Eventful ArtsFest

One of the region’s major festivals, Lyme Regis ArtsFest, kicks off its 12th edition with a preview at the Town Mill Galleries on Friday 19 September (6-8pm), to which all are welcome. Over the next nine days, visitors and residents will be treated to a programme full of entertaining and thought-provoking events, most of which can be booked in advance so you don’t miss out.

Louisa YoungAs a contribution to the First World War commemorations, ArtsFest is delighted that novelist Louisa Young will be the guest speaker at its fourth LitNight @ By the Bay (23 Sept). Ms Young, author of much acclaimed novels about WWI and its effects (My Dear I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes’ Welcome), will talk about her work and answer questions between courses at this congenial restaurant. Book at By the Bay on 01297 442668.

Lyme’s Marine Theatre will be the focus for music, drama and photography during ArtsFest. It will host an Evening with BRIT-award-winning singer Beverley Craven on 21 Sept and offer Jazz in the Bar with vocalist Julie Dunn and pianist Philip Clouts on 26 Sept.

The Pearl


On the drama front, theatre company Dumbshow will be bringing to life John Steinbeck’s timeless fable, The Pearl, with its trademark visual inventiveness on 27 Sept. Tickets for all three events are available from Lyme’s TIC (01297 442138) or the theatre’s website (www.marinetheatre.com).


Popular local photojournalist Richard Austin makes a welcome return to ArtsFest at the Marine Theatre on 24 Sept, sharing his iconic photographs of storm-battered Lyme as well as stories and photos from his 30-year career. A fundraiser for the theatre’s Raise the Roof Fund, entry is by donation (£5pp suggested). The Marine’s innovative ‘R & D By the Sea’ programme—where visiting theatre groups develop a production using the theatre’s facilities—has been recorded in Peter Wiles’s photographic exhibitions that will be on show at the Lyme Regis Museum, his Open Studio (1 Mill Green) and the theatre itself.

Capping the ArtsFest events on the last weekend (26-28 Sept) at The Jam Factory in Uplyme is Chamber Music, a fun and quirky absurdist theatrical piece about a gathering of famous women held in an asylum. Tickets are available on the door (£8pp), but can also be purchased in advance at Fuego in Coombe St, Lyme Regis or Bridport Music in South Street.

Finally, for those who want to try a new activity, ArtsFest offers a number of creative workshops that fill up quickly and thus warrant early booking to avoid disappointment. Trisha Hayman will guide beginners and the more experienced in how to paint Still Life in Close Up at the Town Mill Community Room on 22 Sept (2-4.30, 01297 444024). Janis Lane and Phil Whitehead will be leading A Flash in the Pan, a new creative writing workshop at HIX Oyster and Fish House on 24 Sept (10-12; janis.lane@invigorwrite.com). Printing, collage and painting will be explored in two Mixed Media Workshops also at the Town Mill (23 and 24 Sept, 01297 598554), and Ann Pengelly will repeat her popular Stained Glass workshop twice at the Town Mill on 25 Sept (07979 013641). On Friday morning (26 Sept), two final events round out the workshops on offer: Joanna Smith’s Journal Writing at the Guildhall (07824 617453) and Terry Jeavons’s typoArt at his studio in Rousdon (01297 23895).

For more details, times and further booking information, pick up a brochure at libraries, TICs and art venues in the area or visit the website (www.lymeregisartsfest.com).

Karol Kulik, Lyme Regis ArtsFest

Published on 09/09/2014.

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