Rye Festival celebrates forty years

Roxana Panufnik
Roxana Panufnik

Rye Arts Festival. September 10 - 25. Various venues.

RYE Arts Festival marks its 40th anniversary this month.

The two week celebration of the arts has been described by the Sunday Times as one of the best small festivals in the country.

The eclectic programme spans classical music, jazz, world music, opera, folk and blues and covers. Literature, comedy, art, photography, poetry, theatre, and even includes a mind reader and illusionist.

There are two world premieres this year - a new work by internationally acclaimed composer Roxana Panufnik, played by the Wihan String Quartet, and composer Paul Lewis’s Rye Festival Suite.

Big names coming to the Festival include Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, author Louis de Bernieres and The National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Local talent is not forgotten with young dancers from Rye Dance School putting on a colourful show and Rye Camera Club holding its annual print exhibition, as well as a talk by local naturalist Colin Page.

An all day arts and crafts exhibition takes place on the quay-side on Sunday, September 11.

Events take place at various venues around the town, including 900 year old St Mary’s Church.

There is a full fringe programme again this year with many local pubs hosting free live music events.

Festival brochures are available from Rye Heritage Centre and the tourist information centres at Rye and Hastings.

The box office is based at Phillips and Stubbs 47/49 Cinque Ports Street, Rye. tel: 01797 224442.