Fergal Keane To Open Bedford Park Festival

BBC journalist will launch Chiswick's favourite fortnight

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A full list of Festival activities can be found at www.bedfordparkfestival.org

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Fergal Keane, the BBC journalist and author, is to open this year’s Bedford Park Festival. He’ll welcome hundreds of people to the opening Green Days fete, opposite Turnham Green tube station, at 11am on Saturday June 13 th.

Fergal has lived in Chiswick for many years with his family and his charity Msaada, which helps people in Rwanda, has been chosen by St Michael & All Angels Church as one of three charities that will benefit from this year’s fortnight of arts and community events. Fergal is a co-founder and patron of Msaada. He will also be leading the Poetry Evening on Tuesday June 16 th, one of several events at this year’s Festival commemorating WB Yeats.

Watch this video about Green Days:


Several other local celebrities are taking part in this year’s Festival. On Green Days weekend, chef and cookery writer Allegra McEvedy will be judging the Great Green Days Bake-Off, and broadcaster and food writer Lucy McDonald of Crumbs TV will be one of the judges of the Jam and Chutney-Making competition.

LBC presenter Beverley Turner, who is married to the Olympic rower James Cracknell, will be talking about the day he was critically injured in a cycle crash, just days after he had appeared at the Bedford Park Festival five years ago. She’ll be interviewed by former BBC correspondent Torin Douglas about how she juggles her writing and broadcasting with her ante-natal classes at The Blooming Bunch and looking after James and their three children. The session is called Blooming Tired!

Tickets are now on sale at the Festival’s website: www.bedfordparkfestival.org

There's something for everyone at the 49th Bedford Park Festival - from the World Premiere of Fondly Remembered by Gareth Armstrong to Oscar Wilde;from Opera, Jazz and Tango to the London Welsh Rugby Club Choir; from Star Wars books to Frozen Sing-A-Long; from Chiswick’s launch of Deborah Cadbury’s new book Princes at War to art and photography; plus walks, open gardens and much more.

'Chiswick's favourite fortnight' runs from the Green Days weekend on 13 and 14 June 2015, culminating in the Festival Mass at St Michael & All Angels Church and the Bedford Park Open Gardens on Sunday 28 June 2015.

Green Days Fête and Craft Fair
Saturday 13 June 2015, 11am-6pm
Sunday 14 June 2015,11.30am-5.30pm
Acton Green, opposite Turnham Green tube station

Each year, thousands of people enjoy a traditional village Green Days Fête and Craft Fair. The weekend includes a bandstand with live music and entertainment, fairground rides and games, food & drink, a craft fair with 20 exhibitors offering a wide selection of high-quality craftworks , many different types of stalls, competitions and a Cycle Zone , which has cycling advice, free bike maintenance and police security marking, as well as bikes from Woolsey of Acton and Brompton.

For children, there's a five-a-side football tournament and a fancy dress competition (theme: Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass), as well as face painting, games and activities in the children’s corner.

There are also a great range of competitions over the weekend, including the Great Green Days Bake-Off, for which local bakers are invited to submit cakes - to be judged by the Guardian’s Allegra McEvedy - and then sold on the refreshments and cakes stalls, in aid of the Festival charities; the new Jam and Chutney Making Contest which will be judged by Natalie Bayliss (founder of Turnham Green Ethical Hampers) and Lucy McDonald (Crumbs Food), the Win-A-Meal competition, the High-Roller-Tombola and the Champagne Lottery. The Photographic Exhibition and Competition will be on display in St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall throughout the weekend.

The Festival is proud to present two new plays this year. Fondly Remembered by Gareth Armstrong stars five distinguished actors - Frank Barrie, Lucinda Curtis, John Griffiths, Josie Kidd and Philip York – in a wickedly funny comedy full of revelation, rediscovery and revenge. It will play at the Tabard Theatre for 5 performances from 17-20 June. Tim Waller’s new comedy, Cast Aside, is about love, loneliness and the roles we play in the world of show-business.

St Michael & All Angels

The Festival will be celebrating the 150 th birthday of WB Yeats with 3 events: a Poetry Evening with journalist, broadcaster and author Fergal Keane; a WB Yeats Anniversary Lecture by poets Cahal Dallat and Anne-Marie Fyfe and a WB Yeats Literary Walk with poet, musician and Radio 4 reviewer Cahal Dallat.

Other events in the Festival include: an Oscar Wilde Evening with Gerard Logan performing The Ballad of Reading Gaol followed by Andrew Maud’s sensitive reading of The Happy Prince; Award-winning author and BBC producer Deborah Cadbury discussing her acclaimed new book Princes at War about George VI and the Duke of Windsor; Torin Douglas interviewing LBC’s Beverley Turner about her new radio show, her Blooming Bunch ante-natal class, life with James Cracknell and her love of Chiswick; and in conjunction with the Chiswick Picturehouse, we are hosting private pop-up screenings of sing-a-long Frozen and the award-winning film Pride.

London Welsh Male choir - pic by John Downing

Musical highlights, for a wide range of tastes, include: Bibby Piano Duo: Midsummer Madness are joined by Carole Boyd and John Rowe (Lynda Snell and Jim Lloyd from The Archers) for a recital full of delights and surprises, including works by Shakespeare, Mendelssohn, Walton and Willy Rushton; The London Welsh Rugby Club Male Voice Choir with their unique sound that thrilled a worldwide audience at the London Olympics closing ceremony; Jazz on a Summer’s Night - a fabulous evening of jazz favourites by The Denis Smith Trio and featuring the vocals of Vanessa Smith; The London Tango Quintet Concert Supper with five musicians including celebrated violinist David Juritz and accordionist Milos Milivojevic ; A Night At The Opera with Milly Forrest and her colleagues from the Royal Academy of Music; the Festival Mass with Mass no. 2 in E minor by Bruckner; and a variety of other concerts.

Children and family events include: a Children’s Morning: Star Wars Epic Yarns with book reading, felt craft and lightsaber action; and a private pop-up screening for a Family Sing-A-Long to the award-winning film Fnroze

Regular Festival favourites include the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition, showcasing more than 100 works by local artists; Artists at Home, in which over 50 local artists and craftworkers display their works; the Photographic Exhibition and Competition, the Bedford Park Walk and the Bedford Park Open Gardens.

The Bedford Park Festival is run by St Michael & All Angels Church, with the active support of dozens of local people and businesses. It was set up in 1967 to foster a sense of community, celebrate the arts, and raise money for urgent repairs to the Church. Since then it has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities.

This year the Festival will raise money for St Michael’s Organ and Parish Rooms Appeal, Msaada which helps restore dignity to the forgotten victims of the Rwandan genocide, The Upper Room who feed and support the community in need in West London and The Mulberry Centre in Isleworth, which provides information, advice and support to all those affected by cancer.

June 5, 2015