Two world premieres for Rye Festival’s 40th anniversary

RYE Arts Festival has announced two world premieres for its 40th year.

This year’s festival runs from September 10 - 25 and was officially launched on Sunday afternoon at Rye Community Centre when 120 Friends of the Festival were given a first-hand run through of the varied programme.

The packed programme offers something for everyone spanning classical and contemporary music, literary events, theatre, walks, art and special events.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary the Rye Arts Festival, which has been described as one of the UK’s best smaller arts festivals, has two world premieres.

The first is a work by the internationally acclaimed composer Roxanna Panufnik. Taking her inspiration directly from Rye, and the tragic medieval love story of a Cantator and Amanda, a young priest and girl who were punished for their sins by being bricked up alive inside a wall; Roxanna has composed an exciting work for a quintet – comprising the Wihan Quartet and a bassoonist.

Another premiere, The Rye Festival Suite, has been commissioned from Brighton-based Paul Lewis, who began composing for the television aged 20, but has had a prolific career that includes as much composing for concerts as for the screen.

Contemporary music includes Dervish, an Irish band from Sligo which has played around the world to great acclaim.

The literary programme includes former Private Eye editor, and founder of The Oldie, Richard Ingrams.

Special events include Ising on the Cake by Sharon Elizabeth, who sings everything from old standards to grand opera whilst mixing a to-die-for chocolate cake – billed as a multi-tasking, domestic goddess with the voice of an angel.

Gyles Brandreth will be bringing his one-man-show, which was a sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

As it is the 40th anniversary, a special limited edition of posters (listing all the events) are available for free at the Tourist Information Centre, Adams of Rye and other outlets around town.

For more information on all events, go to the website . This year there is also a blog at which provides up-to-date information on this year’s exciting programme of events.

Postal booking for the general public start on Monday August 1 and the Box Office at Phillips and Stubbs, in Cinque Ports Street, opens for bookings in person from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday from August 15.