Live performances include 'An Evening with Phyllis Logan' and Adordable Dora
Phyllis Logan (with Father Kevin Morris) after opening the 2013 Festival
Tickets have gone on sale for the 55th Bedford Park Festival, which will take place in front of live audiences next month, after being held online ‘at home’ last year because of the pandemic.
The Festival – known as ‘Chiswick’s favourite fortnight’ - will run from 12 to 27 June in St Michael & All Angels Church and Parish Hall and the Chiswick Playhouse in Bath Road.
Top performers taking part include Downton Abbey star Phyllis Logan, West End diva Rosemary Ashe, musicians David Juritz, Mark Viner and Jonathan Dods, and sopranos Milly Forrest and Luci de Nordwall Cornish – all local residents, past or present.
Instead of the usual Green Days weekend, opposite Turnham Green tube station, the Festival will open with a Children’s Fancy Dress and Fun Day in St Michael’s Parish Hall, alongside the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition of artworks in the church. There will later be a Festival Fete in the grounds of the church as part of a weekend finale, with a Flower Festival, a song recital, the Festival Mass and Open Gardens.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming people back to our arts events in person this year” said Fr Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael & All Angels, which runs the Festival in aid of charities and its own work. “During the year of lockdown, we did our best to help people engage with the arts and local community events online, but it’s not the same as enjoying performances in person, with an audience around you.”
Seating will be limited, nonetheless, and people will be asked to observe social distancing rules at all Festival events, indoors and outside.
At Chiswick Playhouse, there will be ‘An Evening with Phyllis Logan’ in which she will talk about the new Downton Abbey film currently being filmed, and other aspects of her life and career. She is a patron of the Chiswick Playhouse, and will talk to its executive director Mark Perry. So too will Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival, another patron of the Playhouse.
West End diva Rosemary Ashe will give a preview – ahead of the premiere at the Jermyn Street Theatre - of her ‘lockdown’ project show, ‘Adorable Dora’. It’s a tribute to national treasure Dora Bryan, whose showbiz career spanned eight decades, from pantomime to Shakespeare, and Carry On films to a BAFTA winning role in A Taste of Honey.
Rosemary has played and created many roles in some of the most popular musicals of the past 40 years, including The Boyfriend, The Phantom of the Opera, Oliver!, Les Miserables, The Witches of Eastwick, Mary Poppins and Adrian Mole. She has also appeared on the stage in opera and plays as well as on television, in cabaret and concert.
She says: “I was having a clearout and found a cassette of Dora Bryan’s one-woman show that her agent had sent me” she says. “I listened to it again and thought why not do a show about her! When I started to do my research, I couldn't believe what an incredible career she had. She was incredibly famous and beloved, and her versatility was extraordinary. Also, her family meant the world to her and her life was not without its heartache.”
Adorable Dora’ is previewed at the Bedford Park Festival on Wednesday 23 June, ahead of performances at the Jermyn Street Theatre in June and the Brighton Fringe in July.
West End diva Rosemary Ashe and her ‘lockdown project’ show, ‘Adorable Dora’
Tickets are also available for recitals by sopranos Milly Forrest and Luci de Nordwall Cornish; violinist David Juritz and friends – Paul Edmund Davies (flute), Judith Busbridge (viola) and Adrian Bradbury (cello); organist Jonathan Dods; and pianist Mark Viner; a wine tasting with Victoria Daskal; the drama Hauntings, with Gerard Logan, and talks.
At St Michael's, author Charles Sale will talk about his new book The Covers Are Off, about cricket’s ‘civil war’ at Lord’s. Tickets are available online at www.bedfordparkfestival.org.
The Festival also encourages local people to “unleash their own creativity”. Entries are invited for the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition of artworks (12-18 June); the Photography Exhibition and Competition (19-20 June); the Bedford Park Flower Festival (25-27 June); and the Children’s Fancy Dress Competition (12 June). Full details on how to take part and volunteer can be found on the Festival website.
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May 14, 2021