Brighouse Arts Festival returns and entertains excited audience members

The ninth Brighouse Arts Festival attracted excited audience members who enjoyed a return of live performances to the town.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 6:00 pm
O’Hooley and Tidow. Pictures: Steven Lord.

Steven Lord, one of the organisers, was delighted with how things went. “It was particularly difficult to bring the event together. Everyone was understandably being extra cautious and bringing together performers and venues was difficult. However, we decided to press on and thankfully the Festival has been a triumph.”

Over 1000 tickets were sold for the event, with audiences being treated to a wide variety of entertainment.

For many people it was their first night out to see live performance for two years.

Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band. Picture: Steven Lord.

Roger Davies and his band started the Festival followed on Saturday by the Hipperholme Community Choir, the Hathor Belly Dancers and students from Calderdale College who gave performances at St Martin’s Church to get the week going in style.

St Martin’s Church also played host to a number of concerts during the week including a Last Night of the Proms concert by Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band. The church was filled to capacity for a concert by O’Hooley and Tidow of Gentleman Jack fame while Nick Fletcher gave a brilliant classical guitar recital.

St John’s in Rastrick hosted a variety of classical concerts including a piano recital by Jill Crossland, a contemporary music night with Simeon Walker and Josh Seman and a violin recital by Sophie Rosa with Ian Buckle accompanying.

Natasha Harper led a talented group performing Shout the musical for a packed audience.

Sophie Rosa. Picture: Steven Lord

Talks and other performances took place all week at Brighouse and Rastrick libraries including harp recital by Rebecca Holton and a folk music session lead by Barry Smith. Barry also organised an “unplugged” folk night at Miller’s Bar.

Merrie England café owner Keith Hanselman had his paintings on display in the café and other art displays were in shops around the town.

An exhibition of “lockdown banners” is on at Brighouse Library until November. Created in the style of the old miners’ union banners by Ian Beesley with words by Ian Macmillan, they depict the lockdown and the NHS.

The Festival is run entirely by a very small band of volunteers for the benefit of the local community. John Buxton, a member of the organising committee said “As you can imagine, bringing the programme together was an enormously complex task but the feedback from the audiences made it worthwhile. Over 1000 people had a great night out and after the last 18 months it was such a delight to see live performance. The performers were just as thrilled to be back in front of a live audience and have given us great support.

Cast members of Shout the musical. Picture: Steven Lord.

Plans are already starting for next year so if you have any suggestions or are willing to help in any way the organisers would love to hear from you via the website or you can contact the organisers on 01484 711835.