Celebrating art and entertainment at the Crail Festival

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Now in its 34th year, The Crail Festival’s busy programme is as varied as ever.

From activities for children with the ever popular Workshops offering Print Making, Puppets, Masks, Art, Drama, Story Telling and Krafty Kids, to the eclectic selection of music on offer from The Blueswater and Rose Room, Emily Maguire, Under Fire, and Robbie Greig.

For the competitive the Crabbing, Putting and Sandcastle Competitions Animal Magic Bake-off , Archery and the Junior Golf Skills should be fun and challenging.

The more curious will revel in the Fossil Hunt, Rock Pool Guddle and the Dundee Science Centre’s ‘Rocket Science’ sessions.

Ahead of the Festival getting underway tomorrow (Wednesday), we pick the top five must-sees from this year’s event.

1. Liz Lochhead

May Island Discs; Friday, July 20; Crail Kirk Hall; 2pm

An evening with; Friday, July 20; Holy Trinity Church; 800pm

It is not often that a true Scottish national treasure comes to Crail but this year the incomparable Liz Lochhead will be making two appearances on Friday. In her first performance she will be in conversation talking about her life before, during and after her time as the Scots Makar, the National Poet for Scotland.

There is much to be discovered about this remarkable poet, playwright and broadcaster. Liz will be reading from her favourite poems and choosing some of her favourite music. All of this will be served up with a cream tea and a glass of Prosecco.

In the evening, we will be enthralled listening to Liz’s monologues, poems, other writings and musings.

Her use of Scots in her work has been described as a ‘diction of kaleidoscopic pace and liveliness’. Performance has always been an underlying theme of Liz’s philosophy, consequently she is very good at it and provides a highly entertaining evening.

2. The Bernicia Suite

Sunday, July 22; Crail Church, Marketgate; 7.30pm

A new music composition by artist and historian Richard Wemyss remembering the tragic loss of the steam, line fishing vessel the Bernicia and her Cellardyke crew on February 12, 1900.

The Bernicia steam line fishing vessel left Anstruther, with her Cellardyke crew of eight and two engineers from North Shields, to where it was registered.

She was known to be heading east of the Isle of May and was expected to land within a week.

However, the seas were rocked by violent storms and the boat was never heard of again.

The only wreckage, a life belt and name board found off the coast of Farne Islands. The six piece band leads us through the poignant narrative overlaid with commentary and projections. This is a very moving story which unfolds as a terrible community loss and a hitherto unmarked national tragedy. It really does highlight The Real Price of Fish!

3. Five Star Comedy Evening

Monday, July 23; Crail Community Hall; 8pm

Paul Sneddon aka Vladimir McTavish, a hugely versatile, irrepressible, irreverent comedian will be making a welcome return to Crail with four very talented ‘friends’- Robin Grainger, JoJo Sutherland, Susan Morrison and Mark Nelson- to present a Five Star Comedy Evening underpinned by the very best of Scottish comedy. This is a stellar cast offering sheer escapism for an uproarious evening. You cannae beat it! A night for sheer escapism!

4. Rock Pool Guddle

Friday, July 27; meet at Hen’s Ladder (Bankhead Brae); 10am

Grab your nets and pails. Pull on your wellies. You’re ready to join local marine biologist, Bernie McConnell, for two hours of discovery in Crail’s rock pools. Bernie will divulge amazing and fascinating facts about all the creatures hiding in these salty pools.

Hand lenses will be provided free but you will also be given an opportunity to buy your own £5 lens and an information sheet also £5.

5. Under Fire

Saturday, July 28; Crail Community Hall; 8pm - BYOB

This year’s headline act, Under Fire is very much a local band.

Influenced by the Rolling Stones, Queen, Blondie, Janis Joplin, Elvis, Dusty Springfield, The Kinks and many more from the rock/pop songbook. Under Fire are 100 per cent LIVE putting their own spin on familiar and much-loved rock and pop tunes. Just ask the patrons in the Legends Bar, Anstruther about the quality of this fantastic band!

Dance in flares if you dare!

To view the full Crail Festival programme, visit Crail Festival