Published: 12:46, 22 September 2020
| Updated: 12:48, 24 September 2020
This year’s Canterbury Festival is set to go ahead with Kent’s famous city ready to showcase the very best in music and performance.
Starting on Saturday, October 17 and finishing on Saturday, October 31, the hugely popular two-week event will operate at substantially reduced capacities and with a number of mitigating measures to reduce risk and ensure that social distancing is adhered to.
This year’s event will be the first major arts festival to take place in the south east post-lockdown although due to the ongoing pandemic, the programme has been scaled back to 50 live music, performance, talks, science and family show events compared to the traditional 200.
Passionate about keeping the arts alive in Canterbury, the organisers will be working closely with venues and monitoring government guidance daily.
Music will once again be at the core of Canterbury Festival with the city hosting an eclectic range of musicians, covering everything from classical to experimental jazz.
The Festival will be celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday with world renowned pianist Joanna MacGregor performing all of Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas over three days (Friday, October 23 to Sunday, October 25) and eight concerts.
The prospect of this tour-de-force is certainly generating a lot of interest and is likely to be the only event of its kind this year.
Joglaresa’s Boogie Knights brings a touch of funk to medieval music at Canterbury Cathedral (Wednesday, October 28) – an energetic romp through medieval Europe’s most popular tunes packed with energy, cheer and lots of nods to the 1970s.
There will also be the Ivo Neame Quartet who take to the Shirley Hall stage (Tuesday, October 27) with their unique jazz inspired sonic landscapes – ranging from calm and serene to hi-octane polyrhythmic grooves.
Barely Methodical Troupe with their international award-winning smash hit Bromance headlines the live theatre performances (Thursday, October 22 to Saturday, October 24).
Theatre director turned florist Mig Kimpton presents the premiere of Shakespeare’s Botanicals (Monday, October 19), while the Make-Em Ups’ Bumper Blyton offers a riotous improvised parody that’s chock full of innuendos and lashings of puns.
The Festival’s Talks series returns with a programme packed full of revealing stories, untold histories and possible futures.
Journalist and filmmaker David Berry shares the hidden history of Tennis while author and broadcaster Loyd Grossman uncovers one of the greatest artistic double acts in history - Pope Alexander VII and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Former government minister and National Security Council member Sir Oliver Letwin imagines a UK in the wake of a catastrophic black swan event, Andy McConnell examines the history of wine, and A.N Wilson closes the Festival’s Talks series with a reflective journey into the life of Dickens.
The Festival’s science programme welcomes the Ugly Animal Preservation society’s Professor of Comedy Simon Watt who returns to Canterbury with his adults-only stand-up lecture Frogs and Friends (Sunday, October 18).
You can also step back in time with Dr Patricia Fara with Arise, Sir Isaac! - sharing aspects of Isaac Newton’s life that are often overlooked (Monday, October 26).
Sickening slime, Shakespearean mayhem, spooky puppets and magic tricks – don’t miss four great family events at the Festival over the October half term.
Biologist and presenter Simon Watt presents a tour of tremendous underwater wildlife – from sea cucumbers to hagfish (Sunday, October 18).
Get ready for a spooky family show packed full of delightful frights as Squashbox Theatre and a cavalcade of puppets hit the stage with Shivers and Shadows (Tuesday, October 27).
Prepare for a whirlwind hour as the five-star smash-hit Shakespearience hits town – flying through Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night (Wednesday, October 28).
Half term would not be complete without a spot of magic and Professor Palmermoff promises an hour of stunning tricks and illusions (Thursday, October 29).
Tickets can be booked by clicking here or over the phone by calling 01227 457568.
Phone bookings can be made between 11am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.