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Dovedale Arts Festival back for a fifth year

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 05, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Journalist and former politician Matthew Parris.

  • From the left: Cellist Natalie Clein, Biographer Fiona MacCarthy, and journalist and former politician Matthew Parris.

  • Biographer Fiona MacCarthy.

  • Cellist Natalie Clein.

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The Dovedale Arts Festival is back for its fifth festival, with its winning mix of the best in music, talks, entertainment, art and food.

Not just a book festival or a music festival or a food festival, it's a combination of all three - with art thrown in too.

It all happens over the course of one lively weekend of discoveries and surprises, right in the heart of some of Britain's most beautiful countryside.

No need to go to a city concert hall to hear the world-famous cellist Natalie Clein as she's coming to Dovedale, and will be playing Bach and John Tavener in a barn on the farm.

Journalist and former politician Matthew Parris will be telling his tall tales from the world of diplomacy, while local biographer Fiona MacCarthy lets us into the secrets of writing the lives of others.

Lucy Hughes-Hallett has walked off with all the prizes for her recent life of the flamboyant Italian poet and warmonger Gabriele d'Annunzio, and she will also be interviewing John Carey about his journey from a wartime childhood to the heart of the literary establishment and the writers that shaped his life.

Walkers will be able to enjoy Nick Hunt's account of his journey on foot across Europe in the steps of Patrick Leigh Fermor, and bird-watchers will be enthralled by nature-writer Mark Cocker's finds on the connections we make with birds the world over.

Garden designer supremo Tom Stuart-Smith talks about the ideal garden as well as his most prestigious commissions, and art-historian Alan Powers about one of Britain's best-loved artists, Eric Ravilious, whose inter-war landscapes and designs have become part of the English imagination.

All this, and the Saturday night extravaganza featuring the cultural panjandrum Christopher Frayling in an evening full of surprises at Dovedale Garage in Thorpe.

There will also be on display: the Dark & White Peak Prints Collection of wood engravings made throughout the Peak District, landscapes by Tor Falcon and best-selling ceramics by Bridget Whitehouse and Jane Rye.

Finally, Dovedale Events and Catering will provide locally sourced food and drink throughout the weekend.

Dovedale Arts Festival 2014 takes place this weekend, from Friday, June 6 until Sunday, June 8; at Lower Damgate Farm, near Ilam, Ashbourne. For further information go to www.dovedalearts.co.uk, email info@dovedalearts.co.uk or call 01335 310348.

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