Dame Patricia faces the music

Patricia Routledge on stage at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester É photograph by Hattie Miles ... 31.04.2012 É Free use when publicising shows and events staged by or in conjunction with Clive Conway Celebrity Productions. Please include the following photo credit: Hattie Miles for Clive Conway.

It is still one of the best-kept secrets in show business –that Dame Patricia Routledge trained not only as an actress but also as a singer and had success in musical theatre in Britain and on Broadway.

In a fascinating encounter with the writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson, Facing The Music, which is coming to Ashbourne Festival in June, she recalls this very special period in her career and reveals some rare and treasured recordings to the audience.

Her many awards include a Tony for her Broadway performance in the Styne-Harburg musical Darling of the Day and a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.

She has delighted us for many years with her colourful characters such as the frightful Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances and the gossip Kitty in Victoria Wood as Seen on TV.

There are only a few dates in her tour each year so Ashbourne is very lucky to have her on the programme and you shouldn’t miss the chance to see her if you can.

Another household name coming to the town’s annual festival is Derbyshire born Tim Brooke-Taylor who has had a long career entertaining us most memorably in The Goodies.

He will be in conversation with writer and broadcaster Chris Serle and you can expect an evening of warmth and good humour spiced with a few revealing anecdotes about many of the names he has appeared with including his fellow Goodies Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie.

For full details about other events during the festival, which include performances by Toyah Willcox, Police Dog Hogan and the Pelleas Ensemble as well as  talks by the likes of Sunny Ormonde from The Archers and the Lake District shepherd James Rebanks, go to http://www.ashbournefestival.org