A STRING of comedy, music, fireworks and arts acts have been lined up for this summer’s Henley Festival.
Rita Ora, inset, will open the event on July 11, the iconic Grace Jones takes to the stage on Thursday with her energetic set that is guaranteed to include a string of costume changes and dance-club hits including her reinvention of Piaf’s classic La Vie En Rose.
Other music legends at the festival include multi-Grammy-winning composer, producer and guitarist Nile Rodgers, while Saturday night will see Curtis Stigers and The Ronnie Scott’s Big Band present Sinatra At The Sands.
Henley Festival will close in true style on Sunday, July 15, with English National Opera performing with soloists, full orchestra and chorus, all under the baton of ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins.
Their repertoire is taken from operas including Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro, Madam Butterfly, Turandot and La Traviata as well as a little Gilbert & Sullivan to top the night off.
The comedy stage welcomes performances by 25 comedians including Paul Merton, Lucy Porter, Mark Watson, Lee Nelson and Dominic Holland.
The comedy line up will also include a very special evening of unscripted, unrehearsed and spontaneous comedy from Dead Ringers’ impressionists Jon Culshaw and comedy producer Bill Dare in their sell-out show The Great British Take Off.
Elsewhere at the festival catch the Jazz Club in the Spiegel Tent, with performances by Purdy will be Soul/R’n’B band The Staks Band, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys and on Sunday catch Miss Kiddy and the Cads.
The BBC Music Introducing stage, created in 2007 to support unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians, is back again and for a taste of global world music as well as home spun British folk visit the Bedouin Tent.
Henley also boasts a foodie festival, this year Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett will be taking the reins of Europe’s biggest field restaurant, creating a bespoke menu exclusively for Henley, at the Riverside Restaurant.
Elsewhere there will be art displays, a family day and a fireworks display will close each night.
For more information or tickets go to henley-festival.co.uk