Creative Peebles Festival 2016
It’s back, but with a new name … this year’s Creative Peebles Festival (formerly Peebles Arts Festival) promises to be as exciting and wide-ranging as ever, as the event once again highlights the array of artistic talent found in and around Peebles.
This is a town and wider area chock full of musicians, artists, arts groups, film-makers, photographers and craftspeople. All will be celebrated during an 11-day festival that also welcomes top-quality professional theatre and music productions from further afield.
Many of the indoor performances, workshops and courses take place at the Eastgate Theatre, but visitors and locals alike should look out too for a whole raft of talks, walks and tours that explore the fascinating history, architecture, and landscape in and around this beautiful town of ours.
The festival opens with a performance of Asylum Monologues (Thurs 25 Aug) – a thought-provoking play that explores the experience of refugees and asylum seekers journeying to and subsequently settling in Scotland. Presented by Beyond Borders Scotland, the play offers a window into the challenges faced by some of the world’s most vulnerable people as they attempt to begin new lives far from home.
Migration is also the theme of The View from Castle Rock (Wed 31 Aug), the tale of a 19th century Scottish family’s journey in search of a better life in Canada. The latest work from Stellar Quines Theatre Company, and adapted for the stage by Scottish playwright Linda McLean, the play pulls together stories by Nobel Laureate Alice Munro which imagine the experiences of her Scottish ancestors who sailed to Canada from Leith Docks in 1818.
Having premiered at sell-out performances during this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, the production comes to Peebles as part of a wider tour of the Borders – an area with a particular significance for Munro whose ancestors were related to James Hogg, the ‘Ettrick Poet’.
Other highlights include the traditional Open Galleries Evening (Fri 26 Aug) and High Street Busking Competition (Sat 3 Sept), plus further live music from the likes of Savourna Stevenson, Miles Norris, and the Traquair Community Choir (Sat 27 Aug), Music in Peebles’ Festival Recital featuring acclaimed pianistEdward Cohen (Thurs 1 Sept), and Talisk (Fri 2 Sept) – real rising stars of the UK folk scene.
Meanwhile, walkers will love the guided outdoor tours – Tall Tours, In the Footsteps of …, The Lost Buildings of Peebles, Salmon Walk, and 20 Bridges of Peebles – while there will also be fascinating talks onJohn Buchan (Sun 28 Aug), plus the special Tweeddale Society Festival Lecture which this year sees Sir David Younger talk about the role and duties of the Lord-Lieutenant of Tweeddale (Tues 30 Aug), a position he served for a decade.
Phew, it’s quite a mix and we haven’t even mentioned Seven Songs for a Long Life (Sun 28 Aug) – an extraordinary documentary film which offers a sometimes poignant, often uplifting glimpse into the lives of six patients at a care facility near Glasgow.
So, if you thought festivals in August all centre on Edinburgh, think again! We invite you to join us for a rather smaller-scale event, but one that is nonetheless full of fun, interest and an impressive line-up of creative talent.
Creative Peebles Festival 2016 runs from Thursday 25 August to Sunday 4 September. For further info, including ticket details, visit www.peeblesartsfestival.org or call the Eastgate Theatre Box Office, 01721 725777.