MADhurst programmes goes out with a host of entertainment on offer

This year's MADhurst art commission featured on the programme cover is the cricus peep board by Chloe Dowsett
This year's MADhurst art commission featured on the programme cover is the cricus peep board by Chloe Dowsett

It is almost eight years since the inaugural meeting of MADhurst took place in The Refectory at Easebourne and plans for the first music, art and drama festival for the Midhurst area were born.

It was the brainchild of former vicar of Midhurst Father Marcus Ronchetti who came to Midhurst with previous experience of running festivals from his parish in Shoreham.

MADhurst was born with the aim of ‘celebrating creativity and promoting community development’ and as organisers prepare for the eighth annual event it has grown into one of the biggest dates on the town’s calendar.

The ever-growing network of MADhurst volunteers has put together the biggest and most varied programme yet, with something for everyone. Many old MADhurst favourites are back, as well as some completely new ideas.

And this week the MADhurst programme is being distributed through doors of homes in Midhurst, and to pubs or shops in the surrounding villages.

The cover features the MADhurst 2017 art commission – a circus peep-board by local mural artist Chloe Dowsett. There will be a chance to have photos taken with it at the August Bank Holiday Grand Finale.

Organisers urge people to check out the programme for details of all events, and keep an eye on the MADhurst website, facebook and twitter.

The box office will be open in the Old Library from August 5-18, and bookings can also be made by phone.

For the first time MADhurst is offering masterclasses – a chance to try out a new skill with an expert - ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ dance class, making a publicity video and professional floristry.

Another new event is ‘Midhurst Unplugged’ – an afternoon and evening of mixed folk, open mic, children’s entertainment and Morris Dancing in the town square (church if raining) and the Swan.

Old favourites back again include the Milestone Collective Swing Band, the Midhurst Players cabaret evening, the free children’s fun day and the Art Trail winding through Midhurst, while Dawn Gracie and her saucy burlesque troupe, lunchtime concerts at the Olive and Vine and music workshops are back this year by popular demand, after taking a break.

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