Dulwich Festival 2017 Line up announced

Dulwich Festival 2017  - line up announced!

The Dulwich Festival, now in its 24th year, is the annual celebration of the arts and culture in Dulwich and its surrounding area. Featuring artists and performers from across the spectrum of the arts, music and theatre, the Festival will run from 12 to 21 May 2017. This year’s Festival explores the idea of ‘Home’, a theme that runs through many of the events.

Broadcaster and journalist Robin Lustig, will be in conversation with BBC Deputy Political Editor, John Pienaar, at the Dulwich Picture Gallery on Wednesday 17th May. Lustig will entertain us with stories from his distinguished career as presenter of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4 and Newshour on BBC World Service. Having witnessed the world of news change beyond recognition over his 40-year career, Lustig will provide a fascinating insight into the world of journalism at home and abroad and the role of the reporter.

The Festival welcomes Jennifer Scott to her new home, as she takes up her post as director of Dulwich Picture Gallery. Scott, only a month into her tenure as the first female director of the Gallery, will be in conversation with art critic and broadcaster Alastair Sooke about her ideas for its future, on Friday 19th May.

The charity Clowns Without Borders focuses on the homeless child victims of displacement and aims to encourage affected children to laugh, play and forget their struggles. At St Barnabas Parish Hall on Saturday 13th May, young festival-goers will have the opportunity to experience one of their performances; expect a very silly afternoon!

For drama lovers, the Festival welcomes back internationally-acclaimed Tangram Theatre Company with the third and final part of their scientrilogy, ‘The Element in the Room: A Radioactive Musical Comedy about the Death and Life of Marie Curie’. Their collaborative, challenging and entertaining approach to theatre will enthrall a family audience, so get ready to join in!

There are plenty of other family-orientated events, including the Children’s Concert, The Biggest Drum, at the St Barnabas Parish Hall and the always popular and well-attended Festival Fair, Love West Dulwich Fair and Dulwich Park Fair, all of which provide free entertainment for all ages. 

The Children’s Art Competition, now firmly established in the Festival calendar and kindly supported by R. Woodfall Opticians, will take ‘Home’ as its theme.  All details available via the website including the wonderful prizes and the deadline of Friday 5th May. What does home mean to you?

This year’s musical calendar caters to all tastes. The Festival begins on Friday 12th May with the Festival of Choirs, an evening of three choirs celebrating the human voice in their own distinct ways; Note-Orious, a community choir of local amateur singers; The Barberfellas, a small barbershop chorus from London’s LGBT community; and Gospel Essence, the a cappella choir from Gareth Malone’s ‘Naked Choir’ programme. For classical music fans, a highlight will be a performance of ‘Façade’, William Walton’s setting of Edith Sitwell’s poem sequence, by the Bloomsbury Ensemble of London with Julie Berry and Paul Guinery narrating, in the spectacular surroundings of the Dulwich Picture Gallery on Tuesday 16th May.

Meanwhile, for contemporary music lovers, acclaimed indie-folk quintet Patch & The Giant will be performing at Belair House on Thursday 18th May, supported by the incomparable singer-songwriter James Riley who has ventured home to the UK from an extended stay in Tennessee. The following evening, 19th May, at the same venue, blues singer-songwriter, Adam Norsworthy, known as the lead singer of British-blues rock band The Mustangs will delight with his mellow sounds during an intimate evening. He will be bringing along some special guests to play with him.

Jazz lovers will be excited to learn of the return of The Harlem Meer Cats to the Festival line-up after their launch sell-out event in the 2014 Festival with six of the finest early jazz specialists in London. Ned Bennett's authentic adaptations of such classics as Black and Tan Fantasy, Echoes of the Jungle, Jubilee Stomp and many more really capture the exotic atmosphere of New York's famous Cotton Club. Duke Ellington's "Jungle Style" is at once dark yet joyous, mysterious yet immediate, with growling trumpet, seductive sax and talking trombone.

Over 250 artists will once again be opening the doors of their homes and studios for the ever-popular Artists’ Open House, taking place across both weekends of the festival and giving the public an opportunity to view their work and talk to the makers about their creative processes.

For those who want to discover even more about the process of painting, the London Fine Art Studios are running two events for the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s first Art in Action day on Saturday 13th May; a live portrait painting demonstration by Ann Witheridge, founder of London Fine Art Studios and live painting around the Gallery by special guests from the Studios and regular teaching artists from Dulwich.

The popular walks programme will include a Dawn Chorus Walk and a Bat Walk at dusk for local wildlife enthusiasts, led by the London Wildlife Trust team. Letta Jones will be conducting her popular tree walk in the grounds of Dulwich Park.

Dulwich Festival Director, Alpha Hopkins, said:

‘From the free Fairs each weekend, to the excellent theatre performances, talks, walks, wide variety of music events and the amazing Artists’ Open House – there really is something to make every visitor to the Festival feel at home.’

Further information on all Festival events, venues and dates can be found at dulwichfestival.co.uk