A summer festival brings the arts to life

Arts Alive is bringing together a host of talented performers for a Summer Festival of Stories and Songs on July 9 and 10 at the SpArC Theatre in Bishop’s Castle. The event, originally scheduled for January, will finally be able to go ahead so that audiences across the region can enjoy some live performances bursting with culture.

Cerin Mills, Live Events Programmer at Arts Alive, said, “For so long now, live performance in every genre has been taken from us. This has hit many performers and artists really hard, not only with the loss of earnings and creative outlets but losing engagement with a live audience and the electric atmosphere it creates. Arts Alive is really looking forward to reigniting that feeling at our Summer Festival in July, which will showcase some phenomenal talent from across the UK. Every show will be performed at the SpArC Theatre in a Covid safe way so that local audiences can get to see live performances at long last!”

Tickets can now be booked for three separate shows at the festival on Friday evening, Saturday lunchtime, and Saturday evening.

Friday evening’s first act is English folk duo, Whalebone, and local poet, Jean Atkin, who will be performing a musical collection of poems and Shropshire folklore ‘Understories’ – underpinning how history is ravelled around memory and community. Nia Lynn, Dylan Fowler and Oli Wilson-Dickson of Welsh group ALAW, will be showcasing their shared passion for the traditional music of Wales.

At the Saturday lunchtime show, the audience can enjoy a light lunch whilst local storytellers share tales. Sal Tonge from the Stiperstones celebrates the music of language. The award-winning author and storyteller, Amy Douglas, will tell traditional tales from Shropshire and Scotland. Finally, Helen East and Rick Wilson will tell traditional stories drawn from first-hand experience of places they have worked in and visited worldwide.

The festival builds to Saturday evening’s show dubbed ‘an evening of eloquent eccentricity,’ with two special performances. Two of Scotland’s most versatile and popular musicians, Wendy Weatherby and Sandy Brechin, will combine vocals, cello and accordion to play a mixture of traditional and original material. The final act will welcome internationally acclaimed artists, singer-songwriter Michelle Burke from rural East Cork and pianist and composer James Ross, for a ‘smattering of parlour songs, tunes and shenanigans’.

Visit www.artsalive.co.uk for more information.

CAPTION: Wendy Weatherby is part of Saturday evening’s line-up of musical talent.

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