Elkie Brooks, The Reduced Shakespeare Company, poet Pam Ayres, The Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes and raconteur Gyles Brandreth are just some of the high profile names due to appear at next year's Grassington Festival (17 June to 3 July, 2005).
Announcing details of the almost completed programme for the festival's 25th anniversary year at the AGM (25th November), artistic director Rowena (Bunty) Leder said: "We've got a really strong line up of artists from so many different disciplines - classical, rock, jazz , theatre, poetry, film - there's something to appeal to everyone here.
Star of seventies sit com The Likely Lads, Rodney Bewes will be bringing his Edinburgh Festival smash hit show 'Three Men in a Boat' to the Dales. Other attractions include return visits by the Swingle Singers, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and renowned soprano Evelyn Tubb performing Ordo Virtutum by Hildegard of Bingen at Scargill House, Kettlewell.
The Festival will get off to a rousing start on the opening night on 17th June with 'Rat Pack Confidential' with the Pete Long Orchestra and two singing stars of the West End hit playing Frankie and Dino.
Other events include the St Petersburg String Quartet, an audience with Benedict Allen - the Extreme Explorer, jazzers Alan Barnes and Dave Newton with eight piece band, plus the movie 'Story of the Weeping Camel'. Invited artists to be confirmed include The Rt Hon William Hague MP, and BBC Young Musicians Alison Balsom - trumpet and Adrian Spillett - percussion.
To celebrate its Silver Jubilee, the Grassington Festival will for the first time end with a three day extravaganza of marquee events - where the audience capacity will be at least double that of the usual venues. The Jubilee Marquee line up includes Elkie Brooks and soul band The Commitments with Ken McClusky and Dick Massey, stars of the original 1991 hit movie. A grand 'Last Night of the Proms' finale with the Airedale Symphony Orchestra, members of the Chorus of Opera North and a fireworks display will bring the two week programme to a spectacular conclusion.
Tickets for the Jubilee Marquee events go on sale from 26th November in Grassington. They could be the perfect Christmas gift if you're looking for novel ideas and an early purchase will ensure you don't miss out on this unique Dales event. Tickets (from £15) are available from the Dales Book Centre, Main Street, Grassington or call the box office on 01756 752691. Keep up to date with programme developments and booking details via the web site at www.grassington-festival.org.uk