Hebden Bridge Festival


Hebden Bridge Arts Festival



The Fringe and beyond . . . !

Indulge in something different! There’s a smorgasbord for you to sample upstairs at the White Lion, home of the Fringe from 25 June - 9 July. Tickets: all tickets sold on the door from an hour before the performance time

The Reeve's Tale

Saturday 25 June, 5pm

‘A bawdy tale of Northern lads who take their heavy revenge . . . ’

American Professor Returns to the West Riding to Read Chaucer's Reeve's Tale, a bawdy tale about two Northern lads on scholarship at Cambridge taking revenge on a Southern family led by a cheating Miller. Read entirely in Middle English: Chaucer's London dialect and the Northern dialect, as written by Chaucer. Professor Paul Thomas comes to us from Utah, USA and is the Producer and Co-Director of The Chaucer Studio, noted for its authentic recordings of medieval literature.



Professor Thomas is an emeritus professor of English at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, who received his D. Phil. from York University under the supervision of Professor Derek Pearsall, who later held an endowed chair at Harvard University. In 1988 Paul teamed with a Shropshire lad, Professor Tom Burton, who teaches still at Adelaide University in Australia, to bring the Chaucer Studio and its press to America. From a small start of just two recordings made of Chaucer's Parlement of Foules and Book of the Duchess before he first met Tom, Paul has helped the Chaucer Studio produce a total of nearly a hundred titles, including recordings on audiocassette first, CD later, and recently on half-price downloads, videos on VCR and DVD, and various books, hardback and paperback, in the intervening years.

Chaucer's Reeve's Tale is Chaucer's chief example of Northern dialect, occurring in the dialogue between the two clerks from Strother, up in the Cheviot Hills, who are hoping to keep the Miller Symkyn from cheating their College/Hall at Cambridge as he grinds their corn. The Miller does trick them, and the rest of the tale is about how the canny Northern lads take their heavy revenge, fabliau-style.

Special Features:

A brief overview of the tale, placing it in its context of the First Fragment of the Canterbury Tales, as well as introducing its teller, the Reeve.

Professor Thomas will read the last paragraph of the Reeve's Prologue, to explain his enmity with the previous tale-teller, Chaucer's Miller, whose tale this is meant to quit or pay back. Then he will read the entire tale the Reeve tells in just over 400 lines of narrative verse, complete with readings in the London dialect of Chaucer's Middle English intermingled with the Northern dialect of the likely lads, John and Alan.

There will be a handout provided, laying out a brief explanation of the parts of the tale and a little Northern vocabulary from the tale. There will also be some pointers on pronouncing Middle English for those who are interested.

The Chaucer Studio

Kiss my Alan Partridge impression

Sunday 26 June, 8pm


An informal night of chat, audience interaction and questions with Alan, Lyn and Michael.
Alan has decided to check out Hebden Bridge as a possible new home town as he has heard the BBC is moving to Manchester.

Knowing that Hebden Bridge is a bit of an alternative town, he is trying to endear himself with the locals by reading personal growth books and becoming a vegetarian. But will his new ways hold up to the wiley Hebden Bridge public, particularly on such thorny issues as why there isn't a petrol station with a 24 hour mini-mart complete with moveable microwave oven in the town - something Alan thinks would be a cracking idea.

Variety ShowVariety Show!

Saturday 25 June, 8pm

Belly dancing, a burlesque alien queen, comedy and more! A feast of performances to tempt and tease all the senses.

The Land of Nod

Monday 27 June & Saturday 9 July 8pm
(both nights)   £6

16 quick fire sketches ranging from the surreal Platitudus - A piss-take of Ancient Greek theatre; U2's latest song: 'The benefits of cavity wall insulation'; the coalition government arguing over whether Jaffa cakes are or are not biscuits; an educational psychologist who becomes a Southern Baptist preacher and a Costa coffee robot barista...

Land of Nod

Land of Nod

Land of Nod

Danielle Le Cuirot and Alex Cairns

Wednesday, 29 June, 8pm

One voice and one guitar, this acoustic duo have a contemporary pop-rock sound, covering songs by artists such as The Fray, Paramore, KT Tunstall and Train. They will also be performing some of Danielle's own work.

