Buxton Festival 2011 is now in full swing, havng opened officially on Saturday. It’s a cultural highlight of the year, which sadly, this year, we are not supporting as well as we usually do. There are various good reasons, one being a diary clash with prearranged trips and events and another, more shamefully, because we had left it too late by the time we got round to booking – even though as ‘Friends of Buxton Festival’ we have a chance to book before the box office opens to the general public. We’ll try to do better next time.
Anyway, with luck there may be a last minute opportunity as friends and colleagues in the village find they have bought tickets they cannot honour which will be advertised on the blog. We start tomorrow with one of their wonderful mid morning talks in the Opera House. These start at 10.30 – possibly after a leisurely coffee in the sunshine beforehand if one is sufficiently organised, or possibly a pleasent lunch afterwards if not. The talks last for an hour, concluding with very relaxed question and answer sessions; the Opera House is sufficiently small to make it feel quite intimate and uninhibiting, but the audiences are always very respectful and appreciative, and questions – even when very searching ones – are never offensive (or at least, the ones we have been to).
Amongst other literary talks we’ll be going to is Joanana Lumley, standing in for the Dowager Duchess, who sadly is indisposed (at 91 that’s fair enough). There are always a lot of opera and musical recitals, and then the odd cookery demonstration, debates, hosted walks round Buxton and masses of things on the Festival fringe. It is an excellent three weeks.
The talk tomorrow is Professor Christopher Andrew and Professor Keith Jeffrey talking about the MI5 and MI6 – we’re told “Expect an interesting debate on many different aspects of British, colonial and international history over the past 100 years”.