Fascinating return for Dillie Keane

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Female cabaret trio Fascinating Aida, led by Portsmouth-born Dillie Keane, will make a comeback appearance at the Chichester Festivities this summer.

Their show at The Venue in Spur Road on July 4 will be one in a brief series of performances marking their 25th anniversary.

Dillie says emphatically that the series does not amount to a tour, with only four dates out of London where the trio will perform for two weeks at the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre.

'It's just a baby celebration,' she says.

'It has been very difficult for us to get back together since the death of our pianist, Russell Churney - indeed since he became ill - and we won't replace him. I'll be playing the piano and I've also written five new songs.

'But we just want to have fun like in the old days before it all got too serious. It'll just be me, Adele Anderson and Liza Pulman. No frills, no fuss, no extra musicians, no attempting to replace the irreplaceable.'

The Chichester Festivities run from June 27 to July 13.The full programme will not be announced until late April but will open as usual at Goodwood racecourse with a fireworks concert - this time celebrating music from the 1970s in Lovetrain as well as paying tribute to the Beach Boys and the Eagles.

Orchestral concerts will be given by the Royal Philharmonic (one celebrating Bernstein on Broadway, another with John Rutter and the Bach Choir), and by the Philharmonia with stunning young violinist Alina Ibragimova.

The Russian Chamber Philharmonic St Petersburg, on its first visit to the UK, will play Elgar, Borodin, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky by candlelight.

Ex Cathedra< correct> makes its festivities debut in a progamme largely of French music including Durufl's Requiem, and other classical visitors include flautists Sir James and Lady Galway, clarinettist Emma Johnson, and the Armonico Consort with a Marriage of Figaro updated by Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

Jazz performers include the Preservation Hall Band from New Orleans, the Dutch Swing College Band and the Great British Jazz Band.

Also in the line-up are 1960s pop darling Lulu, 1940s-flavoured trio the Puppini Sisters, the Black Dyke Band and comedy legend Barry Cryer.

*General postal booking is open now for events already announced. Email info@chifest.org.uk to request a form.

*To become a Festival Friend and obtain priority booking, visit www.chifest.org.uk or call (01243) 528356.

*General postal booking opens on March 29.