Downton Abbey's Phyllis Logan To Open 47th Bedford Park Festival

Highlights include Julian Glover reading Beowulf and a Great Chiswick Bake-Off

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Two of the UK’s best-known actors head the line-up for next month’s Bedford Park Festival, Chiswick’s biggest arts and community event.

Phyllis Logan, who plays the housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey and is fondly remembered as Lady Jane in Lovejoy, will open the Festival at the start of Green Days weekend on Saturday June 8th. She’ll also help judge the children’s fancy dress competition.

Julian Glover will perform his acclaimed reading of the epic poem Beowulf in St Michael & All Angels Church on Saturday June 15th. He has been performing Beowulf in various adaptations since the 1980s, but not for several years. He is well-known for his stage, TV and film roles (including Star Wars, Indiana Jones and as a James Bond villain) and is now in the hit TV drama Game of Thrones.

The 47 th Bedford Park Festival runs from June 8 th to 23 rd 2013 , with events for all ages and tastes, in and around St Michael & All Angels Church, Bath Road W4. Tickets are now on sale at the Festival’s new website:

The Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler will speak and sign books at the Children’s Book Morning on Saturday 15th, one of several events for children at this year’s Festival.

Musical highlights, for a wide range of tastes, include the virtuoso accordionist Milos Milivojevic, performing with Kosmos Ensemble; Britten: A Centenary Celebration, a recital in a beautiful Bedford Park house followed by an interview with Sir Humphrey Maud, one of ‘Britten’s Children’; the musical Cole performed by Theatre West Four; The Marriage of Figaro, performed by the London Youth Symphony Orchestra; Sing-along-a-Grease, with full audience participation; the Festival Mass, with music from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; and a variety of other concerts.

Other events include: The Fall and Rise of Bedford Park, celebrating the 50 th anniversary of the Bedford Park Society which helped save the area from destruction by developers; a poetry evening with the poet and conservationist Ruth Padel; a WB Yeats literary walk with the poet CL Dallat; a celebration of Dylan Thomas, including exclusive pictures from his family album; and the BBC‘s Torin Douglas, talking to Susannah Simons about some of the most memorable moments in his 24 years as its media correspondent.

Regular Festival favourites will include the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition, showcasing the work of local artists; Artists at Home, in which over 50 local artists and craftworkers display their works; the Photographic Exhibition and Competition; and, on the final Sunday, the Bedford Park Open Gardens and Walk.

The Festival opens with Green Days weekend on June 8th and 9th, opposite Turnham Green tube station. Each year, thousands of people enjoy the stalls, fairground attractions, craft fair and live music on the Green. For children, there's a football tournament, fancy dress competition, talent contest, facepainting and games in the childrens' corner.

For the first time this year, there’s a Great Chiswick Bake-Off, for which local bakers are invited to submit cakes - to be judged and then sold on the refreshments and cakes stalls, in aid of the Festival charities. Other competitions on Green Days include the ever-popular Marmalade-making contest, and the children’s five-a-side football tournaments and fancy dress competition.

The Bedford Park Festival was set up in 1967 to foster a sense of community (including saving the area from being knocked down by developers), celebrate the arts, and raise money for urgent repairs to St Michael & All Angels Church. Since then it has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities.

The 2013 Festival will raise money for St Michael’s Organ and Parish Rooms Appeal and three other charities - The Upper Room, supporting the community in need in West London; Hamlin Fistula UK, a charity which provides medical help for women in Ethiopia; and The Mulberry Centre, Isleworth, which supports all those affected by cancer.

See Festival leaflets and posters for more information or


May 10, 2013