Thrills and spills of the circus get arts festival started in Southwold

Parade to mark the opening of the Southwold Arts Festival

Parade to mark the opening of the Southwold Arts Festival

The circus rolled up to a Suffolk seaside town for the launch of an annual festival featuring some ‘big top’ names from the world of art, literature, music and dance.

Stilt walkers, lion tamers, strongmen, jugglers, acrobats, clowns and ringmasters swarmed the streets of Southwold to help kick-start this year’s event.

The eight-day Southwold Arts Festival will showcase local, national and international talent in venues across town.

Already, the festival has included an evening with Rick Wakeman, a one-act play about the Profumo scandal from the perspective of actress Valerie Hobson, starring Liz Robertson, and historian Lucy Worsley exploring ‘A Very British Murder’.

Today’s programme features journalist and author Martin Adeney discussing his latest book, and Bungay poet Luke Wright also appearing at St Edmund’s Hall this evening.

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BBC cricket commentator Henry Blofeld is lined up at the same venue, where the Tango Siempre Company of musicians and dancers are set to provide displays of traditional dance accompanied by 1930s Buenos Aires music.

Meanwhile, an hour-long George Orwell walking tour will chart the local people and places to in the famous former Southwold resident’s novels.

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The opening weekend’s events also included a tour of six artists’ studios just outside Southwold, in Reydon.

The Open Studio Trail gave visitors a chance to view a range of artwork and discover how it was created.

For full details of the festival, which continues all week, including Saturday, visit

Visit for full details.

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