Halesworth Arts Festival gets underway this weekend

Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens who are bringing their West End hit show Eric and Little Ern to the

Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens who are bringing their West End hit show Eric and Little Ern to the Halesworth Art Festival. - Credit: Archant

The Halesworth Arts Festival, which has grown over the years to become one of the region’s most popular festivals, launches tomorrow.

The 13th year of this highly successful north Suffolk festival features 17 events and two art exhibitions.

The festival is known for its wide variety of top rate concerts, comedy and drama and this year is no exception with something for all to enjoy.

The festival begins with a performance of Kart Jenkins’ “The Armed Man” by Halesworth Festival Voices and Orchestra.

Written for the victims of the Kosovo conflict, the piece was premiered in 2000 and has since been performed more than a thousand times.

As the 100th anniversary of the First World War approaches, this profoundly moving work with its powerful message of peace, brings to the festival a unique and uplifting experience.

The concert is being held at St Mary’s Church, Halesworth, at 7.30pm and tickets cost £13.50.

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On Sunday female octet Seraphim, will perform “Beautiful Sounds in Beautiful Places” at Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, at 4.30pm, with tickets costing £12.50.

From then on the events are being held at The Cut, Halesworth.

Festival organiser Matthew Wetmore said: “We are delighted with the support being given to the festival.

“Ticket sales have been sensational overall and are up 40pc compared with last year.”

Highlights include Sarah Fox and James Burton with songs from the Cole Porter Songbook, a brilliant re-telling of The Canterbury Tales and the Carducci String Quartet with music by Mozart, Shostakovich and Dvorak.

On Thursday, October 16, one of this country’s finest actors, Simon Callow, will star in “The Man Jesus” and this has already sold out.

Friday, October 17, sees a violin recital by Tamsin Waley-Cohen including works by Beethoven, Ravel and Gershwin.

Tamsin performs as a soloist with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Swan, BBCCO, and London Chamber Orchestra.

Saturday, October 18, sees “Eric and Little Ern” starring Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens as they create their Morecambe and Wise West End hit.

Together they make a brilliant comedy that recreates the all-ages appeal of Morecambe and Wise in their heyday.

Other highlights include performances by Georgie Fame and the Syd Lawrence Orchestra.

The Syd Lawrence Orchestra concert on October 26 is “Tunes of Glory” and marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War with popular songs of the time including “Pack Up Your Troubles”, “Tipperary” and “Keep The Home Fires Burning”.

A planned appearance by Nick Baker on October 24 has had to be cancelled and Nick is part of BBC television’s Autumnwatch and will be away filming.

Tickets can be booked online at the Festival website www.halesworthartsfestival.org.uk, by post, by phone on 01986 874264 or in person at the Festival Box Office at The Cut.