Bedford Park Festival programme 2023 – week one

Poetry, art, music, culture …

Green Days weekend marked the start of a fortnight’s programme of events for the Bedford Park Festival. Tonight and tomorrow (13 / 14 June) two events celebrate the centenary of Irish poet W.B. Yeats winning the Nobel prize.

The Yeates and the Morrises

Tonight’s online talk at 6pm explores the connections between William Morris and his family and Yeats’ family in Chiswick and Hammersmith. Kelmscott House, where the poet’s sister Lily worked for William Morris’s daughter May, became a focal point for Sunday-night meetings with artistic and political London.

‘Morris himself was somewhere between patron and hero’ for W.B. Yeats say the William Morris Society.

Tomorrow’s in-person poetry evening is about dream themes, with special guest Marina Warner, writer of fiction, criticism and history, whose works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols and fairytales.

Book for the online talk on the Yeatses, Morrises and Kelmscott house on the William Morris Society website:

Book for the poetry event, hosted by Cahal Dallat and Anne-Marie Fyfe, through the Bedford Park Festival webiste:

Images above: Hilary Benn MP; Susannah Simon

Interview with Hilary Benn

Susannah Simons interviews Rt Hon Hilary Benn on Thursday 15 June at St Michael & All Angels Church at 7.30pm. The MP, who represents Leeds Central in Parliament for Labour, has his London house in Bedford Park.

He served in the Cabinet from 2003 to 2010, under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He also served as Shadow Foreign Secretary from 2015 to 2016 and as Chairman of the Brexit Select Committee from 2016 to 2021.

Book for the interview with Hilary Benn through the Bedford Park Festival webiste:

Gareth Armstrong presents Alison Skilbeck’s Uncommon Ground

Images above: Alison Skilbeck; Gareth Armstrong

Fresh from the success of his new play The Critical Stage at the Tabard theatre, Chiswick playwright Gareth Armstrong presents Alison Skilbeck’s play Uncommon Ground in St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall on Friday 16 June at 7.30pm.

The play is about ‘six wildly different people, coping and connecting during one year on the Common, telling their unexpected tales of love, life, death and downright dottiness, while a seventh character lurks mysteriously’.

This is Uncommon Ground‘s preview for the Edinburgh Festival, where Gareth will be directing it at the Assembly Rooms in August.

Alison is the writer and performer of three critically acclaimed plays: Are There More of You?, The Power Behind The Crone and Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London. Her one-woman shows have received great acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival, in London, and on tour throughout the UK.

She is an actor, director, teacher and trainer, and has had a varied career in theatre, radio and television. As an actor her television appearances include Midsomer Murders, The Beiderbecke Affair, Miss Marple, and Sherlock Holmes.

Image above: Maximus the Mouse; Kim Ansell and Lisa Read, aka Inky Flamingo

Weekend events

On Saturday 17 June artist Mary West explores abstract painting at the Hyde Gallery on Chiswick High Rd at 10am. There is an audience with Maximus the Mouse for children in the Parish Hall at St Michael & All Angels Church at 1.30pm and wine tasting with David Kermore at Chiswick Cinema in the evening at 7pm.

Sunday 18 June is the Bedford Park Walk.

To book tickets for that and to find out about events the following week, including David Juritz’ Baroque Concert: Towards the Goldberg Variations on Wednesday 21 June and Milly Forrest’s concert: Marriage of Figaro on Saturday 24 June, see the Bedford Park Festival website.