Author Archives : cookfest

Highlights: A Night at the Opera

A foot-tapping climax to the 2015 Cookham Festival. The Cantorum Choir has delighted Festival audiences on many occasions in the past and they did not disappoint at the closing concert for the 2015 Festival. But there was a difference.  No Passions, no Oratorios (or is that oratori?).  This time we were treated to a wide […]

Cantorum Choir photo 2014 Xmas hi res

The Times

Highlights: Regulation 18B:No Free Man

Regulation 18B:No Free Man by Scott Wright had it’s premier at Cookham Festival, this was followed by a short tour. The play is as relevant to the issues facing the current Home Secretary as it was in 1940, it has been reviewed in the National Press, you can read the article from The Times here. “[Wright], the Anglophile […]


Highlights: Clint’s Jazz Band

One of London’s finest and most versatile professional Jazz Bands struck exactly the right note on Friday night for the Cookham Festival.  Clint’s Jazz Band took us step by step from soft jazz classics, through foot-tapping swing, exciting bee-bop and then into a first-rate evening of popular dancing. Such a smooth performance was quite irresistible.  […]

Highlights: From Cummersdale to Cookham

Gavin Henderson, Partnership Archivist at the John Lewis Partnership Heritage Centre, on Grove Island  explained to an enthralled audience the history of the textile archive, which is now housed in the Heritage Centre. The collection’ origins were in the Stead McAlpin print works in Cummersdale near Carlisle in the early19th century. Printing methods included the […]

Gavin Henderson


Highlights: Comedy Club

Here’s what people said about the Peter Wilson’s Comedy Club evening.  “I think that I must have been to all the Festival Comedy Clubs, and this was definitely the best.” “I’ve never been to a Comedy Club before. It was brilliant and I have seen Cookham people that I have never seen before.” “From the […]

Highlights: Arts Hub Workshops

The workshops proved a great success, with everyone having a fun creative time. The variety of work produced was amazing and all to a high standard. Overall it was a fantastic weekend of creativity with many people leaving with a sense of achievement and some very tired tutors! Fabulous Beasts This workshop gave children the […]


Wouldn't it be Loverly

Highlights: Wouldn’t it be Loverly

Described in the Festival Brochure as a ‘fun-packed’ evening, the sing-a-long, ‘Wouldn’t it be Loverly’, lived up to all expectations. Led from the piano by Neil Matthews and supported by the Maidenhead Music Comedy Society, the audience sang their way through all the well-known and well-loved songs from My Fair Lady. The audience, encouraged by […]

wine and canvas1

Highlights: Wine and Canvas

The Wine and Canvas evening at Bel and the Dragon was so popular that one session was sold out before the tickets had been printed. Maybe it was the lure of the wine! Everyone enjoyed themselves and produced some amazing results.                  

Highlights: Maestros in the Making

This promised to be an enjoyable evening, listening to ‘up and coming talent’ and good music too. It did not disappoint. The choice of music ranged from Purcell to Poulenc with a variety of instruments used including voice and euphonium. Many of the soloists were accompanied by Jean Garrett who provided musical and moral support […]

maestros in the making


Highlights: A Quilter’s View of Cookham

A wonderful talk was given by the Maidenhead Quilters at The John Lewis Heritage Centre. Jocelyn Stevens introduced the audience to the delights of quilting and demonstrated  many examples of her work and the different techniques involved. I was particularly interested in the quilts they made for children who have experienced family problems and the […]

Highlights: Pied Pipers of Cookham

Children from 2 weeks to 3 years old and their grown ups filled the Cookham Rise Methodist Church for a varied and light-hearted programme of music for two flutes, presented by Julia Bentley-Dawkes and Victoria Dawkes and accompanied on the piano by Jean Garrett. The programme comprised music from Swan Lake, The Flower Duet by […]


Kaos Kabaret - Dick Barton

Highlights: Dick Barton Special Agent

Audiences at Pinder Hall were transported back to the 1940s and the recording of two episodes of the hit radio drama “Dick Barton, Special Agent,” complete with a BBC Radio announcer properly dressed in a DJ! The Pinder Hall audience played an important part in the production, as the studio audience, booing, shouting and hissing […]

Highlights: Voices of the Great War

A packed cricket club was treated to a sublime evening of entertainment, provided by a team of local artists who supplied poetry and music, laughter and tears and left all who had the luck to be there with abiding memories of the Great War, as reflected in its poetry and popular music.   The show […]

Voices of the Great War

jonah man jazz

Highlights: Jonah Man Jazz

Children from the four Cookham primary schools (Herries, Cookham Dean, Cookham Rise and Holy Trinity, Cookham) joined together as a large combined choir, directed by Liz Croft, to present a wonderful concert to a packed audience of all ages. There were a number of short pieces to start, one of which included a quartet, followed […]

Highlights: Strictly Cookham

25 people, a mixture of couples and singles, attended the Strictly Cookham Beginners’ Dance course. 26 is a good upper limit, 30 would be too many for a beginners’ class. Three people who had attended the dance class at the last Cookham Festival came along for a second go! The cost of the course of […]

