Wedmore Arts Festival 2020 – for some it’s already started!

Our Arts Festival 2020 doesn’t actually start until 8 May, but some lucky local children enjoyed some Festive Fun early – thanks to the Arts Festival itself!

On Monday 25 November WAF ‘gave’ Wedmore First School an early Christmas present in the form of an unusual and hugely enjoyable Nativity play. 180 pupils, aged from 4 to 9, sat transfixed for over an hour as 15 students from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School entertained them with the traditional Christmas story, cleverly intertwined with a number of sub plots for the Shepherds, Kings and Holy Family, as well as the introduction of some classic pantomime moments. This talented display of song, dance and acting earned a rapturous reception from children and teachers alike.

Wedmore Arts Festival were pleased to underwrite the whole performance and are looking forward to working on other similar local projects in the future.

WAF also continues its support of Poppy McGhee and Innes Oliver, both of whom will be performing during the Festival in May. On Saturday 9 May Innes will be taking part in a special ballet event introduced by Jonathan Payn of the Birmingham Royal Ballet whilst Poppy will be playing with the Brandon Hill Orchestra on Sunday10 May.

Full details of all the week’s activities – art, literature, comedy, drama, music and more will be available early in the New Year.  Our full colour with brochure is coming out at the beginning of April.

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Supporting the Arts in Wedmore

As a not for profit organisation Wedmore Arts Festival  is committed to using  the surplus we generate from our events to help support young local artists and performers, and to encourage a love of the arts.

The first recipient of our support was Poppy McGhee, the brilliant young violinist who has become a firm favourite amongst local audiences – and now further afield.

Whilst continuing to support Poppy, our most recent discovery is Innes Oliver who is stepping out into the world of ballet. This year we have been able to assist her in a variety of ways, for example making it possible for her to attend the National Youth Ballet’s summer school and subsequently perform at Sadlers Wells.

We continue to explore new ways of encouraging the next generation to develop a passion for art-based subjects, and we are currently in discussion with local schools about projects we might support.

The first of these will be the funding of special Christmas performance by Bristol Old Vic for Wedmore First School


Wedmore Arts Festival 2019 – 10 to 18 May – thank you for your support!

Thank you!  To everyone, artists, supporters,  working team who’ve made this year’s Festival such a success!  Next year’s Festival will be from Friday 8th to Saturday 16th May 2020 – see you there!

The 2019 Arts Festival got off to a sensational start at the weekend thanks in no small part to some feisty female input! Gabrielle Blackman, who is a designer on the hugely popular TV show DIY SOS, gave a lunchtime talk at the Swan in which she combined fascinating hints for would-be room renovators with the moving story of one of the families helped by the amazing work of this ground-breaking programme. Not a dry eye in the house!

Saturday evening proved equally moving – this time when 14-year old Poppy McGhee rounded off a wonderful evening of songs from the Somerset Choral Society with some simply sensational violin playing. Definitely a name to remember for the future…

Richard Shelton was BRILLIANT on Sunday portraying Frank Sinatra!  Simple as that… can catch him again at Edinburgh Fringe.  Look out for him if you’re going.

Monday brought Mike Dilger to Wedmore Hall to give us a very entertaining introduction to Natural History and how he came to be a presenter – and if you see him ask him to do his impression of Sir David Attenborough – hilarious!

On Tuesday Wells Cathedral organist Jeremy Cole gave us a sublime recital on St Mary’s Church organ followed in the evening by the one and only Anita Harris gave us an evening of song, chat & loads of nostalgia of her great career in show business ably supported by her trio.  If you missed this performance get to see her on her tour dates – she’s a true great!

On Wednesday Kate Adie gave us an extra-ordinary insight into her life as a foreign correspondent and her life leading up to that role for which she is so well known.  And so eloquent;  talking without the aids of any notes for nearly an hour!  The audience were so appreciative!

Thursday evening brought our A Literary Evening, A discussion on the writing life with local authors Emma Craigie, Peter F Hamilton and Phyllida Shaw Wedmore Village Hall.  Lots of really interesting insights on the writer’s life and a good appreciative audience too!

Retired DCI Trevor Bowles was on top form on Friday lunchtime  giving us a background briefing on the sad (but still interesting!) murder case from 2010 he led to a successful conviction.more events to go!

Henry Blofeld was an amazing raconteur and story teller!

Tallulah Swirls “The Fisherman & The Genie” puppet show for children on Saturday went very well – lots of excited children.

And the Dave Hankin Big Band featuring the music of Glenn Miller were, as they say nowadays, “BANGING”.  They even had the audience dancing in the aisles of St Mary’s Church!

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