Festival opener Ann Widdecombe to stop off at Olveston mural to view new artwork

April 28 2017

FORMER Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe will come face to face with her own image before formally opening Thornbury Arts Festival.

FORMER Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe will come face to face with her own image before formally opening Thornbury Arts Festival.

Olveston artist Angus Macaskill has been asked to promote the annual festival by painting a mural to be displayed on the gates of his home Churchill House.

Angus is well known for creating pictures when inspired by what’s in the news - from the London Olympics to the death of Labour politician Tony Benn - and fixing the work on boards onto his gates for passers-by to see.

So he was approached by the arts festival committee to paint a picture of Ann Widdecombe, who will be the special guest on the nine-day event’s opening night on Friday, May 5.

She will declare the festival open in the Armstrong Hall before giving a talk about her life both inside Parliament and after leaving the House of Commons, which included her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.

When told about the mural, she was keen to see it and plans to drop by before heading onto Thornbury for the evening show.

The festival continues until May 13, with highlights including the acclaimed Reduced Shakespeare Company comedy team with another irreverent celebration of the Bard - as seen through the eyes of three Americans wearing trainers.

Their production of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged) is claimed to be a shortened form of a “new” play discovered in a Leicester car park and has already been seen at venues such as the renowned Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington and the Edinburgh Fringe.

An illustrated talk on the restoration of Dyrham Park’s gardens, an evening with The Antiques Roadshow regular Judith Miller, electric string band Stringfever and Squashbox Theatre’s Sea Show - a mix of puppet show, natural history and comedy cabaret aimed at families - are also in the packed programme. 

Online booking has been available for some time via the festival website but a box office is now also open in Thornbury library on Saturdays from 10am-noon and in Thornbury Town Hall in the week during the same hours.