What’s On at Melbourne Festival: 3rd September–15th October

Melbourne Festival

Melbourne Festival - Credit: Archant

Melbourne’s annual festival of arts, crafts, music and theatre returns this month

Melbourne Festival

Melbourne Festival - Credit: Archant

A cultural pot-pourri of arts, crafts, music and theatre, laced with poetry, comedy, magic and storytelling, Melbourne Festival offers visitors to this idyllic South Derbyshire town something new and exciting each year – and 2016 is no different.

The ever-popular Art and Architecture Trail will be held on 17th and 18th September whilst a varied programme of concerts will run for six weeks until mid-October.

This year’s Trail features over 120 artists in nearly 70 venues including homes, businesses, churches and halls across the town, showcasing a mix of media and styles. Inspired by the ‘Wild Wood’ theme which celebrates Melbourne’s position on the edge of the National Forest, Melbourne Assembly Rooms will host 15 East Midlands artists who will be creating woodland-inspired art. Those to look out for include Jane Bevan who will be exhibiting her woodland vessels, wildlife sculptor Lynn Hazel and local artists Victoria Brown and Michael Cook. Elsewhere will be exhibitions from artists Sue Heale and Helen Hallows, and woodworker Peter Woods.

Sculpture also plays a prominent role in this year’s Trail. Blacksmith David Turner will be exhibiting alongside Spencer Jenkins at The Hermitage; Nita Rao will be showcasing willow pieces with stone carver Ross Danby at the Dower House; and Roger Davies is displaying his stunning metal sculptures of stags and other wildlife on the lawn at The Stone House, to name just a few.

There will also be the chance to sample local produce at the Food Festival, Food Court and in the Art Café, or at the many great venues nearby; enjoy live music at the Busk Stops; listen to pop-up poet Dwane Reads; and hear instalments from The Wind in the Willows at Story Stops. Younger visitors – and the young at heart – can follow Toad’s Trail to track down Toad, Badger, Ratty and Mole around the town.

Highlights of the varied performance programme include a Comedy Night with Andrew Bird, Ivan Brackenbury and Jo D’arcy, compèred by Garrett Millerick; ‘Boleyn: The Death and Life of a Queen’, a theatre performance guaranteed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats; a performance from eight-piece a cappella vocal ensemble Ocho; and jazz from the renowned Gascoyne O’Higgins Quartet.


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3rd The Johnny Cash Tribute Show, Melbourne Assembly Rooms

9th The Eagles Song-book starring Little Eagle, Melbourne Assembly Rooms, 7.30pm

16th Comedy Night, Melbourne Royal British Legion, 8pm

17th-18th Art & Architecture Trail

21st Magical Mayhem, Senior Citizens Centre, 5pm (magic show, ages 5-11) & 6.30pm (balloon modelling, ages 8-18)

23rd The Ann Duggan Band, Melbourne Royal British Legion, 7.30pm

24th ‘Super-heroes’, games, bible stories, songs and crafts for ages 5-11, Melbourne Parish Church, 10am & 1pm

24th Afternoon Tea and Poetry, Senior Citizens Centre, 2.30pm

24th Boleyn: The Death and Life of a Queen, a play imagining the last days of Anne Boleyn’s life, Melbourne Assembly Rooms

25th Ocho A Cappella, Amalfi White Bar & Restaurant

30th One Way or Another: Blondie Tribute Show, Assembly Rooms

1st Oct Melbourne Town Band: Bangers and Brass, Assembly Rooms, 7.30pm

7th, 8th Oct A Choir’d Taste presents Last Night of the Proms, Melbourne Assembly Rooms, 7.30pm

14th Oct The Gascoyne O’Higgins Quartet, Melbourne Parish Church, 7.30pm

15th Oct Finding the Character: Musical Theatre Workshop with Melbourne Operatic Society, St Mary’s Catholic Church Hall, 2pm

For ticket information visit www.melbournefestival.co.uk. To book tickets contact the festival Box Office on 07765 819428.