Festival coming to Rugby will be a ‘showstopper’

Jason Manford
Jason Manford

Star of TV and stage Jason Manford with the award-winning musical Showstopper! will be coming to Rugby as part of a not-for-profit festival.

The Festival on the Close will return to Rugby in June, this time backed by three town businesses and with a pledge to raise awareness and money for Cancer Research UK.

The Festival on the Close will return to Rugby

The Festival on the Close will return to Rugby

The first festival was launched as part of Rugby School’s 450th year in 2017 when more than 4,000 people enjoyed a wide range of world-class events on the historic Close.

The 2019 event will offer another stellar line-up with the television star, actor, presenter and comedian Jason Manford and the Olivier award-winning ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’ supported by a £20,000 cash injection from CEMEX, Urban&Civic, and Stepnell.

As well as helping to attract world-class artists, their generous funding will enable the festival to provide more than 300 free creative workshops and performance opportunities for local schoolchildren to enjoy.

Other stars of the ambitious four-day not-for-profit festival of pulsating music, comedy and dance, include Dolly Alderton, STOMP workshops, Hometown Glory Adele Tribute, National Youth Jazz Orchestra and more.

Show Stopper!

Show Stopper!

Johanne Thomas, communities and partnerships, for Houlton developer Urban&Civic said: “It is a great opportunity for us to work with Rugby School to shine a spotlight on the town and promote all that is great about living and studying in Rugby, and in turn supporting a fantastic charity.

“We are also excited to be holding a series of design workshops at the festival to engage and inspire children from across Rugby, alongside leading London architect practice, van Heyningen & Haward, who were behind both St Gabriel’s Academy at Houlton and our new secondary school.”

Rob Speirs, regional director at local construction company, Stepnell, added: “Stepnell is delighted to lend its support to this great event, which we hope will raise a lot of money for a fabulous cause.

“As a family-owned business, we believe it’s our responsibility to make a positive contribution to the communities where we work and we are sure this year’s festival will be as inspiring as in 2017.”

Not for profit, the festival aims to bring in visitors from across the region and beyond to enjoy the arts and help boost the town’s economy while working directly with Cancer Research UK.

Gemma Kitching, senior local fundraising manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted to be the chosen charity for this amazing event and we’d like to thank everyone involved at Rugby School.”

Tickets for the event, running from June 24 to 27, are now on sale through the Festival on the Close website at www.the festivalontheclose.co.uk.