A two-day festival celebrating the life and work of "Bury's most famous daughter" will take place next month.

Happy Festival will cover the career of Victoria Wood to mark what would have been her 70th birthday on Friday, May 19.

Wood, from Prestwich, who wrote and starred in television programmes such as Victoria Wood: As seen on TV, and Dinnerladies, died aged 62 on April 20, 2016 after suffering with cancer.

In June 2008, Wood, who studied at Bury Grammar School, was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for for her services to entertainment as a TV comedian, a writer, pianist and actress. 

The festival will run on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 at Bury Art Museum and The Met arts centre.

It features a programme of events inspired by Wood's talent, from comedy, music and performances to Q&As, an exhibition, a new short film commission, and two new productions at The Met.

Bury Times: Victoria WoodVictoria Wood (Image: Public)

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Here are events that will be taking place at the festival:

Saturday, May 20 – at Bury Art Museum:

Daytime - a packed day of events begins at 11am – book your free tickets at happyfestival.org.

Call the Midwife director and actor Noreen Kershawtalks about her career and experience in television and Coronation Street casting director Joanne Mosschats about those famous cobbles with former BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Sally Naden.

Jasper Rees, author of Let’s Do It, the best-selling biography of Wood, talks to Bury Art Museum curator Susan Lord about working with the treasures of the Victoria Wood archive. Jasper will be signing books after the talk.

Acting for Camera, a three-hour workshop with Peter Carroll (tickets £10)

Watch a new short film commission for Happy. The J.O.B by director Paul Blinkhorn and writer Abdul Rahman Chunaraconfronts modern day office politics over tea and sandwiches in a work staffroom. Followed by a Q&A with Paul and Abdul.

Did I Sing?: an exhibition of portraits of Wood fans at the Happy Festival 2021, taken by photographer to the comedy stars Andy Hollingworth. From May 13 to July 15. No ticket required.

Evening – from 5pm to 8.30pm. Tickets are £5 – book at happyfestival.org.

The Victoria Wood ultimate fan quiz hosted by actor and Call the Midwife director Noreen Kershaw.

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Bolton-based award-winning actor Pegeen Murphy performs To Have and To Hold, a new comedy.

Ladies that Monologue, featuring Llaria Passeri and 11 women between 40 and 75, with their brilliant, heartfelt monologues of life, love and more.

Comedy set from the hilarious Leicester Mercury comedian of the year Nina Gilligan.

Friday, May 19 – two events at The Met inspired by Victoria’s comedy:

Valley Radio – Happy Half-Hour by Steve Cooper. Actor and writer Cooper’s hilarious new comedy where the audience supply the sound effects.

Join Tina, as she navigates deftly through traffic and travel, random callers, mystery guests, oh, and the end of the world. Valley Radiois nimbly performed by a cast of three, ably assisted and accompanied by the live studio audience who provide the sound effects.

 The play will be recorded live for transmission as a podcast following the evening’s performance. Tickets £12 (7pm to 8pm), bookable via The Met.

50 and Nifty by Beverley Green (8.45pm to 9.25pm, tickets £9, bookable via The Met).

A coming-of-age comedy with a difference. Marjorie Pardoe, the self-appointed town matriarch runs a self-help group for the over 50s, but the help she gives is a matter of opinion, and the only opinion that matters to Marjorie is her own.

Happy is made possible with the generous assistance of the Victoria Wood Foundation and Arts Council England.