Danielle Le Cuirot & Alex Cairns

Danielle, originally from the Channel Islands, moved to Leeds to study Popular Music and while at college performed regularly both in and outside of college. Singer-songwriter from a young age, she formed a band called The Grace with fellow college friends. They played regularly in pubs/bars around Leeds before headlining at a festival in Portugal in 2009. She is thrilled to be collaborating with Alex and focusing more of her time on her real passion, music.

Alex's musical background includes playing acoustic and rock music around the North Manchester and Leeds areas for many years. Performing with various bands he has gained a large amount of experience but is enjoying the opportunity to work as part of a duo, placing more focus on his instrument and applying more interesting melodies/rhythms to the music. He currently teaches music, and performs and composes his own work. Guitar is Alex's main instrument but he is known to sometimes turn his hand to the piano.

Only Water Between, by Peter Spafford

Thursday 30 June & Tuesday 5 July 8pm (both nights)


Only Water BetweenOnly Water Between is a powerful performance of letters between a First World War soldier and his wife back in Yorkshire, mixed with the memoirs of Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the first automatic machine gun.  The audience will be taken on an intimate emotional rollercoaster by the true story of a couple separated by war, the joy of receiving correspondence from each other and the fears and uncertainties for the future.

This 45 minute performance is based on letters from a Doncaster couple in WW1.  The three highly talented performers are Yorkshire based and the playwright is the celebrated Leeds based poet and playwright, Peter Spafford.  His poetry can even be found on new benches in the centre of Leeds!  When the performance was first staged it was actually watched and endorsed by some of the grandchildren of the Doncaster couple, also living in Yorkshire.

Q & A with playwright Peter Spafford: author of Only Water Between, Peter Spafford, will be joining us for the performance on Tuesday 5th July to take part in an exclusive question and answer session after the performance! Make sure you're there there to get all your burning questions answered!

This performance was created in partnership with the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

Email: fifty6ninety6@gmail.com

Talent times two: Sue Vickerman and Charlotte Whetton

Friday, 1 July
8pm £2.50

Charlotte WhettonCharlotte Whetton: this pint-sized poet takes you to strange worlds of shape-shifters and creepy characters . . . to where the body starts to take over the mind, gender and reality are never quite what they seem. A former Foyle Young Poet of the Year, Charlotte has performed on Manchester's All FM and at Theatre in the Mill, Glastonbury and West Midlands' hot-spots The Kitchen Garden and The Tin Angel. She has been published in Mslexia, Orbis, The Frogmore Papers and Staple.

"Just when I'd given up on poetry readings, here's a performer that kicks poetry back into the ring - her poetry winded me with the first punch" - Kietu Motlogwa, Zimbabwean poet and performer. Get a taste at www.charlottewettonpoetry.wordpress.com. And follow her on twitter at oxygenplease.

Sue VickermanSue Vickerman: poet and novelist, Sue shares poetry from Shag and The Social Decline of the Oystercatcher; as well as from her debut novel Special Needs - a cross-cultural love-affair between two women and its impact on those around them. "A laugh out loud page-turner" "debut novel from a prize-winning poet ... an accomplished and mature voice"

For more info, see Special Needs by Sue Vickerman


Harmony Open Mic night

Saturday 2 July


Harmony Open Night

Small Group Harmony Acapella Singing: We've just entered our third year as a regular attraction on the Hebden Bridge music scene and we think we are unique. There are lots of open mic nights around but we don't know of any that are so harmonious!

Performers from Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Ilkley and even Lancaster have found us and we love to welcome new acts and new audience.

See our webpage for a flavour

Rachel KyshAt home with Rachel Kysh

Sunday 3 July: 5pm

Singer-song writer, Rachel Kysh moves her lounge into the White Lion for a special Sunday session. Come in and relax with Rachel whose smooth acoustic sounds - with a rock edge -  will make you feel at home.

Rachel Kysh


Wild: women / write / speak

Sunday 3 July: 8pm


3 vibrant women writers and performers, stretching from Manchester in the west, to Bradford in the east, picking up at Todmorden in the middle, all come together at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Fringe.

Emma Decent - of Todmorden: Locally based spoken word artist Emma Decent presents her raw, funny and vibrantly performed words - a mix of provocative poetry and performance prose. Emma has had guest poet slots all over the north west in recent years, including Manchester, Huddersfield and Preston. She was chuffed to have her first ever poetry slam win when travelling further afield last year at the famous Chicago Uptown Poetry Slam.

