Borough Arts Festival returns to Redhill next month

The Reigate and Banstead Arts Festival will return next month with an array of performances and displays including drama, dance and music.

Held every two years and organised by Reigate and Banstead Arts Council (BRBAC), the festival programme centring on the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill, will run from Thursday, April 3.

All the performers and exhibitions taking part in the festival are members of the BRBAC, which promotes and supports all facets of the Arts in the local area.

Launching the festival on April 3, the St Mark's Players and the Oxted Players will present Caught in the Act, an evening of one-act plays, sandwiched by entertainment in poetry and prose from Merstham Amateur Dramatic Society.

On Friday, April 4, the focus will be on music and theatre as four groups of local performers - Epiphany, Reigate School Drama, Horley Singers and Horley's Archway Theatre – present Showstoppers, a concert which will include excerpts from Oliver! an abridged version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and feature a range of musical items from vocal groups.

Orbit Shed Theatre Company will run a day of drama workshops for young people aged ten to 18, on Saturday, April 5.

The day will give youngsters the chance to learn new skills and create a play to be performed in the evening performance.

Also on Saturday, April 5, West End performer Madeline, from The Charisma Girls, will run an afternoon of singing workshops for children aged from seven to 16, entitled Sing A Song on Saturday and culminating in a performance of popular songs during the evening performance.

The evening performance, called Showing Off!, will see Orbit Shed Theatre Company, The Charisma Girls, Swing Thing and Bastet School of Dance, uniting to present theatre, music and dance with physical theatre performances, energetic Irish dance and lindy hop, and singing.

On Sunday, April 6, The English Arts Chorale and Redhill Sinfonia will collaborate for a performance of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, telling the story of the journey of a pious man’s soul, based on a poem by John Henry Newman.

A range of exhibitions will also be running during the festival.

From Thursday, April 3, to Saturday, April 5, North Weald Arts Group will be presenting works inspired by the area in a display called Reigate and Beyond, and the East Surrey Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild will be showing examples of member's work, both individual and group projects, with an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at a small embroidery project.

Both of these displays will be mounted in the Live Smart Unit in the Belfry, Redhill.

Reigate Photographic Society will also be presenting an exhibition of 40 images captured by local photographers, and Reigate and Redhill Music and Drama Festival will present an exhibition showing the history of the annual festival and how to get involved in the many and varied music and drama-based competition classes. More details of the festival events and tickets are available from the Harlequin box office on 01737 276500, or online at: www.harlequintheatre.co.uk Website: www.brbac.co.uk

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