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West End Theatre Shows

Petworth Festival

Petworth Festival

Starts: 11th Jul 2023

Petworth, West Sussex

This year we celebrate our place in the South Downs with a series of events that reflect on the defining qualities of our part of the world, but we also celebrate an incredible diversity of live performance.



Tenebrae, Jess Gillam, Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Leeds Piano Competition - Kaito Kobayashi, Shakatak, Amaan & Ayaan Ali Bangash with Jennifer Pike

Petworth Festival has a summer line-up that majors on quality, notoriety and variety. With a classical programme lit up by the likes of Jess Gillam, top choral group Tenebrae, and the young superstar pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, and alongside gigs from evergreens The Manfreds and jazz/funk maestros Shakatak, comedy from Clive Anderson and Henry Normal, and traditional music from the mighty Gigspanner Big Band and Irish whirlwind that is Lisa Canny, Festival Director Stewart Collins feels there is a great deal to be excited about. ‘People comment every year on the sheer variety of what we present annually in and around Petworth, but I would love to think that this year we raise that particular bar higher than ever.’

Events will take place in twelve venues over nineteen days in and around Petworth, key venues including The Petworth House Stables, St Mary’s Church Petworth, Midhurst Rother College’s fabulous theatre and Coldwaltham’s elegant Champs Hill Music Room. ‘One of our key aims is to bring the very best ‘to your doorstep’ and I’d have to say that the option of travelling just a few miles to see artists of this quality rather than to the bigger centres is very much part of the Petworth Festival’s appeal.’

A number of events in this year’s programme specifically celebrate Petworth’s place at the heart of the South Downs. Two concerts feature music inspired by the landscape, one a brand new commission Bignor Hill by local composer Ned Bigham, the other the South Downs Suite by jazz quartet Full Circle. Spanish violinist Violetta Vicci also takes to the open air at Bignor Park in two concerts featuring both live and electronic music entitled Live in Nature.

Stewart Collins likens this to another specific aspect of the Petworth Festival: ‘we really hope that people will see their experience of the festival as a journey: an actual journey between venues in the Petworth area certainly, but also a metaphorical journey through great performance and great performance styles. To be able to take in music by the finest classical artists, top musicians from other traditions – such as the sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash, Columbian band Cimarron and Gambian kora player Jali Bakary Konteh – and then the sheer abandon of dancing the nights away at the Petworth House Stables and Rother Coillege events really sums up what I hope audiences will take away from the festival. Fun yes; contemplation of nature yes; but primarily the genuine thrill of being up so close and personal with artists you would otherwise not expect to see in such close quarters… It’s a compelling cocktail!’

Disabled Facilities: Yes, at all venues used