The full programme for the 2021 festival appears here in date order.
You can also home in on events that are particularly suited to children and families, Exhibitions, Workshops and Activities or Sporting/walking events or use our Calendar to see what’s on on a particular day.
At Three Storeys, GL6 0JF (entrance in Town Hall car park)
Stand-up poet, comedian and broadcaster, armchair revolutionary and walking shortbread tin, Elvis McGonagall resides at The Graceland Caravan Park somewhere in the back of beyond where he scribbles satirical verse whilst drinking malt whisky and listening to Johnny Cash. Two series of his sitcom “Elvis McGonagall Takes A Look On The Bright Side” have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 where he appears regularly, most recently on “Stand-up Specials” featuring a live recording of “Full Tartan Jacket”, as well as popping up occasionally on the telly. A deftly witty wordsmith, sharp and subversive but not afraid to be plain daft, Elvis has been spitting his scurrilous diatribes against the powers that be since 2003. “….righteous ire, directed at very deserving targets…. McGonagall’s verses are shot through with a moral umbrage and rhetorical power” (Brian Logan, The Guardian).
Nailsworth Library Shakespearian Activities
At Nailsworth Library, GL6 0DU
Come along to Nailsworth Library and see what Shakespearian activities we have lined up for you. Crafty or wordy, adult or child all welcome. See the Nailsworth Library window for opening times and details of specific activities.
Kristine & Kate - Art Exhibition
10.30am until 5.00pm
At The Old School House, Shortwood, GL6 0SH
Mother and daughter duo, quilt and textile artist Kristine Raw, and illustrator Kate Raw are opening their studio and Garden Room Art Gallery, with items for sale, as well as a chance to see working sketchbooks and original pieces. There will also be a small selection from other invited artists. From Nailsworth, take a stroll up through Shortwood to The Old School House (GL6 0SH), enjoy the exhibition and views over the valley. Light refreshments available.
Festival Saturday 2021
Free entertainment supported by a grant from Nailsworth Town Council
From 10.00 am
At Mortimer Gardens
The programme includes entertainment for all the family and there is a market, duck races (organised by Nailsworth Primary School) and many other activities across the town. Join us in Mortimer Gardens for lots of fun. We welcome the return of Punch and Judy and circus tricks, popular with the children… and the grownups too! Dance to the Boogie Band, the chilled guitar sounds of Rich and Luke, and delight in the Five Valleys Voices choir and Rodborough Folk Orchestra.
9.30am until 3.30pm
At Mortimer Rooms, GL6 0HT
The Archive Team have joined with the RBL to create the displays which will cover the War Memorial, commemorating those from Nailsworth who died in WW1,WW2 and the 70th Anniversary of the Imjin River, where the local regiment fought with such distinction.There will also be a focus on the RBL, both nationally and locally, 100 years old this year.
2.00pm until 4.00pm
At King George V Playing Field GL6 0HT
If you and your family enjoy being active, come along to King George V playing fields for an afternoon of fun and fitness with Nailsworth Youth Club. Skipping, table tennis, badminton, tennis, hoops and balls are just some of the activities. Entrance is free, refreshments will be provided. Boys and girls, mums, dads, grandparents and carers all welcome.
Michael and Sadie Roach in concert
At Town Hall GL6 0JF
Michael Roach, originally from Washington, D.C., USA, sings and plays guitar in an East Coast style of blues that dates back to the 1920s. After spending several years learning directly from such well-known figures as John Jackson, John Cephas and Jerry Ricks, Michael has developed his own style and is now an exceptional performer. He interacts with his audience and he entertains as he plays. He has released many albums and, in the concert, he will perform with his daughter Sadie, featuring material from their latest album “Tryin’ Times”. Sadie is an accomplished musician in her own right. She studied Jazz Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London. She has already released an EP. This is a rare concert featuring both Michael and Sadie and one not to be missed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1zdV9iw7Nw
"The Second Best Bed" by Avril Rowlands
starring Liz Grand, directed by Chris Jaeger
At Town Hall GL6 0JF
When Shakespeare died, he famously left his wife Anne only one thing – the second-best bed. This superb one-woman play, full of both humour and pathos, has received great critical acclaim since its premiere at the Swan Theatre Worcester in 2012. Liz Grand stars as Anne Hathaway on the night of Shakespeare’s funeral. The wake has finished, the mourners have all gone home, leaving Anne to remember her life with the most talented playwright the world has ever seen. Or was he? Did he write the plays? His widow would know if anybody did. Wouldn’t she? “Lifts the lid on a Tudor can of worms…a showcase for the towering acting skills of Liz Grand.” Worcester News
At Egypt Mill GL6 0AE
Richard & Judy Book Club describes “The Heatwave” – Kate Riordan’s fourth Penguin novel – as ‘suspense and danger, set in a blissfully beautiful place’: Provence. It’s a dark, fascinating read with hints of du Maurier as well as a compelling intensity all of its own. Before Kate moved to the Cotswolds, she worked as a journalist for the Guardian and Time Out; she also wrote the novelisation of ITV’s Sanditon by Andrew Davies.
