Thursday, 20 September 2012

Prince William Laid Bare in Rye

The talk on Wednesday at Rye Arts Festival by Royal biographer Penny Junor on her new book on Prince William gave some insight into the 30-year-old helicopter pilot, his poorly-clad brother and their parents. We were assured that both princes really are well-rounded, normal lads, and that William, according to Royal insiders, really is the wild one - he just doesn't get caught (with his pants down, smoking weed, dressing in Nazi uniform or any other of Harry's other faux pas). And given their tragic childhood they've done remarkably well.

What we didn't find out, after audience questions, was what William calls the duchess of Cambridge in private - Kate or Catherine? An old sea dog asked why both princes carry the surname Wales. Penny wasn't sure. Given it isn't their father's surname, it is a bit odd. And neither has a title that might lead them to shorten their moniker to their demesne. Oh well.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Partridge Family Meal

Great start to the Festival. On Saturday Plainsong played their penultimate gig after 40 years together - a great evening with people coming from as far as Coventry to see them.

Adam Nicolson gave a fascinating and funny talk on the English gentry - something he can speak authoritatively about as he is one of them! Top tip from his father on how to tell whether someone truly is a member of the gentry - it's knowing how to make one partridge feed six for supper! Not a challenge I've ever faced or likely to do so.

Hunky baritone Duncan Rock gave a sublime recital at St Anthony's RC Church, beautifully accompanied by Elizabeth Rossiter on piano. Only disappointment for some of the audience was that he kept his shirt on throughout!

To find out more about the feast of pleasures that are coming to the Rye Arts Festival, which runs right through to 30th September, click here or call the Box Office on 01797 224442 between 9.30am and 1.30pm.

And for tips on how to cook game (including Partridge) click on Fowl

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Rye's Rock Concert on Monday

Duncan Rock in Billy Budd
Today, Duncan Rock is singing at the Coliseum on the opening night of The Magic Flute in the role of Papageno. Next Monday, 17th September, the young baritone is taking time out from the ENO to give a lunchtime recital at the Rye Arts Festival.

The concert, which will be held at St Anthony's RC church in Rye's Watchbell St at 1.00pm, will see Duncan accompanied on piano by Elizabeth Rossiter. A real treat is in store for the Rye audience in what will be first lunchtime concert at the Festival and the first time that the lovely church has been used as a venue in the 41 years history of Rye Arts Festival.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Rye Soprano Wins Golden Voice Competition in Poland

Last night soprano Natasha Day won first prize in the annual Zloty Glosy Competition in Warsaw. Natasha, who made her debut at the Rye Arts Festival last year in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, is back again this year and be will be singing in Cosi Fan Tutti on Sunday 29th September at Rye College.

 Natasha will taking the role of Fiordiligi in Mozart's much loved opera - one of a pair of sisters whose 'lovers' attempt to dupe in order to prove/disprove their fidelity.

Monday, 10 September 2012

City Livery Company Lays on Lunchtime Treats

Thanks to The Worshipful Company of Musicians this year's Rye Arts Festival will feature lunchtime concerts for the first time. On Monday 17th September, at 1.00pm the young Australian baritone Duncan Rock will be singing at St Anthony's RC Church in Watchbell Street accompanied by Elizabeth Rossiter. And on Thursday 27th September, the brilliant young classical guitarist will be playing at the same time in the same venue.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Them Good Old Boys are Creating History in Rye

Rye Arts Festival (running from 15th to 30th September) is a forum for international performers, Brits with a national reputation, up and coming stars of the future and also is a showcase for talented locals.

This year, we have Rye author Frank Barnard talking about his latest novel, A Time For Heroes, just out in paperback. Meanwhile, the multi-talented Dave McKean (who talked about his work at the Festival a couple of years ago) has an exhibition at Rye Art Gallery to run in conjunction with the Festival. And John Howlett, screenwriter of the British film classic If  who also spoke a couple of years ago, is about to publish his new novel.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Lizzie Archer Telling Tales - Spooky Ghost Stories!

