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Highlights of this year's Canterbury Festival

PUBLISHED: 11:38 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:38 17 October 2016

Pic: Tim Stubbings

Pic: Tim Stubbings

Archant

A super-sized line-up is promised at this year's Canterbury Festival, with more than 200 events spanning three glorious weeks of entertainment. Here are some of the 2016 highlights to whet your appetite.

Australian circus troupe Circa (pic: Andy Phillipson)Australian circus troupe Circa (pic: Andy Phillipson)

This year’s Canterbury Festival sees none other than Gilbert O’Sullivan return to the stage, and en route to the Royal Albert Hall, Classic FM favourite, guitarist Miloš with the English Chamber Orchestra Ensemble, performs a programme of music from Bach to The Beatles.

Olivier award-winning Showstoppers will entertain you with their improvised all-singing, all-dancing production, and The ABode Hotel is hosting The Wedding Reception, your chance to become a guest at one of the most hilarious social events of the year.

Over at the Spiegeltent, Australian circus troupe Circa take over for three nights with their physical feats of daring. If you prefer cabaret, Mistress of Ceremonies Lili la Scala (plus fellow reprobates) will be in residence for two nights.

Whether you’re a wine lover, a keen gardener, historian or even a closet punk, there are plenty of talks to fascinate. Oz Clake will bring his wine wisdom to the table, Monty Don is helping the Festival bloom, historians David Starkey, Tracy Borman and Kate Williams will span history from the Magna Carta through to the roaring 20s, while the incredible Wilko Johnson will look back at his life and literally rock your world.

Family fun

Family activities will keep the children busy this half-term, with subjects ranging from Marvellous Medicine to Little Monsters and Magic’s collision with Science.

But it’s not just about the children, this year the Festival is delighted to present a family friendly cabaret show, Variety Soup. Stuffed with wondrous antics and lots of laughs, it is suitable for anyone from seven to 107.

The Festival is proud to deliver Arts Award, and for the first time will be creating a Half Term Hub, where children get the chance to gain an Arts Award Discover Certificate for free.

The Discover Hub runs alongside the Family Friendly shows, giving children the chance to meet the performers, get creative, share their experience, and receive an Arts Award Discover certificate. Adults wishing to get creative can try their hand at creating a piece of pottery for free at the Canterbury Throwdown shop.

City wide

The Festival aims to fill every available city space with entertainment. Look up high in the Guard Chamber of the Westgate Tower, or down the medieval alleyways and you’ll find a show or exhibition. Don’t forget to visit the Spiegeltent (a roaming 1920’s dance hall), returning to the City, oozing glamour and vintage charm.

This year it is moving to a new location on Kingsmead car park (opposite Sainsbury’s, just a short stroll along the King’s Mile).

Comedy competition

New this year, Made in Kent is offering a comedy competition for local comedians, giving them a chance to perform on the Festival stage.

Sponsored by the University of Kent, a judging panel of industry experts will choose the winner, offer feedback and present a paid gig at the Festival plus free tickets to selected other events during the Festival.

Closing date for entries: 7 October 2016.

Find out more

Canterbury Festival, 15 October to 5 November 2016

Festival box office: 01227 787787

Partner and principal sponsor: Canterbury Christ Church University

www.canterburyfestival.co.uk

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