Arts extravaganza starts today

By Jon Moreno

Friday, May 2, 2014


Arts extravaganza starts today

Tenors UnLimited will be performing at Isle of Arts.

ORGANISERS of the fourth annual Isle of Arts festival, which gets under way today (Friday), are confident it will be a resounding success, buoyed by a rise in tickets sales on last year’s event.

Running until Bank Holiday Monday, the festival, which has comfortably made its home in Ventnor, is a celebration of music, drama, comedy, literature, film, photography and the visual arts, hosted by various venues around the town.

Yet again, the festival has attracted some big names to it.

BBC presenter Monty Don and jazz heavyweight Kyle Eastwood, the eldest son of Hollywood legend Clint, will headline this evening’s entertainment in the main festival arena.

Other acts topping the bill in the Salisbury Gardens marquee also include vocal ensemble Tenors UnLimited and poet Roger McGough tomorrow (Saturday) and comedian Rich Hall makes a welcome return to Isle of Arts on Sunday.

Event co-organiser Janneke Oxley said: "Everything has gone really well and ticket sales are up considerably on last year. The 'early bird’ concessions in December really helped to kick-start interest much earlier this time around."

The all singing, all strumming Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will also perform in the main tent, following ukulele workshops.

Also that evening, classical actor Timothy West will present his poignant show, The Pity of War — poetry readings and music from the First World War — at St Catherine’s Church.

On the subject of war, there will be a talk, with music, entitled Elgar: The Music of World War One, and Gurnard artist Jamie Vans will give a fascinating and thought-provoking presentation about his great uncle’s experiences as a tank commander on the Western Front.

Music will be provided by The Dollymopps, the Andy Norman Trio, the Hillmans, the Old Thumper Jazz Band, pianist Rudi Eastwood, guitarists Claude Bourbon and Chris Watkins and jazz violinist Tim Kliphius, together with a choral concert and folk, jazz and blues sessions.

For youngsters, there will be drop-in dinosaur painting, a teddy bear tea party, Punch and Judy, storytelling, drawing and much more.

Drama will come in the shape of a retelling of Grimm Fairy Tales, by Lake actor Eltjo de Vries, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, film screenings and an improvisation workshop.

Comedy will be served up by Virginia Ironside, poet Rob Barratt, Instant Soop, The Only Way is Downton, the Stanley Holloway Monologues and stand up at Live at the Marquee, to round off the festival.


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