Nadia Rasheed

A Pocket Full of Rye

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The Jacquin Trio

The Rye Arts Festival dates back to 1972 and is widely considered to be one of the best small festivals in the country. The 16 days of levity are balanced by intellectual weight so all attending are both amused and enlightened.

A number of different classical music acts will be performing – The Marian Consort, Brodsky String Quartet and Katie Stillman & Simon Lane will all be attending among others. However, if strings and violins don’t speak to you there is a contemporary line up available as well. Reminiscent of early great bluesman, guitar player Kelly Joe Phelps (see below) will be putting on a show and popular Irish/American trio The Unwanted explore the connection between two different nations through their music.

Rye Arts Festival prides its ability to offer the public quality literary events and this is evident with a quick glance at what this year’s festival has on show: watch agony aunt Virginia Ironside perform her one-woman comdic show ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’ (see below); stroll with Peter Clark through all the places associated with the great Charles Dickens from London to Kent; let Tristan Gooley teach you how to navigate using only the elements around you or simply discuss literature with novelists like Richard Davenport-Hines and Victoria Glendinning.

Other events include a one-man play based on the life of Charles Darwin that focuses on the man rather than the scientist, and an opportunity to view the latest performances from the acclaimed Rye Dance Centre. There are tours of Rye to be had as well – explore the Winchelsea cellars that date back to the 13th century or transport yourself in time to Rye circa World War II with a guided tour of what the town was like back then.

The Rye Arts Festival runs from 14 – 29 September. You can look at the Events Diary and book tickets here.

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