Gallery/Ipswich: Arts festival celebrates truly giant line-up

Ted Hughes' classic children's story The Iron Man is brought to life. Picture: Paul Goodwin

Ted Hughes' classic children's story The Iron Man is brought to life. Picture: Paul Goodwin - Credit: Archant

This year’s Ipswich Arts Festival line-up has been revealed, along with news that literature will get its own stand-alone festival in the autumn.

Local, national and international acts will descend on venues across the town from June 21-July 7 for the event, which launches with a weekend of free activities as Celebrate Ipswich brings fairies to the Cornhill, craft markets to St Peter’s Street and an Iron Man to the Waterfront.

“Ip-art 2013 combines established favourites with some new faces and is designed to appeal to everyone not only in Ipswich but in the wider region,” says festival organiser James Young.

“It continues to attract hundreds of thousands of people and is now the biggest arts festival in East Anglia. Importantly, many events are free so while we offer a wide cultural experience we are not elitist and attract people from all walks of life.”

Christchurch Park will be home to festival favourites including Global Rhythms and the Indian Summer Mela, as well as superstar making musical showcase Ipswich Music Day. It will also see acting legend Brian Blessed host The Film Night Spectacular with a firework finale and the county’s first open-air screening of smash hit Les Miserables.

Sherlock Holmes will be investigating some curious goings on at the Mansion Lawn as the Pantaloons perform the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective. There will be plenty of laughs as Silent Cinema’s Golden Years of Comedy comes to DanceEast’s Jerwood DanceHouse, with Chaplin and Keaton classics accompanied by a live pianist.

For fans of something a little different there’s the spectacular Big Top where you’ll be entertained by international burlesque, vaudevillian circus performers, fire breathers, aerial artistes and the weird and wonderful Benjamin Bloom.

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For a look at the other ip-art shows in store, check out the web gallery. Literary Ipswich is set to run from October 2-6.