The largest festival in the UK celebrating Korean culture was launched in Kingston this week.

Kingston Welcomes Korea will see performances of Korean theatre, music, comedy and dance take place across the borough from July 30 to August 8.

Several locations across Kingston will host performances with the Rose Theatre acting as a central festival hub.

About 10 per cent of the borough’s population are of Korean heritage, and John Elsom, the Rose’s director of international festival seasons, says this type of festival in the UK is a long time coming.

He said: “We are combining an arts festival with a trade fair and public forum.

“Sometimes small companies dislike festivals, because they draw visitors to the centre of the town and away from districts that are less central.

“We don’t want this to happen.

“This festival celebrates the civilisation of Korea from which we in Kingston have benefitted so much.”

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John Elsom talks about the upcoming festival