Following the sell-outs of Oliver and The Magic of The Musicals, the award-winning (several David Beach awards for Somerset in March 2018), local group ‘Fusion Young Performers’ comes to the Regal Theatre, Minehead to perform their latest challenge, Cats, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, the show is packed full of memorable song and dance numbers such as Macavity, Memory, Skimbleshanks and many more. It’s a kaleidoscope of song and dance and the audience is guaranteed to go home amazed by the energy. With dance numbers brought to life by Lorraine Ahern’s stunning choreography, vocal direction by Sarah-Jane Cross and an 11-piece band led by musical director David Pitts, this promises to be an exciting show that will leave everyone entertained and inspired by a hugely talented group of local young people.
Performances on Monday 2 – Saturday 7 April begin at 7.30pm and tickets are as follows: adults £12, Friends of the Regal £11, students £6, family ticket (2 +2) £32. They are available from the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am – 3pm Monday – Saturday. You can book online at www.regaltheatre.co.uk .
OPENING NIGHT OFFER – All adult tickets £8.00.
Somerset Art Works (SAW) is delighted to be involved in PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave the first British women the right to vote.
PROCESSIONS will invite women* and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the twenty-first century.
Somerset Art Works is one of 100 commissioned organisations, working with women artists in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.
The banner-making workshops will focus on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and will be places to consider the power of the vote today and our shared future. The banners made will represent and celebrate the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds.
Bristol-based artist Dorcas Casey (pictured) has been commissioned by Somerset Art Works to lead creative workshops with students from Strode College in Street and Richard Huish College in Taunton.
Dorcas said, “I’m really excited about the Processions project and being part of a vast community of people all working towards such an important and ambitious event. I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with students, I love the idea of using fabrics and bringing people together through the process of making.”
PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.
Helen Marriage, CEO of Artichoke, said: “The 100th anniversary of the passing of legislation which made universal suffrage unstoppable is a moment both for celebration and reflection. Individuals and groups up and down the country, including Somerset Art Works, will be at the heart of this UK-wide artwork. What they make and bring to their chosen procession on Sunday 10 June will form part of a unique living portrait of women today.”
About Somerset Art Works (SAW) Somerset’s only county-wide agency dedicated to developing the visual arts, SAW initiates a wide range of projects in a variety of settings, working in partnership with other arts and non-arts organisations. SAW works to increase public engagement, weaving together communities and raising the profile of the vibrant contemporary visual, digital and applied arts in Somerset. www.somersetartworks.org.uk
Somerset Art Works is shortly to become part of the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of funded organisations for 2018-2022.
Coldplace, the world’s number-one tribute to the legendary Coldplay, comes to the Tiverton for one night only on 14 April at the Community Arts Theatre, as part of their 2018 UK tour.
Promising to be an unforgettable evening with an electric atmosphere of dazzling lasers and lights, tremendous sound and the songs you know and love from Coldplay, this really is an event not to be missed.
Formed in 2004 by frontman Shane Crofts, Coldplace have performed around the world with their leading tribute, and most recently have performed at Chris Evans’ Car Fest alongside Kaiser Chiefs, The Jacksons and Mel C. The band has also appeared on BBC Radio One and Two, The Gadget Show, Sky News, and performed alongside musical legends such as Sir Bob Geldof and Ringo Starr.
“Our 2018 tour is the biggest tour we have done to date across the UK, and we’re so excited to be coming to Tiverton,” says Shane. “We have developed our show production to a level now where it works in a theatre environment, which gives us more scope to enhance the show with pyrotechnics, lasers and visuals, which we’re really excited about. We have recreated the incredible spectacle of Coldplay’s recent ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ sell-out tour, on a scale that is accessible to everyone.”
Having played over 700 shows in 28 different countries around the world, Coldplace are no strangers to being on the road, and they love exploring new places.
“We love coming to this part of the UK and meeting the fans, as everyone is so friendly and welcoming,” continues Shane. “We hope you all enjoy our new show that we have worked extremely hard on to produce for you.”
Coldplace is made up of lead singer Shane Crofts, lead guitarist Dean Stewart, bass player Asa Crofts and drummer Wayne Birch. Having performed so many times together, the band are very much in tune with each other, creating the harmony Coldplay itself delivers on stage.
“We spend hours and hours studying Coldplay, from the way they move on stage, their mannerisms, the way they hold their instruments, how they address the crowd, and what they wear, to ensure we create an accurate stage show,” explains Shane. “It’s not just a case of learning their songs, but how they are delivered. We want to guarantee fans an authentic performance.”
