Arts Diary: Will Marriott

With many arts organisations facing uncertain times, it’s heartening to hear a brand new poetry festival is launching in Sheffield this weekend. Simon Armitage is lending his support to the event reading from his Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and for those who think they already know a thing or two about Keats, Wordsworth and the rest, among the workshops and performances there will also be a University Poetry Challenge. For details of the full programme visit

Another date for the diary is Record Store Day on April 16. The annual celebration of independent record shops is now in its fourth year and at Jumbo Records in Leeds there will be live in-store performances from Erland and the Carnival, Serious Sam Barret, Singing Adam and Ellen and the Escapades. The likes of Adele, Mumford and Sons and Gorillaz are backing the event and anyone who has ever enjoyed whiling away a few hours flicking through vinyl should also lend their support.

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He’s spent his career producing perfect three minute pop songs, but now Paul Heaton has his heart set on something altogether more ambitious. The Beautiful South frontman has been hard at work writing what’s touted as one of the longest pop songs ever. Inspired by the seven deadly sins and with a little help from his former bandmate, David Rotheray, The 8th will be premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July. Heaton, who first put Hull on th map with The Housemartins, hasn’t yet revealed just how long the song is, but with the performance lasting around 90 minutes it’s unlikely to get on Radio 1’s playlist any time soon.

The undead will be back walking the streets of Headingley later this month as the fourth annual Zombie Film Festival gets underway. The brainchild of Emmerdale actors and self-confessed zombie obsessives, Dominic Brunt and Mark Charnock, this year features a mix of modern classics, shown in a 12-hour marathon. Beginning at noon on April 24 and ending at midnight, films include the 80s classic The Evil Dead, the German zombie flick Siege of the Dead and the comedy Fido. Those attending are encouraged to get into the spirit of things in fancy dress and all profits will be donated to the World Society for the Protection of Animals. For more info visit

We were convinced Derren Brown said he’d be appearing at St George’s Hall in Bradford as part of his UK tour. The magician/psychic/showman – we’re not entirely what you’d call him – is coming to Yorkshire with Svengali, his latest live show which is almost a sell out at in Bradford, Scarborough and Sheffield. When the Yorkshire Post ran an interview with Brown earlier this week, we said he would be coming to St George’s Hall on April 4, 5 and 6 – he’s actually coming to the Bradford Alhambra (tickets on 01274 432000). When Brown’s people ask you to rectify a mistake, it’s best to comply – lovely as he is, with his powers you don’t want to get on his wrong side.