Bedford Park Festival Programme Announced

Highlights include Louis de Bernieres and Under Milk Wood

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Enter now for the 5-a-side Football, Great Chiswick Bake-Off, Marmalade-making, Photographic, Fancy Dress and other contests!

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Events in Chiswick

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There's something for everyone at the 48th annual Bedford Park Festival in Chiswick next month - from Under Milk Wood to Roald Dahl; from poet and novelist Louise de Bernieres, to rock music writer Mark Ellen; from Noel Coward to Richard Briers; from the new Chiswick cinema to the launch of Bedford Park, the novel by Brian Appleyard; from Bach and Brahms to Jazz and Zumba; and from food, football and fancy dress to walks, paintings and gardens.

'Chiswick's favourite fortnight' runs from Green Days weekend (with its fete, funfair, craft fair and live music) on June 7th and 8th to Sunday June 22nd 2014, culminating in the Festival Mass at St Michael & All Angels Church and the Bedford Park Open Gardens. Tickets are now on sale at the Festival’s website.

The Festival will be celebrating the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas by staging Under Milk Wood. A cast of 18 professional actors, directed by John Griffiths (who brought his one-man performance of St John's Gospel to St Michael & All Angels), will bring to life the eccentric characters of the fictional fishing village of Llareggub. The production will be dedicated to the memory of the distinguished TV producer Richard Broke, who was to have produced the play for the Festival, until he fell ill in February this year.

Louis de Bernieres

Other events in the Festival include: a poetry evening with special guest Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin; a WB Yeats literary walk with the poet CL Dallat; rock music writer and broadcaster (and Chiswick resident) Mark Ellen, who presented the Live Aid concert and Old Grey Whistle Test, on his new autobiography Rock Stars Stole My Life; and A Good Life in Bedford Park: Remembering Richard Briers, who brought enjoyment to audiences all over the world; a children's storytelling and craft morning hosted by the Roald Dahl Museum; and a Pop-up Picturehouse screening ahead of the launch on Chiswick's new cinema opening in 2015.

Musical highlights, for a wide range of tastes, include: leading West End soprano and actress Rosie Ashe, singing Noel Coward, in a beautiful Bedford Park house; the celebrated violinist David Juritz, pianist Sally Heath and friends, performing Brahms Piano Quintet in F, in An Evening in Vienna, followed by supper; Bach's Mass in B Minor performed by the West London Bach Consort and Players, conducted by Sandy Burnett; award-winning pianist Charles Owen, playing Mendelsohn, Brahms and Schubert; the Festival Mass, with music by Maurice Durufle; and a variety of other concerts.

Regular Festival favourites will 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 (which moves this year to the opening weekend of the Festival); and, on the final Sunday, the Bedford Park Open Gardens.

The Festival opens with Green Days weekend on June 7th and 8th, 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, facepainting and games in the childrens' corner.

Author and Sunday Times columnist Bryan Appleyard will be signing copies of his novel Bedford Park, set in the early days of the first garden suburb.

Back by popular demand is the 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 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.

The 2014 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 4, 2014