Musical theatre icon, Kerry Ellis, has been announced as the headline act for SMARTFEST 2012, and will appear live in Mary Stevens Park on Saturday August 11th.
Kerry made her West End stage debut in the 2001 revival of My Fair Lady and has since performed lead roles in We Will Rock You, Les Miserables, Wicked, Chess and Oliver in both London and on Broadway. In 2010 she collaborated with Queen legend Brian May on her debut solo album, Anthems.
This mix of musical theatre and rock reached number 15 in the UK charts and propelled the duo into a national tour in 2011. She also appeared on the BBC Television shows I’d Do Anything and Over the Rainbow, mentoring potential stars for Oliver and The Wizard of Oz as well as breathtaking
performances on The Royal Variety Performance and a plethora of prime time shows. Kerry is just one of a number of live acts appearing in the three day festival, which celebrating the creativity of people in the Southern Black Country. Others include ENVY, The Picadors, One Sixth of Tommy and support act The Musgraves.

The full line up can be found at along with other details about the event which will feature musical performances, arts and crafts, dance, drama and writers displaying their literary talents over three days packed with fun for all the family.

The festival was launched on Friday March 16th at the Ryemarket Shopping Centre in Stourbridge, supported by an outside broadcast from 102.5 The ‘Bridge who are supporting the festival.

Photo credit: Francyne Carr

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Neighbours News is a non-profit voluntary organisation, formally constitued as a group since September 1999 on the Castle & Priory Ward in Dudley. We produce community newsletters for residents. As of 2004, we have expanded to other areas (most of which are in high deprivation). We want to get a community newsletter for Brierley Hill circulating, because there is interest, however we need to find any potential funders and anyone who might be interested in sponsoring an edition. High Arcal School in Sedgley has sponsored an edition of the Oval & Tudor News in Upper Gornal, for example. We remove the official language and put it in plain English for people to understand, keeping them informed about local issues, training and job opportunities, developments, town centre events, etc. Our local distribution is carried out by community groups and the print group we use trains people with learning difficulties. We are based on the Pensnett Trading Estate, having relocated offices, due to the demolition work being done on North Priory, where our former premises were in Pine Road.

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