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Festival line up announced

Frome Festival has announced a stunning line up for 2012. The 10-day celebration of the arts and local heritage will run from Friday 6th to Sunday 15th July. Following on from recent news that top rock band Reef were headlining on the opening night; the closing night promises to be the fastest selling show the festival has ever hosted: A star studded line up of musical comedians, Phill Jupitus, Ade Edmondson, Neil Innes and Roland Rivron, otherwise known as The Idiot Bastard Band, will be bringing down the festival curtain in riotous style at the Cheese and Grain. A massive turn out is expected for JuJu on Friday 13th July at the Cheese and Grain. JuJu comprises Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara who recently released the ‘World Music Album’ of the year, and are immensely popular on the festivals circuit. The rest of the festival leaves audiences spoilt for choice with numerous concerts to satisfy all tastes. The classical programme features the return of the Amati String Quartet in a candlelit concert at Trinity Church, late on Saturday 7th July, following the annual Food Feast in the Market Yard. On Wednesday 11th, the Wellensian Choir – 2010 national Choir of the Year will be performing in ‘Purcell and Pitchforks’; a concert programme which sets the involvement of Frome people in the Monmouth Rebellion to the music of the time, with some gripping accounts read by West End and film actor Mark McGann. On Saturday 14th July, St. John’s Church hosts the highlight of the classical programme when festival classical music co-ordinator Jason Thornton and Mark Gateshill conduct the Bath Philharmonia in a Jubilee Concert of music by Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Britten, featuring the additional strings of Frome Symphony, and the 2012 Artist in Residence – the violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen. Tamsin will also be appearing in two concerts at The Cooper Hall, an exclusive newly restored recital venue at Selwood Manor. Another nationally renowned musician, pianist David Owen Norris, will be giving a concert at Trinity Church using fortepianos built in Frome by Chris Barlowe. Comedy is well represented in this year’s programme. Mark Thomas, famous for his humorous TV exposes, presents ‘Bravo Figaro’ a thematic look at opera, at the Merlin Theatre on Sunday 8th July. Also at the Merlin on Friday 13th, Dr. Phil Hammond comedian, writer and medic, renowned for his TV appearances and column in Private Eye, will be presenting his hilarious and informative stand up show. Top female comedian Shappi Khorsandi, the daughter of an exiled writer from Iran, brings her effortlessly funny act to the Cheese and Grain on Wednesday 11th July. Shappi has appeared in ‘Have I Got News for You’ and numerous TV and radio panel shows. Jazz pianist John Law and saxophonist Josh Arcoleo will be playing concerts at Rook Lane. Both are internationally renowned and, as residents of Frome, have given great support to the festival. Another big TV name will present what might be the biggest attendance ever seen for a “talk” event in the Frome Festival. Jeremy Wade, adventurer and angler, star of ‘River Monsters’ will be bringing tales from his fascinating battles with extraordinary fish to the Cheese and Grain on Saturday 14th July. With fabulous exhibitions, workshops walks and theatre, the Frome Festival features nearly 200 events. Further details will be available when the festival brochure is released in early May. The official box office opening is on Sunday 20th May at the Cheese and Grain Hall. Pictured: JuJu – Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara; Mark McGann