Jazz and panto to join forces for 25th Marsden Festival

MARSDEN’S all-male pantomime group are planning a special one-off performance in September to raise money for the 25th Marsden Jazz Festival.

The Yorkshire Avalanche Dodgers performing “Calamity Jake” in 2015

The Yorkshire Avalanche Dodgers will be performing a selection of pantomime songs to help launch the countdown to this year’s festival to be held over the second weekend of October.

The pantomime performance will take place at Marsden’s historic 19th century Mechanics Hall at 7.30pm on Friday, September 9, with all profits being used to support the festival.

The Avalanche Dodgers were formed in 1978 and this year’s show, Twisted, was described as the ‘true story of Oliver Twist’. Previous performances, written by local poet Peter Armitage, have included Calamity Jake and Up Spartacus.

The group donates the proceeds from ticket sales to local good causes, including the Marsden Jazz Festival, but this is the first time it has put on a special performance to raise money for the festival.

Festival Producer Barney Stevenson, who is also a member of the Avalanche Dodgers, said: “We’re celebrating our 25th jazz festival this year but the Avalanche Dodgers have been going even longer and will soon celebrate their 40th anniversary.

“It’ll be great to bring together two Marsden institutions, with performances of classic Avalanche Dodgers songs helping to raise money for this year’s festival.

“It’ll definitely be a night to remember and a great way to experience some of what makes Marsden so unique.”

Meanwhile, jazz legend Digby Fairweather will be returning to Marsden to perform at the Festival. Digby appeared at the first festival in 1992 and will once again be at the Mechanics Hall to perform alongside BBC Radio 2’s Paul Jones.

Other headliners at this year’s festival, which is being supported by Arts Council England and Yorkshire Water, include ten-piece band Jazz Jamaica, Anglo-American supergroup The Impossible Gentlemen, and Jazz FM Awards 2016 nominee Nérija.

The Festival will also feature the renowned Saturday street parade, an artisan market in Marsden’s Victorian park and over 100 hours of live music at 25 venues, including more than 60 free gigs and events.

Tickets for the Yorkshire Avalanche Dodgers fundraising concert cost £10 and are available to buy at www.marsdenjazzfestival.com/tickets as well as from Duncan’s Barber Shop on Warehouse Hill in Marsden or by calling 0800 6125 649. The ticket price also includes food.


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