Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

Tickets are now on sale at www​.Bat​tle​Fes​ti​val​.co​.uk from the Box Office on 01424 319 982, and at outlets including Farrago in Battle and Eggs to Apples Farmshop in Hurst Green. Tickets will also be available on the door for a number of events.

Major household names are aligning themselves to this year’s Battle Festival and feeling very at home indeed in Battle. A sell-out summer concert at Battle Abbey by Keane duo Tom Chaplin and Tim Rice-Oxley was swiftly followed by the announcement of a major new Festival Patron in September. 

Last year’s inaugural festival was hailed Pick of the Week” by both The Guardian and The Observer newspapers and tickets are now on sale for the 2nd instalment this October. With classical and choral concerts, visual arts exhibitions, Shakespeare, film, family fun, workshops, talks, comedy, food & drink and a lively Battle Fringe on the cards, Battle Festival is certainly back with a bang! 

Hollywood, RSC & TV star Anton Lesser is back
The team has secured another coup in confirming Hollywood, RSC and TV actor Anton Lesser as new festival patron, alongside Tim Rice-Oxley and world renowned conductor Sir Andrew Davis. Lesser has played many of the principal Shakespearian roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, received recent acclaim for his performance in Wolf Hall, and garnered a new and wider audience with his performances in Game of Thrones and Pirates of the Caribbean. He will also perform at the key opening concert for Battle Festival 2015, Shakespeare in Battle, and in Love… ’. He said I’m thrilled to be invited back to this year’s festival. To give expression to the words of some of the biggest minds and hearts in such a warm, focused and appreciative atmosphere is a joy”. 

Classical Concerts & Children’s Performances
The world-class musicians of the Battle Festival Sinfonia return with a busy programme, performing several concerts throughout October. The specially formed Ensemble 1066 make their debut performance and Battle Choral Society returns to its roots at St Mary’s Church with a special anniversary concert – the society started concert singing there over one hundred years ago! The region’s schoolchildren will again perform on stage at the De La Warr Pavilion and additionally this year at Claverham Community College as part of the festival’s education initiative. And for families with young children, Billy, the finest conductor that ever lived’ performs two matinée concerts during half term. Billy’s Band gives families a chance to hear top musicians performing live in a wide range of musical genres, encouraging participation and creativity and most of all fun! 

Even More Visual Arts Exhibitions & Events
Increasing the visual arts profile in this year’s festival, Battle’s galleries, shops, restaurants and bars will exhibit work by regional and international artists. Highlights include acclaimed international artists Louise Giblin MRBS and Carne Griffiths, both conducting MasterClass sessions and both exhibiting as part of the MasterPiece exhibition at Saffron Gallery. Battle Abbey again supports the festival, exhibiting a number of works by Dragon’s Den sculptor Guy Portelli FRBS RBA. Battle’s annual Pure Art Fair will this year take place in October in conjunction with the festival, and leading Eric Ravilious specialist James Russell, who curated the recent 2015 exhibition of watercolours at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, presents a down to earth presentation of Ravilious’ life and works. 

Culinary Showcase & Hands-on Cooking
Foodies will love the new ingredients in this year’s festival including a hands-on cookery event with renowned TV chef Valentina Harris. There also a special culinary showcase by local artisan producers coordinated by Eggs to Apples Farm Shop in Hurst Green. Visitors can taste the produce and learn about provenance, nutrition and the making of fine foods from some of Sussex’s finest food champions and join them in informal talks. 

Film & Sing-along for all the Family
Film is a featured genre this year with composer, writer and BBC broadcaster Neil Brand performing his acclaimed show The Sound of Silents’. The performance has already received much critical acclaim including unquestionable skill and charisma”, in the company of a master of art and technique” and the Guardian’s review elevates silent movies from crude slapstick to subtle ballet. ” 

In a light-hearted approach to enjoying film, the festival also celebrates 50 years of the smash hit film The Sound of Music in a fancy dress sing-along. Blue satin sashes are the order of the day and singing your heart out with the Von Trapps is de rigeur. All topped off with a showing of the classic An American in Paris at Battle Memorial Hall at the end of the month. 

With all this and a lively Battle Fringe taking place all month throughout the town, Battle Festival 2015 is shaping up to be a rather exciting affair. And we’re assured by the organisers that they’re planning even more for the 950th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Hastings in 2016. Watch this space! 

For further information contact: Liz Honey on info@​BattleFestival.​co.​uk