Churches of Romney Marsh host events for JAM on the Marsh

(7th-17th July)

Multi-arts festival JAM on the Marsh returns this summer for 11 days of music, theatre, sculpture, art and poetry. Tickets are now on sale at www.jamconcert.org

JAM on the Marsh’s 9th festival uses locations across the marsh from Hythe to Dungeness and Snargate to New Romney. For the first time, every one of the famous medieval churches of the marsh will be used during the festival.

On 7th July, Changeling Theatre opens the festival with their brand new, hysterical and irreverent production of Oscar Wilde’s ever popular The Importance of Being Earnest. This bold, imaginative and magical open air theatre company returns to the heart of New Romney, performing in the Old School Garden, where the backdrop of St Nicholas’ Church and town become the play’s sets.

Close up scene of actors performing in the churchyard of St. Nicholas's church, New Romney

Music remains at the heart of the festival. Concerts feature world-famous names including VOCES8 delighting audience with their sheer joy of singing; Lucy Crowe and James Gilchrist performing William Walton’s Façade; Michael Collins with the London Mozart Players giving the world premiere of Judith Bingham’s Concerto for Clarinet (a Festival Commission) alongside Copland’s Clarinet Concerto + Debussy and Grieg; the excellent Holst Singers perform The Fifth Continent – a dramatic and evocative work with brass and organ about Romney Marsh; all-star musicians of London Tango Quintet bring rhythm and heat to the Marsh.

The festival will also showcase local talent – Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform, and 60 children from St Nicholas and Brookland Primary Schools will come together to perform with one of the UK’s finest brass groups, Onyx Brass. Conducted by Lydd resident Rebecca Lodge Birkebaek, the children will sing Timothy Jackson’s Opening Night.

Visual art is represented in 6 exhibitions, including the Marsh Mosaics arts trail around all 14 medieval churches. Other exhibitions include Angela C Smith’s breath-taking sculptures in the transept and fabulous large-scale abstract oils, by artist John Ballard.

Events begin on 7th July at St Mary the Virgin church at St Mary in the Marsh. At 2pm Gawain Douglas will give a fascinating talk about and recital of Po Chu-i’s The Temple. Po Chu-i lived AD 772-846 and was one of the most important poets of the Tang Dynasty, AD 618-907.

Many further events take place in the marsh churches. See www.jamconcert.org for full details and tickets.