Wirksworth Festival: 6th-22nd September 2013

Wirksworth Festival

Wirksworth Festival - Credit: Archant

Running for nearly 20 years, Wirksworth Festival has become one of the most exciting showcases for visual art in rural England

Theatre, cinema, music, poetry and dance will transform the town of Wirksworth into a vibrant gallery and performance venue when its renowned Arts Festival returns from 6th to 22nd September.

Always a popular feature, the Art and Architecture Trails Weekend on 7th and 8th will see the work of over 170 artists displayed in a variety of venues across the town - ranging from private homes and gardens to churches and shop windows - and is the perfect opportunity to peruse and purchase affordable art. This will be complemented by some splendid street entertainment - including hilarious cleaners PEN & CIL - an open studio and gallery at Nicholas Hobbs Furniture, and Designer Maker Markets in the Town Hall and Memorial Hall.

The Contemporary Visual Arts Programme, which includes ten new commissioned works that have a poetic, architectural or organic link to Wirksworth, will be supported with film installations across the town and an exhibition by graduates from the Universities of Derby, Nottingham and Loughborough in St Mary’s Church Parish Room.

Visual art commissions and those who create them will be at the forefront on 14th and 15th, when the recently-opened Northern Lights Cinema will host a series of discussions between commissioned artists and local people on the benefits of working in the town.

This year’s packed performance programme features rising stars from across the globe as well as some superb home-grown talent. In the Town Hall, the innovative Public Service Broadcasting will combine old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material with live music to educate and entertain audiences, whilst Theatre Témoin’s performance The Fantasist (with life-size puppetry created in collaboration with War Horse’s Robin Guiver), the Babbling Vagabonds, Puppet State Theatre, a double bill from Arts Out West, and Salamanda Tandem – whose sensory audio-visual dance piece will be held in one of the town’s ancient quarries – all promise occasions not-to-be-missed.

Young talent will feature in the ‘Up and Coming’ weekend on 21st and 22nd, and once again the Performance Fringe promises an eclectic mix of events and entertainment for festival-goers.

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To top it all off, the Community Celebration finale on 22nd will begin with an adapted performance of Carol Ann Duffy’s The Princess’ Blankets, starring more than 100 local people, before a procession to an outdoor festival venue – a perfect end to a magical two weeks. n

Visit www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk for more information. Tel: 01629 824003