Extracts below from the Director’s Supporters Newsletter – anyone wishing to join the list to receive Woolpit Festival information let us know at the festival email – info@woolpit-festival.com

On Friday 30 September 7.30pm we start with another two Alan Bennett plays from the Talking Heads series directed by David Cordon and starring those fine actors Paquita Savill and Caroline Brooks who gave such assured performances in last year’s stories of a struggling actress and a desperately lonely vicar’s wife.

Paquita’s portrayal of the dark side of loneliness continues this year with  “A Lady of Letters” putting pen to paper to complain about the many wrongs in her life – only to get into deep water with her misunderstanding of the family living opposite her.

In “The Hand of God” (a rare production for which David obtained permission to perform it at Woolpit from Alan Bennett) Caroline will play the owner of an antiques shop who gets more than she’s bargained for when she’s given an old smudgy drawing of a finger.

On Saturday 1 October we are hoping to have an afternoon activity for children – story-telling, acting and singing. This is yet to be finalised but we’ll let you know as soon as it is.

Saturday evening from 7.30pm will be special. We have two sets of fine musicians with very different styles. Cardinal Green are a new Bury-based band formed by Moose Rosser (the man with the unusually deep voice in the group Sound Tradition who have performed twice for us in recent years) and three of his friends. They will play an eclectic mix of their own and others’ songs accompanied no doubt by some amusing anecdotes and stories. They are followed by The Shackleton Trio with the gorgeous voice and exquisite fiddle playing of Georgia Shackleton and the accomplished musicianship of Aaren Bennett (guitar) and Nic Zuppardi (mandolin and banjo). Georgia came here as part of Addison’s Uncle several years ago and  has since forged her own very successful path with three well received albums  (the latest “Mousehold” released earlier this year) and a huge number of live appearances across the UK including at this August’s Aldeburgh Summer Festival. The Shackletons are firmly rooted in the East Anglian landscape and their melodious, earthy and funny songs are an absolute treat.

On Sunday 2 October 7pm in St Mary’s Church we have a return visit from the Churchgate Sinfonia who gave us a memorable concert back in 2015. This time it is their string orchestra bringing us the magical world of Josef Suk (a contemporary of Dvorak) and his signature work the Serenade for Strings. This is followed by a well-loved Concerto Grosso by Handel. The second half begins with the tuneful Holberg Suite by Greig – evocative of the wild landscape and peaceful fjords of his native Norway. And we are back in England – London no less – for the final work by Gustav Holst the ever popular and invigorating St Paul’s Suite.

Tickets will go on sale at the AGM and Launch of the Festival on Sunday September 4 at 12.00 noon in the Institute, Woolpit, where you will be able to buy your tickets and enjoy some refreshments.

Further ticket sales info click “Booking Details for 2022 Festival”


Festival 2021 concludes

All agreed that this years Woolpit Festival has been thoroughly enjoyed, with 4 excellent events all very well attended. The format for this festival, running over the first weekend in October, worked extremely well, and so far feedback has been all positive. Further feedback welcome as we begin the process to plan for Woolpit Festival 2022.

Richard Digance used his Saturday evening slot to deliver a brief message of support for the return of live music events such as ours, after a very difficult period for many in the music industry whilst in lockdown. He was saddened and emotional that many friends and colleagues had been forced to sell equipment just to survive and were now lost to the industry. His message was well received as he delivered a fantastic set for the Woolpit audience.

Once again David Cordon produced a superb start to this year’s festival with two excellent performances from Paquita Savill and Caroline Brooks in “A Woman of No Importance” and “Her Big Chance” two plays from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads series.

The Saturday afternoon event Come and Sing: The Beatles was a joy, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Keld Ensemble, our final event, held in St Marys Church was a fitting and delightful conclusion with a full church enjoying the wonderful concert in such a beautiful setting.

Countdown to Woolpit Festival 2021

Just a few days to our first event, David Cordon’s Woolpit Festival Theatre Company with two plays from Alan Bennett’s Talking Head series. Tickets selling fast, still some left, so hurry to book to avoid disappointment.

Saturday afternoon’s Come and Sing the Beatles is now sold out.

Saturday evening, at 7.30pm Richard Digance in concert, a popular performer with tickets selling well but still some left, at Pera, Masons Lane – Lionel Denny 01359 241206 or from Elm Tree Gallery in the village centre.

Sunday afternoon’s Keld Ensemble concert at St Marys Church, Woolpit, 3pm, still a few tickets left. Not to be missed.

Festival Message from the Festival Director

We were all very disappointed that we could not run the festival last year but now in 2021 we have a chance to get the festival going again. We plan to run a short (and safe) festival over the first weekend of October – unless the Government introduce new restrictions which make this impossible.  As usual we will have refreshments served at every event and a well-stocked bar available at the two evenings in the village hall.

We will limit audience numbers in the village hall and church to two thirds capacity. This will allow individuals and groups to sit with space between them and others and we will organise the refreshments so that there is no crowding at the bar areas. We hope this will encourage you to attend.

Tickets will be on sale from Wednesday August 25th. Please look at the booking form for details of how to get your tickets.

Once again we are most grateful to Trish and Bob Baker for continuing their sponsorship.

Nick Foster, Festival Director

Notice of Woolpit Festival Society Limited Annual General Meeting


Company Number 8020296

Registered Charity Number 1149380


Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Woolpit Festival Society Limited will be held at The Woolpit Institute, The Street, Woolpit, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9QH on Saturday 4 September 2021 at midday.


1.  To read the notice convening the meeting

2.  Apologies

3.  Minutes of the AGM held on 7 September 2019  

4.  Matters arising

5.  Chairman’s Report

6.  Trustee’s Report

7.  Treasurer’s Report and to approve the Accounts

8.   Appointment of independent examiner

9.   Election of officers

10.  Any other Business

The business of the AGM will be followed by:  

The launch of the Woolpit Festival 2021 from 1 October to 4 October 2021

For and on behalf of the Directors of the WoolpitFestival Society Limited

Nicholas John Foster, Chairman

Peter William Holland, Treasure


Sadly a victim of the Pandemic, no Festival this year.


The 44th Festival finishes in style

Exciting Final Event for Woolpit Festival 2019 on Sunday 13th October, Woolpit Village Hall at 3pm

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.

Link to Booking Form

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: info@woolpit-festival.com

2019 Programme – Click Here
Click here to see our Archived Programmes or use the navigation in the top right.

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