Arts take over Chippenham

This Is Wiltshire: Rag and Bone Arts brings a Storybook Adventure to the Yelde Hall Rag and Bone Arts brings a Storybook Adventure to the Yelde Hall

The arts staged a takeover of Chippenham, with workshops and performances across town venues.

Chippenham Community Arts Festival was organised after last year’s successful drama festival at the Neeld Hall, adding dance, music and visual arts to the programme.

The three-day event, from Friday to Sunday, involved venues including the Yelde Hall, St Andrew’s Church Hall, the Citadel and the Cause Arts Centre being transformed into theatres.

Organiser Laura Graham May, of Rag and Bone Arts, said: “Last year Duncan Ellis, from Hardenhuish School, organised the drama festival and it was brilliant.

“But it could have been better attended and we thought it would be great to be more involved in it, so this year we jumped on board.

“I think it has the potential to get bigger and better.”

Among performers were the international touring troupe of clowns Le Navet Bete and members of the La Brigata, who made their way through the town dressed as silver angels with 10ft wings.

The festival included an arts trail, with artists displaying work in Chocolate Frost coffee shop in Timber Street, Revolutions and the Museum and Heritage Centre.

There was also a 24-hour broadcast by Chippenham Radio from Revolutions.

Ms Graham May said: “It’s definitely something I’d like to do again. We will get together and discuss what worked and what didn’t and get a clear idea of what we want its identity to be.

“Chippenham is a commuter town, so a lot of people go out of town for their culture, but there are a lot of groups doing fantastic things and we wanted to bring them together and show people what is on offer.”

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