The two-week King’s Lynn Festival, which begins on Sunday has set new box office records before it has even begun.
Organisers are delighted that ticket sales have already exceeded last year’s record.
“There are more events this year in a particularly wide-ranging and high quality programme and we have set ourselves an ambitious box office target which we hope we will achieve with a last-minute rush for tickets,” said chairman Alison Croose.
“It is very encouraging that our efforts to further broaden the festival’s appeal has met with such an enthusiastic response,” she said.
After the Festival service at the Minster Church on Sunday the start of the Festival will be marked by the ringing of St Nicholas Peal onthe newly-restored eight bells of St Nicholas’ Chapel where the first peal was rung in 1766.
This celebratory peal will begin at 4pm and last about three hours. It will comprise 5040 different changes without repetition. The chapel will be open so visitors can watch the ringers in action.
Shortly after the completion of the peal the festival’s music programme will burst into life at the nearby Corn Exchange with a concert by theRoyal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra featuring magnificent music from the movies as well as popular classics.
The first few days of the festival reflect its broad appeal with a programme of contemporary music on Monday featuring pieces by composer Toby Young who will talk about his work.
Leading folk band, Lau, King’s Lynn Festival Chorus, North-East England folk stars The Unthanks, world-famous Canadian-born pianist Angela Hewitt, and jazz stars Claire Martin and Ray Gelato will be in Lynn on the following four days representing the wide variety of the festival programme.
The high-profile festival exhibition in the Fermoy Gallery at Lynn Arts Centre will feature the work of American-born colourist and draughtsman Alfred Cohen who settled in Norfolk in 1978 and continued to work in his studio at Wighton, near Wells, until his death in 2001.
A collection of his pictures exploring the theme of light and water are being loaned by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at Norwich in the second year of a partnership with Lynn Festival. Alfred Cohen’s work features in major public collections in Britain and abroad.
Also on show at the gallery will be sculptures by Susan Bacon which were inspired by some of Shakespeare’s most memorable creations.
They were originally displayed at the Globe Theatre last year as part of the Globe Project. The gallery is open daily Monday to Saturday from 10am-4pm.
n Festival previews: page 77