RICHMOND's annual GeorgeFest runs from Saturday, August 18, to Monday, August 27, and will include daily tours of the Georgian Theatre Royal – the UK’s oldest working theatre in its original form – conducted by guides dressed in period costume.

They will illuminate the habits and behaviours of 18th century actors and their audiences as well as offer an insight into life in a provincial market town.

Events during the ten-day festival, many of them free, will celebrate the town's architecture and landmarks. The event will also show what life was like in Georgian times.

Now in its fourth year, the festival is organised by the Welcome to Richmond Group, a sub-group of the Richmond Business and Tourism Association.

It includes the rare chance to look round the Culloden Tower, the Georgian folly normally closed for public viewing. Open days are planned for Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19 (10am-4pm) when admission will be free.

In Secret Salons, musical promenade on the evening of Saturday, August 18, will take participants on foot between the Georgian residences of Temple Lodge, Millgate House and Culloden Tower to be entertained by fantasias, dance tunes, duets and literary readings from the period.

Tickets must be booked in advance from The Georgian Theatre Royal.

During an interactive event on Sunday, August 19, at the Green Howards Museum, Dr Chloe Wigston Smith, of York University, will be Talking with Georgians to show how people in that period used conversation in surprising ways.

In their newly published book, The Secret Diary of a Georgian Lady, Jane Hatcher and Bob Woodings reveal what one Richmond woman thought about daily topics such as shopping, gardening, ribbons and menfolk. Their talk at the Georgian Theatre Royal on Tuesday, August 21, promises to be an intriguing as an Agatha Christie whodunnit.

Other talks include an entertaining insight into the battle between Methodist preachers and the theatre by Ian Small, chairman of York Georgian Society; the lure of the town’s women to visiting soldiers by The Green Howards Museum director Lynda Powell; and authors Karen Lynch and Patrick Eyres exploring the Yorkshire-based work of the renowned landscape gardener Humphry Repton.

As a tribute to the Georgians’ love of gin, film buffs will be able to sample varieties of the tipple while attending a special screening of The Duchess at the Station Cinema on Sunday, August 26. Starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, this is one of the most popular films in recent years depicting the period.

Other activities include walks to showcase 18th century features of the town including the Temple Grounds and landscaped area around Culloden Tower and ghost walks.

For those interested in seeing Georgian landmarks through the lens of a camera, there will be workshops with local photographer Guy Carpenter.

All events and activities are featured in a GeorgeFest18 leaflet available at the usual outlets and there is a GeorgeFest18 page with full details on