Melbourne Festival is an autumnal treat

Flags rev 1The highlight of South Derbyshire’s cultural calendar – Melbourne Festival – takes place over four weeks this month.

There will be a Tea Trail on September 7, the annual art and architecture trail on September 14 and 15 and a programme of 15 concerts, performances and talks throughout the month and into October.

The gala opening concert in the Assembly Rooms on September 7 features Melbourne’s mixed choir – A Choir’d Taste lead by new musical director Paul Marshall.

A piece of theatre devised by CastEnsemble Youth Theatre will be performed in the same venue on September 11. Hold Up looks at the views of young people today, their hopes for the future and the barriers they face.

Nicholas Hobbs will be giving a talk about his work as a renowned church furniture designer at St Michael with St Mary in Church Square on September 12.

The next evening the comedy club will be taking centre stage and this year’s headline act is Raymond and Mr Timpkins’ Revue. They will be supported by John Scott and Guy Manners.

The Open Road, a collective of singers, songwriters and musicians – including Melbourne’s own Karen and Cathy Worrall, will be performing in the Assembly Rooms on September 20 and the next evening opera will be on the agenda as Brendan Wheatley presents singers and pianist Bridgett Gill in Swansea Opera.

End to End is a tale of three women who made the journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats (874 miles) on as many varieties of transport as possible with only £1 per mile to do it.

Their story is being presented by The Gramophones Theatre Company at the Assembly Rooms on September 27.

David Gibb and Elly Lucas, a Derbyshire-based acoustic folk duo who featured in the very first artsbeat magazine, will be on stage at the Assembly Rooms on September 28.

The same evening the Rev Mark Powell will be giving a lecture about alchemy entitled How to Make Gold in One Easy Lesson. This light-hearted look at the subject is being presented at St Michael with St Mary Church and is also being given on September 7 at 10.30am.

To mark the end of the Festival on October 4 chamber ensemble Musica Donum Dei will perform a selection of Autumnal Delights  at The Riding School at Calke Abbey.

The Art and Architecture Trail on September 14 and 15 has 120 artists exhibiting in 70 venues ranging from private homes to shops, halls and churches.

In addition to Art on the Trail there is also a Food Festival.

The Busk Stops have music all afternoon at Castle Street, Church Street and at the Assembly Rooms and Bollywood dancers and the Pop-up Poets will be entertaining visitors on the trail.

The list of artists taking part includes artist Susan Bedford, the charcoal work of Barbara Colbert, the glasswork of Stevie Davies, Helen Domleo’s jewellery, Mark Langley’s paintings, blacksmith Hayley Powell, artist John Rattigan, sculptures by Duncan Thurlby and the photographs of Tez Marsden who is artsbeat’s featured photographer this month in the centre pages.

For a full list of the artists taking part and for more details of the times and cost of the performances go to the festival website