“The highlight of the evening for lots of people. Stop in again when you're this side of the pond.” Marc Kelly Smith

“Emma’s dynamic subtlety leaves you feeling both fulfilled and entertained, which doesn’t happen too often.” Poet Gerry Potter

"Thought-provoking, lasting, understated but pivotal." Belinda O’Hooley

Janet SteelJane Steele - of Bradford: Jane Steele is a Bradford-based poet whose first collection, 'Natural Light' was published by Currock Press in November 2010. She has been doing stand-up performance poetry in and around Yorkshire for 5 and a half years, and in 2007 was a prizewinner at the Ilkley Literature Festival for a monologue bringing Medusa to Wakefield. Her poetry makes people cry with both laughter and sadness. Well, three of her mates have cried. They told her so.
Angela Smith - of Manchester: Angela Smith is well known to anyone who enjoys the Manchester live poetry scene. Impish and wry, Angela’s poetry looks at love, relationships and life with only a little help from faeries and butterflies. Her book ‘This is the Me I Would Be if I Dared’ is published by Puppywolf in June 2011, so ‘Wild’ will be one of the first opportunities to taste it!

If there’s time we might even open the floor up to a little open mic! More info from emmadecent@talk21.com

The Kon-tiki Expedition

Monday 4 July 8pm


This due are an acoustic, multi-instrumental set playing original material in a bluesy, folksy style.

Only Water Between, by Peter Spafford

Tuesday 5 July 8pm


This is your second chance to get on the emotional rollercoaster that is Only Water Between - the moving true story of a First World War soldier and his wife back in Yorkshire, with threads of Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the first automatic machine gun. This performance was created in partnership with the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

'S & M' present Popping the Cherry Ķ

Wednesday 6 July 8pm


S & M are a live Sketch Comedy Duo who perform at various venues from theatres, to comedy nights, to pub cellars!

With acting and writing backgrounds, Sara and Mark write and perform for various characters from 'naturalism to surrealism' through comical songs , scenes and sketches! This show is going to present new and old work on the theme of 'Lurve'.

Live Literature

Thursday 7 July - 8pm


Six Hebden women with things to say. Olwen May, Saira Dunnakey, Joan Cox, Sandra Bell, Julie Cockburn and Cathy Sharman read new short stories that are by turns warm, funny, sad, bittersweet, charming, shocking and true. Each seven minute story has grown from work produced in the informal Monday night writers workshop in Hebden Library.

Rachel KyshFringe Friday with Rachel Kysh

Friday 8 July  - 8pm


Rachel and her guitar are back - Fringe Friday is complete with this songstress and her very own blend: acoustic with a rock edge - the perfect way to start your final festival weekend.

Rachel Kysh

The Land of Nod

Saturday 9 July 8pm

16 quick fire sketches ranging from the surreal Platitudus - A piss-take of Ancient Greek theatre; U2's latest song: 'The benefits of cavity wall insulation'; the coalition government arguing over whether Jaffa cakes are or are not biscuits; an educational psychologist who becomes a Southern Baptist preacher and a Costa coffee robot barista...

Land of Nod

Land of Nod

Land of Nod

Art About Town

There will be lots more going on during the Festival, including the great Summer Yarnstorming. Knitters of the world unite - it's not too late to get out your knitting needles or crochet hook and become a knitting anarchist! Whether you like to knit and natter or stitch and bitch, we'd like as many people as possible to join us in creating knitted street art. Bobble hats on bollards, knitted buns in the trees and the quest to create the longest yarn-chain decoration! Visit the Hebden Bridge Summer Yarnstorming FaceBook page for more ideas and inspiration, or just knit your piece and drop it in to the Festival box office, Ribbon Circus or Word of Mouth Crafts and Supplies for our yarnstorming team to distribute. See the Festival Yarnstorming page.

Also, keep an eye out for Ecuadorian artist Juan Cerruffo, who is based in Hebden Bridge and has been balancing stones and rocks for more than 20 years. During the Festival you will be able to see his art in the river by the Packhorse Bridge, at Hardcastle Crags and other places around Hebden Bridge.

Ale and Arty

Little Valley Brewery's Festivale will be available again to quench your thirst during the Festival. Enjoy a pint (responsibly of course) at venues including The Trades Club and the Little Theatre. In addition, Waite's Confectioners will be baking special Festival treats. And finally, don't forget to keep an eye out for Festivalthemed window displays and special offers in our great local shops. We're trying to keep it Totally Locally here at Festival HQ, so make sure you take time to shop, eat and drink between performances.


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