I’m having a nose at Devizes Arts Festival website, as they’ve just published this year’s line-up, which you can find HERE. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t know of this year, but that’s no bad thing, because I’m something of an uncultured swine!
This wonderful annual arts festival on our doorstep has cultured me; turned me from bonehead bozo to bohemian squire in just a few short years! I’ve discovered so much I never thought I’d like but I did, whereas before all this I was happy with a karaoke and a bag of chips!
Bearing in mind there might be a few things left to add, particularly the free fringe events, let’s see what’s in store we know about, shall we? Not to get you over-excited, it isn’t until 2nd June through to the 17th, and the box office opens on 28th April, unless you’re a “friend” booking for friends starts on 11th April, see here to become a member now and get ahead of the game. But you know us, let’s dip a toe in the ocean now. I’ll put pretty little stars next to ones I personally think are unmissable; favouritism, I know!
It opens with some tango, at the Assembly Room of the Town Hall on Friday 2nd June, with polar adventurer and motivational speaker Sue Stockdale at St Johns Church on the Saturday, and an evening with opera star Sir Willard White with the Kymaera Duo at Corn Exchange.
The Three Crowns plays host to the first fringe event we’ve got, at 2pm on the Sunday 4th, with banjo and guitar roots combo Texas Tick Fever, and one we gave a song of the week too a few months back, the amazing Ajay Srivastav is the second free fringe gig at the Cellar Bar from 7pm, this is a must for me! First star, two stars **!
Walks are a big part of Devizes Arts Festival, personally I’m fine walking from the Three Crowns to the Bear on a Sunday. But the Festival Walk takes you over civil war battlefield Roundway Down, which actually sounds kinda doable!
First full week sees micro-artist Graham Short at the Town Hall on Monday 5th June, and Onarole Theatre’s Jesus, My Boy at the Corn Exchange on Tuesday 6th.
Welsh, Polish, and Belgian influences fuse with the Aglica Trio at the Town Hall on Wednesday 7th, and see, that’s exactly what I meant earlier when I said about discovering new things; this year is an eye-opener, gets a star! *
And let’s not stop there, because the Town Hall plays host to cello and guitar duo Dieci Cordeon on the Thursday, and you don’t see this everyday in D-town! Also on Thursday, actor and singer, Lucy Stevens, and pianist Elizabeth Marcus meet for A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening.
Comedy by the weekend, with someone I do know (!) BBC New Comedian Award winner at the Edinburgh Festival, Marcus Brigstocke, is at the Corn Exchange on Friday 9th June, oh yes, star! *
Tessa Dunlop’s Elizabeth & Philip – A Story of Young Love, Marriage, and Monarchy kicks off Saturday 10th, at the Town Hall. Rip-roaring alt-folk with Noble Jacks at the Corn Exchange, while fringe event is at 2pm in the Condado Lounge, Jukebox James.
It’s a hard stompin’, bluegrassy, old-timey start to Sunday with a free fringe event at the British Lion with The Sisters and the Brothers, (star *,) a walk along the Wansdyke, and back to the Corn Exchange for the furniture restorer from The Repair Shop, Will Kirk.
One not to miss, local blues legend, Elles Bailey Band, on Tuesday 13th June, 8pm at the Corn Exchange, this is cool, we’ve not seen Elles for an age, and it will be good to welcome her back to Devizes; star, deffo! *
Also on Tuesday, author Lois Pryce’s Revolutionary Ride – One Woman’s Solo Motorcycle Journey around Iran at The Bear, and Wednesday sees Clive Anderson, yes Clive Anderson, chatting about Macbeth; could be one of those where are they now moments, oh, they’re in Devizes, incredible!
I mistakenly read the next one, and thought fictional female equivalent to Dan Dare, Kitty Hawke was coming, rather St Andrews Church on Thursday 15th play host to folk duo Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow, while Chris Ingham Trio plays the Jazz of Dudley Moore at the Town Hall.
The festival draws a close with the unconventional and snappily attired boutique orchestra, Christian Garrick and the Budapest Café Orchestra at the Corn Exchange on Friday 16th June, traditional Balkan and Russian, I’m going to star this too! *
Saturday 17th June sees a poetry workshop with Carrie Etter at the Town Hall, and the grand finale is Devon’s reggae Latin funk powerhouse Malavita, which if you know be by now, they said Latin, they said reggae, I’m saving my last star for this – here it is *, and I’m there already.
The more I delve into this programme the more exciting it sounds, as ever, a refreshing break from the normal circuit, where variety knows no bounds. Well done Devizes Arts Festival, it all sounds irresistibly worthwhile looking forward to. In the meantime I’ve got to add all these to our event calendar; does it ever end?!!
A Beginner’s Introduction to Oils in All Cannings with Arts Together
A little-known personal fact, at the tender age of twelve I won a posh set of Windsor & Newton oil paints via a Kellogg’s competition,…
Hometown Gig for Nothing Rhymes with Orange
First one in what I hope to be a series diverting negative local social media hysteria about wayward youths in our area, must be a…
Gazette & Herald to Buy Out Devizine
In a deal I’ve been trying to clench for a year now, Newsquest, owners of Wiltshire based newspapers, including the Gazette & Herald have taken…
Wharf-ing Back To Happiness!
Do you remember the wonderful sounds of The Shadows and The Tornadoes beaming across the airwaves from Radio Caroline with their spellbinding instrumentals; Apache, Foot…
Catherine Read to stand as Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Devizes
Last Week, the Green Party announced Catherine Read as their candidate for the next General Election in Devizes…..And I know what many will have to…
Song of the Week: Talk in Code
You can’t stay on the sunny side of the street; you’ve got to cross over at some point. But if the blurb I’m sent for…
REVIEW – Measure For Measure @ Wharf Theatre, Devizes – Monday 27th March 2023
First Night Triumph by Andy Fawthrop Images used with kind permission of Chris Watkins Media Again it was a real pleasure to bowl along to…
Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 29th March – 4th April 2023
Here we go, headlong into April with lots to do….. Said it before, I’ll say it again, more stuff will be added, this is published…
Poetika Open Mic Night The Winchester gate, Salisbury. Tues 21st March 2023
By Helen Edwards A few weeks ago whilst scrolling through social media an advert for this event came up. Intrigued and having never been to a…
Concrete Prairie at The Southgate
Without cloning technology it was another Saturday night dilemma still as easily solved; Concrete Prairie were at The Gate, arm twisted…. From The Barge to…