Actress will star at Ribchester Festival of Music and Art

Melissa Sinden
Melissa Sinden
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Ribchester-based actress Melissa Sinden is to lead one of the main late night events at this year’s Ribchester Festival of Music and Art.

The seven ages of man will be the theme of “Melissa and Friends”. The event, on June 22nd at 10-15 p.m., at the historic candle-lit church of St Saviour at Stydd, comprises a reading of some of the nation’s favourite poems and some new work. It being primarily a music festival the event will also include a little music and there’s even an element of audience participation.

Melissa, whose voice is regularly heard on national radio, is no stranger to poetry reading. She’s appeared on poetry programmes on both BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. Her work has ranged from reading mediaeval poetry to taking part in a programme featuring the work of well known Manchester based poet Lemn Sissay.

She says: “We will be looking at everything from the cradle to the grave. There will be plenty of laughs along the way too. Those taking part will be people I’ve worked with in radio drama.” Melissa, who is known locally as Melissa Gray, trained at Manchester Polytechnic before landing her first professional job in radio drama, which has proved an enduring love.

She comes from a theatrical family – both her parents were in the D’Oyly Carte opera company, and says: “I’m really interested in the voice and the way you can use words and voice to create pictures. I’m also a big music fan and music and poetry are so aesthetically linked. There are some great poems set to music and some great song lyrics that would double as poetry.”

As for the venue for her performance, she adds: “Stydd is just magical. I’m looking forward to the event and feel very privileged to be given a slot at the Ribchester Festival.”

“Tickets cost £10 and are available from the Box Office on 01254 878881. The festival runs from June 20th to June 24th. More details of the full festival programme can be found at Stars taking part include Tamsin Little, Martin Roscoe, Kenny Ball and his jazzmen, the Pachelbel String Quartet and the Absolution Saxophone Quartet.