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Nigel Kennedy to return at Bury St Edmunds' popular festival

Nigel Kennedy is returning to the festival for the first time since 2016 Picture: BURY FESTIVAL

Nigel Kennedy is returning to the festival for the first time since 2016 Picture: BURY FESTIVAL

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Renowned classical violinist Nigel Kennedy will return to Bury St Edmunds as part of the town's popular festival this year, it has been announced.

Rick Wakeman will kick off the festival Picture: BURY FESTIVALRick Wakeman will kick off the festival Picture: BURY FESTIVAL

Now in its 34th year, the Bury St Edmunds Festival will bring a celebration of culture and entertainment to the town over 11 days from Thursday, May 16, to Sunday, May 26.

Packed with 50 events across 13 venues, the festival will feature music, dance, comedy, and film with performances from internationally renowned artists alongside home-grown talent.

Superstar violinist Kennedy, who performed a sell-out show at the festival in 2016, will fly in from Poland especially for the one-off performance on Wednesday, May 22.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will perform at this year's festival Picture: BURY FESTIVALThe Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will perform at this year's festival Picture: BURY FESTIVAL

Other highlights include Rick Wakeman and Clare Teal, both also making return visits, John Cooper Clarke, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Quintet-a-Tete jazz band, and the Puppini Sisters and Chineke.

Celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, the Theatre Royal, Britain’s last working Regency playhouse, will be home to several key events along with The Apex, St Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Abbey Gardens as well as Moyse’s Hall Museum and The Guildhall.

Jo Rayner, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and heritage at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “This year’s festival is so crammed with goodies that we’ve had to make it a day longer than usual to fit in everything that we wanted to do.

Claire Teal will sing at the festival Picture: CHRIS CHRISTODOULOUClaire Teal will sing at the festival Picture: CHRIS CHRISTODOULOU

“Of course being able to tempt Nigel Kennedy back is always going to be significant but the fact that he is flying in especially for this one-off gig makes it even more special.

“Then throw performers such as Rick Wakeman, Clare Teal, John Lill, Kate Rusby and John Cooper Clarke into the mix and you start to get a flavour of just how much there is to get excited about, and that’s just scratching the surface.

“It really does feel that Bury is going to be the place to be this May.”

Quintet-a-Tete will be at this year festival Picture: BURY FESTIVALQuintet-a-Tete will be at this year festival Picture: BURY FESTIVAL

For the two nights of May 21 and 22, the Theatre Royal is hosting a spectacular new production of the timeless classic Swan Lake.

Featuring fresh choreography by Ballet Theatre UK’s artistic director, Christopher Moore with over 120 new costumes, this interpretation provides a new look at the classic tale of romance, sorcery and betrayal.

The festival programme also includes guided walks around Bury St Edmunds on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The first on May 18 is suitable for family groups with children aged six and above.

The Puppini Sisters will visit Bury in May for the festival Picture: BURY FESTIVALThe Puppini Sisters will visit Bury in May for the festival Picture: BURY FESTIVAL

There will also be free to watch street theatre in the Abbey Gardens the same morning.

For the full line-up and ticket information, visit www.buryfestival.co.uk

Tickets and brochures are also available from The Apex and other venues around Bury St Edmunds or call the Box Office on 01284 758000.

Chineke! will perform at the Bury St Edmunds Festival 2019 Picture: CHARLIE BESTChineke! will perform at the Bury St Edmunds Festival 2019 Picture: CHARLIE BEST

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