TALENTED musicians, actors and public speakers will be taking to the stage this weekend for the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival.

More than 250 people are taking part in the event at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, which starts at 9.30am on Saturday and finishes with a highlights concert on Sunday evening.

Organiser Miranda Shirnia said people who come to see the performances are in for a treat.

“We want people to come along and watch. All the people who have attended are competing against each other,” she said.

“It is always lovely to have an audience. Usually the people taking part bring family and friends, but anyone is invited to come. The festival allows people a chance to be assessed by an independent judge who is experienced in that field and can tell them how they are doing and what they need to do to improve. That’s invaluable.”

Events include speech, drama and classical guitar. It will start with poetry and prose reading on Saturday morning, which will be followed by solo, group and Shakespearean acting.

There will also be classical guitar performances from 1pm.

Mime, poetry and Bible readings will be performed on Sunday from 9.30am, and classical guitarists will also be taking to the stage again.

The festival has become so big that it has to be held on two occasions throughout the year.

The first part of the festival was in June, when musicians and singers were showcased.

The event this weekend concludes with a highlights concert at 6.30pm on Sunday, which will showcase special performances from this weekend’s event and the June music festival.

“For me, the best thing is Sunday evening when we have the highlights concert. It is the best of the best,” added Mrs Shirnia.

“People who were paricularly outstanding from the June music festival have been invited to come along. We will have people from this weekend too.”

Tickets, which are available on the door, cost £2.50 for the day or £4 for both days. The highlights concert is free.

Programmes are available online, on the door or from Brian Taylor Music in High Street.