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Romsey Festival’s good start set to continue

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ROMSEY FESTIVAL’S GOOD START SET TO CONTINUE

Romsey Festival got off to a hugely successful start last weekend, and the momentum is set to continue through to the end of the 16-day event.

Concerts by Romsey Choral Society and the Michelmersh Silver Band attracted large audiences, whilst there were higher than expected attendances at several of the smaller events, such as the three events on Monday 7th – the lunchtime recital by Jenna Gover and Anna Ter Haar, the evening talk by Phoebe Merrick at St Swithun’s, and the Gourmet Experience at Naz’s restaurant.

Chairman Dick Hewett said: “We are delighted with the Festival so far, and are really looking forward to the rest of the schedule.”

The coming weekend sees further events in the Abbey with a Schools Festival concert this Friday evening (July 11th), followed by a Summer Spectacular with the Counterpoint Singers, Cantatrice and the Romsey Abbey Girls Choir combined on Saturday evening. The Abbey Girls will be singing again the following (Sunday) evening when they join forces with the Abbey boys and gentlemen for a special Festival Choral Evensong.

Sunday 13th also sees the return of La Ronde, the Romsey Gardens Tour which features in every Festival.  Gardens will be clearly identified with suitable signage, balloons or bunting.  At one venue (66 Mill Lane), Boplicity, a small band from Mountbatten School, will be providing entertainment during the early afternoon period.

Alongside this, Romsey Signal Box, which is not currently being opened on a regular basis, will be open on a one-off basis from 10am until 6pm with a clearly signposted route to a temporary entrance off Great Well Drive.

Arts and Crafts feature strongly with an Art Exhibition in North Baddesley on 11th and 12th, and Arts and Flower displays in East Dean on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th.  Art In The Park will be in the War Memorial Park on Saturday 12th, and the Romsey Viewfinders will be showing some of their best photographs in the Abbey on 12th and 13th.

As an extra event not included in Festival publicity, Stable House Studios in Newton Lane will be open every day (apart from Sunday 13th) until Saturday 19th inclusive, from 10am until 4pm.

Drama enters the Festival during the second week with both RAODS (with “Accrington Pals” at the Plaza) and Maskers (with “The Importance Of Being Earnest” at Hamptworth Lodge). Poetry also features on Monday 14th (Chris Amery’s “The Poetry Of War”) and Wednesday 16th (with the presentations for the Poetry For Pleasure junior competition), both in the Abbey URC.

Meanwhile music will continue to feature strongly throughout the week, including Pocket Theatre in East Dean Church on Saturday (12th), Peter Gilks playing Bach at Ampfield Church on Monday 14th, a musical tour of the Abbey on Tuesday 15th, and the President’s Evening on Wednesday 16th at the Lantern Theatre.  The Abbey will host a lunchtime recital with a difference on Thursday 17th in the shape of the Bryn Bridges Jazz Trio, and jazz also features in the Abbey Hotel on Tuesday 15th.

Folk music is featured on Monday 14th at the Old House At Home and on Thursday 17th when Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, one of the country’s hottest folk duos, appear at the Lantern Theatre.

These are just some of the highlights of the second week of the Festival. More details can be found on www.romseyfestival.org, and tickets for selected events can be purchased through the website or through Romsey TIC, 01794 512987.