Today at the Halifax Festival: Tuesday, July 9

Dance School Extravaganza - 7pm at the Victoria Theatre
Dance School Extravaganza - 7pm at the Victoria Theatre
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The celebration of arts and culture that is the Halifax Festival continues today.

Various events are taking place throughout the town as part of the ten-day spectacular.

Here’s our guide to what’s on today - Tuesday July 9:

Clown Workshops for schools with actor Stephen Finegold at Square Chapel, 10.15am to 11.30am - £2 per pupil (max.30 per workshop)

Find the clown in you! This workshop will explore the joy and tragedy of the clown using simple techniques. Sad or funny – what kind of clown will you be? Have fun finding out with professional actor, Stephen Finegold.

Early booking recommended to avoid disappointment. Suitable for Year 5 +. Running time:1hr 15mins.

The Legacy of Sir Francis Crossley, Baptised at Square Chapel with David Glover at Square Chapel, 2pm - £5 & £3 concessions

This year marks 150 years since Frank Crossley of Halifax was created a Baronet.

Probably the greatest Halifax Philanthropist of the 19th Century, Sir Francis envisioned the mechanisation of carpet production at Dean Clough, and, with inventive men, carried it through. Result: a hugely successful business. But Crossley saw it as a duty to help the local community: he gave People’s Park to the borough, and provided many other charitable benefits. His legacy is still around us – come along and hear about it.

Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde by Calderdale Music Service at Halifax Minster, 7pm - £5 & £3 concessions

Calderdale Music Service, in collaboration with Halifax Minster, is presenting ‘Noye’s Fludde’ to celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth. The opera recounts the biblical story of Noah, the flood and the building of the ark. The cast includes a children’s chorus and orchestra drawn from Music Service ensembles, local primary and secondary schools. Also taking part are professional musicians and there will be an opportunity for the audience to join in with three hymns. Local community musician Sam Dunkley will conduct the performance.

Dance School Extravaganza at Victoria Theatre, 7pm - £8 & £6 concessions, £20 family ticket for 4

For this year’s Festival we have invited six of our local dance schools for a dance extravaganza! Each school will showcase their skills and talent and bring something unique to the performance. Performances from the Dancemill, The Barbara Peters School of Dance, Dance4all, Helen O’ Hara School of Dance, LW Danceworks and the Square Chapel Streetdance Crew. Hosted by Compere Neil Hurst.

Deathwatch & The Last Memory by Talking Stock Productions at Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, 7.30pm - £9 & £5 concessions

The premiere of two one-act plays by local writer, Alan Stockdill in the suitably subterranean environs of the Viaduct Theatre. ‘Deathwatch’ catches the conversation of two prisoners, as one of them prepares for his execution the following day. Fears, hopes, dreads and dreams swim to the surface before the final twist!

In ‘The Last Memory’ a daughter visits her father who is fearlessly preparing himself to battle a diagnosis of progressive dementia. Unexpectedly his recollections erode to reveal smiles as well as tears... and ultimately the most important memory of all.

Halifax Chamber Choir at All Souls Church, 7.30pm - £6 & £5 concessions

Halifax Chamber Choir demonstrates its versatility and musicianship in a beautifully varied programme of unaccompanied singing. The choir offer a range of pieces spanning five centuries including madrigals, folk songs, spirituals, part songs and church music. Composers will include Byrd, Mundy, Morley, Bennet, Rachmaninov, Vaughan Williams, Rogers and Cole Porter.

Showcase of Polish Short Movies curated by Maciej Piatek at Empty Space Theatre, Calderdale College, 8pm - £4 & £3 concessions

This showcase of Polish short movies will give the audience insight into a young wave of Polish directors, producing an eclectic selection of films varying from animation to fiction.

Most of the shorts presented are the official debuts from their creators so you can expect true authenticity and freshness. This memorable evening is kindly supported by The Polish Cultural Institute, London and hosted by Empty Space Theatre in Calderdale College.

The movies may contain mild violence, strong language and are rated 13+.

Posh Tramps & Papooses by MaD Theatre Company at Square Chapel, 8pm - £11 & £9 concessions

Meet the Longbottom family from Halifax. Head of the family is Ma who has recently divorced her ‘wife’ in Halifax’s first ever same sex civil split. However, undeterred, and in an attempt to put that behind her, Ma is now looking for a fella on the internet. She meets Hector the Inspector on who promises her and her dysfunctional family a holiday of a lifetime… to Hebden Bridge … on the train. This is a hilarious modern fairy tale as class and cultures collide; where Yorkshire Pudding meets Hummus of the week!

Events on throughout the Festival

What is Art? at Bankfield Museum on until Saturday 31 August, 10am - 4pm - FREE

Drawing on the collections of Calderdale Museums, this exhibition explores our perceptions of art. From the prehistoric to post-modern, explore concepts and taste and consider the questions “Is it Art?” and “Do you like it?” There is also a unique opportunity to ‘vote out’ your least favourite work. For more information telephone 01422 352334.

Britain’s got Artists Top 50 at UK-Artworks on until Wednesday 31 July, 10.30am - 3pm (10.30am - 8pm Fridays) - FREE

The prestigious national art competition, now in its second year, comes to new Halifax art gallery UK-Artworks at 29-31 Broad Street.

Check out this must-see exhibition of the top 50 artists, as voted for by the public, including the top three finalists, chosen by judges Alison Dunn, sculptor Sheila Gaffney and MP George Galloway in the judges’ live final event. The gallery is also host to many other cultural events throughout the year, please check website for details -

Calderdale Calligraphers - Hanging on Every Word at Halifax Minster on until Monday 16 September, 10am - 4pm - FREE

Display of calligraphy created on fabrics and based around Pennine people and places, and situated in the nave of Halifax Minster.

Northern Division Exhibition of Contemporary Glass by Contemporary Glass Society in Unit 58, Piece Hall, on until Sunday 14 July, 11am - 4pm - FREE

In its second year, this exhibition will celebrate the wealth of creative talent in the world of glass from across the North of England. The work will be presented by the artists themselves who will talk to you about techniques and inspirations that went into producing each piece. You will also have the opportunity to make a piece of your own fused glass. A full timetable of artists can be seen on the Halifax Festival website.

Giant Map of South Pennines by Angela Smyth at Halifax Central Library on until Sunday 14 July and available for viewing during library opening times - FREE

Internationally-acclaimed artist Angela Smyth has created a spectacular, giant, ten foot map to encourage people to seek out the hidden treasures of the South Pennines.

The artwork, painted in the Halifax-born artist’s trademark quirky and humorous style, captures the character and charm of the area and took six months to complete in the artist’s Sowerby Bridgebased studio. Not a map in the traditional sense, it is Angela’s interpretation of the area and a reflection of the things she finds inspiring.

Simon Armitage, the Marsden-born poet, playwright and novelist, has contributed lines of poetry to the map from his Stanza Stones project – a set of poems inspired by the region’s language and landscape.

The South Pennines Map was commissioned by the Local Distinctiveness Project managed by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects.

Square Circle Exhibition in the Square Chapel Foyer until Wednesday 31 July, Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5pm and Sat 11am – 3pm and during events - FREE

A selection of work produced over the past year by the artists who attend Square Chapel’s Square Circle workshops - weaving, painting and calligraphy for the over 50s.