The Isle of Arts returns for its second year with a whole host of fantastic acts over the weekend of April 20th to 22nd in Ventnor. Here’s a quick ‘best for’ round-up of what’s on offer.
Frontman of Cockney Rebel, Steve Harley, is a great performer and this unplugged session that will close Saturday night is bound to bring the marquee down. The chorus of ‘Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile) will echo across the clifftops along with other favourites such as ‘Mr Soft’, ‘Judy Teen’ and the poignant ‘Sebastian’.
Best for laughs – Phill Jupitus
He’s big, he’s bloody funny and he’s home grown – born in Newport in 1962. Stalwart captain on ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ Phill is likely to be ‘erudite, troubled and occasionally mean’ according to Isle of Arts who have made a good move in putting Phill in the marquee on Friday to kick off the festivities.
Best for Literary Buffs – Lloyd Lees
After a sell-out performance at last year’s festival, Lloyd Lees returns in the guise of Charles Dickens, sharing his memories of past characters over afternoon tea at East Dene. Dickens would have visited this beautiful wood panelled house, as it was the family home of the Swinburne family when Dickens lived next door at Winterbourne while writing David Copperfield. Immerse yourself in the experience in deepest Bonchurch.
Runner up on Celebrity Masterchef, Hardeep will combine cookery with comedy on Friday afternoon with his popular Edinburgh Fringe show ‘The Nearly Naked Chef’. Be prepared to be amazed and entertained by Glaswegian Hardeep’s anecdotes and culinary prowess – one of his specials is haggis and butternut squash vindaloo we hear.
Best for Party Games – Sandy Toksvig
Audience participation and interaction is on the agenda for an evening with Sandy Toksvig on Saturday so make sure you’re down the front – or not as the case maybe. Comedienne, writer and broadcaster, Sandy is a regular on TV shows such as ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’, ‘QI’ and ‘Have I Got News For You’ and Radio 4’s ‘News Quiz’ so gen up before getting stuck in.
Best for Vintage humour – Radio Soop
Taking everyone back to the golden age of radio will be the humorous theatrical antics of Radio Soop who recreate a live radio broadcast that involves a riotous array of sound effects. There’s a definite vintage fifties feel to this trio of one-act plays.
Best for Blues – Tipitina
New Orleans comes to Ventnor for Tipitina’s brand of Mississippi blues on Friday night, although the band hails from Preston in Lancashire. Be transported to the juke joints, dance halls and warm nights (we can but hope) of the Big Easy.
Supertramp sax man John Helliwell and his band Crème Anglaise will be booming out of the Boathouse at the Spyglass on Saturday night. All of the musician in this band have top notch credibility and will offer a selection of jazz, funk, blues and rock and soul.
Best for Walking in the Air – Aled Jones
Remember that wonderful rendition Aled gave of Walking In the Air when he was just a wee boy? Well he’s still singing his heart out and will be getting a few others in on the act on this evening of 100 voices when he joins our own Newchurch Male Voice Choir and the Hart Male Voice Choir from Hampshire to give a grand finale of massed voices on Sunday night in the festival marquee.