Welcome to Steyning Festival 2016
It's Festival time again and, as always, we have a packed programme for you with something for all ages and tastes. Some of the old favourites return (it wouldn't be Steyning Festival without the Theatre Trails, or the walks on the Downs or the fabulous Art Trail) and we have a plethora of star attractions including Craig Charles, Steve Knightley, Vince Cable, The Comedy Store Players (back by popular demand), Frank Gardner, Alison Weir, Cressida Cowell and our very own Julia Donaldson.
Local talent will feature in a production of Bedroom Farce by The Steyning Festival Players and the finals of The Steyning Festival Young Dancer of the Year Competition. If you missed the amazing 1614 Dance up at Wiston at the end of the last festival, there is another opportunity to enjoy this wonderful location when you will be able to wander round the gardens and discover a medley of entertainment set among the flower beds. Children of all ages will even be able to listen to Simon Brett reading Beatrix Potter stories in the vegetable garden.
Children are well catered for during Half Term with a whole week of activities and events including puppet shows, craft sessions, story times, a toddlers disco and, of course, The Grufffalo and friends. For the older ones there is SDS acoustic and a Silent Disco(!) plus the opportunity to try out the new improved portable skate ramps during the Community Fun Day on Bank Holiday Monday.
If you are at the other end of the age range, how about joining a workshop with the Three Score Dance Company? They will be performing at the Wiston Garden Walkabout so you can get an idea of what they do there. So dancing is not your thing? Well how about entering our writing competition on the theme of: 'Growing Older, Growing Wiser' or 'The Funny Side of Growing Old'. See the Festival Competitions page for details of how to enter.
We have two wonderful new venues this year. Through the kindness and generosity of Dr and Mrs Richard Boger we are able to hold some events in the atmospheric studio that was used by the British artist Gluck when she lived at Chantry House. Then on Cuthman's Field we will have the Festival Big Top which will be a hive of activity from morning to night every day throughout the fortnight. As well as providing us with a venue for many of our events, it will be a place to gather and meet friends over a cup of tea and cake or glass of wine or local beer and even a cocktail or two. It will also be the setting for some of our ever-popular community events starting with a day of Fiesta Latina as we twin ourselves with Rio de Janeiro, host city for the 2016 Olympics, and ending with a Sussex themed day to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.
Last festival, there were several complaints that with so many exciting things going on it was difficult to choose which to go to. When you look through the programme this year, you will realize that the choice is not going to be any easier this time. In fact I will personally give a prize to the person who can come up with a method of being in more than one place at a time! Whatever you do decide to go to, make sure you get your tickets early before they all sell out by becoming a Friend of the Festival and have a wonderful time. See you there!Christine Aubrey and the Festival Team