Six of the Best: Morley Arts Festival events

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Morley Arts Festival has grown into one of the region’s biggest and most diverse cultural gatherings. Here we look at six acts to look forwad to at the event, which runs until Sunday October 9



Dr John Cooper Clarke, with support from Toria Garbutt is Britain’s best loved and most important performance poet and will grace the opening weekend of Morley Arts Festival in the unique surroundings of the Alexandra Hall.

John Cooper Clarke is as vital now as he was in the 70s, his biting, satirical, political and very funny verse, delivered in a unique rapid-fire performance style. Expect the unexpected.

Strictly over 16s. Saturday September 24, 8:30pm to 10:30pm, Morley Town Hall, tickets £17.02–£22.29 available from Morley Library.

Author Ian Clayton

Author Ian Clayton



Head to the library for a free family event celebrating The Very Hungry Caterpillar featuring crafts, poetry and music, plus optional fancy dress with prizes for cool caterpillars and brill-tastic butterflies, judged by local councillors.

Explore your creativity with caterpillar crafts, including the chance to make your own fabulous ‘Shiny Shrinkles’ to take home and treasure. Nibble up some rhymes or cocoon yourself in a world of books in the reading den

September 24, 1pm to 3pm, Morley Library, free



Ian Clayton has led writing workshops for over 30 years and is the author of more than 50 books. He has worked at every level of education from infant schools to university departments. In recent years he has been visiting scholar in creative writing at Changchun University in China.

He believes that good stories start anywhere and at any time and that the best stories have a strong sense of place. Join him for a friendly chat and learning.

October 1, 1pm-4pm, Small Banqueting Room, Morley Town Hall, tickets £3.



With its independent releases, The Wedding Present acquired a reputation for bittersweet, breathtakingly honest love songs immersed in whirlwind guitars.

From exploring traditional Eastern European folk music, to enlisting noise-mongering sound engineer Steve Albini’s aid at a time when everyone else was releasing ‘Madchester’ dance mixes, the band has stubbornly refused to play the record industry’s game from its inception.

They will close the festival.

October 9, 8pm-10:30pm, Alexandra Hall, tickets £20.18



A masterclass with one of the UK’s leading poets - with Simon Armitage - will help those keen to convert ideas, thoughts and feelings into writing. Simon has published over a dozen collections of poetry, most recently Paper Aeroplane. His translations of medieval verse include his acclaimed Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and his new translation of Pearl. His poems have been part of GCSE and A level exams in this country for nearly two decades now.

September 25, 6pm to 7pm, Large Banqueting Room, Morley Town Hall, tickets £22.29



Celebrated artist Ashley Jackson will be in conversation in this unique event, discussing his love affair with Yorkshire whilst capturing it in front of your eyes, followed by pie and peas.

Ashley Jackson has been given the title, ‘Turner of the 21st Century’ due to his passionate portrayal of the Yorkshire Moors, following the English School of watercolour technique of applying no white to the paper - the light that you see in his work is the surface of the paper.

September, 28, 7:30pm to 9pm, Gildersome Meeting Hall, tickets £7 (includes pea & pies): 0113 2539763