Friday 2 March at 7.30pm AJ’s BIG BAND STILL SWINGING AND SINGING!
AJ’s Big Band, the South West’s highly acclaimed 17- piece band, makes a welcome return to the Regal Theatre on Friday 2 March with a packed programme of swing and jazz classics from the big band era and beyond.
AJ’s Big Band, now into its 34th year, continues to delight audiences with its vibrant instrumental arrangements and beautiful vocals from songstress Paula Mitchell. Their new show, Still Swinging and Singing!, features some of the leading players in the West Country and is led by saxophonist Ken Parr. This will be an unmissable evening of top-quality musical entertainment.
The performance on Friday 2 March begins at 7.30pm and tickets costing up to £15. are available from the Regal Box Office.
Wednesday 7 March at 7.30pm Ceri Dupree’s ONE MAN, 21 WOMEN Show!
The fabulous Ceri Dupree comes to the Regal on Wednesday 7 March with his One Man, 21 Women show. Audiences will enjoy a glamorous evening of hysterical comedy, amazing vocal impersonations and jaw-dropping, eye-popping costumes. This will be a chance to meet Adele, Cher, Joan Collins, Lady Ga Ga, Bjork, Shirley Bassey, Camilla and even the Queen! Ceri brings them all lovingly to life with a touch of Las Vegas class rarely seen in the UK today. Early booking is strongly advised.
“Dupree storms the stage with style, wit, glamour, and a pace that leaves you amazed.” TIME OUT.
“Slick and saucy, rude and risqué, fun and fantastic.” LEICESTER MERCURY.
“I’ve seen hundreds of men dress up as women over the years, most of them disastrously so. A handful of them get this particular art form right, Ceri Dupree is one of that handful.” THE TIMES
The performance on Wednesday 7 March begins at 7.30pm and tickets costing up to £16.
Friday 9 March at 7.30 pm Minehead and West Somerset Arts Society present FLORILEGIUM
Minehead and West Somerset Arts Society present the latest concert in their Spring Programme when Florilegium (pictured below) comes to the Regal Theatre, Minehead, on Friday 9 March.
Performances in some of the world’s most prestigious venues have confirmed Florilegium’s status as one of Britain’s most outstanding period instrument ensembles. Since formation more than 25 years ago years ago, they have established a reputation for stylish and exciting interpretations, from intimate chamber works to large-scale orchestral and choral repertoire.
The programme comprises: Handel: Concerto Grosso Op 3 No 3; Vivaldi: La Follia; Bach: Orchestral Suite No 2; Pergolesi: Flute Concerto; Rameau: Pièce de Clavecin en concert and Corrette: Concerto comiques ‘Les Sauvages’.
Florilegium regularly collaborate with some of the world’s finest musicians including Dame Emma Kirkby, Robin Blaze and Elin Manahan Thomas. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a dazzling programme performed by musicians at the height of their powers.
The performance on Friday 9 March begins at 7.30pm and tickets costing up to £15. are available from the Regal Box Office
Now the largest event in Somerset for visual artists and makers, Somerset Open Studios 2018 is now open for registrations. Somerset Art Works members working in any discipline can apply to be part of this bi-annual event.
Somerset Open Studios draws Art Weeks back to its roots, focusing on artists in their working environment. Between 15 and 30 September 2018, artists demonstrate how they make their work; their process, practice and inspiration. The event allows a rare opportunity to see inside artists’ studios, temporary working spaces and other locations to find out what goes on behind the scenes.
Open Studios visitors can find out first hand about the creative process through demonstrations, workshops, talks and visits, to educate, inspire and delight. Art appreciators of all ages are welcome at family-friendly venues and also at a family-friendly finale weekend, with workshops and activities for all. Open Studios showcases established names as well as introducing new and emerging artists.
To apply for membership and to register for this year’s event, visit the Somerset Art Works website www.somersetartworks.org.uk/, email art email@example.com or phone the SAW office on 01458 253800 between 9am and 4.30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The deadline for registrations is 15 March 2018.
Somerset Art Works aims to support artists who want to work professionally and are looking to promote their creative businesses across a range of disciplines; books, ceramics, drawing, film, furniture, glass, jewellery, metalwork, mixed media, painting, photography, pottery, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and wood. SAW also continues to support emerging talent in Open Studios year with Creative Pathways bursaries and mentoring.
SAW is an artist-led organisation and Somerset’s only countywide agency dedicated to developing visual arts, weaving together communities and supporting the artists who enrich our lives, making Somerset a place where people expect to engage with excellent visual art that is surprising and distinctive.
