#CIFLive – The Gentle Good

We are very excited to have Welsh musician The Gentle Good appear as part of our #CIFLive series. This will be filmed from the green room of Camberley Theatre and broadcast live via the Camberley International Faceboook page from 7pm on Wednesday 12th October.

ciflive master V2

The Gentle Good is the stage name of Cardiff based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Bonello. Taking influence from the traditional music and folklore of Wales along with a myriad of sources from all over the world, Gareth creates timeless folk music in both English and Welsh.

The Gentle Good have released several critically acclaimed albums including ‘Tethered for the Storm’ (2011) and ‘Y Bardd Anfarwol’ (The Immortal Bard, 2013) both of which were nominated for the Welsh Music Prize. Y Bardd Anfarwol tells the story of the famous Chinese poet Li Bai and was written during a residency with the Chengdu Associated Theatre of Performing Arts in Southern China. It was awarded the Welsh language album of the year award in 2014 and was the inspiration behind an award winning play; ‘Rhith Gan’, which was staged by Theatr Genedlaethol at the National Eisteddfod in 2016.

We are inviting a very limited number of guests to watch Gareth’s performance, live from the green room, please e mail Jo.Bartlett@surreyheath.gov.uk if you would like to attend.


2017 Festival Dates and #CIFLive News

Please get your diaries ready – we have the dates for next year’s Camberley International Festival. Join us for another ten days and nights of music, film, dance and the arts throughout Camberley from June 7th to June 17th 2017.

CIF logo colour

By way of introducing some of the amazingly talented artists who will be performing at the 2017 festival, we will be streaming exclusive events live from  Camberley Theatre starting this month and running until May next year.

We are very excited to present the very first  #CIFLive on Wednesday 21st September.

LAU Square 2

MEX.FS is an acoustic, lap tapping guitarist of such sublime talent that we can’t recommend tuning in and watching his #CIFLive stream highly enough.

Joe Gravil, who performs under the name Mex.fs has just returned from an extensive run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has performed in  London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, Hamburg, New York,  L.A., Colorado, San Fransisco, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo and Seoul over the last few years!

Watch this video to see how wonderful he is.

Joe’s Camberley Theatre streaming performance will take place in the green room, back stage and there will be a very small selection of guests invited to watch. If you would like to attend, please e mail Jo.Bartlett@Surreyheath.gov.uk for your chance to attend this intimate, very special occasion, places are free and will be on a first come first served basis.

To watch the concert live on either Facebook or Twitter, simply go to the theatre’s pages at 7pm on Wednesday September 21st and watch. There will also be an opportunity to ask Joe questions as he will have a Q&A break in the middle of his set. You can send these questions in advance to the e mail address above or via the theatre’s social media pages during the concert.

Camberley Theatre Facebook

Camberley Theatre Twitter


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(All the posts below are from the 2016 event)


Camberley International Festival – the film!

After a few re-edits, it’s finally here! A little film with all the festival highlights – from the opening night with Lau at Camberley Theatre, the myriad of activities we had across town on June 4th with the Vienna Festival Ballet in the evening and finally clips from the family picnic on June 11th. If you were there – hopefully this will bring back some happy memories, if you weren’t hopefully this will make you want to be there in 2017!


Thank you!

The first Camberley International Festival finished in style on Saturday June 11th at the beautiful London Road Recreation Ground with a family picnic, celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday.

Here’s a little film capturing some of the music and fun on the day.

So that’s it! A huge thanks to everyone who performed, attended and worked on the Camberley International Festival.

Karen Whelan, Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Chief Executive says,

‘It has been a real pleasure to see the Camberley International Festival create new spaces and interactions for the arts to be enjoyed by all. It is a wonderful addition to the town and promises much for future local, national and international collaborations.’

Surrey Heath’s portfolio holder for business, Cllr Craig Fennell added:

‘This has been an exciting and successful inaugural year for the Camberley International Festival. Audiences have had the chance to sample some fantastic arts and artists, from poetry and ballet, through to cutting-edge contemporary performers.’

 We have lots of footage and are working on getting a film that captures the whole event ready to share……Watch this space!

So nearly there now….

Thanks very much to Skylephant and Kodiak Island for their fantastic performances at The Bear last night. Thanks to all those who braved a very hot, sticky night to watch!

Here’s a clip of Kodiak Island in action….


Last night also saw a healthy turn out at the drama over at Camberley Theatre – thanks so much to Liz Lennie and Brightlight Theatre for all their hard work. Liz Lennie’s play ‘Not In Our Town’ had a fabulous debut read through performance, while Brightlight performed some of their pieces from this year, including their inturpritation of  ‘The Wind in the Willows’  

So….the last day is tomorrow where we can all enjoy a picnic at the London Road Rec in Camberley. Thanks very much indeed to everyone who has performed or watched or even just read these posts over the last few weeks! There will be more round up news next week plus the dates for 2017. Have a great weekend and hopefully see you at the picnic!🙂


Kodiak Island single launch party and drama

The first ever Camberley International Festival nudges closer to its completion – folk-rock legends, Fairport Convention played a gorgeous set last night at the theatre.

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Tonight sees local psychedelic-folk band, Kodiak Island launch their new single ‘Spanish Steps’ at The Bear in Camberley. Just to show the level of attention that has gone into setting this festival up – the place Kodiak Island is famous for its bears, and the band Kodiak Island are part of the Musical Bear label and, yes, this is all taking place at The Bear pub- oh my word!🙂

Here is ‘Spanish Steps’


Support comes from Skylephant and the fun kicks off at around 7:30 – this is another free fringe event and actually the last gig of the festival, so a party indeed. Get yourselves down there for some summer fun.

