First Kenilworth Arts Festival almost here

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The first Kenilworth Arts Festival, a week-long celebration of the arts, is less than a fortnight away.

Incorporating music, film, theatre, fiction and workshops, the festival starts on Monday September 12 and ends with the free, open-air ‘Fiesta’ in Abbey Fields on Sunday September 18.

Rachel Sermanni will play on Saturday September 17

Rachel Sermanni will play on Saturday September 17

Chairperson of the festival Lewis Smith said: “From the outset, our aim was to craft a programme of events that would inspire and engage.

“I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do. It should be a very special week.”

Among the artists confirmed to appear at the festival are highly acclaimed singer-songwriters Rachel Sermanni and Luke Jackson, jazz pianist Jason Rebello, award-winning nature writer Rob Cowen and classical duo The Ayoub Sisters.

Kenilworth resident and prominent screenwriter Andrew Davies will also be appearing at the festival in conversation with Laura Lankester, who worked with Davies on his recent adaptation of War & Peace with the BBC.

Leamington singer-songwriter Shanade, who will be performing at 'Fiesta' on Sunday September 18

Leamington singer-songwriter Shanade, who will be performing at 'Fiesta' on Sunday September 18

The highly-regarded poet David Morley will be curating an evening of poetry readings on Friday September 16.

Appearing alongside Morley - who won the Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry in 2016 - are several other leading poets including Sarah Howe, Claire Trévien, Jo Bell, Luke Kennard and Jonathan Edwards.

Alongside the headline events, the festival programme will include a series of workshops which will offer people the opportunity to engage with different forms of creative expression and learn from respected professionals.

Highlights include a songwriting workshop with Rachel Sermanni, a harmonica masterclass with Will Pound, a human rights journalism workshop with Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi and a poetry workshop led by poet Jo Bell, entitled ’52 Ways to Write a Poem.’

Jason Rebello will play on Thursday

Jason Rebello will play on Thursday

Closing the festival on Sunday, September 18 will be Fiesta, a free, all-day event in Abbey Fields.

It will feature live music from bands including Winter Mountain, Swing from Paris, Shanade and local collective Mustard & Blood.

Also appearing will be The Fabularium, a theatre company consisting of acrobats, storytellers, musicians and puppeteers.

They will be performing a new piece of theatre for family audiences called ‘Reynard the Fox’.

Tickets for each event can be bought at the Tree House Bookshop, Ginger Property in Balsall Common, or at wegottickets.com/kenilworthartsfestival

LINEUP

Monday September 12 - Will Pound’s Harmonica Masterclass, Tree House Bookshop, 6pm; Andrew Davies, Holiday Inn, 7.30pm.

Tuesday September 13 - Will Pound’s Harmonica Masterclass, Tree House Bookshop, 6pm; Rob Cowen, Talisman Theatre, 7.30pm.

Wednesday September 14 - Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Tree House Bookshop, 6pm; The Ayoub Sisters, St Nicholas Church, 7.30pm.

Thursday September 15 - Jason Rebello, Tudor Stables, 7.30pm

Friday September 16 - Poetry Evening with David Morley, Talisman Theatre, 7.30pm.

Saturday September 17 - Jo Bell Workshop, Clarendon Arms, 10am; Rachel Sermanni workshop, VCamden House, 2pm; Rachel Sermanni, Tudor Stables, 7.30pm.

Sunday September 18 - Fiesta, Abbey Fields, 11.30am