The Gregg School

Big names on the Brink

Published on isbi School News dated Thursday 26th of July 2012

A top-class list of big name speakers and performers has been lined up for the first ever arts festival to be staged at Wisbech Grammar School.

The three-day BrinkFest 2012, which runs from Thursday, September 13 to Saturday, September 15, has attracted nationally known figures from the fields of poetry, art, archaeology and music.

The festival kicks off with the award-winning poet, Wendy Cope, who in 1998 was voted the listeners' choice in a BBC Radio 4 poll to succeed Ted Hughes as Poet Laureate.

Later, on the same day, Ian Collins, the arts correspondent for the Eastern Daily Press, will speak on 'John Craxton and the Fens'. Ian Collins's John Craxton, with an introduction by David Attenborough, is the first full-scale monograph on the artist, a key figure in post-war painting.

The second day of the festival is centred on Antony Penrose, the great grandson of Alexander Peckover. In the evening, in a joint event with the National Trust, he will present A portrait of space, a play about his father, the distinguished artist, Roland Penrose, and his relationship with Lee Miller, Picasso and the surrealists.

On the final day of the festival the school is staging the first ever meeting between Francis Pryor, the archaeologist who discovered Flag Fen and a regular on the Channel 4 programme, Time team, and Elly Griffiths, the author of a crime series about a forensic archaeologist who lives in the Saltmarsh somewhere on the north Norfolk coast and who has acknowledged her debt to Francis Pryor.

The BrinkFest finishes on a climactic high note with 'Trills and frills', featuring the dynamic duo, harpsichordist David Wright and mezzo-soprano Zarah Hible, in a concert of Georgian music in period costume that reflects the historic setting of Wisbech's North Brink.

A range of activities, including hands-on sessions, practical demonstrations, and a second-hand book sale, is also being organized for the final day of the festival and it is hoped that work by past pupils who have made their names as artists and sculptors will also be on display.

Admission to A portrait of space and 'Trills and frills' is priced at £5. Tickets for all the other events are free. Information on times and how to book tickets is available on .

Headmaster Mr Nicholas Hammond said: 'This is a great opportunity to open the doors of Wisbech Grammar School to the wider community. These people are coming to Wisbech and it is great to be able to welcome such a distinguished group of guests.'

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