2019 Programme


24th June - July 28th
Shop Windows along Rusthall High Street

You are invited to create your own artwork inspired by Picasso. Create a painting, print, sculpture, ceramic, mask, or assemblage made out of found objects. As with the play you may find further inspiration looking at the Rusthall Rocks where hundreds of Picasso-like masks and faces stare out at you. Please bring all your contributions for the “Art in the High Street” exhibition to The Rusthall in St Paul’s Street between 7- 8pm on Sunday 23 June. 
Please ensure that your precious work is safely packaged and labelled with your name, phone number, and title. If your artwork is for sale let us know the price.
Either Sheila Nash or Karen Gardner will be there to receive your contributions which we are looking forward to displaying in our High Street shops from the 24 June, in the lead-up to the innovative ceremony of "Dressing the Toad” - at Toad Rock on Tuesday evening 2 July, 7pm.   All are welcome - it promises to be a lovely, as well as unique, occasion. More details as they become available on our website.


Sunday, 30th June 10.30-4pm
Toad Rock

 The Rusthall Artists will be repeating last year’s successful “Paint the Rocks” day in the vicinity of Toad Rock Retreat.   All are welcome to join us - just bring yourself and your art materials.  Come and go as you please.

July 2nd Toad Rock

6.30pm meeting in Apsley Street for walk to the Toad 
Inspired by the pagan tradition of Well dressing, we are starting what we hope will become an annual event on this, the middle day of the calendar year; Dressing the Toad. Well Dressing is identified today most closely with Derbyshire, though the origins of the tradition are obscure. It has been speculated that it began as a pagan custom of offering thanks to gods for a reliable water supply; other suggested explanations include villagers celebrating the purity of their water supply after surviving the Black Death in 1348, or alternatively celebrating their water's constancy during a prolonged drought in 1615. It used to be far more widespread and would most certainly have been practiced in Kent. However, wherever or whenever it started it began in any event by a community’s desire to give thanks and show gratitude for their environment, Rusthall is unique in the country of having a naturally carved giant Toad, a symbol of water. It seems fitting that we show appreciation for the beautiful natural surroundings we are fortunate enough to live in.

The Play Design Studio 2nd Floor of Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, Tunbridge Wells
An exhibition of pictures, costumes, masks, artworks and poems inspired by the devising of the play Legend of the Rocks, alongside photographs of the numerous ‘faces in the Rocks’, a series of narrative illustrations inspired by the rocks by Jacob Maher, theatre designs of the Legend by Laura Stanfield and Masks by actor, improvisor and mask maker Roddy Maude Roxby.


Sunnyside Hall, Rusthall
Sunday 21st July 2.30pm

Chosen specially for the Festival, on the theme of Legends this is a prime example of a heroes journey.  In the Depression-era deep South, three escapees from a Mississippi prison chain gang: Everett Ulysses McGill, sweet and simple Delmar, and the perpetually angry Pete, embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they set out to pursue their freedom and return to their homes. With nothing to lose and still in shackles, they make a hasty run for their lives and end up on an incredible journey filled with challenging experiences and colorful characters. However, they must also match wits with the cunning and mysterious lawman Cooley, who tracks men, bent on bringing the trio back to the prison farm.

Rating PG-13 (for some violence and language)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Directed By: Joel Coen
Written By: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Runtime: 106 minutes



16th July 7pm
We are incredibly lucky to have singer, guitar player and songwriter Debbie Bond visiting the Festival. She has been paying her dues in the Alabama backwoods for over 30 years. Her singing has been compared to Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur, both of whom she cites as being influences on her music. The truth is that Debbie does it her way, playing a dynamic mix of soulful originals and covers.
Her impressive musical story includes years of performing with older traditional Alabama blues musicians, including Johnny Shines, Eddie Kirkland and Willie King.
Her immersion in the blues has deeply flavored her guitar playing, soulful voice and original song writing, yet her sound is contemporary and original, incorporating soul,
blues, rock, jazz and Americana influences. This unique musical synthesis can be heard on her latest album, Enjoy The Ride.
She is the co-founder and was for many years executive director of the award-winning Alabama Blues Project, an educational non-profit devoted to preserving and promoting Alabama's rich blues heritage. This is one not to be missed


Rusthall Community Play


at Toad Rock
Wednesday 24th to Friday 26th July 7.30pm
Saturday 27th July 2pm and 7.30pm and Sunday  28th July 7.30pm.


This fully devised community play by local people celebrating the remarkable community that is Rusthall and Claque’s 40th anniversary and 50th community play. The play, performed by a cast of 50 on and around Toad Rock told the story of four reluctant local heroes who unexpectedly find themselves in a parallel world under the giant Toad. Here they have to endure the evil forces of King Swelter before meeting the Stone People, an ancient civilisation older than the earth itself.  Led by 11-year-old Matilda our heroes take on a task to expel the malevolent King from his underworld kingdom, save the Stone People from losing their valued memories. It a journey of discovery that shows them they have an even more pressing quest to undertake when they return home. The story was told with song, movement, puppets, and masks. You can expect the unexpected.