Ruth Daniel Tarrystone Garden Winner adult category

Highlights: Open Air Painting Competition

On Saturday 2nd May, the first eager artists turned up at the Odney Club, armed with easels, painting paraphernalia and their canvases ready to be stamped; ready to embark on the challenge of painting somewhere in Cookham, in the open air. Over the weekend 21 adults and 9 children took part in the event which […]

Highlights: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Shakespeare came alive last week in Pinder Hall with the Peoples Shakespeare transporting us to the Tudor world of intrigue, humour, drama and crisscrossing plots. Under the brilliant direction of Richard James the people of Cookham donned their costumes and convincingly became the characters in this play.  The use of space and the clear drawing […]


Women on the Home Front

Highlights: Women on the Home Front

The Women of Britain do their Bit We were lucky to have one of the country’s experts to add to the Festival’s programme of World War 1 events.  Edward Dixon, who lives in Pinkneys Green, treated his audience at the Methodist Church to a fascinating insight into the impact of the Great War on the […]

Highlights: The Water is Wide

Recital by Jonathan Wood and Victoria Mander-Wood with Sara Wood (piano) A delightful song recital was given by the young professional singers Jonathan Wood (baritone), and Victoria Manders-Wood (soprano), accompanied by Sara Wood (piano), in Cookham, Holy Trinity Church on Sunday May 10th. British and North American songs were performed with strong folk-song influences, and […]


exhibition 1

Highlights: A Cookham Remembrance

            “A Cookham Remembrance” at Moor Hall was an exhibition of about 600 old photographs featuring old Cookham parish – the village, Rise and Dean – illustrating our pretty lanes and streets, buildings and views, with the people who have lived here and their lives and activities. It was most […]

Highlights: My Spirit Sang All Day

The Rose Ensemble treated a sell-out audience in St John the Baptist Church, to a brilliant choral concert on Saturday afternoon. The group of eight singers, brought together for the Cookham Festival by husband and wife team of Julia and Ed Millard, had been singing colleagues in the larger National Youth Chamber Choir, when they […]



A Cookham Remembrance – This Weekend 8-10 May 2015

You are invited to an exhibition of old local photographs A Cookham Remembrance at MOOR HALL, Cookham (entrance free) Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May – 10.30am-4.30pm An exhibition of about 600 old photographs featuring old Cookham parish – the village, Rise and Dean – illustrating our pretty lanes and streets, buildings and […]

Babs Christian

Professional actor/singer and Cookham resident, Babs Christian, is delighted to be performing at the Cookham Festival. This year as part of Kaos Kabaret, she will play the role of Marta Heartburn in a spoof of the famous BBC series ‘Dick Barton: Special Agent’. Passionate about acting and singing, Babs studied opera under Evelyn Nicholson – […]

richard james

Richard James – The People’s Shakespeare

“I love challenging people to try something new – that’s when I believe we can discover things about ourselves that we might never have considered before,” says Richard James, professional actor and playwright. It’s that ethos that inspired him to start The People’s Shakespeare. “In 2010, I was approached by Mike Copland, who was then […]

Julia Bentley-Dawkes – The Pied Pipers of Cookham

The Cookham Festival has a history of looking for new and innovative acts, and providing something for everyone. This spirit is perhaps best embodied in Julia Bentley-Dawkes. She’s no stranger to the Cookham Festival, having performed in a concert for two flutes and a piano in 2011, but this year she’s got something a little […]

Pied Piper

CF SS Wall Hanging

Ruth Daniel and the Maidenhead Quilters

Ruth Daniel and five of her fellow Maidenhead Quilters have designed and sewn a beautiful wall hanging based on a collage of works by Stanley Spencer.  It will feature in a talk  to be given during the Festival. When we think of quilting, perhaps the first thing that springs to mind is a patchwork bed […]

Cookham Knit and Natter

Whilst Cookham might not yet have played host to Banksy’s artwork by stealth, a new and slightly more unusual form of graffiti is about to hit the village. When the ladies of the Cookham knit and natter group were asked to provide an exhibition piece for the 2015 Festival, they came up with a very […]

CF Knit and natter group yarn graffiti

Charlie Howett sml

Matthew Burley – Portrait Painter

Brought up in Cookham, portrait painter Matthew Burley uses original photographs to create unique and highly realistic art work. His affection for the village brings him back to the Festival. From his early childhood Matthew has always been interested in painting and drawing. His mother worked in animation and his father is an architect so […]

David England – Master Storyteller

When most of us think of storytelling, we imagine children tucked up in bed, or possibly a spooky story told around a campfire in the woods. But for David England, the appeal of storytelling is far more universal. “I tell stories in all sorts of places – festivals, private events, even weddings. In fact, over […]


Arts Events

A wide range of arty activities to participate in including painting, glass light catchers, charcoal sketching and Pottery. Sponsored by Bluematchbox Potter’s Supplies   [add_posts category=arts-hub full=true h=3 show=40]


A fabulous range of Drama from comedy to play readings and Cookham’s very own People’s Shakespeare.   [add_posts category=drama full=true h=3 show=40]  

Cast rehearsing Act I Scene 1

LRTM (1)


Music to suit everyone’s taste why not sample our eclectic mix   [add_posts category=music full=true h=3 image=true show=20]