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Don't forget - Canterbury Festival opens this weekend: 13-27 October

PUBLISHED: 17:49 11 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:02 20 February 2013

Don't forget - Canterbury Festival opens this weekend: 13-27 October

Don't forget - Canterbury Festival opens this weekend: 13-27 October

Featuring a day of free activity dedicated to Punch and Judy, plus the annual opening parade starring local schools, community groups and three different bands, Canterbury will burst into life on Saturday for two weeks of fantastic events

Canterbury Festival: 13-27 October 2012

This years Canterbury Festival (which runs 13-27 October) opens this Saturday with a Punch!Featuring a day of free activity dedicated to Mr Punch and his wife Judy, plus the annual opening parade starring local schools, community groups and three different bands, Canterbury will burst into life on the 13 October for the start of two weeks of fantastic events.

The Festival will open this year with a sold-out concert by the outstanding St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra featuring renowned pianist Freddy Kempf at the Marlowe Theatre and with a comedy gig at the Gulbenkian Theatre with Michael McIntyres Comedy Roadshow favourite Jo Caulfield.

The Festival will also be utilising the new Marlowe Theatre this year (it re-opened in October 2011) with four events including two nights with the soul superstar that is Van Morrison.

Joining Van at the Marlowe are the superb Gandini Jugglers with their visual masterpiece Smashed. Using 80 apples and vast amounts of crockery, Smashed is a veritable feast of sensational skill, theatricality and some of the best juggling you will ever see, and is your only chance to see them in the UK this year!

Following the theatre theme, the Festival is delighted to welcome Sound & Furys Going Dark in between two sell out runs at the Young Vic in London. This immersive performance follows an astronomer as he loses his sight and uses innovative sound and light technology to create a unique environment. The Demon Barbers new performance show, The Lock In! will also be coming to Canterbury and features an arresting combination of some of the best street dancers and traditional dancers the UK has to offer imagine Riverdance meets Diversity and youre nearly there!

In collaboration with Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, the Festival is delighted to stage a World Premiere, When the Flame Dies, a concert performance with video. Exploring the life of French poet, novelist, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, this performance sees five outstanding young singers join the New Music Players and they will be accompanied by live electronics and stunning video projection.

The magnificent Canterbury Cathedral provides its atmospheric setting for another two concerts this year. The Cardinalls Musick, a nine piece vocal ensemble celebrating the music of William Byrd, will be performing on the middle Saturday and the Canterbury Choral Society will be returning to close the Festival on the 27 October.

Shirley Hall in the Kings School is one of the key Festival venues and this years highlights include the comedic talents of BBC regular Marcus Brigstocke and a new performance from Festival favourite Lucy Parham whose piano skills combined with narration from Downton Abbeys Mr Bates, Brendan Coyle, will bring to life Reverie: The Life and Loves of Claude Debussy.

There are a number of science themed workshops around the principles of liquid nitrogen in Cool Physics and how certain tricks are performed in The Magic of Science, whilst the Festivals resident scientist, Frank Burnet, will be taking over the Festival Club to offer the audience a chance to Meet Your Brain .

Events beyond the city walls include Don Giovanni, brought to the stage of Theatre Royal Margate by Mid Wales Opera and there are local Artists Open Houses trails in Whitstable, Herne Bay and Faversham (as well as Canterbury) waiting to be explored.

Full details of all Festival events and venues plus an online brochure can be found at the Festivals website at

Canterbury Festival 13-27 October 2012

  • Canterbury Festival 2012 runs from 13-27 October in and around Canterbury, Kent.

  • Full details of the programme of events are available in the Festival brochure online at and from the Festival Office.

  • Tickets are available both online at and from the Festival Box Office at The Marlowe Theatre in person or by phone on 01227 787787.

  • As a passionate supporter of regional arts and culture, Canterbury Christ Church University is proud to be the five-year Partner and Principal Sponsor of the Canterbury Festival. The University is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent. This year, Christ Church celebrates its 50th anniversary and, as a home to world-leading research and internationally recognised teaching in music, has just opened its new St Gregory's Centre for Music.

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