Oakham Festival has been celebrating and promoting the arts including music, theatre, art, dance, and comedy since 1989. Past musicians include Antonio Forcione, Toploader, Showaddywaddy and The Houndogs. Comedy performers have included Jimmy Carr, Jo Caulfield and Jeremy Hardy. We are delighted to be represented nationally by our patron and former Oakham School student, Miles Jupp.
Foreword from our patron
I am delighted to have been asked to be the Patron of the newly re-born Oakham Festival and to have this opportunity to clumsily type out a few words wishing the organisers, and all of those many artists taking part, the very best of luck. It’s terrific to see such a diverse programme that includes something for everyone, be they young, be they old, or even be they sensible and middle-aged.
My family have lived near to Oakham for a number of years, and I attended school here for five years, spending a great deal of time larking about at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, whether that was mooning about solemnly in comedies or giggling uncontrollably during Shakespeares. I certainly remember taking part in an Oakham festival production of a musical called The Fantasticks. I can’t remember the name of the character I played, or even why we added in some sort of interval skit in drag, but what I can recall is the panic and thrill of being part of such an eclectic mix of performances. I can also remember it being incredibly social.
Over the years, the Festival provided opportunities for the people of the town, and beyond, to see comedy, opera, drama, ballet, music ranging from the finest and most revered classics to jazz and rock. Iconic figures such as Ken Campbell, George Melly, Humphrey Lyttleton, Hinge & Bracket, Barry Cryer and The Temperance Seven all graced the stage of The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, as did Ballet Central and The London Opera Players. Truly something for all. The reborn Festival is at a new beginning; it is my genuine hope that the event will grow and blossom in the way that its earlier incarnation did and that it will be an event that anyone and everyone in Oakham can enjoy.
Sadly, my current commitments at The National Theatre prevent me from seeing any of the 2015 events - but I have all sorts of friends in the Oakham area who will be my eyes and ears and I look forward to hearing just what a success it has been.
The very best of luck, and do enjoy yourselves.