The Eastbourne Festival – Arts & Culture 2014
a feast of music, performance and art
The Eastbourne Festival – Arts and Culture 2014 – will be taking place over three weeks from Easter Saturday 19th April to Sunday 11th May. Packed with a variety of performance and visual arts, the festival now attracts participation and interest at regional, national and international level. It is a blend of different kinds of dance and music, of theatre, storytelling, poetry, art exhibitions and workshops, together with the ever popular Artists’ Open Houses; altogether a showcase for local professional and amateur talent.
A highlight of this year’s festival is the inventive electronic beats with sung, spoken and rapped lyrics from dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip supported by Sarah Williams White, who fuses slow-grooving experimental R&B with syncopated beats, quavering melodies and feel-good harmonies.
As a complete contrast to this, ‘Sceptics in a Pub’ hold three events during the festival at the Bibendum Wine Bar: April 24th ‘The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets’ with Simon Singh; April 30th ‘How Quackery Corrupts Real Science’ with David Colquhoun; May 7th ‘When Science meets Shopping’ with Dr David Lewis.
There is also sophistication, glamour and dance in the form of a Boudoir Burlesque evening, the proceeds going to breast cancer awareness. The evening is in its 6th year and attracts several guest burlesque acts and a beginners’ solo slot as well as The Pretty Little Horse Breakers cancan troupe and Burlesque troupe the Boudoir Belles. This year there is a talented band with female vocalist playing 1940s songs, a house DJ and a fabulous photo booth. Mandy, the troupe’s muse and director, tells me the evening is very varied and lots of fun, suitable for all ages including grandmothers, and all guests should dress to impress. I won’t mention that a comment on the website says that the dancers not only take the wages of sin, they bank them! Sounds like the perfect aperitif for the festival.
On a more reflective level is singer/songwriter Greg Harper who is in concert at the Underground Theatre. He was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, and still lives in Sussex today. The natural beauty of Sussex and its surrounding counties greatly influences Greg’s song writing. The lyrics of his songs are testimony to this – he is celebrated for his ability to combine gentle evocative melodies with genuinely thought-provoking lyrics.
A more upbeat musical offering comes from Paul Gunn and Worsted at the Lamb Inn (pictured top). The glitz of The Jazz Age and the buffoonery and wit of The Ealing Comedies collide. Somewhere between an English tea room, a Latin dance orchestra, a classical chamber recital and a smoky jazz club you will find Paul Gunn & Worsted.
St Saviour’s Church hosts a choral concert by Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra, with further classical music at St Mary’s Church in the Old Town.
And while feasting on these and many more events you can also wander through the Artists’ Open Houses, showcasing many local artists’ work, and meet them in the flesh. The festival is three weeks packed full with creativity of all genres and well worth a visit to Eastbourne to soak it up thoroughly.
Full programme details will be available nearer the time on the website and in the soon-to-be-published Festival brochure. Visit www.eastbournefestival.co.uk for further information.