Announcing a special autumn 2019 event:

Betjeman’s Banana Blush

Sunday 6 October 2019 at 4.30pm in Thaxted Parish Church.

Performed by Zeb Soanes and Carole Boyd. Music by Jim Parker in a new arrangement by Chris Warner.

Betjeman’s Banana Blush

*© Michael Bodie


In 1974 John Betjeman, then Poet Laureate, became an unlikely pop star when he recorded some of his verse to music by Jim Parker for the album Banana Blush. It became a cult classic, admired by many musicians and regularly played on radio by John Peel.


In a special autumn 2019 event, we are proud to present a re-creation of this work in Thaxted Church by Zeb Soanes and Carole Boyd and their musician friends. Zeb needs no introduction to Thaxted audiences, having performed at the Festival as narrator with Opus Anglicanum in recent years. A familiar voice on BBC Radio 4 News and the Shipping Forecast, he is a regular on The News Quiz, From Our Own Correspondent, and has presented Radio 3’s Saturday Classics. With a distinguished stage and audio-recording career, Carole Boyd is probably best-known as the voice of Lynda Snell in The Archers. Chris Warner is a composer, sound designer, arranger and orchestrator who has arranged Jim Parker’s original music for this special performance.


‘Two of the loveliest, most characterful voices on British radio’ - Gramophone Magazine




In addition, Thaxted Music Lovers are invited to join Zeb Soanes in Conversation at 3.00pm in Thaxted United Reformed Church, Bolford Street, when Zeb will take us behind the scenes as a newsreader and presenter and also talk about the encounters with his local urban foxes which led to his best-selling children’s book with James Mayhew: Gaspard the Fox. Exclusively for Thaxted Music Lovers, this event is a free pre-event for TML members who buy tickets for Banana Blush in the package below:


Zeb Soanes

*© Charlie Carter

Zeb Soanes info:


Festival news

Read about our latest news and updates on the 2019 Festival season.


Sign up to our mailing list

Keep up with Thaxted Festival news and developments throughout the year...