It feels as if the entirety of the UK has been on one massive high for what feels like the whole of summer, with the glorious weather we’ve actually been able to get out our paddling pools and our BBQs for more than a couple of days!
The summer high reached Southwell this year too, the beautiful picturesque English town situated in the heart of Newark and Sherwood has enjoyed a summer of theatre and music with people coming from far and wide to bask in the joyous energy emanating from Southwell.
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo!
Summer kicked off in Southwell with the Southwell Minster’s epic outdoor theatre season. Set in the ruins of the old Archbishop’s Palace in the stunning grounds of the Minster nearly 1,000 people were royally entertained across three shows.
First we saw local hero Robin Hood defeat the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in Chapterhouse Theatre’s production of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Medieval music, swordplay and a jolly dose of humour set the scene for a fabulous summer of theatre.
The quite brilliant Handlebards returned to Southwell, after their knockout performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2017, with a hilarious production of Romeo & Juliet. This time is was an all-female cast who entertained over 400 members of the public who sat through the pouring rain (the first day it had rained for 61 days!) with soggy picnics but smiles on their faces from start to finish.
The final outdoor performance of the summer was Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by This is my Theatre. Alice, The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Heart and The Cheshire Cat wowed almost 300 spectators in glorious sunshine.
Angelic music could be heard throughout Southwell
Over the course of 6 days (22nd – 27th August) Southwell was transformed into the home of classical music. With the majestic Minster at its heart, 5,500 people were given the opportunity to experience music-making of the highest standard, further enhanced by the vitality and passion of the musicians involved.
Over 30 music events, of which nearly half were free, filled the festival with a remarkable range of repertoire from Messiaen’s Quarter for the End of Time, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Dvořák’s Strong Sextet and Gypsy Songs and MacMillan’s A Child’s Prayer, to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, Debussy’s Preludes, Janáček’s Diary of one who Disappeared and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
The exciting programme features acclaimed solo artists including Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Clare Hammond, Madeleine Shaw, Andrew Tortise, Graham South, Suzannah Hurrell, Roland Wood, Clive Mantle, Alison Rose, Marcus Farnsworth, Jamie Campbell and James Cheung amongst others.
Themes of hope and reconciliation were woven through the Festival in this the Centenary year of the Armistices with poignant performances in the concers of Voices of Remembrance and For the Fallen.
The Festival was once again a brilliant success with the entirety of Southwell joining in with the fun as beautiful music filled the streets of Southwell for 6 days.
If you can’t wait until next year, Southwell Music Festival will host a Christmas Celebration Concert on Friday 21st December at Southwell Minster, for tickets please click here.
The 2019 Festival will take place from Wednesday 21st to Monday 26th August. The full programme for the 2019 Festival will be announced at the concert in the Minster on Friday 12th April 2019. For now, keep up to fate with everything Southwell Music Festival on their Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you to Glenn Formoy, Head of Marketing & Events at Southwell Minster and Emma Mennis, PR for Southwell Music Festival for the above information.
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