[O]n Friday 31st of August, there will be a concert of original songs, tunes and poetry at Penrith Playhouse. The pieces are all inspired by local characters who feature in an exciting project by local artist, Dawn Hurton. Dawn, who formerly worked in the county’s archives, has produced an ‘alphabet’ of hand-crafted figures and automata-puppets, based on colourful characters from Penrith’s past. They are currently on show around the town along with their stories in shops and public buildings. They include military figures, social reformers, eccentrics, notorious noblemen and forgotten people whose lives were coloured by poverty and the harshness of the law.
The array of songs and poems, written by the group of local artists, reflect this range of experience and include poignant, uplifting and at times comical pieces. The evening will also feature character readings from contemporary documents, including diaries, which will be performed by members of the Penrith Players. Celebrated poet, Ian McMillian, who will perform at the festival previous evening before, has also written a poem for the event. It is sure to be a good night and, for anyone whose interests include the arts and local history, it is one not to be missed.
The concert is just one of the events that will form part of the Penrith Arts Festival. Other events include the ‘magic lantern’ show, featuring acclaimed poet Ian Macmillan and Ian Beesley, free musical events featuring Phil Saunders, the Antenna Heads and Mrs Knox and the Good Time Boys, along with a painting competition and workshops. Full details can be found at the Eden Valley Artistic Network website.
Tickets and information are available from the website or at the Gallery and Studios at 4 Corney Place, Penrith. Unsold tickets will be available on the door of the playhouse on the 31st August, priced at £5. Doors will open at 7pm and the bar will be serving drinks.