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Fuse is lit for Medway arts festival

Date: 24/04/2008           Category: Arts and Libraries

The countdown has begun, as Medway Council launched the line-up for this year's Fuse Medway Festival. Staff, artists and festival partners gathered at The Brook Theatre on Tuesday, 22 April, to discover who will be appearing during the 15-day celebration of arts and creativity in Medway. The festival runs from Saturday, 31 May to Saturday, 14 June. There’s plenty to choose from including theatre, indoors and out, music, cabaret, visual arts and dance. Many Medway artists and perfomers will take centre stage. The festival is proud to host local musicians who are currently riding high on the nation’s airwaves including Kid Harpoon and Lupen Crook on Friday, 6 June and Brigadier Ambrose on Saturday, 14 June. Urban Fox Press returns with The Smoking Dog - Medway's original variety club - for a one-off special. Mark Barnes will launch his much anticipated Museum of Tales and Medway-based artists and makers showcase threir work as part of Bespoke and Bird & Bone. Local artists are complemented by a range of exciting national and international performers. Rochester Castle will be home to the funny, engaging and moving Motionhouse Dance Theatre and a few days later will host the spectacular Arquiem from Periplum; a promenade performance inspired by Blake's Songs of Innocence & Experience and Browning's poem Porphyria's Lover. Thanks to generous funing from Arts Council England South East, tickets start as low as £2, with many free events. There is a hamper-full of fun for families and open-to-all workshops, so that everyone can get involved. The programme also features three, free street arts days. Chatham and Gillingham will become home for a day to wide range of unusual characters, including a wimple-wielding nun on a motorised piano and the Saurusses; towering metal dinosaurs that wandered the streets of Rochester as part of last year's celebrations. The festival explodes into life on Friday, 31 May with a Caribbean carnival at Chatham's Riverside. Councillor Howard Doe, Community Services Portfolio Holder, looks forward to the festival. “The area’s recent cultural heritage is rich with great artists, writers and live performers and Medway Council is committed to supporting new and developing creative communities locally, as well as bringing in great acts from outside. With many festival partners in place and a host of workshops running over the two weeks - and beyond the festival - we are working hard to bridge the gap between performers and audiences and bring arts into the mainstream. When asked what the festival is about, Kate Hazel, Fuse Medway Festival manager, answered, "It’s about bringing to Medway’s streets, venues and open spaces some of the newest and most unusual performers from the area and further afield. It’s about celebrating arts that is a little different, diverse and daring, whilst making it accessible to as many people as possible and giving everyone the opportunity to get involved. Come along and be a part of it." Register for regular festival update via email and download the brochure by visitIng www.fusefestival.org.uk. PHOTOS AVAILABLE