Guitar Recital by Keith Hyett
At St George's Church GL6 0BP
The music of guitarist/composer Keith Hyett will transport you to many places with his programme. Keith’s musical influences are many and varied, from the rock music of his teenage years,via classical favourites by Bach and Beethoven, to flamenco and folk music - all are in there, which means that his music is appreciated by a wide audience. Keith’s music will catch your imagination and take your breath away.
Online "Vocal Technique Workshop" with Helen Porter
£10 (online purchases only)
An online participatory workshop exploring vocal technique through the lens of jazz. The workshop includes exercises in support, singing across the break and how to access the upper and lower registers of your voice. We’ll also be learning a simple blues song, with an opportunity for more experienced singers to improvise or for those less confident to pick up some tips. You’ll be singing non-stop throughout the workshop – all on ‘mute’ of course, so you’ll be free to let yourself go and have a blast!
Tom Elliott Comedy Magician
At Christ Church GL6 0DQ
Tom Elliott is one of the UK’s most exciting comedy magicians, touring throughout the year in comedy clubs, theatres, churches and festivals, whilst also being the resident MC at his own variety night in Doncaster. Described by Miranda Hart as“such fun”, Tom has appeared on BBC TV and Radio, had a feature piece in the Times Newspaper and received enthusiastic crowdfunding support for his projects. Presented in partnership with Churches Together, Nailsworth
Tim Hughes: "120 Years of the Blues"
At Three Storeys, GL60JF (entrance in Town Hall car park)
Combining presentation and performance, Tim outlines the emergence of the blues from the Deep South, through Chicago and blues in Britain in the 60's, to the modern day. Covering artists as diverse as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, BB King, Ry Cooder and many others. Including performances by Tim, using traditional bottleneck and finger-picking guitar styles, of “Walking Blues”,“That’ll Never Happen No More”,“Red Rooster”, “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Paris Texas”. This event is designed to be of interest to all who would like to find out more about the blues that has been so influential to the development of popular music over the last century. YouTube: timhughesblues
Helen Porter: "Unexpected Song"
At Christ Church GL6 0DQ
The new solo show from singer/pianist Helen Porter. Written and composed during the pandemic and punctuated with much loved jazz standards, it reflects on the seemingly insignificant details of daily life to some of the more troubling questions in the world today. Following on from her previous show “Constant As The World”, Helen has created a collection of new songs to reflect the times. Our perspective may have changed, but life goes on – we lose our keys, fall in love, lean on friends and take comfort in the smallest of pleasures. Helen is a deeply engaging performer, delivering her thoughtful new show with finely tuned vocals and seemingly effortless piano playing.
Philip Douch: "Stories for Latterly Locked Down Grown-Ups"
At Christ Church Rooms GL6 0DQ
Award-winning Stroud writer-performer Philip Douch brings us an entertaining evening of his own short stories for grown-ups. Mostly fun, sometimes gently moving, Philip’s engaging style is laced with warmth, wit and a playful love of words. With dubious claims to fame ranging from reading his work at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to playing Eddie the Eagle’s dad alongside the man himself at The Everyman, Philip invites you to sit back and listen to tales of awkward love in the lingerie department; friendly aliens unravelling the mysteries of Network Rail and the man constructing a matchstick model of HMS Dreadnought. This is an evening sure to send you home with a smile on your face as longlasting as any jab in your arm… and you’ll even get the full benefit without needing to come back for another dose in a few weeks’ time.
This event will now take place in the more spacious Sawyer Room which is next door to Christ Church.