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M
ack the Knife was top of the hit parade,
Marilyn Monroe sizzled in Some Like It
Hot, the first Mini car went on sale and
Ludlow – ‘the most perfect town in England’ according to
John Betjeman – gained its own arts festival.
Such was the heady stuff of 1959, and 50 years on Ludlow
Festival is still thriving. One of the oldest arts events in Britain,
it has enabled thousands to enjoy some of the finest performers
in the world of music, literature and the arts.
Over the years star names have graced the festival, including
Frankie Howerd, Jenny Agutter and PD James. And the golden
jubilee season is no different: Sir David Frost, Virginia Ironside,
Victor Spinetti, Julian Lloyd Webber and Sir Derek Jacobi will be
appearing along with novelist Louis de Bernieres and the London
Welsh Male Voice Choir.
“From one single event 50 years ago, the festival has grown in
length and venues to bring countless magic moments, and this year
should prove no exception,” says festival chairman Jenny Vaughan.
“From our opening gala night to the grand pop finale with
fireworks, everyone has worked hard to bring together the best
golden jubilee programme possible.”
If the big names bring the glitter, the regional sheen includes the
marking of two 150th anniversaries: that of poet A. E. Housman,
best-known for A Shropshire Lad; and Ludlow Choral Society whose
success is being celebrated by a world premiere performance.
Cultural tradition
Expounding on the richness of Ludlow’s cultural tradition will be Stillgoingstrong St. Laurence’s Church
David Lloyd in a lavishly illustrated presentation based on his new
(main image) was the first ever festival
book, Festival Ludlow – Eight Centuries of Artistic Heritage,
venue 50 years ago
studded with names from John Milton to Mary Webb. a174
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