LOUGHTON FESTIVAL IS BACK!
The hugely popular show becomes an annual fixture
MP Stan Newens entertaining the Loughton
Festival crowd last year
The first ever
held in April last year,
managed to pack an extraordinarily wide range of events into
one short weekend, at a number of different venues. There were scholarly
lectures, an art competition, readings of famous locally-written poetry,
organised rambles in Epping Forest, and creative writing workshops for would-be
The festival could not have been
more loved, even though there were no beer-tents, tombola stalls or piped
'music' badly distorted through enormous loudspeakers! There was such a rush on
ticket sales that some events were all but sold out.
More than the sum of its ingredients
This great mix of the arts -
prose and poetry, painting, walking and speaking, looks likely to become the
mark of all Loughton Festivals to come, for this year Loughton festival returns
with a bang! The now familiar and very popular formula has been cooked up
afresh, but this time some more exotic spices have been added to the pot.
As well as a fine series of
lectures on local literary luminaries (and a famous artist or two, plus one on
the founder of the Scouting movement and another on one of Shakespeare's plays -
which was first performed locally) at
Loughton Methodist Church
High Beech Church, there will also be a "foot-tapping musical evening" at
Lopping Hall, led by
Society and the Stud Muffins Band - if that eclectic mix doesn't get your
foot doing something then nothing will!
The very well-attended doses of
fresh forest air return again, with a series of inspiring walks led by the
West Essex Rambers
in two locales - Loughton's Conservation Area and a particularly beautiful part
of Epping Forest. Book early for these - or you might find yourself setting off
just as the early birds are finishing, and we don't want to conga through the
Forest. Or do we?
All tuned up
The new addition of a musical
thread continues to be woven through the Festival, with a concert at High Beech
Church given by the locally-based
Felicitas Chamber Choir
to round off a balmy summer evening.
On another of the Festival's evenings, Sue
Taylor, Loughton Festival's Organiser, will
give a series of readings
from the 17th century writer Lady
Mary Wroth of Loughton
Hall and her contemporaries, including Ben Jonson, who regularly visited
Loughton Hall. Sue will be joined
by recorder players and by the
Erato Consort, who
will sing madrigals from the period.
of the session will be the premiere of In This
Strange Labyrinth How Shall I Turn,
a madrigal especially written for the evening
by Loughton composer David Lewiston
Sharpe, to accompany a sonnet written by Lady Mary
will be a delightful
fine art exhibition at Loughton Library, displaying fine prints of
local watercolour scenes painted in the 1830's by James-Paul Andre the
whose paintings were often exhibited at the Royal Academy. What a great chance
to see how charming the area was in those good old days.
photographs of the scenes will be exhibited alongside, and will reveal how little the landscape
has changed in 170 years - yes, it's just as charming as ever! Tony
Epping Forest District Museum (which managed to save the collection), will
present an introductory talk on the artist and his work.
Everyone can do it!
Last year, the children's
competition was art-themed; this year it's a walking competition at Roding
Valley Recreation ground, for children of all ages, up to and including 99 - but
you must bring your parents along, so that could be a bit tricky for some.
A programme of writers' workshops
will be held again at
The National Jazz Archive
in Loughton Library, with a session hosted by the
Writers' Group, and a chance to meet some local published writers including
Pam Eaves and
David Stevenson, who will be on hand to help would-be authors.
The Loughton Festival is so
packed this time, that it has been extended to cover two weekends plus the week
in between - so even if you can't come one weekend, you don't have to miss out
altogether. The programme runs from Saturday 3rd May until Sunday 11th May, and
full details and ticket-ordering info are available at the official Loughton
Festival website at
The Loughton Festival has also
made an appearance on the Loughton page at
Epping Forest District Museum
Photo of Loughton Operatic Society
Photo of West Essex Ramblers
Photo of Stan Newens taken by Lawrence
For More Information please