Ip-art: festival aims to boost Suffolk arts and economy

Giant inflatable spheres will be on the water at the docks as the Ipswich Arts Festival gets underway.

Ip-art runs until 10 July and features stars such as Peter Andre, Katherine Jenkins as well as smaller events such as the Ipswich Writers Cafe.

It incorporates community events including Ipswich Music Day and the Indian Summer Mela.

Ipswich Borough councillor Bryony Rudkin said: "It's really important to show that the town can put on a show."

Music of the Spheres is a free event featuring giant transparent balls containing dancers and musicians which opens the festival on Friday 24 June with activities from 1600 BST and the main event at 2200 BST.

Other highlights include comedian Al Murray at the Regent Theatre (Friday 24 June), Our House: The Madness Musical at the New Wolsey Theatre (Tuesday 28 June - Saturday 2 July), concerts at St Mary-le-Tower church, open-air movies and concerts in Christchurch Park, documentaries at the Ipswich Film Theatre and literary events featuring Jo Brand, Esther Freud and Simon Armitage.

Image caption Jo Brand will be in conversation with BBC Suffolk's Georgina Wroe at University Campus Suffolk

Economic boost

The ColourDome returns to the Cornhill (Sunday 26 and Monday 27 June) offering adults and children a chance to roam a labyrinth of coloured tubes and chambers.

Ms Rudkin said: "Whatever happens in Ip-art, can you please let us know what you think, because you can only get things better if you find out what people liked and what they didn't prefer so much.

"As well as the art, there's the economic offer as well, so down at the waterfront there are some great restuarants and places to have a drink."

As well as the Ip-art website, there is a daily guide to Ip-art on BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy breakfast show.

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