Greetings from the Organising Committee of the Woolpit Festival – Nick Foster, Lionel Denny, Lynne McRoberts, and Peter Holland. We trust you are keeping safe and well in these difficult times and managing to enjoy online some of what you may be missing at the Apex, Theatre Royal etc. While all venues remain closed indefinitely we are hopeful that the lockdown on theatre and musical events will be lifted by the autumn so we can run our Festival. This year’s programme was finalised at the beginning of the year and we are very pleased with the line-up of acts which is as strong and varied as it has ever been. In brief this is what we plan:
Friday 2 October: The Festival Theatre Company present two plays by Alan Bennett directed by David Cordon
Saturday 3 October: The Come and Sing Company invite anyone and everyone to “Come and Sing The Beatles”…..an afternoon for learning and singing the hits of the Fab 4
Sunday 4 October: Kerry Ellis presents…..Local girl and West End Star Kerry will talk about her career and sing many of the numbers she helped to popularise
Friday 9 October: Broad Horizons Theatre Group present “Murder, Margaret and Me” Philip Meeks’ thrilling comedy about Agatha Christie, Miss Marple and Margaret Rutherford
Saturday 10 October: An Evening with Richard Digance: Raconteur, comedian, folk musician – all round top class entertainer – Richard returns to perform at the Festival after 13 years
Sunday 11 October: The Keld Ensemble return to play the chamber music they and we love – Handel’s Water Music as well as favourites by Mendlesohn, Elgar and others.
We hope this summary gives you something to look forward to. More details and ticketing information will be communicated in July when we should have a clearer idea of what the future holds for our actors and musicians. Until then we trust you will keep the dates in mind and in your (under-used!) diary.
Nick, Lionel, Lynne and Peter
for Woolpit Festival
Despite a wet and windy Sunday afternoon and the extension car park having to be closed due to an inaccessible entrance, the concert made up for these issues and was very well supported by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience. Conducted by Edmond Fivet, the Prometheus Orchestra played their excellent classical programme with great style including the fantastic John Jermy with a superb contribution on trumpet. This was a fitting way to conclude an excellent Woolpit Festival 2019.
Woolpit Festival 2019 reviews
This year’s Woolpit Festival continued on Saturday 12th October with a night of brilliant Big Band music, some fantastic dancing, and just a great atmosphere all evening, with the Galaxy Big Band and they were just sensational.
What an enjoyable, fun event on Friday 11th October with a full house at the Blackbourne Centre, Elmswell for The Common Ground Theatre Company with “A Sidecar Named Despair”. Thoroughly enjoyed by the festival audience, with an abundance of humour, great live music, and a very funny story line. Excellent entertainment.
Following our third Festival event, a piano recital by Matthew McCombie in St Mary’s Church, on Sunday 6th October, Festival Director, Nick Foster said “Matthew played a selection of familiar classics – and music by local composer Peter Cresswell- in his most engaging style. He regaled the appreciative audience with humorous anecdotes about each piece and then played the music with both panache and poise. His relaxed but very musical approach made for a memorable Sunday afternoon. No doubt he will be asked to perform in Woolpit many times in the years to come.”
Just home from the Suffolk Concert Band performance at Woolpit Festival on Saturday 5th October and wow, what an amazing and superb concert it was. The clever use of an overhead screen with a host of wartime memories, from some of the most inspiring movies to shots of Glen Miller performing, listening to historical speeches from Churchill, Chamberlain, Roosevelt just added to the excellent music from the Suffolk Concert Band. Certainly a concert to remember for those present.
A full house enjoyed a terrific start to this year’s Festival on Friday October 4th with The Festival Theatre Company’s two Alan Bennett plays directed by David Cordon. The audience thoroughly enjoyed excellent performances from Paquita Savill and Caroline Brooks.
The Festival Committee are looking forward to welcoming many friends and festival supporters at Woolpit Festival 2019.
Box Office opened on the 23rd August to book tickets for Festival Events 2019.
Programmes Available includes Booking Forms. See here for online copy of Booking Form for printing if required.
Box Office telephone: tba or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Woolpit Festival Director’s Message for 2019
This year we have moved the Festival from June to the first two weekends in October hoping to fill the gap in village activity that seems to occur in early autumn.
We have arranged a varied programme this year and trust there is something for everyone to enjoy.
We continue to promote local performers and musicians and this year introduce our own Festival Theatre Company – Woolpit resident David Cordon MBE directing two Alan Bennett plays starring local actors Paquita Savill and Caroline Brooks.
The Common Ground Theatre Company from Ipswich make their festival debut with a new production ” A Sidecar Named Despair”. This play with original music by Pat Whymark will make you laugh uproariously and cry uncontrollably! And another first – this production will be in the Blackbourne Centre in Elmswell.
Our music theme this year recognises the fact that 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and some of the music will reflect that wartime period. The Galaxy Big Band from Huntingdon make their festival debut with a selection of dance music from the 40’s, augmented by big band music from the 50’s to the present day. Their sound is huge, their rhythm electrifying so get your dancing shoes on and waltz, rumba and quickstep the night away – or just come and listen to their fabulous sound.
Also new to the festival, the Suffolk Concert Band whose president is Martin Bell, last year’s entertaining speaker, will play a full concert of music – marches, songs and big band jazz – from the Second World War – and there will be a few surprise items too.
Pianist Matthew McCombie makes a welcome return to the church where he has played beautifully for us on several occasions. His programme will include some pieces that Dame Myra Hess made popular during WW2.
And finally the Prometheus Orchestra, based in Aldeburgh and well respected for their many performances with the Bury Bach Choir, present an evening of classical music both popular and unfamiliar. Their brilliant trumpeter Jon Jermy will set the village hall buzzing with Hummel’s trumpet concerto while Suffolk composer William Alwyn’s reflective work will remind us of the more sober moments of the mid twentieth century. The concert – and the 2019 Festival – will conclude with Mozart’s energising and uplifting 40th symphony.
We will hold our AGM and the Launch of the 2019 Woolpit Festival between 12.00 & 3.00pm on Saturday September 7th.
Nick Foster, on behalf of Woolpit Festival Committee