Regional premiere and Festival programme launch

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Building on last year’s most successful festival to date, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival launches its 2008 programme on Thursday, May 1 which will also be available online from Friday morning, 2nd May.

For the first time ever, the programme is to be launched at a special pre-Festival performance – and there are still a few tickets left for that event, Celebrating Linda Smith, a celebration of the life of the comic BBC Radio 4 listeners voted Britain’s wittiest person.

Linda Smith

In the show, sponsored by Mytholmroyd-based publishers Sweet and Maxwell and being held at Hebden Bridge’s Picture House, performers from theatre, music and comedy pay tribute to one of Britain’s best-loved performers, who died from ovarian cancer in early 2006.

Tickets are on sale online at, at the Festival Shop on Albert Street from 10am to 5pm on Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26, or by post (full details of how to buy tickets is advertised in the Festival Shop window and on the box office answering machine). A donation of £1 will be made to Ovarian Cancer Action from every ticket sold.

This brand new national touring stage production brings Linda’s comic genius back to life and was crafted from the adaptation of her biography Driving Miss Smith, written by her partner of 23 years, Warren Lakin. Each performance features words and musical contributions from her friends and a host of special guests.

The launch of this year’s Festival programme promises to be just as exciting. Each year, a small group of volunteers punch way above their weight to bring artists and performers of national and international renown to the quirky Pennine town.

Full details of the packed event schedule are under wraps until the official launch on May 1, but highlights will include a regular from BBC TV’s Mock the Week, a pub quiz with a difference, interactive performance art, lunching with literary giants and a rare chance to experience the work of an internationally acclaimed choir.

Programmes will start to appear in tourist information centres, libraries and other venues across the area from Friday, May 2 and postal bookings open on May 5. The box office on Albert Street opens on June 14.

The 2008 Festival will run from Friday, June 27 to Sunday, July 13.

If you’d like to be kept in touch with what’s planned, e-mail or visit