Chiddingly Festival

The Chiddingly Festival, which in recent years has brought artists of the calibre of John Cooper Clarke, Attila the Stockbroker and John Hegley to the village, is beginning this weekend. As usual, it’s quite an event, especially considering the parish, a collection of hamlets built on seven hills equidistant between Hailsham and Lewes, has an official adult population of just 710.

The highlight of this weekend, aside from the open house at Farley Farm (our cover story this week) is a classical concert on Sunday night in Chiddingly Church, Orpheus and Corinna, performed by the popular classical duo, soprano Emma Kirkby (Classical FM Artist of the Year 1999) and lute player Anthony Rooley, a modern-day minstrel who has travelled the world playing Baroque and Renaissance music for over 30 years. Other events include the first chance to follow the Chiddingly Art Trail across eight different venues (starts Saturday), and the only chance to wander through four very special gardens in the village, including the intriguingly named Sigglewriggle in Nash Street.

There are events every weekend until October 8th - other highlights include a poetry night featuring Catherine Smith (28th), a jazz night featuring up-and-coming star Gwyneth Herbert (September 30th), a concert by Hillbilly hipsters The Curst Sons (October 3rd) and a Cornelius and Jones puppet show presentation of Pinocchio (October 8th) all of which we will be featuring in more detail in future editions of Viva Lewes. Visit the Festival website for more details. AG

Sheep by Julian Le Bas, one of the artists on the Chiddingly Art Trail