Free music and dancing at Lyme Folk Weekend

A WEEKEND of free music, dancing and other events will bring the summer holidays to a close in Lyme Regis.

Among a whole host of performers from the local area as well as further afield is a brilliant group of shanty singers who are visiting the town all the way from Fremantle, Australia.

The Lost Quays (pictured) are well known in their home country, and will be bringing their unique brand of Aussie entertainment to Lyme Folk Weekend as part of their European tour.

Member Nick Eustance explained: “We are singing at the Bie Daip festival in Appingedam, Holland, one of the main shanty festivals in Europe, and then in Papenburg in Germany two weeks later. But this left 10 days or so in between to fill.

“Lyme Folk Weekend falls exactly over the middle weekend, and Jeremy Hayes, the organiser, was very encouraging right from my initial tentative enquiry. It’s just what we were after, and we’re really looking forward to it all.”

The Lost Quays will be performing on the free Seafront Stage on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1.

Also during the folk festival will be an opportunity to see one of Dorset’s rarest dance traditions. Bradninch Millers Morris are one of just three sides in the country who still perform stave dancing, a style unique to Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. Stave dancing died out in the 1920s, before being revived in the 1970s, but has been dwindling ever since.

Bradninch Millers reintroduced it to their repertoire in 2012 and are doing all they can to keep the tradition going, performing original 19th century dances. They will be dancing in and around the town on Saturday, September 1.

Back in Theatre Square for Lyme Folk Weekend will be the amazing Story Boat, a maritime museum created in an upturned boat. This fascinating attraction will be in place all weekend, but Saturday, September 1 will see it transformed into a unique miniature cinema of the sea, accompanied by musical performances.

The tiny cinema is a collaboration between Gail McGarva, creator of the Story Boat, and Somerset folk singer Amanda Boyd. Archive films on show will tell the story of Dorset’s maritime past in this charming and unique setting. Lyme Folk Weekend will include all the usual music, dancing and other activities on the seafront, in the Ship Inn, Theatre Square, the Galley Cafe and, of course, the headline concerts in the Marine Theatre.

The Sunday night finale concert starring Show of Hands is sold out, but tickets for the Friday and Saturday shows, featuring Ninebarrow, Merry Hell, Kadia and Ranagri are still available from the website or from Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre on 01297 442138.

Woodmead Halls

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