Ragdolls line up for 2016 Lichfield Festival

Wednesday June 29 2016

Over 150 ragdolls are lined up and ready to form a trail through the city of Lichfield as part of the 35th Lichfield Festival which starts on Friday (1 July). 

 The dolls have been made and donated by local crafters of all ages and abilities across Lichfield and further afield, with St Michael's Primary School, Pathway Project, Erasmus Darwin Museum and Wade Street Church among the many contributors.

 “The project has really captured the imagination of the public,” says Festival Director Jennifer Mears.  “We have been receiving new dolls every day for the past month, many of them coming in with special stories about the materials they have sourced to recycle into dolls clothes.” 

The dolls will all be placed across the city with a treasure-hunt style trail map for people to follow, available to download from the festival website www.lichfieldfestival.org

Lichfield Festival runs from 1-10 July and brings together world-class musicians, actors and entertainers in a packed programme of music, film, theatre, comedy, dance, family events, visual arts and talks.  

Visitors include folk songstress Kate Rusby and comedians Rob Beckett and Susan Calman, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a performance of Hamlet by The Malachites theatre company, and Ballet Cymru’s productions of Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.     

Film presenter Mark Kermode introduces Charlie Chaplin’s silent films The Rink and The Immigrant with a live orchestral backdrop provided by Orchestra of the Swan.  There’s popular song from the golden age of Hollywood with the celebrated jazz singer Claire Martin, Tippett String Quartet and James Pearson Quintet, and the Mary Bijou Cabaret of international circus and cabaret artists performs ‘Hitch’, based on the work of Alfred Hitchcock.  

The Festival’s opening night (Friday 1 July) falls on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and includes two new works from composer-in-residence Deborah Pritchard, including a trumpet concerto Seven Halts on The Somme with renowned trumpet soloist Tine Thing Helseth,  Manchester Camerata and conductor Ben Gernon

On the final weekend, there’s a new interactive retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin story – The Rattler – with lively, folk-infused music, puppetry and inventive storytelling to bring this age-old tale to life and a colourful pageant beforehand.  The festival’s final Cathedral concert features the superb BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a concert which includes The Lark Ascending, which has topped Classic FM’s Hall of Fame for the last three years, played by star violinist Chloe Hanslip.  The concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

There are plenty of free events too including a light show projection on the Cathedral walls, festival fete and Florette Festival market.

Festival details from www.lichfieldfestival.org