Opening the 16th annual festival will be Dr Jazz & the Cheshire Cats, on its third performance in the town since the festival was founded in 2005. Foremost musicologist Dr Catherine Tackley heads up the Lymm-based big band, one of the best of its kind in the North West.
The programme continues for 10 days, with highlights including Handel’s celebrated oratorio Messiah, a return visit by world number-six-ranking brass band Foden’s, and a guest appearance from Rainhill-born Frank Cottrell Boyce, the internationally renowned screenwriter and children’s author.
Following on from the success of last year’s screening of The Magnet, the 1950 Ealing comedy filmed in and around Liverpool and the Wirral, the festival will show the 1958 crime drama Violent Playground. Starring Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing and David McCallum, it too was shot on location in the city and will doubtless nudge a few memories.
‘We’ve always aimed to make the festival accessible and affordable, encompassing every aspect of the arts,’ said artistic director Dr Robert Howard, ‘and with jazz, film, literature, and choral and orchestral music all represented this year, we’re confident there’s something there to appeal to everyone.’
The 16th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 28 June in the historic Lancashire town of Prescot, Merseyside. Tickets go on sale on Friday 1 May at Poco Coffee (30 Eccleston Street, L34 5QJ) or via the website, www.prescotfestival.co.uk.