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Issue 304 – Fantastic line-up as Festival celebrates 10th anniversary

Frome’s annual arts fiesta starts this week, promising bags of fun in its 10th anniversary year. Frome Festival 2010 runs from Friday 9th to Sunday 18th July, with almost 200 events to whet most appetites.

Festival creative director Martin Dimery said ticket sales had reached another all-time high as the festival’s reputation goes from strength to strength.
“The 10th Frome Festival will provide fantastic entertainment for both the people who live in this remarkable town and for the many thousands who will visit over the coming ten days,” he said.
Festival founder Martin Bax MBE will launch the festival’s biggest annual event, the Frome Festival Feast, a free open-air party with live music and food stalls run by Mendip producers.
The former actor launched the first festival in 2001, using his contacts in the world of stage and film. He went on to direct six more before retiring in 2007.
“The festival runs on limited resources and abundant enthusiasm. I find it incredibly moving to see it grow into one of the major community arts events in the world,” he said. Every person in Frome should feel proud of their contribution.”

Paul Merton tickets
still available

Comedian Reginald D. Hunter kicks off the festival’s 10th birthday with a sell-out opening night show at the Cheese & Grain on Friday.
A few tickets remain for Paul Merton & His Impro Chums who return for two nights at The Memorial Theatre on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th.
Paul Merton reveals why he loves Frome audiences in an exclusive interview broadcast on Frome Festival’s website and on YouTube.
“The people [of Frome] have always been extremely generous in their laughter. The suggestions we get from the audience have always been of the highest calibre… Frome comes first,” he says.

Jo Caulfield

Comic poet John Hegley, Luton’s finest export since Kerry Dixon, follows his barnstorming gig at Glastonbury Festival with a performance at Rook Lane Chapel on Saturday 17th.
Stand-up Ivor Dembina, who performed a landmark gig to MPs at Westminster earlier in the year, chairs a debate on comedy followed by a gig at The Granary on Wednesday 14th.
Dr Archibald Combellack Snr, author of ‘Frome Wasn’t Built In A Day’, gives an alternative tour of the town ahead of his One Night Stand at the Granary on Friday 16th, with Clash tribute band London Calling and the Taunton Ukulele Strummers Club.
The acid wit of Mock The Week’s Jo Caulfield provides a finale night cackle at The Granary on Sunday 18th.
Elsewhere, jazz fans can start their ten-day shebang with John Law’s Art of Sound Trio at Rook Lane Chapel on Friday 9th.
Later in the festival, saxophonist Stan Sulzmann, a prominent member of the British jazz scene since the 1970s, joins John Parricelli and Iain Ballamy’s rhythm section at Rook Lane on Friday 16th.
Edward Leaker’s Blaze project at Monmouth House on Saturday 10th, electronica collective Radiosonic Ltd at Christ Church on Wednesday 14th and the Branco Stoysin Trio at The Silk Mill on Thursday 15th offer further jazz variations.
Classical fans can feast on Chopin as festival artist in residence Marina Nadiradze celebrates the bicentenary of the composer’s birth with three concerts on successive nights. She starts at Longleat House on Wednesday 14th, followed by St John’s Church, Frome, on Thursday 15th and St Andrew’s Church, Mells, on Friday 16th.

Bath Philharmonia

Festival classical music director Jason Thornton brings Bath Philharmonia to St John’s Church on Saturday 17th for one of his most ambitious concerts to date.
The orchestra will combine with Nashville bluegrass quartet Harpeth Rising to perform Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ and John Adams’ ‘Shaker Loops’. Harpeth Rising play a solo gig at The Granary on Monday 12th.
Bristol Bach Choir delight mind and body with a candlelit concert held at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday 10th. Bach returns on Friday 16th as Christopher Cipkin performs a selection of the composer’s organ works at Christ Church.
Chris Jagger proves the family’s musical talent didn’t stop with brother Mick as he performs an acoustic set at The Granary on Tuesday 13th.
Celtic hip priest Seth Lakeman returns to the Cheese & Grain on Wednesday 14th July and Baka Beyond headline the festival with a world fusion workout at the same venue on Saturday 17th.
Gerald Dickens bears a striking family resemblance to Britain’s greatest author bar Shakespeare, Charles Dickens. Hear him bring his great-great-grandfather to life at Frome Wesley Methodist Chapel on Tuesday 13th July.
Poetry Cafe’s annual battle of rhyme welcomes the Bin Bag Bard to chair proceedings as contestants spar with stanzas to become Festival Laureate 2010 at the Garden Cafe on Wednesday 14th.
Hear HTV cameraman Chris Chapman discuss landscape photography at Beckington Memorial Hall on Friday 9th July, or listen to BBC cameraman Simon Bell’s Orangutan Diaries at Frome United Reformed Church on Thursday 15th.
Mario Reading discusses the predictive powers of Nostradamus at Frome Library on Tuesday 13th. The same night, A Taste of Palestine at the Masonic Hall mixes folk tales, music and Middle Eastern cuisine.
A wealth of after-hours entertainment runs throughout the festival. The Griffin and The Crown at Keyford host free gigs most nights and discount standing tickets will be available on the door for events at The Granary.
Festival newcomer the BeingHuman Warehouse hosts a Pop Up Cafe with music, art, film and comedy on Sunday 11th July while Cabaret Sans Frontieres returns in flamboyant style with a vaudeville line-up at The Granary on Thursday 15th and Saturday 17th.
Frome Football Club hosts two nights of rocking music. Pink Champagne open the festival with a swing on Friday 9th and The Operation and Redback propel it with a primal roar on Friday 16th.
The winner of the Frome Festival International Short Story Competition 2010, which attracted a record 555 entries, will be announced at Words@FromeFestival’s Writers & Publishers Day at Frome Library on Sunday 11th July, part of a daylong series of events covering every stage of the writing process up to publication.
Film fans can see silent movie classic Decasia with a live soundtrack at the Merlin Theatre on Sunday 11th, The Company of Wolves at Rook Lane Chapel on Tuesday 13th and a charity preview of Pixar’s Toy Story 3 at the Westway Cinema on Saturday 17th.
Crysse Morrison’s Nevertheless Productions host the festival’s first ever pub theatre night. Stepping Out Theatre performs Conor McPherson’s vampire play St Nicholas at The Lamb Inn on Sunday 11th and Monday 12th. Tickets are still available for the Monday performance.
Drama fans can enjoy Frome’s extraordinary one-man show Pip Utton in his version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Merlin Theatre on Monday 11th, Peter Shaffer’s Equus at Rook Lane Chapel on Wednesday 14th and an open air performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Ecos amphitheatre on Sunday 18th.
Festival favourites return with Hidden Gardens on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th, the Green Fair on Sunday 11th, the Fashion Show on Monday 12th, the Gardening Forum, and the Barn Dance, both on Tuesday 13th, the Quiz Night at Rode on Wednesday 14th and Frome Open Studios on both weekends.
Elsewhere, take a picnic to the Terry Hill Big Band at Victoria Park on Sunday 11th, or the Nunney Music Festival on Sunday 18th in aid of Frome charity Positive Action on Cancer.
Daylight hours at the festival promise a mix of family workshops, talks, walks, art exhibitions and lunchtime concerts at various venues.
With the prospect of so many happy memories, round off your festival with a souvenir Frome Festival 10th anniversary bag on sale for £5 at Frome Library and Frome Tourist Information Centre. Profits go to the Frome Festival.
Full details of this year’s events can be found at For news on tickets and other curiosities follow the festival at

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