No, not Nigel Pargetter's voice from the grave! Alison Dowling, who plays Lizzie Archer in the long-running eponymous Radio 4 soap, will be telling The Singalmen and other Ghost Stories on Friday 28th September at the Fletcher Centre - the buildings in Lion St that were once the old Library, art room and coffee lounge of the FE Centre - as part of this year's Rye Arts Festival.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

ARRCC Journeys Into The Sixth Continent

Members of ARRCC - the Rye and Folkestone Centres for people living with physical/sensory impairments have recently made two intrepid trips into the sixth continent (aka Romney Marsh). Their mission?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Czech Date

The Zemlinsky String Quartet will be flying into Rye from Prague on Monday 17th September for their only UK concert of 2012. The concert will be at St Mary's Church in Rye at 7.30pm , and the programme will consist of works by Czech composers and Tchaikovsky.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Instant Sunshine in Rye

A gloriously sunny day in Rye today and with more on the way this week it is just what the doctor ordered. And that's not the end of it, as Instant Sunshine are booked to play Rye Arts Festival on Tuesday 18th September.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Mapp & Lucia - Rye's Foremost Ladies Return

You don't want to mess with Mapp and Lucia! So when Guy Fraser-Sampson decided to write sequels to the famous series of books by EF Benson he had to tread carefully. Anyway, the author is coming to Rye Arts Festival on Saturday 15th September to give a talk on his latest addition to the series (which are Rye's literary 'crown jewels') - Lucia on Holiday.

"Bliss!" oozes Gyles Brandreth, who wowed the audience at last year's Rye Arts Festival.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Bold as Brass - Perfect Fifth

From Handel to Duke Ellington, Perfect Fifth will serve up a musical treat in All Saints, the lovely church in Iden, at 7.30pm on Sunday 23rd September as part of this year's Rye Arts Festival. The brass ensemble quintet formed in 2009 while studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and have forged a tremendous reputation for the quality of their musicianship.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Green Day in Rye Opera - Cosi Fan Tutte

Soprano Natasha Day, who starred in last year's inaugural opera at Rye Arts Festival, is returning on 29th September to sing in Cosi Fan Tutte.
The classic Mozart opera is another rare treat for the Rye Arts Festival and is being produced by Euphonia Works who wowed the Rye audience last year with Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride.

Bonkers! But he's Pete, not Dizzee Rascal!

Pete Morton is performing Chaucer's The Miller's Tale at Rye Arts Festival, using Bob Dylan songs! The singer/songwriter guitarist has been described as 'bonkers' but a fun-filled night of music, poetry, comedy and even dancing is assured in this one-man show at the Community Centre at 8.00pm on Thursday 20th September.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Lunchtime Treats on Rye Menu for catholic Tastes

Lunchtime concerts are being served up for the first time at this year's Rye Arts Festival. At 1.00pm on Monday 17th September, baritone Duncan Rock will be accompanied by Elizabeth Rossiter on the piano, while at the same time on Thursday 27th Sept the exciting young guitarist Manus Noble will play.

Under the banner of Ryesing Stars, these young performers have been chosen as they are destined to be stars of the future.

Friday, 24 August 2012

What the Dickens!? Ghostly Goings On In Rye's Lion Street

A nerve tingling performance of ghost stories at Rye Arts Festival in September has been moved from Iden Church to the old Victorian School complex in Rye's Lion Street. The buildings, that have lain empty for over 18 months, but have recently been bought by the Fletcher in Rye Group as a venue for a cinema, will make a fitting venue for 'The Signalmen and Other Ghost Stories' at 7.30pm on Friday 28th September.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Rye has a lot of Gall: Sandy's extra Taliban talk

Having sold out in a matter of days, Rye Arts Festival is pleased to be adding a second talk by Sandy Gall on 'Afghanistan and where it all went wrong' to its packed programme of events in September.

The veteran ITN newscaster has agreed to give an additional talk on Sunday 23rd September at 11.00am in the Ballroom of the George in Rye Hotel. While Gall is best known for being the anchor of News at 10, he was also a war correspondent, and he spent considerable time in the field in Afghanistan during the fight by the mujaheddin against the Soviet occupation, and then after NATO invaded following 9/11.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Courtney Pine - Jazz Giant Coming to Rye

A great summer of jazz in Rye is being rounded off with a concert by Courtney Pine on 21st September, brought to you by the 41st annual Rye Arts Festival. Pine is Britain's foremost jazz saxophonist, with an international reputation to boot - they really don't come much bigger or better!
Courtney Pine will serve as the main course, after your appetite for jazz has been whetted by the jazz festivals in Rye at the end of August, with a highlight being the concert on 25th August by Yolanda Brown (also a saxophonist) brought to you by Rye Bay Marketing - check out here.

