Town prepares for three weeks of Festival fun

Boudoir Burlesque at The Crown and Anchor on Saturday, April 19. Picture by Leigh Sanders SUS-140904-163035001
Boudoir Burlesque at The Crown and Anchor on Saturday, April 19. Picture by Leigh Sanders SUS-140904-163035001

With only eight days to go before the start of this year’s Eastbourne Festival, the town is buzzing with anticipation, writes Jean Clark

Rehearsals are in full swing and while musicians, actors, dancers and comedians are polishing their acts, the Open House artists are getting themselves ready to welcome the public into their homes to browse, buy or simply chat over a cup of coffee and chocolate cake.

One of those tuning up for the very first event of the festival (April 19-May 11) is classical guitarist Gabrielle Stephens, with a recital of Italian and Spanish music at 3pm at The Lamb in Old Town, a venue for many festival events including the irrepressible, outrageous and unmissable Paul Gunn and Worsted cabaret the following weekend.

That evening (April 19) at the Under Ground Theatre, fans of Springsteen, Elvis and Dylan can enjoy a concert by singer-songwriter Greg Harper and Friends whose lyrical, melodious compositions are inspired by the Sussex countryside and its history: smugglers, windmills, wind farms, love, death, regret and romance. And all for £7.

But if comedy is your thing, book now for Luke Kempner’s The Only Way is Downton before it sells out.

Luke’s hilarious one-man show was the hottest ticket at the Edinburgh Fringe before transferring to the West End and will be playing for one night only (April 19) at the Devonshire Park Theatre.

So whether you’re a Downton enthusiast or simply looking for a great evening’s entertainment where cultures clash, eras collide and Tom Daley makes a ‘guest appearance’, this is a show that captures all the fun and frivolity of the festival.

Or join the Boudoir Burlesque Party (also April 19) at the Crown and Anchor pub, where you’ll be entertained by the Pretty Little Horse Breakers, saucy poet Ruby Doo and music by Gadzooks to get your toes tapping.

Audience participation is encouraged so grab your feathers and furs and dress to impress 40s style. There’s a photo booth, too!

Details of all festival events are in the free festival brochure available at the Tourist Information Centre and venues throughout the town.

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