FROM Monday the town will be basking in the two-week Rugby Festival of Culture – billed as its biggest celebration of the arts to date.
Despite launching only last year, the festival has already become one of the town’s biggest events. It will feature an array of musicians, poets, thespians and other performers entertaining on streets, stages, parks and other venues across town.
It begins on Monday with the Olympic Torch Relay and the opening of the Merchants Inn Cider and Perry Festival. On Tuesday passengers at Rugby Station will get a chance to hear Charles Dickens’ The Signalman on platform 2 between 8am and 10am. On Tuesday evening in Caldecott Park there will be an outdoor performance of the Railway Children between 6pm and 8.30pm (booking essential, on (01788) 533217).
Another notable performance is the musical Flashman!, performed at Rugby School’s Macready Theatre on Wednesday July 4 between 4.30pm and 5.30pm and 7.30pm and 8.30pm. It was penned by pupil Geraint Owen and is based on Tom Brown’s Schooldays (booking essential, call (01788) 556227). Rugby Operatic Society is also hosting two concerts during the two weeks, on Wednesday July 4 at St Andrew’s Church at 7.30pm, in a performance featuring pupils from Oakfield Primary, St Andrew’s Junior Choir and pupils from Harris School. Another concert takes place at Rugby Methodist Church Centre at 7.45pm on Friday July 6.
Chris Stanley, festival director, said: “The 2012 Rugby Festival of Culture promises to be bigger and better than last year with over 80 events planned, many of them new. Once again the interest, passion, support and enthusiasm for the festival from individuals, groups, organisations and the local community has been overwhelming.”
Several events take place every day during the two weeks, but some of the bigger events include Picnic in the Park, in Caldecott Park on Sunday July 8 between 1.30pm and 6pm and the Food Fayre at Market Place on Thursday July 12, which features food, demonstrations and chefs from some of Rugby’s most popular restaurants.
Robin Richter, chairman of Rugby First, and Cllr Heather Timms have thanked all the businesses, groups, sponsors and volunteers for supporting this year’s event. A statement said: “They have put in a huge amount of effort to bring you what we think is a fantastic programme and one which Rugby can be proud of.
“We hope you enjoy the festival and take the opportunity to support your local town and community.”
To find out more about the festival visit rugbyfestivalofculture.co.uk or pick up a free guide from Rugby Visitors Centre.