If live music isn’t your bag and you actually prefer a bit of interactive drama, there’s also two drama sessions taking place at Camberley Theatre.

Drama graphic final

From 7:30 – 8:45pm local playwright Liz Lennie will be performing ‘Not In Our Town’.  This is the world premier of Liz’s latest play, a comedy written for radio.

A debate on terrorism in a Surrey town, not unlike Camberley, culminates in  some surprising multi-cultural bonds.

Scripts will be handed out on the night and small but significant parts will be available.

Anyone willing to give it a go can e mail Jo.Bartlett@surreyheath.gov.uk before 4pm today (June 9th) or simply make themselves available this evening.

After this, Frimley’s Brightlight Theatre will be presenting scenes and sketches from their recent performances from 9 – 11pm – again with a chance to join in.

Tonight at Camberley Theatre – Fairport Convention

Hailed as the originators of British folk-rock music, Fairport Convention has been one of Britain’s best-loved bands for nearly fifty years. Launched in 1967’s ‘summer of love’, former members include Richard Thompson, the late Sandy Denny and Dave Swarbrick  who very sadly passed away last week.

With a vast musical repertoire to draw on, Fairport Convention’s shows feature a mixture of long-established favourites and new material. The band’s current set includes songs and tunes from their new studio album Myths and Heroes which was released in March 2015.

Fairport Convention has attracted critical acclaim for decades – for example, the band has won a coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award; Radio 2 listeners voted the groundbreaking album Liege & Lief ‘The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time’; and Fairport’s story was celebrated with a major documentary on BBC Four television.

Fairport Convention features Simon Nicol on guitar and lead vocals, Dave Pegg on bass and backing vocals, Chris Leslie on fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki and lead vocals, Ric Sanders on violin and Gerry Conway on drums and percussion.

Whether you are a long-time fan or a newcomer to their music an evening with Fairport Convention is sure to surprise and delight you.


The Vienna Festival Ballet

Anyone lucky enough to be in the audience of the sold out performance of ‘Swan Lake’ at Camberley Theatre on Saturday was treated to a beautiful, sumptuous display of virtuoso dancing. See the clip below for a few highlights.

Gill Mallek from the Vienna Festival Ballet said,

‘The company had a great time at the Audience With and the performance. It was a wonderful first visit to Camberley and it was lovely to see so many people. We were delighted to be part of the first ever Camberley International Festival. We look forward to returning soon’


Next date for your CIF diaries – Fairport Convention at Camberley Theatre on Wednesday June 8th (Don’t forget to use the CIF code for your £5 discount per ticket)

Saturday? What a day.

So much happened on Saturday – where to start?

At the beginning seems logical, so here goes.

We were treated to two very special acoustic sets from Sophie (minus her Giants) and Sun Circus at lunch time in the café / bar at Camberley Theatre.


Then the fantastic spoken word / poetry skills of Steve Larkin and Paula Varjack blew us away, still in the theatre café.

Steve organises Hammer and Tongue poetry slams, and hosted the first ever Camberley slam on Saturday.

After the poetry – over to The Surrey Arms for the first of the bands playing across Camberley….two bands in fact, playing groovy psychedelic rock, first up, The Electric Woods.

The Electric Woods

Followed by The Vinyl Staircase…featuring twin brothers on guitar and drums.

The Vinyl Staircase

Over the road, through The Mall, out the other side and into the Carpenters Arms, where Sophie had gathered her Giants for an electric version of the songs we heard earlier on via her acoustic guitar at the theatre.

Sophie and the Giants 2

Meanwhile…..outside Glo Hair Salon on Park Street, there was a live #GloUnplugged broadcast by singer / songwriter, Emma Jane Kennedy. This was streamed live via their Facebook page.


Phew. Ok…..finally over to The Bear for the last two bands of the day / night.

First up wonderful three piece, The Luxe. Another band featuring brothers on guitar and drums – albeit with shorter hair this time!

The Luxe

Finally, topping and tailing this great day of wonderful local, live music…our friends Sun Circus – this time with their electric guitars. Talking of which, I don’t think so many Telecasters have been seen and heard in Camberley in one day before!

Sun Circus 2

Special thanks for making all of this happen, goes out to Lee Dawson from Camberley Theatre who not only set up and took down all the PA equipment at each gig, but also did a magnificent job doing the sound all day and night. Sterling work Lee! A mention also to The Vinyl Staircase (and the twin’s Mum) who had already packed their gear away when they got an emergency call from the CIF team asking if they could come back and lend their drums to Sophie and the Giants – thanks guys! Finally, Sun Circus whose bass player was at a wedding in Slough. The guitarist from the band drove to Slough, picked up Mr bass man to play the gig at The Bear and then dropped him back at the wedding afterwards! Thanks fellas! One last thank you goes to Jenna Grant and her help in sourcing so many great bands.🙂

Thanks so much all of you – and of course everyone who took part. Musicians, poets and audience members. You are all very cool indeed! X

We have some live footage we will be posting soon…watch this space.

The Vienna Festival Ballet also took place on Saturday night at Camberley Theatre….check this website out tomorrow for a run down of that.