Festive Arundel has it all in week-long celebration of the arts

TORCHWOOD star John Barrowman and indie bands Supergrass, Lightning Seeds and Idlewild are the headline names at this year's Arundel Festival, but there's so much more to enjoy in this year's packed programme, which opens tonight (Friday, August 21).

And fittingly, for a festival which hopes to make the most of the great outdoors for many of its events, the curtain-raiser will be a parasol parade as part of the opening ceremony and raising of the Festival Flag in Town Square from 5pm.

It's then time for the indie trio to take to the castle's open air stage for the "Super Friday" concert, the first of three outdoor concerts beneath the battlements, with John Barrowman in songster mode, for an evening of big musical numbers and ballads on Saturday, and the National Symphony Orchestra playing a classical programme on the theme of Love and War on Sunday.

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All three concerts conclude with spectacular fireworks, and the action switches to the castle's new Collector Earl's Garden on Thursday and Friday, for outdoor performances of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and, on Saturday, for the return of last year's wonderful production of A Midsummer Night's Dream '” all staged by the British Shakespeare Company.

Parasol Parade

Staying outdoors, both weekends of the festival will feature a feast of live music in Jubilee Gardens, starting at midday and continuing into the evening, with Northbrook College students providing the technical support.

The gardens will also be the venue for a workshop to make those parade parasols (from 2pm tomorrow) and, on Thursday, a painting workshop for children aged eight-12, to produce one large-scale work and a piece to take home.

There will be more live entertainment in Town Square every day from noon and the second weekend of the festival sees the Arundel Town Fair take place on Bank Holiday Monday '” see next week's Littlehampton Gazette for a full preview.

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Other events in the first few days include Praise in the Park on Sunday, at 3.30pm on the banks of Swanbourne Lake, the Arundel Festival Quiz in aid of the RNLI, at the King's Arms, Tarrant Street, on Tuesday at 8pm and, on Wednesday, Arun University of the Third Age members host storytelling sessions in Arundel Library, at 11am for children, and 2pm for adults.


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