Miles to open 50th Thornbury Arts Festival

March 01 2019
Miles to open 50th Thornbury Arts Festival

COMEDIAN and actor Miles Jupp will launch this year’s landmark Thornbury Arts Festival when he appears in the opening show of the event’s golden anniversary programme.

The host of BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz will put his book Egg and Soldiers – A Childhood Memoir centre stage with readings, an interview and a question and answer session to start the nine-day festival.

Also heading to the town for the event’s 50th birthday will be the Reverend Richard Coles, who went from being a member of the pop duo The Communards to a parish priest and broadcaster.

The team behind the festival has also signed up writer and broadcaster Kate Humble, who has featured in many popular wildlife TV programmes. She will take her audience behind the camera and also talk about her latest book, Thinking on My Feet.

Meanwhile, historian David Starkey will trace the marriage customs of the British monarchy in a talk that comes after the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, which turns out to be not so radical as some might think.

As one of the longest running arts festivals in the country, the Thornbury event is run entirely by volunteers and boasts a mix of daytime and evening events to appeal to as wide an audience as possible at Armstrong Hall and Cossham Hall.

A strong music offering has been included for 2019, ranging from Celtic rock band RockPipes and The Temperance Seven, which specialises in popular music and jazz from the 1920s and 30s, to the multi-award winning folk duo Show of Hands.

Mezzo-soprano Marienella Phillips will also perform during a lunchtime recital, appearing with pianist Bradley Parker.

Among other afternoon events will be Fiona Warin's humorous look at the history of allotments and the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow militaria and arms expert Mark Smith sharing the history of the Victoria Cross.

The festival runs from Friday April 26 to Saturday May 4. Full programme details are available on the arts festival website where tickets can also be bought.