A Georgian age of ‘Wonder and Invention’ comes alive this month in Stamford, one of England’s finest stone towns.
Stamford Georgian Festival (26th-29th September) promises four days of family friendly and colourful performance and spectacle, with many events free.
Costumed festival-goers, themed markets, horse-drawn carriage rides, drama, music and street theatre will transform Stamford for the festival, organised by South Kesteven District Council.
The programme is inspired by captivating stories of Stamford’s past, including tethered balloon rides reliving a pioneering flight from English balloonist Charles Green from Stamford gas works in 1825.
An appearance from the period’s greatest tragedienne Sarah Siddons at Stamford Theatre in 1779 has inspired a new play – ‘Mrs Siddons’ Dressing Room’ – with ten highly unusual performances that interact with the audience.
The Georgian Festival is a wonderful example of the district’s quality cultural offer, said Cllr Kelham Cooke, The Deputy Leader of SKDC.
“We are supporting an exciting, varied and accessible programme of events through the year,” he said. “We can look forward to an amazing programme celebrating the rich heritage of Stamford and its people.”
A stunning free Saturday evening spectacular includes a lantern parade, live performance and light projections, before Sunday’s promenade through town with a picnic to follow.
Festival keynote speaker is Andrew Graham-Dixon, Art Critic, Writer and BBC presenter, a ‘A Celebration of Jane Austen’ features top actors Robert Powell and Susan Jameson and ‘Wild Boy’ tells the true story of a feral child kept as a pet in the court of King George l.
Entertainment on The Meadows has a skirmish between French and English troops, period traders, re-enactors and a gunpowder show.
Displaying the seedier side of Georgian life, the Bawdy Babes Walk starts in the town’s oldest Gin house with tales of brothel-owning bawds.
Not So Gorgeous Georgians, an interactive walk for families, reveals the era’s gruesome aspects and a Stamford Sights and Secrets Tour offers children a surprise look at chocolate, balloons, bovines, toilets … and more!
Full programme and tickets at www.stamfordgeorgianfestival.co.uk or book at Stamford Arts Centre 01780 763203