Feast of events at this year’s Creative Peebles festival

InChorus will be in Choir-aoke mode.
InChorus will be in Choir-aoke mode.

Cultural entertainment comes in every conceivable form later this month, with more than 30 individual events – including plenty of festival firsts – scheduled as part of the 2018 Creative Peebles Festival (August 24 to September 2).

This year’s extravaganza 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 attraction is a major fundraiser for the Eastgate Theatre Development Project.

Also new for this year is a tour of the magical Kailzie Gardens (August 27) 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 (August 27) provides a fascinating look at life inside Neidpath Castle down the centuries, while the second tour – Tales from the Castle Crypt (September 2) – 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 (August 27) – 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 (August 25), a new tour of some of the town’s lesser-known streets and squares; while, in Growing Spaces (September 1), 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 (August 25), the suitably outrageous return of The Lady Boys of Bangkok as part of their Wonder Woman tour (August 29), award-winning comedian Juliette Burton (August 31), plus Choir-aoke – an interactive performance as part of InChorus’ 10th anniversary celebrations (September 1).

Add festival favourites such as the traditional Open Galleries evening on the opening night (August 24), the Annual Busking Competition (September 1), plus a special festival concert and lecture courtesy of Music in Peebles (September 2) and the Tweeddale Society (August 28), and festival-goers have much to enjoy.

The 2018 Creative Peebles Festival runs from August 24-September 2. For more information, call Eastgate Theatre box office on 01721 725777, or visit www.eastgatearts.com