SAW also develops projects and offers membership to support practising artists and organisations in Somerset: providing bursaries, developing commissions, supporting collaborative working and creating networking and showcase opportunities, including the diverse annual Art Weeks event.
North Devon Council is extending its temporary contract with Parkwood Creative for the management of North Devon’s theatres.
At a meeting of its Executive on Monday 5 February, councillors agreed to extend the existing contract with Parkwood until January 2019. Following the collapse of North Devon Theatres Trust last year, the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple and Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe were forced to close temporarily. In April, the council entered into a 12-month contract with Parkwood to reopen the theatres while it prepared and tendered a longer-term contract for the operation of both theatres.
Preparing the tender documents (which involves undertaking condition surveys of both theatres) for the long-term contract will take more time than originally thought and the procurement will not be completed by April this year (when the short-term contract with Parkwood was due to expire).
Rather than a further closure period, the council has agreed to extend Parkwood’s contract until mid-January 2019. This will ensure that the theatres continue to recover from the unexpected closure last year and run as normal, unaffected by the procurement of operational contracts.
Since April last year, the main focus has been on developing a strong programme of events at the Queens Theatre, which has been very well received by local audiences. Now that the Queens is operating at full capacity again, Parkwood’s extended contract will include a requirement for more events at the Landmark Theatre. Several strong acts are already confirmed, including comedians Jason Manford and Ed Byrne and the new contract will see an average of one event each week at the Landmark, between April 2018 and January 2019 .
Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We’ve been really impressed with what Parkwood has delivered since they took the theatres on in April. There has been lots of fantastic feedback and the panto was a massive hit. I’m very pleased we were able to get the theatres back up and running so quickly and that we can continue to keep them open while we work to secure a long term operator.”
A temporary museum will be popping up in Barnstaple, as part of the museum’s £1.8m Long Bridge Wing extension project.
As the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon prepares to close its doors to allow work to begin on the extension, space has been secured across the road in Bridge Chambers to provide a ‘Pop-Up’ venue for museum events and activities for the coming year.
North Devon Council and the Barnstaple and North Devon Museum Development Trust (MDT) have been working together to deliver the project, which will provide the opportunity for more displays and exhibitions, including a new twentieth- and twenty-first-century social history gallery.
Throughout 2018, the museum will be working with the local community to help deliver this exciting project and the temporary museum at Bridge Chambers will be used to sort through some of the items needed to create content for the new gallery.
The temporary museum opens its doors on Wednesday 14 February and staff are calling for local experts who have knowledge of North Devon’s history to help identify objects and share their story under five themes ‘Hatched, Matched, Dispatched’, ‘World of Work’, ‘Town and Country’, ‘Highdays and Holidays’ and ‘House and Home’. The first theme is ‘Hatched, Matched and Dispatched’ and the museum will bring previously unseen items from its store, which are connected to birth, childhood, schooldays, weddings and funerals.
Sadie Green, Activity Plan Co-ordinator at the museum, says: “ As the pop-up museum opens on Valentine’s Day, we’d love to see some wedding day photographs, so if you got married in North Devon between the 1940s and the 1990s and have a favourite photograph of your wedding day to share with us, please bring it along to the launch and share the love with us! We have an interesting and varied collection of objects – we have a pram, the Bishops Nympton parish bier, Youings stonemasonry tools and trolley and baby gloves from Pilton glove factory. We also have toys, school textbooks, badges and uniforms, Cub Scout and Brownie uniforms and a christening gown.”
Executive Member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “Show your love for history and visit the new ‘pop-up’ museum on Valentine’s Day. The museum would like to know more about the objects in its collection and we hope that visitors get involved to share their memories and stories. The main museum building will shortly be closing to allow work to begin on the new extension, but this doesn’t mean we won’t be providing a museum service – the pop-up will be open and the museum’s annual programme of events and activities for children will still continue during school holidays.”
The museum is also recruiting Collections Care volunteers to help move objects from storage to be cleaned, catalogued and documented and to gather stories from visitors. Visit the museum on the Square in Barnstaple to pick up an application form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are two great gigs coming up at Halsway Manor in the next fortnight…
Catch Faustus www.faustusband.com, the pioneering, “bloke folk” triumvirate of Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin & Saul Rose as they return to Halsway for a live gig on Thursday 15 February at 8pm.
Previously nominated for the Best Group Award in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and Artist In Residence at Halsway Manor Centre for Folk Arts across 2016 supported by funding from Arts Council England, Faustus brings to the stage three of the leading lights of their generation: Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel, War Horse), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone representing the best in the current vibrant English folk scene.
