| BOOKINGS (01422) 842684 | CONTACTS | HOME | NEWS | LISTINGS & LINKS | 2005 programme (pdf) | | Booking form (pdf) |
NEWS: 30th June

Thursday, June 30, 2005


A sparkling opening weekend of the festival - and there are two weekends to follow with free entertainment in St George's Square on both Sundays from 1pm. It's the turn of Heptonstall this weekend to open its studios and gardens in and around the area. Full details on the website or in the festival programme. If you are uncertain how to find a garden and have access to the internet just tap the post code into Multimap and a nice red circle will appear on the map of the area.


  • "The only problem with the open gardens is that there are too many tempting cakes to eat"
  • "I hadn't realised what steep meant until I came here"
  • "The talent in the open studio work in just mind-blowing"
  • "Artsmill has had more visitors to the Quentin Blake exhibition on Saturday than at any of its exhibitions"
  • "Horse + Bamboo were magical and amazingly enough we didn't have to pay - though I did put money in the bucket for festival funds"
  • "I don't care how tired I am at work tomorrow, I can't believe I can see Jo Caulfield and Dennis Rollins and have all the free entertainment in the Square and in the sunshine"
  • "I hear that lots of events are sold out" - festival reply "No, there are tickets for most events, just ring the box office 01422 842684 or pop into the Festival Shop in Albert Street open daily 10am to 5pm and open from noon on Sundays.
  • "What are those men doing up that tree?" small child watching two festival volunteers perilously putting up the banner over the river at Old Gate.


Friday July 1 sees a sparkling production of the letters between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West by two talented actors, Jenny Tarren and Amanda Waldy.

This stylish evening starts off a weekend of talented writers appearing at the Little Theatre. Saturday begins at 1.30 with Amanda Dalton & Tobias Hill reading their poetry - they were both chosen by The Observer as the "Next Generation" of poets. There is then a short break where you can chat to the poets, buy their books, perhaps eat a piece of delicious lemon polenta cake and muse on the riverside terrace.

Ann & Anthony Thwaite follow. Ann is working on her autobiography (a reversal of many journeys she she came from New Zealand to live in England) and is the noted biographer of, amongst others, AA Milne. Anthony is a poet and has been a radio producer, literary editor and chairman of the Booker Prize. Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield, will introduce and perhaps join them in conversation.

Andrew Martin writes this week in the New Statesman about the clash between the Live 8 concert and his talk about life in and around Halifax in the early twentieth century and the great holiday train excursions to Blackpool - don't miss the talks, just set the video!

Helen Cross, author of "My Summer of Love" starts off the Sunday talks at 1.30 (there is the opportunity to see the film at the Picture House the night before), she is followed by the launch of and reading from "Canal" by American poet Saskia Hamilton. She is one of America's most highly-regarded female poets and editor of the new edition of "Robert Lowell Letters".

8pm sees the Godot Cooperative in "Beckett's Outbursts" - the festival is delighted that John Calder, one of the last great individual publishers and friend of Samuel Beckett, will be taking part in the evening together with two excellent actors. Laughter, John assures us, is guaranteed.


Any festival worth its salt includes events for children, and we are delighted that the Black Sheep Comedy Company are presenting their acclaimed improvised storytelling family show "Fairly Tales" at the Little Theatre at 5.30 on Sunday July 3. "One of the most enjoy able shows at the Edinburgh Festival" (TES). Saturday July 9, local talented Tutti Frutti Productions brings "Goldilocks" to Central Street School; two performances 11am and 1.30pm. Stylish, slightly bonkers, funny and suitably wicked to appeal, appal and delight adults and children alike. And of course there are the two exhibitions: Charlotte Voake at the Festival Shop and Quentin Blake at Artsmill. (pic attached of Goldilocks)


It's the very last chance to see the Cragg Vale Gamelan. 18 years in existance and this evening will be a celebration of those years. Not only music but a photographic exhibition of those times - for all fans.


David Benson

David Benson often premieres his shows at the Edinburgh Festival and this one, "Haunted Stage" chilled, thrilled and delighted audiences there last summer. Here is your chance to see this without a four hour drive! This evening brings together classic ghost tales in an unusual and wholly successful way with autobiographical details. Perfect entertainment for those who like a shiver down the spine. Tuesday July 5, Little Theatre. (pic attached of Benson)

Echo and Narcissus (a tale to stop your hearts), Orpheus in the Underworld are but two of the many spellbinding stories being told on Thursday July 7 at the Little Theatre by firm festival favourites Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden, two of Britain's foremost storytellers.

The second Mytholmroyd Artists Exhibition will take place this weekend featuring traditional and contemporary work by both professional and amateur artists, most of the work is for sale and is at St Michael's Church Hall. Saturday 2 July sees an evening performance by two of the finest musicians on the English Folk Scene. Tom McConville and Pauline will be offering music on the fiddle and the Northumbrian Pipes at Mythomroyd Community Centre and they will be joined by Dave Wood on guitar. In a more classical vein the Lynnwood Brass Quintet play at St Michael's Church on Tuesday 5 July. A locally based group they will offer great music from Handel and Elgar to Bernstein and Colonel Bogey! Something for all tastes.

Heptonstall Church has seen many rising stars of the music world play there and we are delighted that Nicholas Trygstad, who is rapidly making a name for himself as one of the most outstanding cellists of his generation, is able to come from Scotland to play in the festival on Wednesday July 6. ((pic attached of Nicholas T)

LOCAL MUSICAL TALENT abounds. Sample it at the Hepton Singers Concert on the middle Saturday of the festival (July 2) and perhaps join in with Hebden Bridge's own community choir, Calder Valley Voices on Thursday July 7.

FESTIVAL SHOP is the place for the latest news and gossip, and the place to buy tickets, open daily and staffed by volunteers it is in the town centre in Albert Street 01422 842684.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival