MADhurst festival programme is launched

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MADhurst organisers have launched their programme this week for a nine-day festival packed with music, arts and drama showcasing the talents of local people.

The festival starts on Sunday, August 21 with a Mad Hatter’s tea party at Cowdray Ruins and runs non-stop for eight more days, ending with the carnival procession and the grand finale back at the Ruins.

The MADhurst committee – consisting of Father Marcus Ronchetti, John Barrett, Trina Duncan, Marco Frankland, Jane Reeder, Steve Morley, Angela Cockman, Simon Goodale and Alistair Gibson – are rightly proud of the glossy programme packed with information.

A total of 5,000 are being distributed to every home in Midhurst and Easebourne as well as to sponsors, advertisers and shops and surgeries across the town.

“We are very grateful to Acorn Design for their patience and professionalsim in producing the programme,” said Mrs Duncan, “and also in producing all the raffle tickets and launching the website for us.”

Founded last year, the festival is set to become an annual fixture on the calendar for Midhurst and the surrounding villages.

Organisers say they have already learnt much from their first spectacularly successful event in 2010.

It will cost some £10,000 to put on and organisers are grateful to sponsors who are all listed in the programme.

They are hoping the sale of 2,500 raffle tickets will also help meet the cost.

The programme features many of the big successes of last year including the arts and crafts workshops, music in Market Square and a return visit from acclaimed guitarist Richard Durrant.

“Last year the street pianos were such a success we have come up with something else, so look out for another very unusual event,” said Father Marcus.

There are three major new additions including a 60-strong brass band specially formed for the event by young musician Alistair Gibson.

Woolbeding Garden will be open to the public for the festival, courtesy of the National Trust, with visitors invited to bring a picnic and stay for a concert in Woolbeding church.

There are two further events organised by the trust – Art in the Park, centred on St Ann’s Hill and a River Rother poetry walk.

Further information is available from National Trust officer Fiona Scully on 01730 825415.

There is also a bookworm quiz at the library and the best of West Sussex food and drink.

There is still time to enter a float or a walking tableau in the carnival procession on bank holiday Monday.

Anyone interested should contact Steve Morley via Midhurst Town Council office on 01730 816953.