SLIDESHOW: Successful Hailsham Arts Festival

A WEEK of art, drama, poetry, music and dance was enjoyed by townsfolk during the sixth annual Hailsham Arts Festival.

Festival co-ordinator Jenny West and the festival team at Gallery North, who organised the townwide events, were delighted with the success of the entertainment this year.

Mrs West said there has been ‘growing enthusiasm’ for the festival amongst residents and visitors alike.

She said: “We are now in our sixth year and this is largely due to the hard work and enthusiasm of the artists and members of the festival committee.

“We would also like to thank all our sponsors and the town council, but especially Hailsham Pavilion who have supported and encouraged us right from the start.”

Highlights of the festival included a fascinating arts exhibition at Gallery North which lasts until October 27. An arts trail in the parish was also organised with a chance to see art work displayed at various locations including town centre empty shops.

Internationally acclaimed artist Dino Mazzoli was amongst the many artists showing their work. Other artists contributing to the festival included Vicki Disney, John Amos and Fiona Morrison. Arts history expert David West also gave an interesting talk on Samuel Palmer – the great 19th century landscape artist.

Children took part in a colourful ‘Viva Espana’ fiesta parade and show at Hailsham Pavilion, learning about Spain’s festivals, food and dance.

Live music included Bakk Lamp Fall at Hellingly Parish Church and a jazz night with the Amrak Trio. An opening concert for the festival was also enjoyed with guitarist Gabrielle Stephens and Rapport Youth Ensemble at Hailsham Parish Church.

The Ropemaker Theatre Company, the town’s new drama group, staged a wonderful madcap comedy, ‘The Comedy of Terrors’ at Hailsham Pavilion.

Town Cllr Maggie Skinner said: “A special thank you must go to Gallery North and the small number of volunteers who put in a huge amount of effort behind the scenes to make the event possible.

“I hope that everyone enjoyed the Arts Festival as much as I did.”