Film fans are in for a treat on Saturday, October 18, as Alan Rickman makes a surprise appearance at the Film Laundry, a new element to the Old Laundry’s annual autumn festival.

Best known for his appearances in flicks such as like Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves, Die Hard, Sense and Sensibility, Truly, Madly, Deeply and the Harry Potter films, organisers have created an all-day event exploring the full range of the Hollywood star’s talents.

Starting at 11am, at The Royalty Cinema, Bowness, he introduces films in which he starred (Galaxy Quest) or directed (Winter Guest, at 2.30pm) and later appears in conversation with radio broadcaster Paul Allen at the Old Laundry Theatre (5.30pm). Finally, the Royalty screens Sense and Sensibility (8.30pm).

Festival director Roger Glossop said it had been great fun putting together an event reflecting all the facets of the top actor’s work. Full details on 015394-88444.

LEVENS Choir is doing a warm-up concert at Kendal’s St Thomas’s Church, before hitting the road for its annual tour, this year taking the popular choristers to the Malvern region with performances at Ledbury Parish Church, Worcester Cathedral, and Ludlow Parish Church, among others.

Ian Jones and his team tune up at St Thomas’s, on Tuesday, October 21 (7.30pm), with works by Haydn and Faure in a fund-raiser for the New Beginnings charity, which raises cash to build houses for street children in the Ukraine. Organist and composer Adrian Self will be on hand to accompany the choir plus soloists from the ranks of the choir. Admission is available at the door.

AN exhibition to mark the centenary of the birth of William Heaton Cooper opens at the Heaton Cooper Studio, in Grasmere, from today (Friday) until November 2.

Rocks and Running Water features paintings and drawings (some previously unseen) showing stages in his artistic development. There will also be displays of texts, photographs, painting equipment, extracts from sound recordings and other memorabilia, including the original cover design for Ascent of Everest by John Hunt, and his official painting of the opening of Calder Hall, the world’s first nuclear power station, by Queen Elizabeth II.

Four new specially framed prints will also be on view for the first time.

For further details contact the studio on 015394-35280 or visit the Centenary Pages at centenary.

KENDAL Concert Band is busy preparing its winter programme and is on the look out for new members to augment all areas of the ensemble, including its percussion section.

Musical director Jim Quincey tells me that any instrumentalists at grade 5 and above (or equivalent) are welcome to pop into rehearsals at Stricklandgate Methodist Church on Mondays, at 7.30pm, or give him a ring on 01539-722088 or band secretary, Anne Armer on 015394-43711.