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Frome set for Festival Party

The 17th Frome Festival kicks off on Friday 7th July with a superb line-up of entertainment planned.

“There are so many things to see and do and so many choices to make during the ten-day festival which runs from Friday 7th to Sunday 16th July,” said Festival director, Martin Dimery.

“Whether it’s classical music, comedy, opera, folk music, literary or children’s events, drama, exhibitions, walks or talks there is something for everyone. And many events are free or low cost.

“Highlights this year include Germaine Greer, Andy Parsons, Dutch Gypsy Jazz Quartet ‘The Busquitos’ and a talk from the Frome Tunnels team at the newly renovated Trinity Church – and many others.

“New to the Festival are tours of the ‘jewel in Frome’s crown’, historic St John’s Church with its Holy Well and unique external Via Crucis, and the Frome Food Assembly tasting extravaganza and pop-up market.

“Festival-goers are encouraged to try something new this year with many workshops to choose from, from Bollywood dancing to bee keeping.

“I believe this year’s Festival compares with any we’ve hosted to date in terms of crowd pleasing performers and artistic quality. Also – a third of our events are free, whether in galleries, open spaces like the Food Feast, or the pubs.

Sold out shows

“At the last count, 23 events were sold out, ranging from small workshops to large scale performances, but with 180 events, there is still much left to see.

“Tickets are still available for some headline acts like The Wonderstuff, Andy Parsons, and Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.”

Party spirit

The Festival kicks off on Friday with a host of celebratory events throughout the weekend, guaranteed to get the town into the party spirit.

A complete night out is ensured with many events offering music and great food including the fabulous Bollywood Brass Band at the Cheese and Grain, presenting an evening of Indian movie dance music. The pre-show curry buffet has already sold out but visitors can also catch an early evening meal at the Pop-up Tapas Bar at the Silk Mill, prior to the evening performance of Rodney Branigan, the fabulous Texas-born blues and country guitarist.

For those whose cuisine leans towards the Peruvian, the Badcox restaurant From Peru to You will be featuring the duo Bonne Nouvelle throughout the evening with their sensuous re-imaginings of classic pop on the opening night.

Just along the road, the Memorial Theatre presents Gyles Brandreth the well- known broadcaster, author and former MP. An award winning raconteur, Brandreth’s latest show is topically entitled ‘Blah- Blah- Land’.

At the Assembly rooms, behind the Memorial, you can catch the first of a series of concerts by Visual Radio Arts ‘Pride Without Prejudice’. The Bristol based band, Human Bones, will be supported by Sober Son and Sara Vian in aid of the Migrant Offshore Aid station.

The Festival’s first concert is at 3pm on the opening Friday at St. Katherine’s Church, in the beautiful setting of East Woodlands. It features Michael Iskas and Inigo Berrade on viola and accordion respectively, in a concert celebrating European culture from Bach to Britten and entitled ‘Europe Mon Amour’. The concert is free but donations are welcome.

There follows a spectacular range of professional events to attend. From 7pm Miracle Theatre present their hilarious fantasy The Third Policeman, on the ECOS Amphitheatre next to the Merlin Theatre. If raining, the show will move into the theatre.

Praying for the Rain, featuring the roots influenced songs of Domenic DeCicco returns to the festival at Rook Lane Arts, where they played last year to a packed audience.

More classical music can be heard at Christ Church with the Christ Church Singers chamber choir conducted by Alan Burgess at 8pm.

The evening draws to a close with Celtic and Atlantic Sessions free at the Corner House from 9 pm and a late night Diva’s Disco and Fancy Dress Party at the recently refurbished Granary Bar at the George Hotel.

Food Festival Feast

A host of workshops feature in the day time on Saturday 8th July before the main event, the Frome Festival Food Feast which gets under way from 5pm in the Market Yard Car Park and in the Cheese and Grain. Featuring local and foreign food stalls, specialist drinks and great free entertainment in the Cheese and Grain, headlined by the brilliant Fantasy Orchestra from Bristol playing popular hits in an amusing and vibrant fashion.

The Frome Festival runs until Sunday 16th July. Further details are available by picking up a brochure or checking www.fromefestival. co.uk. For tickets call the box office on 01373 455420; www.cheeseandgrain.com