Now in its 17th year, the Frome Festival will run from Friday 7th to Sunday 16th July. A stellar cast heads up a huge range of activities covering arts, crafts and lifestyle.
The Cheese and Grain is expecting to be full to capacity on Saturday 15th July when Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel headline, and on Friday 14th with an appearance by 90’s legends, The Wonderstuff. On the Festival’s opening night the hall will host the brilliant Bollywood Brass Band in a hugely entertaining night of participation in Indian dance, film and food. The Food Feast, Fashion Show, Roots Sessions and Frome Symphony Orchestra will also be featuring at the Cheese and Grain.
This year’s headline comedian is the massively popular Andy Parsons, regular on TV’s “Mock the Week”, with appearances on “Live at the Apollo” and “QI”. He performs at the Cheese and Grain on Thursday 13th July, while the ever popular satirist Jeremy Hardy, makes a return to the Merlin Theatre on Saturday 15th. Local comedian Tim O’Connor will also be hosting two great nights of comedy at the recently re-furbished Granary Club at the George Hotel.
There’s a particularly great line up from the literary and broadcasting world, starting with a pre-Festival special featuring Germaine Greer on June 30th, and on Friday 7th July, Gyles Brandreth at the Memorial Theatre. The Merlin will hold a presentation by TV historian Dr. David Starkey, about his new book on Henry VIII on Monday 10th July; and, Saturday 15th, St. John’s Church is the venue for the engaging ex-MP and “Strictly” star Anne Widdecombe.
This year the Festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen with several literature events, and even a recital of her little known musical composition at Christ Church. In 2017 the Festival also commemorates the passing of the poet Edward Thomas in World War I. Thomas had many local connections and is being celebrated in a series of events, including a performance of his work featuring the leading biographer Matthew Hollis and distinguished actors, James Laurenson, Martin Bax-(who is President and founder of the Frome Festival) and one of the UK’s most renowned actresses, Stephanie Cole. The Festival features performances, workshops, walks, talks, literary events, concerts, exhibitions, and much more. This year’s celebration will be formally opened on Wednesday 5th July with a Gala Concert at Cooper Hall featuring the world famous opera star Dame Felicity Lott.
Martin Dimery, the Festival Creative Director expressed his delight in the programme: “We are being offered such a wonderful array of talents this year as well as outstanding contributions from our local artists and performers. It should be a year to remember. ”
Tickets will be available from the 21st May: on the Frome Festival Website Box Office: 01373 455420. Camping available at www.vallisveg.co.uk/camping