Countdown starts to arts festival as programme finalised for nine-day event

January 26 2018

ONLINE booking is set to go live in early February for the 2018 Thornbury Arts Festival.

ONLINE booking is set to go live in early February for the 2018 Thornbury Arts Festival.

Comedian Jeremy Hardy will launch the nine-day event with a show in the Armstrong Hall on Friday, April 20.

Festival-goers can then enjoy a range of entertainment - from music and drama to cinema and lunchtime talks - until Saturday, April 28.

Highlights of the packed programme include an audience with Baroness Shirley Williams,  who recently retired from the House of Lords after 50 years in politics.

She was one of the “Gang of Four” Labour MPs who formed the Social Democratic Party in the early 1980s - later to become the Liberal Democrats.

TV wildlife presenter Simon King is also expected to be a big hit. Known to millions as a face of the BBC’s Springwatch and Big Cat Diary, he will take his audience on a journey of discovery, showing how everyone can talk to the animals in their own neighbourhood.

On the music front, the Remi Harris Trio will give a concert of gypsy swing, jazz and blues, while the baroque ensemble Passacaglia has chosen to perform pieces by composers such as Vivaldi and Handel.

Flute and guitar duo Icaris and The Swinging Rascals - described as a 21st century Rat Pack act with an 11-piece live band - will also be welcomed to the festival.

Meanwhile, drama comes from actor Rebecca Vaughan with her acclaimed Jane Eyre: an Autobiography, with award-winning author, poet and playwright Owen Sheers reading extracts from his film-poem The Green Hollow, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

Thornbury’s own TV food show producer Andy Clarke and Paralympian Kate Grey have also been included in the programme and the festival has teamed up with Thornbury Picture House to screen the children’s film Sing.

Topics for lunchtime talks include Lundy Island, village life in the Berkeley Vale during World War One and the rise and fall of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Visit for details of the performances and how to buy tickets. Brochures will also soon be distributed in Thornbury and surrounding areas.