classical music, literary talks, historical and nature walks, film, theatre, art and children’s events.

The contemporary music events feature some of the very highest quality talent from around the world. For example, on September 30 one of the finest acoustic Blues guitar players on Earth jets in from Pennsylvania USA. Ari Eisenger will be joined on stage by John Gregory and Mississippi John Hurt for what is guaranteed to be a real treat.

The contemporary music programme starts off with a special one-off, south of the border gig by Malinky on Saturday, September 16.

Singer/guitarist Sarah MacQuaid is gigging in Rye on Tuesday, September 26, while on Saturday, September 23, Rye Community Centre hosts the London five-piece folk band Stick in the Wheel.

Opera is at the heart of this year’s classical music programme with not just one but two performances of the deservedly popular La Boheme on September 23 and 30. For the sixth year Rye Arts Festival is pleased to welcome back the young professional singers and musicians of Euphonia Studio.

The Classical music programme starts on September 16 with The English Concert. A sell-out audience at St Mary’s church is expected so early booking is advised if you want to see a world-class performance. And world class musicianship is also assured on September 22 when the choir Tenebrae sing at St Mary’s Church.

Kenneth Broberg, who won the 2017 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, is jetting in from Missouri USA for a special concert on September 20.

The festival is thrilled that on the morning of September 16, Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP will talk about his ‘first 50 years in politics’. Providing political balance, from the opposite benches comes Dame Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chaired the Public Accounts Committee. She will be speaking on September 28, fresh from attending the Labour Party Conference.

William Shaw, a novelist who has written a crime story set on Romney Marsh, will be talking on September 29, and Rye glass shopkeeper Andy McConnell will also be talking about his varied life, which has seen him feature regularly on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

This year is Jane Austen’s bicentenary year and the festival is celebrating one of, if not the, greatest English author. Karin Fernald brings her one-woman play called Jane Austen – The Early Years on September 17. On October 1 the award-winning comedy improv troupe Austentatious come to town. They improvise a Jane Austen-style play using the audience’s suggestions.

The Film programme also marks the bicentenary of Jane Austen with the movie Clueless on September 1 at the Kino. This film sees the Emma story reworked and set in 1995 Beverley Hills. On September 25, Amy, the moving biopic of the brilliant but tragic Amy Winehouse, will also show.

Visit www.ryeartsfestival.co.uk for details and tickets. The box office will be open at Phillips & Stubbs in Cinque Ports St from 9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday.