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Cookham Festival 2011


Add Cookham Festival 2011 to your Itinerary

Cookham Festival logo




The 11-day Festival is a celebration of the amazing talent we find across the Cookhams. Building on the success of past festivals, there are three new events this year, to broaden the appeal still further and to encourage many more people to get involved in different ways.

A first this year is a unique version of A Midsummer Night's Dream which sees aspiring actors taking to the boards for the first time in the People's Shakespeare directed by Richard James. This is Shakespeare for the people of Cookham by the people of Cookham.

Cookham High Street will be transformed for a day into a Street Festival, providing an opportunity for displays of great local arts, crafts and food - and a lot of fun. And, our most important development - the Fringe Festival - takes us into new venues on a more informal basis, encouraging many people of all ages and with a myriad of talents to entertain their fellow Cookhamites.

Music for all tastes includes a galaxy of talented young musicians as well as established professionals, featuring classical music, organ recitals and jazz and a closing concert by Cookham's Cantorum Choir. Let's Rock the Moor is back for its third year to bring together people of all ages in a family rock festival starring Brit award-winning Rick Astley, T’Pau, The Real Thing, and Curiosity Killed the Cat.

Edinburgh Festival success Barbershopera is back with its funniest quartet Apocalypse No! This is an award-winning show featuring three guys and a girl and mayhem.

Local comedienne Helen Huscroft will again be hosting an evening of adult humour featuring a new line-up of stand-up comedians.

The visual arts are back in force. Retrospective exhibitions of two Cookham artists, Leslie Orriss and Juliette Palmer, provide a rare opportunity to follow the careers of these two and successful local artists through their works. There will be an exhibition of the work of cartoonist Posy Simmonds who has written and illustrated many children’s books and some distinctly adult graphic novels. The exhibition shows Posy’s working process and her heroine, Tamara Drewe.

Open studios across the community showcase excellent local art featuring more than twenty artists. The inspiring Festival Sculpture Garden returns at Odney, This year the exhibition of works by local artists and established sculptors from all over the country promises to be the biggest and most varied to date. There is also a series of workshops to encourage you to develop your own talents.

Michael Johnson has created a major new work for the Festival A Grave History. History is not just about them: kings and queens and politicians. It’s about us and the place in which we live. Holy Trinity Church provides stories of Cookham people in times past. The entertainment was written by Michael Johnson, with music by Gillian Salmon – the team that brought you ‘Another Cookham Resurrection’.



A talk by Paul Rennie

Stanley Spencer Gallery, High Street, Cookham SL6 9SJ

Friday 13th May at 8pm

Tickets £5.00

Paul Rennie, head of context in graphic design at Central Saint Martin’s, looks at how Spencer’s pictures helped a nation understand the reality of being at war. The Summer exhibition is Spencer’s War:The Art of Shipbuilding on the Clyde.


Wednesday 18th May at 3pm

Tickets £4.00

A talk by Vanessa Pickwoad, Leslie’s daughter, Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Sutton Road, Cookham SL6 9SP

Vanessa Pickwoad gives an account of her father’s rich life and work. A highly talented local artist, Orriss taught at Reading College of Art.


A talk by the artist Juliette Palmer

Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Sutton Road, Cookham SL6 9SP

Friday 20th May at 3pm

Tickets £4.00

Juliette will be talking about her own work, particularly how the importance of observational drawing and the use of bold graphic design helped her achieve authenticity in children’s book illustrations.

These talks complement the exhibition:


Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Sutton Road, Cookham SL6 9SP

Thursday 12th to Sunday 22nd May 2- 5pm except Wednesday 18 and Friday 20 May.

Free Retrospective exhibitions of two Cookham artists: Leslie Orriss and Juliette Palmer. A rare opportunity to follow the careers of these successful local artists through their works.


Cookham Rise Library, High Road SL6 9JF

Sunday 22th May at 4pm

Tickets £5.00

Cartoonist Posy Simmonds, creator of Tamara Drewe, shares the secrets of her skills. Born and brought up in Cookham Dean, Posy sharpened her pencil and her wit while working on the Guardian.

Posy Simmonds has written and illustrated many children’s books and some distinctly adult graphic novels. There is an exhibition of her work from 12th -22nd May showing Posy’s working process. The library is open on Monday 2-7pm; Tuesday to Friday 2-5pm; Thursday/Saturday 10am to 1pm; Sunday 22 10am to 4pm

Tickets available through the Box Office at the Stationery Depot, Station Parade, Cookham SL6 9BR. 01628 531178.

The Cookham Festival Box Office is at the Stationery Depot, 23 Station Parade, Cookham.

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