5 Festival Acts that you Won't Want to Miss!

Enjoy 10 days of great music, theatre and film at the 2017 Bury St Edmunds Festival

This year's Bury St Edmunds Festival boasts a stellar line-up of critically acclaimed acts; with everything from jazz and world music, comedy and street theatre, poetry and film on offer. And whilst many acts have a broad appeal, this year's Festival has a particularly contemporary feel. 

We've picked 5 acts, that you won't want to miss!

Hard Times - 18th & 19th May 2018

Northern Broadsides presents a new adaptation of Charles Dickens 'Hard Times' at The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. 

Imagine a world where imagination is forbidden. Coketown is such a place. Thomas Gradgrind will not permit fanciful thoughts in his school or his home. But what effect will this policy have on his own children, Tom and Louisa? How can he protect them from corrupting influences – especially when the circus comes to town?

Dark satanic mills, interrupted by the colour and vibrancy of Sleary’s Circus, set the stage for a sweeping tale of supressed love, seduction and social mores, peopled with the sharply observed exaggerated characters that Dickens is celebrated for.

Conrad Nelson directs Deborah McAndrew’s witty adaptation of Charles Dickens’ great Northern novel to bring you a joyful juggling and tumbling through this touching and often hilarious tale of repression and longing.

Times: 3pm and 7.30pm
Tickets: £10.50 - £26 

Ladysmith Black Mumbazo - 18th May 2018

The group sing acappella in a joyously energetic performance that combines loud powerful choruses with softer, almost whispering chants where voices blend harmoniously, and tightly-choreographed dance moves at The Apex on 18th May.  Featured on Paul Simon’s Graceland album 25 years ago, they have toured the world since, and were re-united with Paul Simon a few years ago in the Graceland world tour.

In January 2018, Ladysmith Black Mambazo was awarded the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album, the 5th Grammy Award that the group has won. Their appearance at the Festival is a rare opportunity to see this world-renowned group.

Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £33, U25s £5

The Comedy Market - 20th May 2018

Listen to some of the circuits up and coming and funniest comedians at The Hunter Club; one of Buy St Edmunds's leading venues for live music and events. 

This is always a popular event at the Festival, so booking early is advised!

Time: 7pm

Tickets: £7

Federico Colli - 22nd May 2018

Winner of the 2012 Leeds International Pianist Competition, Federico Colli will be playing at The Apex.

Selected by International Piano Magazine as one of the “30 pianists under 30 who are likely to dominate the world stage in years to come”, he will be playing Bach Partita No. 4 and
Bach-Busoni Chaconne

Time: 1pm

Tickets: £9, Under 25s £5

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah - 23rd May 2018

Unable to read and write at school, Benjamin Zephaniah has become one of Britain’s most remarkable poets.

As part of his his first tour in eight years, his appearance at The Apex at the Festival coincides with the release of his autobiography, The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah.

In a compelling and inspiring show, Zephaniah will explain how he fought injustice and discrimination to lead a remarkable life, while sharing a selection of favourite stories and poems.

Signed copies of The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah will be available after the show. 

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £22, U25's £5

For tickets to Festival events, go to and to plan your visit to the Bury St Edmunds Festival, visit our Festival Guide

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