But make sure you also check out the packed programme of events - contemporary and classical music, literary talks, drama, comedy, walks and much more which feature in the Rye Arts Festival between 15th and 30th September - tickets are now on sale. To find out more information on events and tickets click here.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Rye's Top Art Exhibition Opens

This Saturday the annual Rye Society of Artists Exhibition opens showcasing the works of the town's professional and highly talented amateur artists.

The Exhibition, which is held at the Boy's Club in Mermaid Street, Rye, runs from 4th Aug to 31st Aug from 10.30am  to 5.30pm.

For more information click here.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Author Featured in Observer Coming to Rye

Check out today's Sunday Observer: in the Review section is a piece on how artists' make a living and the novelist interviewed is Evie Wyld, who talks about how she makes ends' meet - an advance for her first novel and working part-time in a bookshop.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Celebrating Rye's John Fletcher

Great news that the Fletcher in Rye group and the Church have purchased the old FE Centre in Rye's Lion Street. This means that the Fletcher group's exciting plans to convert their half of the buildings on the site into a cinema, entertainment centre and cafe can, at last, get underway, creating a new, vibrant facility for the people of Rye in the heart of the town!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Olympic Flame Fires Up Rye

With the Olympic flame coming through Rye today (the wrong way up the one-way High Street) there is great excitement in the town. But there is also growing excitement about the Rye Arts Festival, which this year runs from 15th to 30th September., with a whole host of attractions across music, arts, theatre, comedy, literary events and much more.

For more information on the the full programme and how to get tickets click on Rye Arts Festival. Remember, there's just 59 days to go!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Just got back from supporting friends doing Trailwalker 2012 - a 100km or 60 miles charity walk along the South Downs Way from Petersfield to Brighton in a maximum 30 hours! The conditions were horrendous - raining constantly through the day and night and thick mud underfoot for mile after mile, so huge credit to the 1,500 plus who completed the ordeal at Brighton Racecourse and well done for collectively raising over £1million for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Rye Arts Festival, between 15th and 30th September 2012, is serving up a variety of interesting walking opportunities, but nothing as nasty as Trailwalker.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Peckham: Rye - A Wyld Experience

In recent years Rye Arts Festival has been promoting new, young writers, and this year one of the most talented of the young generation of authors is coming to Rye in September to talk about her work. On 20th September Evie Wyld will be at the Mermaid Inn, talking about her first novel After The Fire, A Still Small Voice, which won the 2009 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (the second oldest literary prize in the UK), and is set in Australia following three generations with a focus on fathers and sons.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Uke Power! Yes Please

They're coming back, for the fourth time at Rye Arts Festival. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are playing this year's Festival on Saturday 22nd September at Rye College. Last time round the gig included pieces by the Uke maestro George Formby, British rapper Miss Dynamite and Nirvana. Grunge can rarely have had a more appreciative audience in Rye, with many older audience members getting off on Smells Like Teen Spirit!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Rye: A Fertile Place For Entertaining Doctors

This year's Rye Arts Festival is probably going to feature more medical doctors than Rye's two surgeries combined can muster. And the good news is that the medics aren't coming to treat us but to give us a treat.

First up is Instant Sunshine. They're a trio who having been singing their very own brand of humorous songs since the 1970's - an alternative and very successful career away from their day jobs treating the sick. Older Ryers will remember them on Stop the Week on Radio 4, back in the day when Robert Robinson was the Daddy.

Monday, 9 July 2012

41st annual Festival Launched

Despite the counter-attraction of the Wimbledon men's final a large complement of Festival Friends, Supporters and Sponsors were at the launch of the 2012 Rye Arts Festival on Sunday afternoon. The audience at Tilling Green Community Centre were rewarded with an entertaining presentation of all the individual events in this year's packed and exciting programme, delicious canapes and some rather good wine.

The Festival runs from 15th to 30th September and the other important dates for your diary are:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Romney Reminder

Two exciting classical music concerts are promised on the evenings of 7th and 8th July in Romney Marsh. After selling out last year, London-based JAM is returning to the Marsh with concerts that offer a vibrant mix of new and old classical music. St Leonard's Church in Hythe hosts the first concert on Friday 7th July and St Nicholas Church in New Romney is the venue for the evening of Saturday 8th July.

