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across the Weald and South East

The renowned BBC Big Band, jazz legends Ronnie Scott’s All Stars and TV quizzer-cum comedian Paul Sinha are among the artists who will be performing in the first season of events at Kent’s newest performing arts venue.

Hemsted Park – a collection of performing arts spaces at the world-renowned Benenden School, just outside Cranbrook – has unveiled the initial shows from its debut season, with a promise of more announcements to follow.

Completing the initial line-up of performers are improvisor extraordinaire Harry the Piano, light-hearted violin quartet Stringfever and the London Film Music Orchestra performing the music of Hans Zimmer and John Williams.

These events run between 25 March and 25 June and the Box Office is now open at

Based at the beautiful 250-acre Benenden School site, Hemsted Park’s performance spaces principally comprise the stunning new Centenary Hall, which has established one of the foremost concert halls in the South East of England. Designed by the multi award-winning Kent-based Guy Hollaway Architects, the 800-seater Hall offers state-of-the-art acoustics and gives audiences a truly impressive performance experience.

Other spaces include the separate beautiful purpose-built Theatre and the historic parkland that Hemsted Park is proud to call its home.

Since the opening of the Centenary Hall enabled the School to start welcoming the public to its wonderful spaces, it has already enjoyed hosting the likes of the English National Opera, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Len Phillips Swing Orchestra and professional touring company Chapterhouse, all to strong audience acclaim.

Len Phillips bandleader Joe Pettitt said after their performances in December: “What an amazing room – this is just great, the whole setup is lovely and the sound quality in that room works a treat, it’s just a brilliant room to play in.”

Upcoming Events at Hemsted Park
(all in Centenary Hall)


Tribute to Hans Zimmer & John Williams by Moonlight

Saturday 25 March, 3,00pm and 6.15pm

Experience cinema’s most iconic music performed by The London Film Music Chamber Orchestra in a moon-lit setting.

Ronnie Scott’s All Stars Present The Ronnie Scott’s Story

Saturday 22 April, 7.30pm

Direct from London’s world-famous jazz club and combining world class live jazz, narration and rare archive photos and video footage, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, led by the club’s musical director, celebrate The Ronnie Scott’s Story.

Comedy – Paul Sinha

Saturday 29 April, 7.30pm 

A trained medical doctor who is perhaps best known as the Sinnerman on the hugely popular ITV quiz show The Chase, Paul is also an award-winning comedian.

Harry the Piano

Friday 26 May, 7.00pm

Lauded by Classic FM as “one of the world’s great improvisors”, Harry’s extraordinary talent has taken him worldwide with solo cabaret shows in the Royal Albert Hall, the Moulin Rouge…and now Benenden’s Hemsted Park!

Stringfever — Live in Concert

Saturday 3 June, 7.30pm

A little bit Classical, a little bit Rock and Roll, humorous and a whole lot entertaining! Electric strings and beatbox – Classy musicianship, comedy timing and a contemporary sound.

The BBC Big Band: Featuring Claire Martin
The Swing Legends & Big Band Divas

Sunday 25 June, 7.00pm

The internationally acclaimed BBC Big Band are joined by multi award-winning vocalist Claire Martin for an evening of world-class music, inspired by the great swing bands and legendary jazz vocalists of the 20th century.


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