Royston Arts Festival 2011 ‘most ambitious’ yet

AFTER almost 12 months of planning this year’s Royston Arts Festival is almost upon us and has been described by organisers as the most ambitious yet.

More than 60 events are planned from Thursday, September 29, to Sunday, October 2, covering a wide range of cultural activities.

Festival chairman Graham Palmer said: “We are hoping there will be something for everyone.

“This is shaping up to be our most ambitious arts festival yet, and we are already seeing a high level of ticket applications for events.

“The committee has put together some key events, but has been helped by local groups becoming part of the arts festival and putting on their own activities.”

The festival will open with the Opus 17 Big Band giving a Strictly 40s: Hits from the Blitz concert at The Meridian School, with proceeds from the show donated to the Help For Heroes charity and the Royal British Legion.

And to get in the mood, a 1940s dance workshop is being run before the concert.

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The cinema night of the festival will see a screening of cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Coombes Community Centre, Burns Road, Royston.

“The theme of this year’s arts festival is Crossing the Line, and we can probably say without any hesitation that this production certainly crosses more lines than you can count,” said Mr Palmer.

A youth art exhibition will be displayed at the Royston & District Museum and will run until November 4.

Last year’s exhibition featured the works of youngsters from Greneway and Roysia schools, Melbourn Village College and The Meridian School, attracting more than 500 people.

The festival finale is the now traditional Last Night at the Proms-style Finale Concert in the parish church on the Sunday.

Other groups involved in he festival include the Royston Photographic Society, which will run its Face of Royston project again, and the amateur drama group CADS, which will be staging a production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Churches are involved, with the Royston Methodist Church in Queens Road running Festival Fringe events while the Parish Church has put together a number of activities. The Royston Catholic Church has a classical concert by pianists the Cann Twins.

About 300 free places are available on workshops taking place during the arts festival.

Tickets are available from The Stationery Cupboard, High Street, Royston and on-line at