JAM was founded a decade ago to encourage, nurture and commission new talents, whilst also performing older classics. So the Hythe concert will feature the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) playing a specially commissioned piece by composer Julia Bingham called, fittingly, The Hythe, as well as Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and the achingly beautiful Handel organ concerto. The concert starts at 7.30pm, but there is a pre-concert talk by Julia Bingham at 6.45pm.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Free Street Theatre at Rye Arts Festival

Street theatre is coming to this year's Rye Arts Festival with several free performances during on the opening day, Saturday 15th September, of The Little Cauliflower Machine. The machine will wheel around the town's streets, controlled by two bumbling assistants seeking audience help to get it working.

Fun for all the family, The Cauliflower Machine will be appearing at Edinburgh Festival in August, but while the ineptitude of the assistants won't get any better - as they fine-tune their act, hopefully it will get worse, with comic effect!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Royal Event at Festival

As the Diamond Jubilee celebrations draw to a close our thoughts are surely with our marvellous monarch and her family, and we hope that Prince Phillip makes a fast and full recovery.

Looking further ahead the Rye Arts Festival has at least one Royal event. Penny Junor, who has just written the first biography of Prince William, will be coming to speak at the festival on 19th September.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Classical Music on the Marsh

Following sell-out concerts last year, classical music, courtesy of JAM, is returning to Hythe and New Romney on the weekend of 5-7th July.

JAM was launched in 2000 dedicated to nurturing, commissioning, promoting and performing new music in the UK and on 6th July at St Leonard's Church, Hythe the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) is performing, among other pieces, The Hythe, by Julia Bingham, which was commmisioned to celebrate the composer's 60th birthday this year.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Peamarsh Chamber Music Festival

With just over 3 months until the Rye Arts Festival kicks off on 15th September, music lovers should check out the inaugural Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival between 14-17th June.

There will be 8 concerts over 4 days (all at St Paul and St Peter's Church, Peasmarsh, except the evening concert on Friday 15th June which will be at St Mary's Church, Rye) featuring works by the French Masters, Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Ryesing Stars - Festival Promotes Young Musicians

This year, in cooperation with the Worshipful Company of Musicians, we are delighted to announce the introduction of a series of concerts promoting the talents of exceptional young musicians who are making their mark on the national and international stage. 

These concerts will be promoted under the banner of Ryesing Stars and will coincide with the introduction of two lunchtime recitals which will be held for the first time in the delightful church of St. Antonys in Watchbell Street. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Become a Friend of the Rye Arts Festival

If you would like to make an important and much appreciated contribution towards the success of one of the best summer arts festivals of its kind in the UK, join us as a Friend, play a part in its future and benefit from advance notice of forthcoming events, priority booking and discounts on advance tickets.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bird Ringing Tour - Festival Preview

The Rye Arts Festival is currently planning a varied programme of literary, music and theatrical events for the 2012 Festival in September but each year we also offer a range of special events which focus on local people and organisations.  This year we are delighted that the Wetland Trust in Winchelsea have offered to run a Tour and Talk on Bird Ringing.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Spring concert at Iden Church

Locals in Rye will be delighted to know that the The Navarra Quartet are returning once again to perform a Spring Concert at the beautiful All Saints Church in Iden. Tickets can be purchased by phone, post or email from Gill Clamp, The Old Vicarage, Church Square, Rye TN31 7HF. Email or 01797 223243 or call Michael Miller 01797 280304.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Visit Camber Castle

Camber Castle Wildlife and History (2.5 miles walk)

Sat 21 April 2012 @ 13:00

Why not visit Rye over Easter and take advantage of the chance to go inside Camber Castle and visit the birdwatching hide at Castle Water? See for all events which will take place at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Creative Events for Children in Rye

We are planning some exciting events for children during the Festival but to find out about events before then see Events for Children.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Jerwood Gallery in Hastings Opens 17th March

The new Jerwood Gallery inspired by the Jerwood Foundation has a collection of 20th and 21st century British art and their Big Boys Sit in the Front is a retrospective of Kent-based artist Rose Wylie’s paintings.  More

Thursday, 8 March 2012

See Rye on TV

John Sergeant presents a new programme starting on BB2 on 12th March called 'Britain’s First Photo Album' which traces the extraordinary achievement of the pioneering Victorian photographer Francis Frith and his team.  The episode featuring Rye and the Town Model at Rye Heritage Centre shows on 14th March.  More