Monday, 27 September 2021

Stars of festival have a Gap in their schedules

Stars of festival have a Gap in their schedules

ONE is the queen of British soul music, the other of crime fiction. Now their paths are set to cross.

Mica Paris and Val McDermid are among the star names lining up to appear at this year’s Gap Festival in Goring and Streatley.

Joining them on the bill for the four-day feast of culture are antiques expert Eric Knowles, the writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, celebrity gardener Joe Swift, swing musicians the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and the acclaimed Pop-Up Opera company.

The festival, which was previously staged in 2014 and 2016, runs from Thursday (June 14) to Sunday, June 17, but this year’s programme is preceded by five days of fringe events — starting with a pastel portraits art workshop at 10am tomorrow (Saturday).

This will be followed by children’s drama workshops at Goring Library and live music at the Bull pub from 4pm to 8pm.

At 7.30pm St Mary’s Church in Streatley is the venue for one of the expected highlights of the fringe — a concert by the all-female a cappella group Papagena.

Another highlight is the Wind in the Willows Day at Withymead Nature Reserve running from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. The evening will see local band Forays playing in the garden of the Catherine Wheel pub from 6pm to 9pm. Entry is free but contributions are welcomed.

More live music is lined up for Tuesday evening, when Heather Jayne and the Red Shoes play the bar of the Swan Hotel from 8pm.

Then from 4pm to 8pm on Wednesday, the Miller of Mansfield pub will host performances by musicians Sara Daniels, Eloise Rees, Not Souled Out, and Simon Stafford and Kate Saunders.

Over at the Catherine Wheel, an evening of pizza, poetry and song featuring Bonnie Dawn Roberts, Sharon Murphy-McPherson, Cheryl Mayer and Richard Roberts is in store from 8pm.

Entry is free to the first event of the main festival on Thursday. The festival marquee erected on the Gardiner recreation ground is the venue for a meeting of Café Scientifique from 11am to noon, where the topic of discussion will be “Building a Sun on Earth”.

The first of the festival’s “big ticket” events will see Eric Knowles appearing at Goring village hall from noon to 3pm. Doors open at 11.30am for meet-and-greet antiques valuations followed by Eric’s one-man show “What’s it Worth? The Bigger Picture”. Tickets are £18.

An Evening with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra follows at the festival marquee at 7.30pm, for which tickets are £25.

Joe Swift will be demonstrating how to design a Chelsea garden at the Gardiner recreation ground at noon on the Friday. Tickets are £20.

Pop-Up Opera perform a Mozart double bill of Der Schauspieldirektor and Bastien und Bastienne at St Mary’s Church at 7.30pm, for which tickets are £20. Then at noon on Saturday “Killing People for Fun and Profit” is the title of Val McDermid’s talk about her life and career in the festival marquee. Tickets are £20.

Mica Paris takes to the marquee stage at 7.30pm to perform songs from jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald. Tickets are £33.

Sunday is the festival family fun day and Gyles Brandreth will be celebrating all things theatrical at 4pm at Goring village hall with his hilarious one-man show “Break a Leg!” — for which tickets are £20 — before hosting the festival finale in the marquee at 5.45pm.

Gap Festival artistic director Heather Dunthorne said: “This year there are more events for children and families and it will be lovely to see parents, grandparents and children all enjoying these shows together.

“We are including artists’ open studios and open gardens and a heritage trail to highlight Goring and Streatley’s long association with famous writers and artists.

“As before, the festival will be bringing the big names to Goring and Streatley and we are all delighted that Mica Paris will be headlining the music events.

“I love it that we don’t have to travel to London to see these fantastic performers — they come to us.”

• For more information, including the full programme of events for both the main festival and the fringe, and to book tickets, visit

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