Sir Peter Blake heads list of performers at Festival

"Two Day party on the Green" kicks off Bedford Park Festival

  Other local events

Crowds and the sun came out for last year's Festival

Diesel House Heats Up the Arts Scene
Diesel House Summer Exhibition & Open Studios from 17th to 27th June in the Kew Bridge Steam Museum

Other events in Chiswick

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Top Chiswick artists, musicians, actors and poets are taking part in this year’s Bedford Park Festival, which starts next weekend (June 12th and 13th) with the two-day Green Days Fete, on Acton Green, and the week-long Summer Exhibition.

Sir Peter Blake, one of Britain’s leading artists, will be talking about his life and work on the evening of Monday June 14th in St Michael's Parish Hall. A leading exponent of pop art, he created the sleeve for the Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. His work is to be featured in a retrospective of Art in the Sixties at Tate Britain, starting on June 30th. This week he was featured with his daughter Rose in the ‘Relative Values’ section of the Sunday Times Magazine and on the front page of the Guardian.

Sir Peter and his artist wife Chrissy often attend the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition, in St Michael & All Angels Church, at which dozens of local artists put up works for sale. A third of the sale proceeds go to the Festival charities. This year’s Exhibition opens with a champagne preview party at 6.30pm on Friday June 11th.

And there’s a champagne piano recital to help close the Festival. International concert pianist Peter Bithell, winner of the Rachmaninoff Prize, will be performing Debussy Preludes on Saturday June 26th, in one of the most beautiful houses of Bedford Park.

Between those events, there’s a range of events to suit all tastes and pockets.

Top local musicians appearing in this year’s Festival include the leader of the London Mozart Players, David Juritz, performing in the Summer Serenade on Wednesday June 23rd; BBC Radio 3’s Sandy Burnett, who’ll not only conduct Bach by Candlelight on Sunday June 13th but also lead the Sandy Burnett Quartet in an evening of Friday Night Jazz on June 18th; and two ska-reggae bands who’ll perform in the open air on Green Days weekend, No. 1 Station and Freetown.

Chiswick actor Gareth Armstrong – who uniquely played three different characters in the Archers, before forsaking Ambridge to tour the world - will be previewing and performing passages from his new book, A Case for Shylock – Around the World with Shakespeare’s Jew, to be published next month.

Bedford Park resident Anne-Marie Fyfe, winner of this year’s prestigious Cardiff International Poetry Prize, will be leading the annual poetry evening on Thursday June 17th. The theme is Poetry and Motion and there’ll be readings by Chiswick actor John Rowe  and other local poets.

Children will be performing in two productions. St Michael’s Junior Choir will be presenting musical Mayhem!, a celebration of The Musical in song and dance, in St Michael’s Church on the weekend of June 19th and 20th. It will include songs from Oliver, Annie, West Side Story and My Fair Lady. And it’s hoped lots of children will take part alongside the professional actors in Troy Story on the morning of Saturday June 26th. They’re needed to play the soldiers, sailors, gods goddesses and sheep!

And under-18s can also take part in Pop Idol, the talent show, next Sunday June 13th. It's being hosted by local actor Ian Pirie, currently performing in Les Miserables and seen recently as a James Bond villain in Die Another Day. That forms part of the traditional village Green Days Fete and Craft Fair on Acton Green, opposite St Michael’s Church and Turnham Green tube station.

The money raised from this year’s festival  will go to Chiswick's Micro Loan Foundation, which makes loans to the poor in Malawi; the Upper Room project supporting the homeless in Shepherd's Bush; and the repainting of St Michael & All Angels church and its new trust fund.

Full programme and pictures:

June 14, 2003