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Festival goes back to summer theatre roots

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer fun: The three-day festival starts on Friday in Pymmes Park

Summer fun: The three-day festival starts on Friday in Pymmes Park

ORGANISERS of an Edmonton theatre and music festival are hoping to revive the area’s cultural golden days this weekend.

The Edmonton Summer Festival, known in previous years as the Spellbound Festival, will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Pymmes Park, in Victoria Road – where the Edmonton Summer Theatre was held during the 1970s and 1980s.

Hundreds of people are expected to descend on the three-day festival, which will boast music, theatre, community stages, a crafts area and a funfair.

The event kicks off at 3pm on Friday with a youth festival hosted by MTV presenter Shanie Ryan.

Local talent taking to the stage will include Edmonton rap act Distinct, while singers Aleisha Lee and Ellen Blane will perform alongside established Birmingham rapper Lady Leshurr.

On Saturday and Sunday, the theatre stage, organised by Edmonton-based arts consultant Lorna Graham, will feature performances from Platinum Performing Arts, who are based at the Millfield Arts Centre in Silver Street,

Egyptian rapper EmpresS*1 and Enfield-based Montserrat United Masquerade.

Head organiser Paul Everitt, manager at Millfield Arts Centre, said: “The reason we are doing it at Pymmes Park this year is because we really wanted to revive the history of the Edmonton Summer Theatre.

“So many people who are big stars today did their first performance there.

“Open-air theatres back in the day were quite often the venues where people had their first taste of performing in front of the public, and we are trying to bring that back. We are trying to showcase a series of arts to show people what is possible within their community.”

Gospel star Lurine Cato and lovers rock legend Janet Kay, both of whom performed at the summer theatre three decades ago, will draw a big crowd to the music stage.

Grime and hip-hop artist Akala, reggae star Dennis Bovell and Irish band Crossharbour are also in the line-up.

On Sunday, British soul sensation Omar is headlining the music stage, which has been organised by Enfield's own Ziggy's World Jazz Club. Other acts performing that day include the Olympic Opening Ceremony Choir, the Urban Voices Collective, soul singer Julie Dexter and the Steve Taylor Big Band Explosion.

Ziggy's are also running a youth show from 11am.

Mr Everitt added: “For centuries, Edmonton has been the cultural centre of Enfield.

The amount of talent here is mind-blowing and we hope to discover some talent for the future.”

For more information, visit www.enfield

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