Monday, 08 August 2022

Villagers passionate about partying

WARGRAVE Festival has been heralded a success by the organisers.

The 19-day event returned this year after a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic and will conclude on Sunday.

Graham Howe, a member of the festival committee, said: “The festival has been a huge success. We have been so lucky with the weather and the people of Wargrave have come out to celebrate in full force.”

The theme of this year’s festival was “Summer of Love” to reflect how villagers looked after each other during the pandemic.

The celebrations began on June 8 with performances of Shakespeare’s The Tempest over four nights, which subverted tradition by changing the characters of Prospero and Caliban to female.

The theatre continued the following weekend with a performance of As You Like It by 30 children aged eight to 14.

Mr Howe said: “We didn’t have any rain for the outdoor theatre productions, which was lucky as it would have dampened the mood. They all went brilliantly.”

The festival also featured a history exhibition, a guided history walk around the village, a Fun on the River day and a Brass on the Green event in the vicarage gardens featuring the Blue Sky Big Band.

Many of the events took place in a marquee set up on Mill Green, including a comedy club, bingo night and the sold-out Bohemian Ball, featuring a three-course meal, Prosecco and live a capella music.  

Mr Howe said: “We have had a fabulous turnout for all the events. So many tickets have been sold. I think it just shows how people in Wargrave have a passion to party.”

The festival comes to an end this weekend with a village parade led by former prime minister and Maidenhead MP Theresa May. Villagers will be wearing costumes and carrying props from the top of Victoria Road to Mill Green.

Mr Howe said: “The march is always one of the highlights of the festival and we think it is going to be really special this year.”

The festival will wrap up on Sunday evening, with the 20-piece BBQ band performing jazz covers from Count Basie to Duke Ellington in the marquee.

The festival has been running since 1975 and is a not-for-profit event, with all proceeds going to community organisations which offer 
education, sport and culture to villagers.

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