Festival heralds month of fun and festivities across East Cambridegshire

This year's Isle of Ely Arts Festival promises a packed line-up.

This year's Isle of Ely Arts Festival promises a packed line-up. - Credit: Archant

The Isle of Ely Arts Festival kicked off this week with 33 days of performance, visual art, literature and local entertainment to enjoy.

This year, thanks to Arts Council funding, the festival committee is working with more partners, in more venues and programming more events across the district with an emphasis on a family-friendly line-up.

Festival chairman, Sheila Friend-Smith said: “This year’s festival sees professional touring companies the Reduced Shakespeare Company and Comedy4Kids as festival highlights.

“There will also be originally commissioned work in the festival programme, Lantern Dance working with professional choreographers and dance from professional company Stop Gap Theatre will create a new work.

“Look out for Cambridge Open Studios, a flourishing community of artists and craftspeople, who will be touring a big Yellow Art Bus to venues around the District running free art workshops and exhibitions during the month.”

Haddenham Galleries will host drama, music and art activities as part of their five-day series of events. Literature is not forgotten, in addition to Ely501 a children’s writing competition run by Burrows and Mr Simms, a group of local poets Fenspeak will be working with Page to Performance to bring poetry to life and inspire new poetry fans with a Poetry Slam.

Ely Sinfonia, Ely’s own community orchestra will run music workshops in local schools culminating in a performance in Ely Cathedral. There will also be a host of other local arts activity. In the Festival’s opening three days you can enjoy Swaffham Bulbeck’s Summer Theatre in a Barn production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.

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The festival comes to a close on July 12 with the final day of the Ely Folk Festival.

Contact the festival committee on 01353 663118 for more information.

Find out more about the festival on www.isleofelyartsfestival.com or sign up on Facebook for weekly updates.