Alistair McGowan, Paul Young and Alfie Moore star at Thornbury Arts Festival
April 24 to May 2
Armstrong Hall and Cossham Hall
HE'S better known as an impressionist but Alistair McGowan will bring his more recently-developed skills as a pianist to this year’s Thornbury Arts Festival.
Pop singer-songwriter Paul Young's Tex-Mex band Los Pacaminos, cop-turned-comedian Alfie Moore and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson – most recently seen emerging from under a pharaoh costume in ITV contest The Masked Singer – are among the other highlights of the annual festival, which runs from April 24 until May 2.
Alistair’s re-discovery of the piano at the age of 49 led to a debut album, which topped the classical music charts.
The Piano Show mixes classical music from the likes of Chopin, Grieg and Debussy to Philip Glass and Yann Tiersen with Alistair's trademark impressions and will end the festival at Armstrong Hall on May 2.
Volunteers running the festival have also booked Los Pacaminos, fronted by singer-songwriter Paul Young, for an evening of foot-stomping Tex-Mex music.
Formed in 1992 when pop star Paul had some down-time, Los Pacaminos today continues to be one of the UK’s most popular live touring bands.
The musicians will appear at Armstrong Hall during the first weekend of the festival, on April 25, with Alfie Moore performing the first night show at the same venue on April 24.
Alfie’s 18 years on the beat provided him with a wealth of “you couldn’t make it up” stories and he has appeared numerous times at the Edinburgh Fringe, while his BBC Radio 4 show It’s a Fair Cop is a hit with listeners.
Other events include a murder mystery created on the spot in an improvised performance by Bristol-based Degrees of Error theatre company on April 28 and an on-stage interview with postman-turned-Cabinet member and best selling author Alan Johnson on April 29, both at at Armstrong Hall.
Jazz singer Cate Cody and classical music ensemble the Vesta Trio will also be in concert, while lunchtime talks will feature guests such as David Slater, the photographer at the centre of a legal fight over a macaque monkey selfie picture, and Oscar-winning special effects supervisor and designer John Richardson.
Senior model maker Will Harding from Bristol’s Aardman Animations – creators of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep – has also been signed up to give a talk on the studio’s work, to be followed by the screening of two 30-minute films, Farmer’s Llamas and A Grand Day Out.
Meanwhile, a popular Sunday stroll to discover the history and features of a local area will return, this time taking festival-goers to Chepstow.
Tickets are set to go on sale in February. The full programme of events will go on the festival website www.thornburyartsfestival.org.uk and appear in guides to be distributed around the town and surrounding area.