Present Laughter_May24 © Nicholas-Dawkes-photography :::

JAM on the Marsh’s eleventh festival runs from 4th July, until 14th July and is JAM-packed with events, including 12 concerts, 7 free talks, 5 free exhibitions, 4 free new operas, 3 theatre productions, 2 films and 1 day celebrating the life of Romney Marsh resident, Derek Jarman.

Full info and tickets are available via.

Though music is the backbone of the 2024 festival, it launches with a day of film and theatre.

A handful of tickets are available for the 3pm showing of the 1970s film The Railway Children starring Jenny Agutter at Cinemarsh which is JAM on the Marsh’s first feature film screening.

That evening, Kent’s favourite outdoor theatre company, Changeling, bring Noel Coward’s hilarious Present Laughter to New Romney’s Old School Garden; self-important matinee idol Garry Essendine is suave, hedonistic and too old to be having numerous affairs, says his wife. All of Coward’s wit is on display in this new, flamboyant and funny production.

Changeling return the following Thursday with Henry V; there’s never a dull moment in this! After an insult from the Dauphin, heir to the French throne, Henry V of England invades France to claim the throne he believes should be his. An assassination plot, powerful speeches, battles against the odds and a wedding…

Changeling Theatre Company HenryV © Nicholas Dawkes photography

Bring a picnic and a chair and enjoy outdoor theatre at its best! Also starting on the first day are 5 intriguing, free exhibitions which cross the Marsh from Hythe to Lydd, including the carriages on the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, six Marsh churches and the Marsh Academy Leisure Centre.

Of the five artists on show, two live on Romney Marsh and one other in North Kent, so local talent is truly on display. The exhibitions are on display daily in the festival and for free.

Go to to check where each is on display and date of each artist’s talk.

Local talent is very important to the festival.

  • 14 of the events are Kent-connected, none more so than the new Festival Orchestra where local, amateur musicians play side-by-side with the professional London Mozart Players performing Vaughan Williams beautiful The Lark Ascending.
  • Also the festival hosts a Community Singing performance with Rebecca Lodge Birkebaek uniting Brenzett and St.Nicholas primary schools with the Sunflower Singers from the Romney Marsh Community Hub in singing Bob Chilcott’s A Sporting Chance, bringing 7 sports to life!, accompanied by Onyx Brass.
  • The SE concerts bring local talent to the fore alongside international performers who flow through the festival. As the excitement builds for another spectacular Marsh festival, it is worth noting that most of last year’s events sold out; several have already for this July.

Ticketed events from free-£20 can be booked via

By Ed

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