The 2022 Canterbury Festival returns with a packed musical, theatrical, artistic and cultural line-up

A three-week celebration of music, theatre, arts and culture returns to fill the city with noise and color.

The Canterbury Festival runs from Saturday 15 October to Saturday 5 November and offers a full multi-arts program for the first time in two years.

The Canterbury Festival returns with an eclectic multi-arts lineup, from circus performers to local choirs. Image: Brig Bee

The festival will feature premier events at venues around the city including Kent College’s Great Hall, Gulbenkian Arts Centre, Westgate Hall, Malthouse and Canterbury Cathedral.

Kicking off the festival will be an opening concert by the ORA Singers celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth II, along with music from the Beautiful Noise program – a showcase of local community choirs, bands and groups – in various places.

The festival’s classical concerts continue with performances by pianist Clare Hammond, the Carducci Quartet, the Festival Chamber Orchestra, Kent Chamber Opera and the Canterbury Choral Society, who will be joined by the London Handel Orchestra.

Festival Chamber Orchestra are part of this year's classical concert programme.  Image: Canterbury Festival
Festival Chamber Orchestra are part of this year’s classical concert programme. Image: Canterbury Festival

It is not only classical music that is offered; many rock, jazz, folk and gospel musicians will also animate the festival for three weeks.

There will be performances by Miss Kiddy and Cads, Moscow Drug Club, The Often Herd, Polly Gibbons, Red Stripe Band, Mampama, London Community Gospel Choir, Caravan and the Jack Hues Quartet.

The London Community Gospel Choir will perform at the Great Hall in Canterbury.  Photo: Nedim Nazeral
The London Community Gospel Choir will perform at the Great Hall in Canterbury. Photo: Nedim Nazeral

Theater lovers won’t want to miss the festival’s many plays, musicals and stage performances, from the drag cabaret number La Voix to a one-man show by Whose Line Is It Anyway host Clive Anderson.

Visitors can also catch performances by Dillie Keane from Fascinating Aïda, a Room of One’s Own from Dyad Productions, Brother Wolf’s Treasure Island, Lost in Translation Circus’ Hotel Paradiso, the Comedy Club and Edinburgh Fringe favourites, the Noise NextDoor.

Whose Line Is It Anyway host Clive Anderson will present his solo show Me, Macbeth and I at the festival.  Image: Canterbury Festival
Whose Line Is It Anyway host Clive Anderson will present his solo show Me, Macbeth and I at the festival. Image: Canterbury Festival

This year’s Talks series also brings an array of fascinating speakers to the festival lineup, such as historian Janina Ramirez, Keith Brymer-Jones of the Great Pottery Throwdown and V&A Museum director Tristram Hunt.

There will also be a series of science-focused events, such as lectures on forensic science and the history of scientific standards, and family events, including a bubble show, balloon show, shows clowns and a children’s disco.

Luxmuralis brings another stunning light show to Kent.  Photo: Luxmuralis
Luxmuralis brings another stunning light show to Kent. Photo: Luxmuralis

For the first time, the Canterbury Festival will host renowned artists Luxmuralis and their immersive light and sound installation in Canterbury Cathedral.

Luxmuralis, which recently launched its Life exhibition at Rochester Cathedral, will present Shine: Let There Be Light, a combination of three of their most popular shows highlighting the wonders of space, science and the Earth. , inside the historic building.

For those who want to get out and about, the festival will also organize a number of outdoor activities, including a 5km city tour, walks through the North Downs Way and birdwatching in the Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve.

The Canterbury Festival runs from Saturday 15th October to Saturday 5th November at various venues. Some events are free, but many will need to be booked in advance. You can find the full festival schedule, including ticket information, here.

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