Preston Arts Festival 2014: Louisa Stirland among those to perform during fortnight of events

Posted on - 5th October, 2014 - 9:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Music, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston
Louisa Stirland opened the festival and performs a second time as part of the Young Voices concert

Louisa Stirland opened the festival and performs a second time as part of the Young Voices concert

Preston Arts Festival is taking place at venues across the city for its 13th year.


Performances include comedy, poetry, singing and art exhibitions among many other diverse events.

The two week festival was launched with performances on Sunday afternoon from Louisa Stirland, former BBC young chorister of the year and the Red Rose Chorus.

Events during the arts festival include:

A talk by Stephen Halliwell about Moses Holden who was a lecturing astronomer and freeman of Preston in 1777 to 1864. Organised by the Preston Historical Society it is from 7.15pm at Preston Minster on Monday 6 October. Cost is £2.50 for non-members on the door.

A find your voice singing workshop with Joyce Tindsley is on Tuesday 7 October from 12.30pm to 2.30pm at Ashton Methodist Church. Cost is £5.

On the same day a guided walk by Jane Humphreys explains Preston at War. The tour is £3 and sets off from the Obelisk on the Flag Market from 2pm.

Preston Circle Dancing is on the Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm at Galloway Hall, Brackenbury Road, Fulwood and is free to attend. Don’t wear high heels though.

On Wednesday 8 October the design and creation of Preston Cenotaph by Giles Gilbert Scott is the subject of a talk by Emma Heslewood at the Harris Museum. Free to attend and starts at 12.30pm.

Old Post Office building, behind the Cenotaph, will be a walk-in centre

The Cenotaph and its design will be explored in a talk

Broughton Players start their run of Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking from 7.30pm at Preston Playhouse. Tickets are £8 or £7 for concessions. It runs until and including Saturday 11 October with tickets cost £1 more from Thursday to Saturday.

Wednesday also includes Preston Poets’ Society doing open mic poetry at Korova Arts Cafe in the city centre from 7.30pm.

Thursday 9 October sees the Lancashire Archives host a chance to see its WW1 archive, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and is free to attend.

Saturday 11 October has the Big Draw taking place at the Museum of Lancashire from 11am to 3pm, which is free to attend and encourages everyone to start drawing.

The New Longton Fine Art Fair takes place the same day at New Longton Village Hall from 10am to 5pm. It is also on during the Sunday and is free to attend.

The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan is performed at Preston Minster with a free performance from 7.30pm on Sunday 12 October.

On Monday 13 October the entertainment moves to the big screen, as UCLan shows the WW1 film Regeneration, a 1997 adaptation including poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon’s recovery at a war hospital. Screening is 7.15pm, costs £5 and meet at the foyer of UCLan Foster Building.

On Tuesday 14 October there is more WW1 remembrace, as Chrisophe Declercq talks about the arrival of the first Belgium refugees to the city in September 1914. He will speak from 2pm at the Harris Museum and it is free to attend.

A sketching session with Pam Potter takes place on Wednesday 15 October at the Museum of Lancashire, from 10am to 12.30pm. It is £5 if using your own materials or an extra £2 if you need materials. Book direct with Pam by emailing

There is music on the Wednesday too with the Harris Music Club Concert Souza Winds performing music by Arnold, Holst, Bennett and Nielson at Preston Minster from 1pm to 2pm. Tickets are £10 on the door.

In the evening the Celebration of Youth concert takes place at Preston Playhouse. Elliott Gaston-Ross a gifted percussionist performs, he came in the top three of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014 and is just 16.

Elliot is one of the top young musicians in the country

Elliott is one of the top young musicians in the country

He will be joined by students from Runshaw College including Louisa Stirland for her second performance of the festival.

The show starts at 7.30pm and proceeds from the concert are being donated to the development of the playhouse.

On Thursday 16 October learn about the Battle of Preston in 1745 as Dr David Hunt from the South Ribble Museum talks you through the historical and bloody battle. The talk is 10.15am to 12.30pm and meet at the entrance to the Tourist Information shop at the Guild Hall. It is £3 to attend.

Preston Playhouse has an eclectic mix of entertainment from 7.30pm on the Thursday, as Razzle Dazzle Spectacular has comedy, magic, singing and dancers on the bill. Performing are Des Day, Mike Buckley, Brian Sefton, Ken Morrell, Simply Jack, Cosmic Experience and Nikki Leonard. Tickets are £10 and all proceeds go to the development of the playhouse.

The poetry of World War One is explored at the Lancashire Archives on Friday 17 October, from 2pm to 4pm. Vincent Smith gives a talk about the poetry inspired by the conflict. It is free to attend.

The Broughton Club hosts a dinner with the folk music of Moravia being played by a traditional cimbalom group. Tickets are £20 which includes food and wine from Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines email for details.

On Saturday 18 October an arts and crafts fair takes place at Fulwood Methodist Church from 10.30am to 3pm with approximately 20 stalls offering their wares.

Daniella Gallagher is one of the acts performing at the finale concert

Daniella Gallagher is one of the acts performing at the finale concert

The festival comes to a close on Sunday 19 October from 1.30pm with a finale concert. At Preston Minster there will be performances by Gathered Voices and Michael Bilsbrough and Dani Gallaghar perform vintage songs from the 1940s and 50s. The event is free to attend.

The full programme can be found on the Preston Arts Festival website.

Will you be going to any events? What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below

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