Chairman and Patron’s Welcomes

Mary Huggins – Festival Chairman 

Welcome to Arts Alive 2019!  

Arts Alive has been lighting up Mole Valley with its events each October since 1997. 

We want to bring you new and exciting things each year, and this year we have a lovely new logo.  We do hope you like it. 

A further innovation is our Launch in Leatherhead High Street on Saturday 21 September between 10am – 12noon.  We discovered Cabareilidh earlier this year and just had to bring them to Mole Valley for the festival launch.  Please join us for this free event to watch and perhaps join in the wild ceilidh dancing and cabaret acts inspired by Surrey’s customs and traditions. There will be singing, dancing, face painting and more children’s activities. 

Most wonderful is the news that Dame Judi Dench has agreed to be our Patron this year! 

And when you think it’s all over, you can join us for the Festival Finale at the Yehudi Menuhin Hall, on Wednesday 13 November. 

Without the generosity of our Sponsors, Mole Valley District Council (MVDC), Gatwick Airport and  Surrey County Council’s members’ allocations, the festival simply wouldn’t happen. Their support means we are able to offer small grants to event holders who otherwise may not be able to share their creative talent. Huge thanks to them. 

I would like to say a big thank you too to our advertisers, who help fund the cost of producing this programme, and our distributor ‘Cause and Effect’ who makes sure there are programmes available all over Mole Valley. 

Please enjoy all that is on offer. I look forward to meeting many of you at festival events, too. 

Dame Judi Dench – Festival Patron 2019

October is Festival season!

I am delighted to be Patron for the Mole Valley Arts Alive Festival 2019 – a whirlwind of enjoyable, inspiring and creative art events for adults and children alike in Mole Valley, within my beloved home county of Surrey. 

With something for everyone, the festival covers film and theatre, music, literature, dance, painting, poetry, modern and traditional crafting, horticulture and comedy. This year, the festival team have encouraged event holders to add local food and drink to their events, so you should see some local produce to accompany some of the events.  Please do taste and buy, and keep our delicious local produce thriving. 

I am also pleased to introduce a greater selection of theatre and film – my passions – in the form of film screenings such as Hidden in Plain Sight on Thursday 31 October at Dorking’s Green Room theatre. This event features a series of films shot in the Surrey Hills by local, nationally-acclaimed artists and filmmakers. The Freewheelers group present their annual Film Night on 6 November, and I am looking forward to Bookham Light Operatic Society’s ‘The Mikado’.  We must support our home grown talent! At national level, I can recommend the Edinburgh Festival smash hit Bubble Schmeisis which is playing one night only at The Stepping Stones pub on Friday 4 October – a big-hearted comedy about tradition and belonging. 

When you go abroad people always talk with such love about British theatre, but the irony is it’s not appreciated by the Government as it should be. The state of the arts has always been, and will always be, precarious. So it’s wonderful to see MVDC’s sponsorship, along with Gatwick Airport, for the festival.

I warmly wish the committee the biggest and best festival to date.