Eastbourne Festival begins

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This weekend sees the start of the sixth Eastbourne Festival with three weeks of music, comedy, theatre, visual arts and performance around the town.

Starting on Saturday March 30 the festival begins with different visual arts performances welcoming visitors to Eastbourne and showing the town’s history.

The festival will cater for all tastes, but there is certainly a vintage feel to this year, with events like The Golden Age of Hollywood weekend, which will feature screenings of the classic films ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.

For the more daring festival-goers, there will be a can can workshop on April 6 (‘feathers and petticoats provided’), and burlesque performances and lessons on April 6 and 9 (‘corsets optional - high heels essential’).

Local art will also be featured throughout the weeks, including historical displays about Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress and creative photography highlighting the town’s dynamic coastline. Artists will also be throwing their doors open with a series of open houses.

For those with a passion for afternoon tea and delicious cakes there will be the Grand Eclair, a pop-up tearoom in the town centre under a velvet Raj Marquee, as well as the Red Door Secret Supper Club, which will provide a seven-course meal for only £35.

For eccentric vintage-collectors, the Frock, Shoe and Accessories Swap on April 20 provides a chance to change out unwanted clothes for something more retro.

But the main attractions this year will be the music and performance - dotted around various venues in town. Musical genres will vary from the energetic brassy sound of the Ska Toons to the powerful notes of Peter Copley’s electric cello. There will also be an open mic evening for those aged 14-19 at the Birley Centre on April 16 to give budding stars the chance to perform.

Festival director Victor Potter said, “We are pleased and excited the festival has become a major date in the south east arts calendar. This year we have some exciting and diverse projects and events.”