Stagecoach are proud sponsors of Canterbury Festival 2019

01 Oct 2019

Kent's International Arts Festival

19th October - 2nd November 2019

Canterbury Festival is a 2 week extravaganza of music, performance, family events and more in the heart of Kent. 

Canterbury's most ambitious Festival unifies the city's cultural hubs and invites audiences of all ages and backgrounds to be inspired, delighted and stunned. 

Here are just a few events taking place over the 2 week festival:




I, Clara

Shirley Hall, The King’s School | Sunday 20th October | 7:30pm

Pianist Lucy Parham’s meticulously researched Composer Portraits are always a Festival highlight. This brand-new show, I, Clara celebrates the extraordinary life of Clara Schumann – devoted wife to Robert and a ground-breaking musician herself – in the year that marks her 200th anniversary.

I clara



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The Jazz of Judy Garland

Festival Spiegeltent, Canterbury Coach Park | Tuesday 22nd October | 8pm

Sara Dowling and the Chris Ingham Trio explore the career and catalogue of Judy Garland – one of Hollywood’s brightest yet most troubled stars – in an evening of swing, poignancy and anecdote.


the judy garland story 



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Laura Mvula

The Marlowe Theatre | Wednesday 23rd October | 7:30pm

Innovative British singer-songwriter, and two-time MOBO award winner, Laura Mvula, visits Canterbury this autumn for a very special Festival performance.


laura mvula



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Murder She Didn’t Write

Festival Spiegeltent, Canterbury Coach Park | Friday 1st November | 7pm

A classic murder mystery is created on the spot in this ingenious and hilarious show from Bristol Improv Theatre’s resident company.

You become Agatha Christie in this improvised comedy, as an original murder mystery play is created – based entirely on audience suggestions. So, take up your magnifying glass and don your deerstalker for a never-seen-before (and never-to-be-seen-again) evening of murder, mayhem and making it up on the spot.


murder she didn't write



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Where is Mrs Christie?

St Mary’s Hall Studio Theatre | Saturday 2nd November | 7:30pm

Dark secrets, mystery and suspicion abound in this stunning new one-woman show performed by Liz Grand. In 1926 Agatha Christie was at the centre of a mystery as perplexing as any of her fiction: a series of events that sparked one of the biggest and most extensive manhunts in history. When she was eventually found at a luxury hotel in Harrogate, the author claimed that she was suffering from amnesia. Neither the press nor the police believed her…

Did she lie? Was it a publicity stunt? Or was there an underlying crisis known only to her? As in all good thrillers, all will be revealed…


where is mrs christie



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Family Friendly

Comedy Club for Kids

Festival Spiegeltent, Canterbury Coach Park | Saturday 26th October | 2pm

Cracking entertainment for everyone over the age of six, Comedy Club 4 Kids stars the best comedians doing what they do best… but without the rude bits! It's exactly like a normal comedy club, but in daylight hours, and with a higher chance of heckles of 'Why is that your face?'


comedy club 4 kids



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Baby Loves Disco

Festival Spiegeltent, Canterbury Coach Park | Sunday 27th October | 2pm

One of the Festival’s hottest tickets, Baby Loves Disco returns for its seventh year having sold-out for all of its appearances at Canterbury Festival so far!

This is an opportunity for family members of all ages to get on the dance floor for some shiny, happy toddler-friendly fun. With prizes for best outfits, face painting, a dressing up box and a cheeky pint for dad, what better way is there to spend a Sunday afternoon?





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James Wong

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge | Tuesday 22nd October | 5:45pm

We are delighted to welcome back garden designer, TV presenter and ethnobotanist James Wong, who joins the Festival to discuss his new book 10 a Day the Easy Way.

According to a growing body of international studies, little tweaks to your everyday diet to get you beyond the 5-a-day minimum and towards 10-a-day, could slash your risk of developing the biggest diseases to affect the Western world. In fact, experts agree that simply eating more fruit and veg is the single most important dietary change you can do for your health! 


james wong



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Lars Tharp: Five Men Behaving Badly

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge | Thursday 31st October | 5:45pm

A Festival favourite, the popular and hugely engaging Lars Tharp returns with a cracking discussion of Hogarth’s progress through Kent.

A ceramics and oriental art specialist and broadcaster, Lars works regularly with the BBC: from 1986 to 2018 on The Antiques Roadshow, plus dozens of TV and Radio programmes including his own series, Inside Antiques (BBC2), Hidden Treasures (chairman and writer, Radio 4), and on the Art of the Baroque (Radio 2), not to mention the occasional contribution to Woman's Hour – on Scandinavian knitwear.


lars tharp



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The Genetic of Superheroes

St Mary’s Hall Studio Theatre | Sunday 20th October | 3pm

Television presenter and scientist, Simon Watt, returns to Canterbury after a sell-out show in 2017. This time he explores comic-book mutants – those heroes and villains with superhuman powers. From Wolverine to Magneto, their special abilities are genetic in their origin. Simon examines what real mutants are like, looking at topics including genetics, mutation, DNA, and mRNA and poses the question: could we one day use genetics to make us superhuman? Perfect for families who love science and superheroes.


genetics of superheroes



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Cocktail Laboratory

The Ballroom | Sunday 20th October | 6:30pm

Mixology meets science as we transform one of Canterbury’s most popular nightspots into an informal, interactive laboratory space. The Ballroom mixologists will be shaking up a storm with a range of delicious science-inspired cocktails and tips on cocktail-making.

Meanwhile, scientists from the University of Kent will lead the audience in interactive cocktail-themed scientific experiments.


cocktail classes



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Gruesome Canterbury Tales Walk

Westgate Towers | Saturday 19th October | 2pm

Hear stories and gruesome details from the darker side of Canterbury’s ancient history. Not for the fainthearted!


westgate towers



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Goodnestone & Chillenden - Walk in the Steps of Jane Austen

St. Bartholomew’s Church | Wednesday 23rd October | 10am

Through woods and fields around Goodnestone and Chillenden, including the Serpentine path walked by Jane Austen on her visits here.





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To view the festival's full lineup please visit