Arts & Culture

Stimulate your senses and imagination

Medway hosts more than 30 days of free festivals and events each year - more than anywhere else in the south-east

The well-established traditional festivals celebrating Charles Dickens' connections with the area, Dickens Festival and Dickensian Christmas, are world famous, but are only one part of the festival scene, which includes English Festival, Sweeps, River Festival, Castle Concerts to name a few.

The Medway calendar of culture begins with the Chinese New Year celebrations organised by the Chinese community in Chatham town centre - with lion and dragon dancing in the streets and people dressed in colourful traditional costumes.  In July, the Castle Concerts offer several evenings of music in the spectacular castle gardens. During the summer open air theatre productions take place at Rochester and Upnor Castles.

There is an enticing choice of theatre from the mainstream productions at Chatham's Central Theatre to the more experiemental offerings of the Brook Theatre, also in Chatham.  Regular performances of a quirky and intimate nature can be found at Medway Little Theatre in Rochester

Medway's arts scene has deep-reaching roots, with Billy Childish, Zandra Rhodes and Jeff Banks have nurtured their talents in the area.  Arts centres and galleries can be found in Chatham and Rochester town centres.

Regular touring exhibitions can be found at No.1 Smithery at The Historic Dockyard Chatham and at the Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case located inside the Medway Visitor Information Centre.

The Rochester Literature Festival brings together writers, performers, musicians, producers and film-makers to produce a series of events performances, workshops and productions.

Rochester Art Gallery & Craft Case  Smithery No.1 What's On