Curtain comes down on Arts Festival success


Brighouse performers went down a storm with audiences at the town’s second Arts Festival, ensuring some packed houses and sell-out audiences.

There were sell-outs for the concerts by guitarist Peter Cain and singer Aidan Edwards, lectures by Tom Ratcliffe and workshops by Steven Lord and Anne Brooke.

Concerts at the Smith Art Gallery were particularly well-attended and Chris Illingworth’s piano recital also attracted a near-capacity audience. Clifton singer Rachel Crisp, now in her third year at Birmingham Conservatoire training to be an opera or classical performer, attracted a full house and standing ovation for a musical evening at Prego’s restaurant.

Accompanied by Chris Pulleyn of Huddersfield, she sang a mixed programme which included arias by Mozart, Faure and Copeland as well as popular songs such as Summertime, Pie Jesu and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

Festival organiser Tom Ratcliffe said: “In all, more than 1,000 people enjoyed a packed week. Many went away elated, others returned throughout the week over and over again.

“Concerts and shows by performers based in Brighouse tended to be the most successful and well-supported. There may be a lesson to learn from this for future years - although I would be reluctant to centre all the festival activity around performers solely based in Calderdale.”

Mr Ratcliffe said the festival had only happened thanks to the support and contributions of many people, businesses and organisations in Brighouse.

“The support from owners and proprietors of premises across the town played a significant role in the success of the festival.”

Steven Lord, who also helped to organise events, said: “It was a wonderful week, giving the town a real buzz. There was everything from poetry readings to rock and roll, and displays of art all around the town.

“The festival was very well-received with greater numbers supporting us than the previous year. The community spirit in Brighouse is just amazing.”

A festival competition to find the best-dressed member of the audience at a showing of Grease was won by Adele Beswick.

Anyone interested in getting involved in next year’s festival programme should contact 01484 718324.