Storming Arts Festival Success for MGSO4

Beth Keens sings Built to last by ben Tompsett at MGSO4 Festival Epsom

The first MGSO4 Epsom & Ewell Arts Festival has been a great success, with a fantastic three days of events held all over the borough.

Thousands of people of all ages attended performances, workshops, talks, exhibitions and creative events in streets, cafes and care homes, as well as traditional venues.

• A packed house at Bourne Hall was entertained by award-winning author and playwright Michael Frayn, in conversation with his nephew, Sky Sports News TV presenter Julian Waters. Michael recounted anecdotes about his career and his upbringing in Ewell during the 1930s and 40s.

• More than 1000 people followed the festival’s art trail with MGSO4’s pop-up gallery on the first floor of The Ashley Centre a particular hit.

• Families from across the borough came to Derby Square, in Epsom town centre to see 12-year old Beth Keens deliver a superb performance of the festival song Built to Last, written by local songwriter and musician Ben Tompsett. Due to popular demand, Beth performed the song again on Sunday evening, avoiding the rain on both occasions.

• Hundreds of people of all ages participated in creative workshops from felt making and zentangling to music production, screenwriting and author events.

• The live music stage in Derby Square featured a stunning array of talent – from West End star Oliver Tompsett and his special guest Rachael Wooding from Britain’s Got Talent, to local up-and-coming talent from bands Little Grim, Ella Cornwell and Epsom Youth Big Band. Restaurants in Derby Square were thrilled with the brisk trade, with busy tables indoors and outdoors. Even a storm of Biblical proportions on Saturday didn't hold up the show for long - with volunteers rushing to help dry out the stage and equipment using mops and even hairdryers borrowed from local shops.

• Derby Square crowds were also treated to a performance by the extraordinary winner of our Young Musician of the Year competition, Thomas Kavanagh.

• Primary school children at the Celebration of Young Poets event at Bourne Hall, brought a tear to the eye with the winning performances of their Our Town poems

• World-renowned, and Epsom-born, concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy received a standing ovation for his recital.

• The intimate narratives exposed at the premiere of Bare Reality the stage play, was praised by critics for its honest and courageous approach.

Chair and festival director Sarah Dewing said: “ It was an incredible three days and we have been inundated with enthusiastic messages. A huge thank you to everyone who helped us to create an amazing inaugural festival. We have a great team of people and hope to grow and develop what we are able to offer the local community.”

Take a look at our picture galleries for more photographs of festival events, and visit Facebook or Twitter to join the MGSO4 Festival conversation.