2016 marked the 29th consecutive edition of the annual Bewdley Festival with its traditional mix of local talent and national and international stars of stage, screen and concert halls, all packed into ten days in October and with the aim of "something for everyone".
And judging from the response from those who attended the events during October we met the aims of bringing a delightful programme of top class acts to Bewdley.
The first event on the calendar was held before the main festival week on Saturday 1 October. The annual Youth Music Showcase, presented by Bewdley Youth Festival, featured some of the very talented young musicians of the area, and this year wass hosted by that rising young talent Ellisha Green
Our evening events offered a very diverse line-up and was launched in fine style by a scintillating concert from The Rutles. Other music events featured tremendous performances Judie Tzuke, and Anne Reid. From the world of Radio and TV we had history presenter Dr Kate Williams, broadcaster Andy Kershaw and Antiques Roadshow glass expert Andy McConnell. Our evening events ended with an uproarious night of comedy from Miles Jupp.
Classical Sunday featured the magnificent pianist Ashley Wass in two varied settings. The first a family friendly concert, Wonderland, based on Alice's Adventures presented by Ashley with violinist Matthew Trusler. And in the evening a full piano recital celebrating the works of William Shakespeare. Excitingly Ashley and Matthew were joined by celebrated author Louis de Bernières as narrator for Wonderland. Louis wrote the script for the work but had never before performed it - so another first for Bewdley Festival.
The afternoon programme was the usual eclectic mix of talks and presentations from the history of World War One Fashions to the world of Micro-engraving with Graham Short, and included spell binding talks from news reader and presenter Charlotte Green and Archers' star Sunny Ormonde. Festival regular Lesley Smith presented her one-woman show as Margaret Thatcher and the annual Max Keen Lecture examined Hereward the Wake, in Max's inimitable style. Comedy was provided by the brilliant George Egg: Anarchist Cook,
Morning events featured two paked events: "A Naturalist's Life" recounted by producer Brett Westwood and a remarkable film Leonardo: The Genius in Milan on the cinema screen in St George's Hall.
Festival’s Saturday Party Night finale featured the 80's sound of Our Friends Electric and the Family Church Service at St Anne’s on the final Sunday was delightful premier of Tic Toc, a new song from composer Jim Ineson featuring students from local schools with the Festive Voices ensemble.
Throughout October, Shropshire artist David Tedham had an exhibition of his vibrant abstract work and Festival’s very successful Community Arts project returned with another decorated Duck House Trail in Jubilee Gardens.
Planning for our 30th Annual Festival is already underway, so watch this space.