Faustus released their acclaimed third album ‘Death and Other Animals’ in October 2016, tackling head-on subjects from the Dance of Death to the plight of the common man, sand-swallowed ships to mythical black dogs. The album has huge local resonance as it was researched, rehearsed and recorded at Halsway Manor on the Quantock Hills, during Faustus’ time as Artists in Residence. “Beastly good” said Folking.com, “Modern day folk Buccaneers… so blindingly dazzling you’ll need to don a pair of RayBans before listening” said LouderThanWar.com.
Faustus are leading a course ‘From Page to Performance’halswaymanor.org.uk/event/faustus-from-page-to-performance/ at Halsway in the run-up to the gig, and the evening will open with performances by participants, before the mighty band take to the stage! Or you might like to try Piva! They will be performing at Halsway on Tuesday 20 February at 8pm…
Early music at its most entertaining, Piva have rightly gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows. Taking late-sixteenth-century dance and ballad tunes, Piva brings the music of the renaissance to life on authentic instruments – bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies, recorders, viol, curtals, rauschpfeifen, crumhorns, shawms and violins.
“Sheer good fun!” – Early Music Today
Founded in 2002, Piva have firmly established themselves as one of this country’s leading early music ensembles. Playing throughout the UK and Europe, they have gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows. The members of Piva have wide and diverse musical backgrounds in playing renaissance, jazz, classical, baroque, folk and roots music. They bring all of these diverse musical influences together and fuse them with their knowledge of renaissance music and instruments. The result is early music with attitude!
For both concerts, tickets are priced £10, with a concessionary price of £4 for children and full-time students of any age. Call 01984 618274 (option 1), email email@example.com or buy securely online www.halswaymanor.org.uk.
ACEarts is working in partnership with the Somerset Wildlife Trust on an Open Wildlife Art Exhibition, and is seeking submissions from artists and creators.
The submissions are now open and will be judged in May by a panel which includes Wildlife Broadcaster and Patron of Somerset Wildlife Trust Simon King OBE; Stewart Geddes, President of the Royal West of England Academy; Katie Arber, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Somerset Wildlife Trust; Nina Gronw-Lewis, Curator of ACEarts; and Frank Martin, Trustee of ACEarts. The exhibition will take place at ACEarts between 6 October and 3 November 2018.
Nina Gronw-Lewis, Curator of ACEarts, said, “This is a really exciting opportunity for local creators of every discipline to be part of an exhibition of wildlife art. We’re really looking forward to seeing the artwork which is submitted, and are grateful to Simon King OBE and Stewart Geddes for agreeing to be part of the judging panel.”
Katie Arber, Somerset Wildlife Trust, comments, “Britain’s wildlife inspires many artists. Working in partnership with ACEarts we hope many more people will become aware of just how special Somerset is for wildlife and understand how important it is to safeguard our local wildlife and wild landscapes. It will also help us and ACEarts raise the critical funds needed to continue to carry out our work.”
Interested artists can find out more details by visit ACEarts’ website www.acearts.co.uk, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org visiting their Facebook page.
Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving Somerset’s wild places for over 50 years and, with over 18,000 members, it is the largest conservation charity in the county. Alongside its members and volunteers the chariety works year round to protect wildlife, transform landscapes and put nature back into people’s lives.
One of the folk scene’s greatest performers, John Kirkpatrick, will be paying a visit to Halsway Manor shortly, to perform his seasonal show ‘Carolling and Crumpets’. He will be appearing on Thursday 7 December at 7.30pm, presenting a heart-warming, toe-tapping evening looking at the timeless rituals and folklore of midwinter England.
Mysterious and magical songs of wassailing, wren-hunting, stirring the fire and incessant feasting come dressed up in a glittering finery of sparkling tunes and cracking choruses. Add a smattering of hilarious original songs and a sprinkling of carols both familiar and unfamiliar, all stirred up with John’s usual panache and supported by his scintillating skill on squeezeboxes, and you have the recipe for a rattling good sing, guaranteed to keep the spirits cheery and the cold at bay.
“Kirkpatrick’s buoyant presence and lust for this music sounds more rampant than ever.” Colin Irwin, fRoots Magazine
One of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, John Kirkpatrick is a master of the free reed instrument, playing melodeon, button accordion and anglo concertina, as well as having an enviable reputation as a fine singer and interpreter of English folk music. John has performed solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands; he has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.
The concert takes place on Thursday 7 December. Bar opens at 7pm, performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 / £4 for full-time students. For more information visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk or contact Halsway Manor: 01984 618274 ext 1 / email@example.com.