Grand plans for summer art festival

Festival chairman Hugh Sturzaker and Tricia Hall from Creative Collisions launching the Great Yarmou

Festival chairman Hugh Sturzaker and Tricia Hall from Creative Collisions launching the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival 2016.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Giant puppets of Buddy Holly and Dusty Springfield will be among head-turning elements, tipped as making this year's Arts Festival in Great Yarmouth the best yet.

Hoisted 4m aloft the creations will be joined by all four Beatles aboard a yellow submarine as the showpiece carnival parade in June aims to be ever-more spectacular.

Launching the festival at St George's Theatre yesterday with a couple of musical props chairman Hugh Sturzaker said he wanted the whole town to feel part of it and not to assume it was being staged for 'other people.'

Now in its fourth year he said the 12-day festival would boast a busy programme of events, with different activities going on across the town every day.

This year there were more workshops than ever, helping people to get involved and feel part of the event, he said.

Among the highlights were a live ballet Pinocchio, a screening of the operatic masterpiece Aida and a new play called Breydon Crowther - billed as a story of love, loss and taxidermy.

It will also feature a battle of the buskers, with street performers from across East Anglia invited to compete for a cash prize.

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Adding to the theatre element were Roy Hudd, ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and comic Mick Ferry.

Mr Sturzaker said as the festival grew its aims remained unchanged.

Raising the profile of arts in all its forms, providing a platform for local talent, making people aware of the 'fantastic heritage' and drawing in new visitors were important driving forces helping to power the event.

This year the carnival on June 4 takes top billing, and its inspiration from the Halfway to Paradise exhibition at the town's Time and Tide Museum, focusing on the music of the 50s and 60s.

He was also keen that people become a Festival Friend, entitling them to discounts and exclusive previews.

Town mayor Shirley Weymouth said the festival was 'inspirational.'

'We have so much local talent that would be missed if we did not have these events to make them blossom.

'I have always been very proud of living in the borough but the festival shows people what we have and all there is to be proud of.

'Last year's carnival was magical but it was too short for me. I would love to experience it all again. Like nearly everything in the borough it is run by volunteers and the committee would welcome more.

'A big thank you needs to go to Hugh who puts his heart and soul into it.'

The festival runs from June 3 to 12.

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