South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival celebrates 40th anniversary

Arts Festival launch Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption The play Lost At Sea is one of the highlights of this year's arts festival

A programme of comedy, theatre, dance and music has been unveiled for an arts festival's 40th anniversary edition.

Dozens of events will take place across the south west of Scotland between 24 May and 2 June.

The Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival was first held in 1979 and describes itself as "Scotland's largest rural performing arts festival".

New director Dani Rae said the festival had been "part of the creative lifeblood of the region" for 40 years.

Image caption Lucy Porter will perform as part of the 40th anniversary edition

"As well as the 10-day festival we work year-round delivering Arts Live, supporting venues and artists throughout the region to bring the best performing arts to our communities and encouraging them to try something new," she said.

"Part of the essence and original focus of those who pioneered the very first arts festival in 1979 was to enable local communities to be able to see the highest quality shows without having to travel to the cities.

"I very much want Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival and Arts Live to build on this legacy going forward."

Among the highlights this year is the play Lost At Sea described as a "lyrical tribute to Scotland's fishing communities".

Comedian and actress Lucy Porter, Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ensemble are also part of the programme of events right across the region.

Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption The festival takes place over 10 days from 24 May

Lorna Duguid, multi-artform manager with Creative Scotland, said: "Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival is a key organisation in the delivery of performing arts and culture in Dumfries and Galloway.

"It has, and continues to be, an important keystone for access to high quality programming for the area and this year's 40th anniversary programme is no exception, reaching new audiences and venues across the region, with work from some of Scotland's most exciting artists."

Dumfries and Galloway Council's events champion Adam Wilson said the local authority was delighted to support the event.

"We enjoy a very strong partnership with the arts festival whose 40th anniversary programme offers something for everyone and continues to make its mark as one of seven signature events, helping sustain and develop the cultural and economic impacts for Dumfries and Galloway," he said.

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