Packed Programme for Ealing Autumn Festival

Concerts, poetry, art and more in October

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Philip Hesketh

Voskresenije, Russian Chamber Choir

Ealing Autumn Festival, and

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This year’s Ealing Autumn Festival is celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with a number of events based on the theme of freedom, human rights and democracy has a packed programme coming up.

St Gregory's school group

The painting exhibition, Magna Carta turns 800, which launched in June continues its tour across libraries in the borough and the popular annual poetry competition reaches its conclusion.

Leading poet George Szirtes is judging the competition and will also be attending a poetry day on October 11. This will include poetry readings at Ealing Central Library and an open-mic session during the day and he will present the prizes in the two sections, 18 year & under and adults, at the Drayton Court in the evening along with further readings and discussion.

Members of Da Rocha Pastorale, which include festival artistic director Gillian Spragg, will bring a light hearted view of the Magna Carta with a coffee-time concert in the informal setting of The Maurice Fowler Hall at Ealing Abbey on October 13.

The festival events continue with a musical tribute to the Magna Carta in the form of an orchestral concert from the West London Sinfonia on October 17 at St Michael’s and All Angels, which features Copland’s ‘Lincoln's Portrait’ including a reading of the Gettysburg Address. Tickets are available on the door at £14 and £12 (concession) and the concert conducted by Philip Hesketh starts at 7.30pm.

There is a three-day visit from Voskresenije, a Russian Chamber Choir from October 19-21. This will feature ‘Vespers’ by Rachmaninov, which was written out of Russian musical books back in 1917, and the choir from St Petersburg will also engage with school and community groups in events at Southall Library and Ealing Central Library and give a full-scale performance.

The festival will also celebrate Black History Month and The Big Draw in October when together with Ealing Central Library they will bring together a display of artworks with participants able to draw and write about the experience of seeing them. The series of Saturday afternoon drawing sessions, starting on October 3, will feature a portrait of Jimmy Hendrix by Ealing artist Rose Osborne.

Festival artistic director Gillian Spragg said: “We're now just on half way through our Magna Carta tour of Ealing Libraries for freedom, human rights and democracy. We've met some great people looking after our libraries and some astonishingly creative young craft people.

“Everyone has made us feel very welcome bringing the exhibition and people really do seem to have enjoyed looking at the paintings and reading the posters.

“We are now looking forward to a number of key events in October including some excellent musical tributes to Magna Carta, and  the visit of Russian Chamber Choir Voskresenije is particularly exciting for the festival.”

Further events are planned for later in the year and details on all the festival activities can be obtained at

  • On Saturday, September 26 Northolt Library is staging an open day from 2-3pm with a number of Magna Carta themed events being held based around the painting exhibition currently showing at the library.

16th September 2015