The first Trowbridge Arts Festival kicks off next Friday, marking the start of a fortnight of performances, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations.

Organisers hope the festival will draw people into Trowbridge and highlight the diverse arts and creative scene in the local area.

Tracey Sullivan, from the organising committee, said: “It’s Andrew Bryant’s brainchild, he’s been a town councillor for a lot of years and then we got a steering group and a couple of trustees and these groups have made it happen.”

Among the performances during the festival, concluding on September 29, is stand-up comedy from Lee Hurst at Trowbridge Civic Centre, a performance of Revolution! The Musical which has just finished a debut run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and talks from crime authors Val McDermid and Mark Billingham, as well as performances from clarinetist Michael Collins and guitar supremo Gordon Giltrap.

Mrs Sullivan said: “With Lee Hurst we thought getting a big name involved would help people to have a bit of faith in what we were doing.

“People kept coming out of the woodwork and wanting to be involved, so it’s great.

“A huge number of people in Trowbridge are creative and we’ve had a steering group of about 20 people throughout.

“It bodes really well and we really hope people support it. ”

She added there were a few performances that she was particularly looking forward to.

“I think Revolution! The Musical is really exciting,” she said.

“It’s a home-grown piece with a local young cast and it’s had fantastic reviews. I think it’s a powerful piece of theatre and I’m proud to have it for the arts festival.

“Lee Hurst, Gordon Giltrap and Michael Collins are the big names, so I hope people come along to those.”

Mrs Sullivan added she was still in denial about the festival launch being so close, but was looking forward to it. Many of the events in the programme are free to attend.

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