October 22nd, 2016

Cultural diversity at first Kenilworth Arts Festival

Cultural diversity at first Kenilworth Arts Festival Cultural diversity at first Kenilworth Arts Festival
Singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni will be performing and hosting a workshop. (s)

MUSICIANS, writers, poets, actors and acrobats are preparing for the inaugural Kenilworth Arts Festival

The not-for-profit festival, running at venues around the town from September 12 to 18, features a diverse line-up, and will be rounded off with a free open air Fiesta in Abbey Fields.

Among the artists confirmed are acclaimed singer-songwriters Rachel Sermanni and Luke Jackson, top jazz pianist Jason Rebello, award-winning nature writer Rob Cowen and classical duo The Ayoub Sisters, who recently made their debut at the Royal Albert Hall in a concert broadcast live on Classic FM.

And celebrated screenwriter and Kenilworth resident Andrew Davies will also be appearing at the festival in conversation with Laura Lankester, dead of development at Lookout Point, the TV production company which co-produced Mr Davies’ recent adaptation of War & Peace shown on BBC.

Poet David Morley will curate an evening of poetry readings. Appearing alongside Mr Morley – who won the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry in 2016 – are several other eminent poets including

TS Eliot Prize winner Sarah Howe, Claire Trévien, Jo Bell, Luke Kennard and Jonathan Edwards, whose debut poetry collection won the Costa Book Award for Poetry.

Alongside the headline events, the festival programme also includes a series of creative workshops, including a songwriting workshop with Rachel Sermanni, a harmonica masterclass with Will Pound, a human rights journalism workshop with Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi and a poetry workshop led by Jo Bell.

Closing the festival on Sunday September 18 will be a free all-day Fiesta in Abbey Fields.

It will feature live music from a number of bands including Winter Mountain, Swing from Paris, Shanade and local collective Mustard & Blood.

Also appearing at the event will be The Fabularium, a theatre company consisting of acrobats, storytellers, musicians and the odd puppet. They will be performing a new piece for family audiences entitled ‘Reynard the Fox’ performed on their traditional wooden cart.

There will also be a storytelling den, a music maze, improvised theatre workshops, dance workshops, and a host of stalls offering free craft-based activities, run by organisations including Compton Verney, Warwick Arts Centre, Kenilworth Books, Foghorn Unscripted, Brambles Explorers and more.

Festival chair Lewis Smith said: “I’m delighted to finally be able to unveil the brilliant events and workshops that we have got planned for this year’s Kenilworth Arts Festival.

“From the outset, our aim was to craft a programme of events that would inspire and engage; that would ask brave questions of the world around us and encourage bold, new thinking. Looking at the line up – which features some of the most innovative and respected poets, musicians and nature-writers around – I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do. It should be a very special week.”

Visit www.kenilworthartsfestival.co.uk for tickets and full programme details.