Cultural entertainment comes in every conceivable form in the Borders this month, with more than 30 individual events – including plenty of festival firsts – scheduled as part of the 2018 Creative Peebles Festival (24 Aug to 2 Sept).
This year’s festival offers not only a host of indoor performances and workshops that celebrate the wealth of creative talent found in and around the town, but also a chance to explore the rich history, architecture, nature and landscape of Peebles through an extensive programme of walks, talks and tours.
And tickets are selling fast, with this year’s showcase event, Take to the Floor, already sold out. A glamorous, Strictly-style celebration of ballroom dancing at Peebles Hydro, the event is a major fundraiser for the Eastgate Theatre Development Project.
Also new for this year is a tour of the magical Kailzie Gardens (27 Aug) in the company of owner Lady Angela Buchan-Hepburn and head gardener Guy Crowhurst, plus two chances to explore Neidpath Castle – the magnificent 14th Century tower house overlooking the Tweed on the outskirts of Peebles.
Led by the current owners, the first tour (27 Aug) provides a fascinating look at life inside Neidpath Castle down the centuries, while the second tour – Tales from the Castle Crypt (2 Sept) – is geared very much to youngsters (aged 8+), with a Horrible Histories-style look at the creepier side of the castle.
Meanwhile, Buchan fans are in for a treat in John Buchan and the First Nations of Canada (27 Aug) – a wonderful talk to illustrate Buchan’s links with Canada’s First Nations tribes from when he served as the country’s Governor General; local author Liz Hanson returns for Even More Secret Peebles (25 Aug), a brand new tour of some of the town’s lesser known streets and squares; while, in Growing Spaces (1 Sept), horticulturalist Jan Cameron leads a tour of Peebles’ gardens that looks at the magic of growing your own food.
This year’s theatre performances include a special combined gig by The Wednesdays and Carlops Jazz Band (25 Aug), the suitably outrageous return of The Lady Boys of Bangkok as part of their Wonder Woman tour (29 Aug), award-winning comedian Juliette Burton (31 Aug), plus Choir-ake – an interactive performance as part of InChorus’ tenth anniversary celebrations (1 Sept).
Add festival favourites such as the traditional Open Galleries evening on the opening night (24 Aug), the Annual Busking Competition (1 Sept), plus a special festival concert and lecture courtesy of Music in Peebles (2 Sept) and the Tweeddale Society (28 Aug), and festival-goers have much to enjoy.
The 2018 Creative Peebles Festival runs from 24 August to 2 September. For more information, call Eastgate Theatre Box Office on 01721 725777, or visit www.eastgatearts.com