The Frome Festival is made up of many events, some of which are programmed by the Festival. Many events are free or request a donation if you enjoy. Many amazing and diverse events are programmed by the multi-talented people and venues of Frome, making the Frome Festival a Hybrid Fringe Festival. We hope that you enjoy the many events that the programme includes but if you would like to know which events the Festival itself programmes please see below:
The Treasure Hunt, 2017 theme ‘Any Old Iron’, question and photo clue sheets costing £4.50 available 22nd May, closing date Saturday 29th July and the Hidden Gardens the first festival weekend for three days , Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July. Hidden Garden maps £5.00.
The Festival opening party at the Cheese and Grain on Friday 7th July, 8-10pm: The Bollywood Brass Band presents
“Rahmania!” A wonderful, all dancing party to open the Festival! The Bollywood Brass Band is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style band, playing the great tunes and compulsively danceable rhythms of Bollywood. The band has performed all over the world. Their repertoire covers classics from the Golden Age of Bollywood up to current hits and stage shows featuring Bollywood film clips. With brass, saxophone, dhol drums and a colossal sousaphone, the BBB is one of the most colourful, joyful and exhilarating acts around. Seating and dancing. Tickets are £14.00, with optional Indian buffet at 7pm for an additional £5.00.
The Frome Festival Food Feast is Saturday 8th July from 5-10pm, with more fabulous food, great music and street theatre! This popular event features delicious street food stalls from all over the region, as well as a street market of art, crafts & edible treats. Frome Street Bandits head to the Feast from St John’s Church at 5:30pm, join the parade! Live Music from well known musician Julian Hight, Frome favourites the Wochynskis and the headline act is Bristol based Fantasy Orchestra with an eclectic repertoire of film soundtracks, rock and pop favourites and some more obscure treasures. Fun for all the family and it’s FREE.
On Monday 10th July at the Merlin theatre, Historian and broadcaster Dr. David Starkey, renowned for the series “Monarchy”, draws on his unique knowledge of Henry VIII’s reign on one hand, and his insights as a leading commentator on modern politics on the other, to illuminate both the Tudor age and our own. Comparing the Reformation to Brexit, Henry is seen as a colossus whose decisions still reverberate today. Questions from the floor and book signing afterwards. Tickets are priced at £16.00, and the event starts at 7.45pm.
As well as three Frome Festival Tunnel tours, on 10th,12th and 15th July there will be a talk on Tuesday 11th July at the newly refurbished Trinity Church, with a slide show documenting the progress of the tunnels teams and their most recent excavations. Through site investigations, historical document research, interviews and tip-offs they are starting to assemble the missing pieces of the jigsaw of part of Frome’s history from 300-400 years ago. Since the BBC1 (Inside Out program) in 2006, many contributions from locals and frequent tours in the Frome Festival have been made. A growing list of over 40 sites have been investigated and nearly 100 people have contributed with locations, maps, or access to their buildings and over 30 first hand accounts from elder residents of Frome, playing in and going through some of the tunnels in their childhood have been collected. All tickets are priced at £12.50. Please note that the tunnels tours sell out very quickly.
On Tuesday the 11th July, from 7-8pm, at Hunting Raven bookshop, the actor and writer James Hayes recounts his fifty years on stage performing extracts from his theatrical memoir ‘Shouting in the Evenings’. In the Sixties he worked with Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith and Anthony Hopkins in the National Theatre at the Old Vic. Later at the NT, the RSC, in the West End and on Broadway; he worked with Michael Gambon, Paul Scofield, Ian McKellen, Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn, Sam Mendes and Penelope Wilton; on plays by Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ayckbourn and Miller etc. He has toured worldwide and is a hugely entertaining raconteur. Tickets priced at £5.00
On Tuesday 11th from 8-9.45 pm, The Busquitos play Rook Lane. Hailing from the Netherlands, this hugely talented quartet bring their gypsy jazz instrumental virtuosity to Frome, between residencies at the prestigious Henley Festival and the Birmingham Jazz Festival, via London. The Busquitos are an absolute must for jazz fans and those who enjoy great music suffused with comedy. They are huge hits in Holland, Germany and Ireland too, featuring on many TV and radio programmes. Well worth checking out their videos on www.busquitos.com. A real coup for the Frome Festival! Tickets are priced at £14.00
On Thursday 13th Andy Parsons performs at the Cheese and Grain. Andy has performed on numerous radio & TV shows including Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, QI, Saturday Live, The Stand Up Show, The Comedy Store, They Think It’s All Over, The PMQ show, Scrooby Trevithick, and Parsons & Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections. Having won the Time Out Comedy Award in 2002 he has performed his stand-up all over the world from the prestigious Montreal and Kilkenny comedy festivals to touring Australia and New Zealand. Note: This performance will probably contain language which some may consider offensive. 8-10pm tickets priced at £15.00
On Friday 14th the Merlin theatre hosts Jeremy Hardy who is in his 4th decade as a stand-up this year. That’s a more dramatic way of saying he started 33 years ago and, without a lottery win, probably has at least another 33 years to go. In 2014, the tenth series of Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation was broadcast on Radio 4. He is also well known for his appearances on The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Indeed, Alan Bennett recently said he likes him “but he’s only on the radio”.His television credits include: Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk (BBC2), QI (BBC1), Mock The Week (BBC2), and Grumpy Old Men (BBC1). 7.45-11pm tickets £14.00
On Sunday 16th Dudley Sutton is at the Granary with his show : OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER Variably described as a ‘genius’ (his agent), an ‘idiot’ (his dad), and ‘Judas’ (Dylan), actor, writer and performance poet, Dudley Sutton, has always varied his work – “keep them guessing or they will pigeon-hole you”. From the gay biker he played in the 60s film The Leather Boys, through the infamous Peter O’Toole Macbeth, via the genteel Lovejoy, to ‘The Football Factory’, he remains free of pigeons. After his sold-out festival appearance in 2008, Dudley hits Frome again with his salacious songs, torrid verse and provocative prose. 8-9.30pm, tickets are priced at £8.00