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After last year's cancellation, Lichfield Festival is back
The popular Lichfield Festival is back in the historic Staffordshire city with a packed programme of artists and performers lined up for this summer. The festival, which runs from 8-18 July 2021, features star names such as Mica Paris, Eddie Reader and Alistair McGowan. The annual event, which brings thousands of visitors to the beautiful cathedral city of Lichfield, will consist of 11 days of ballet, cabaret, symphony orchestras, steel pans, family fun, chamber music, live cooking, story-telling, drama and comedy. Festival Director, Damian Thantrey said: "We're thrilled to be back with the 39th Lichfield Festival this July - a year later than envisaged Ė with a typically exciting range of superb artists to bring the joy of live performance back to the city. With distancing and regulations expected still to be in place, things will be a little different this summer, with shorter event times and repeated performances, particularly those in the smaller venues. There will also be a number of outdoor events making the most of the glorious summer weather (we hope) and some of Lichfield's beautiful and verdant outdoor spaces. We're looking forward to joining artists and audiences alike, immersing ourselves in eleven days of fabulous entertainment and culture."
Soul queen Mica Paris is one of the stars of Lichfield Festival 2021
The 2021 Festival opens on Thursday 8 July with the captivating Ballet Cymru performing a brand new version of the classic ballet Giselle in the spectacular setting of Lichfield Cathedral. The cathedral is the centrepiece of festival activities and also plays host to the British Queen of Soul, Mica Paris, and Brit-award winning folk singer/songwriter Eddi Reader. Liza Pulman, whose show Liza Sings Streisand wowed audiences in 2018, returns with timeless classics and lost gems from songwriters like Irving Berlin, Randy Newman and Judy Collins, while master impressionist turned pianist, Alistair McGowan entertains with a unique mix of classic comedy and classical music. Other highlights in the cathedral include fiery flamenco with guitar and Spanish dance duo Xuefei Yang and Maria Vega, and superb vocal group I Fagiolini with a concert of music ancient and modern inspired by the environment and TS Eliot's The Waste Land.
Maria Vega brings a touch of flamenco to Lichfield
The Festival's Aspire! Family Day takes place outdoors on the final Festival Saturday, centred around the cathedral lawn. It begins with a new costumed production of Peter and the Wolf, designed especially for the Festival, in the gardens of Lichfield Cathedral School. There's an appearance from the world-renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Band on the West Lawn ahead of their Cathedral shows later that day, plus three Lichfield Mystery Plays, and song and dance from local groups to keep the festival vibe buzzing and picnickers entertained throughout.
The festival continues its tradition of engaging Artists in Residence. This year's four collaborative musicians are ChloŽ Hanslip (violin), Danny Driver (piano), Jessica Walker (writer/vocalist) and Joseph Atkins (composer/piano). Elsewhere, other appearances range from the Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, and comedian Justin Moorhouse, star of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, to a tour of Gilbert & Sullivan by the Charles Court Opera and a monologue on the life of Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston Churchill.
Information about Lichfield Festival 2021 is available from the official website or by calling the Box Office on 01543 306271. General booking opens on May 11 with priority booking for Lichfield Festival Friends open now.