Category Archives: Events

MINEHEAD & EXMOOR MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Regal Theatre is proud once again to welcome the Minehead and Exmoor Music Festival for a week of rehearsals and performance. This is the 55th season of the Minehead & Exmoor Music Festival, which presents a week of concerts across West Somerset. 

The Regal provides a home where the orchestra rehearses and also hosts 3 major concerts.  (The Young Artists’ Concert on Sunday 22 July (at 7pm) and the Chamber Concert on Thursday 27 July (at 4pm) take place at the Methodist Church opposite the theatre.)

The orchestra, which plays a pivotal role in the Minehead Music Festival, was originally founded by Tim Reynish in 1963. It has been running in its present form for 30 years under Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Dickins.  Once again he has produced a fine programme of music which everyone is sure to enjoy. Every year he manages to persuade eminent international soloists as well as up-and-coming stars to come and perform with the orchestra.

The players are drawn from all over the country but most come from the London area where many of them perform with well-established orchestras and chamber groups. They produce high standards of performance which audiences eagerly anticipate.

Here is the festival line-up…

FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA CONCERTS AT THE REGAL THEATRE
CONDUCTED BY RICHARD DICKINS          

TICKETS: Adults £18.00, Students £3.00

Monday 23 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Mozart:  Symphony No 35 (Haffner)
Paul Patterson: Double Bass Concerto
A world premiere performance
Soloist Leon Bosch
Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3 (Scottish)

Wednesday 25 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Rossini:  Overture to The Barber of Seville
Bruch: Violin Concerto No 1
Soloist Maya Magub
Brahms: Symphony No 3

Saturday 28 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
END OF FESTIVAL CONCERT
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Dvorak: Cello Concerto No 1
Soloist Laura van der Heijden  
Shostakovich: Symphony No 5

Tickets are now on sale at the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday, 10am – 1pm Saturday.

‘COAST’ EXHIBITION AT WHITE MOOSE

If you love the sea and you are an art fan, don’t miss ‘Coast’ – an exhibition at White Moose Gallery in Barnstaple, that takes place between 20th July and 7th September, showing the work of four well-established North Devon artists all responding to the area’s coastline:

Ilfracombe ‘Plein Air’ painter Mark Rochester captures dramatic viewpoints looking from dizzying heights into the isolated bays along the North Devon coastline. Walking to his chosen sites, carrying all his painting equipment, sometimes presents quite a challenge, especially in all weathers!

Barnstaple-based Mike Woollacott beautifully and skilfully captures the area’s estuaries and seascapes. Painting in acrylics, his work is highly collectable and can be found in private collections across the UK.

Duncan Hopkins, based in Bideford, is fascinated by the waves, movement and reflective light of the sea in his fabulous drawings, pastels and paintings.

Complimenting these three painters, Chittlehampton ceramicist Roger Cockram will be showing his porcelain-ware, inspired by the rock pools along the North Devon coast. Roger’s work is collected world-wide and he’s often asked to exhibit and give lecture tours abroad, most recently to India.

For information on the ‘Coast’ exhibition and the artists, please see; www.whitemoose.co.uk or contact info@whitemoose.co.uk

TOP: Duncan Hopkins’The Hour Glass Shore’

HELEN SEAR PROSPECT REFUGE HAZARD 2: EXHIBITION AT HESTERCOMBE

Internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear presents a large collection of new and recent work at Hestercombe Gallery this summer. Consisting of works made since 2015, this will be her most ambitious exhibition in the UK to date. Sear’s technique is characterised by exploring the crossover between photography and fine art, and focusing on the co-existence of the human, animal and natural worlds.

The exhibition runs from 14 July until 28 October 2018.

Helen Sear has exhibited around the world and was the first female artist selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice with a solo exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Producing high-quality, conceptually rigorous work, her current work incorporates photography, sound and video within a sculptural context, exploring the potential for her artwork to activate and elicit feeling.

“The photographic/moving image in art practice,” Sear says, “has never been so diverse or contested and, with the acceleration of new digital technologies, the function and presence of the image as both material and permeable is an ongoing challenge in the meaning, making and reception of my work.”

Her practice has evolved from a fine art education in performance, film and installation work in the 1980s and is rooted in an interest in Magic Realism, Surrealism and Conceptual Art. With photography a central subject in her work, she often challenges the dominance of the eye and the fixed-point perspective associated with the camera lens, placing the viewer in intriguing new relationships with the image.

The title of the exhibition comes from the 1975 book by Jay Appleton The Experience of Landscape where he developed the prospect-refuge theory of human aesthetics.

Helen Sear studied Fine Art at Reading University and University College London, Slade School, with her work rising to prominence in the late 1980s, when she worked primarily through installation, performance and film. Her photographic works became widely known in the 1991 British Council exhibition, De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured Latin America and Eastern Europe. Since then she has exhibited widely including About Face at the Hayward Gallery, London, 2004; La Mirada Reflexiva at the Espai D’Art Contemporani in Castellon Spain, 2005; Inside The View, shown at Gallery Harmonia in Finland in 2006; Klompching Gallery New York and Bildkultur, Stuttgart, 2010-12. This year she produced a new video and sound work commissioned during a year-long residency at The Forestry Commission England, Dalby Forest, in partnership with Crescent Arts and as part of Forest Art Works.

She is represented by: Klompching in New York, Martin Asbaek In Copenhagen and Galerie Pennings in Eindhoven.

Top: Forest Operations, 2018.

TAKING THE RUFF WITH THE SMOOTH IN LEADING TAUNTON THESPIANS ROLE

The Taunton Thespians’ newest “leading” lady is preparing for her first pawformance in the touring production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona starting on Tuesday 10 July.  Mavis won the hearts of the Thespians’ audition panel although she is the youngest member of the cast and has never acted before. She is looking forward to lapping up the applause and smiling for the pupp-arazzi.  This is no shaggy dog story: Mavis is a 12-month-old Cockerpoo and will be playing the role of ‘Crab’.

Mavis lives in Puriton with Uncle Alan, her manager and canine companions.  Mavis is sure to pick up some acting tips from her puppy pal Flora, a golden retriever whose stage credits include Annie.

Mavis and the rest of the cast will be performing from Tuesday 10th to Saturday 21st July at ten stunning locations across Somerset including Blackmore Farm near Cannington, Cleeve Abbey in West Somerset, Brympton D’Evercy near Yeovil, Dillington House, Muchelney Abbey, the  Mount Somerset Hotel and Queen’s College in Taunton and Wellington School. Venues will open at 6pm for picnics before the show, which starts at 7.30pm  Tickets are valid for any performance and are available from the Taunton Visitor Centre, online at tauntonthespians.org.uk  or from any venue on the night.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare’s most charming comedies so bring friends, chairs and a picnic and prepare for Shakespeare as you have never seen it before.

PHOTO: Mavis and Flora

Tickets are priced at £12 and £5 (concessions for children, students and the unwaged) and the dates and venues are as follows:

Tuesday 10th July
Six Acres Resource Centre Roman Road, Taunton, TA1 2BD

Wednesday 11th July
Mount Somerset Hotel Lower Henlade, Taunton, TA3 5NB

Thursday 12th July
Brympton House Brympton d’Evercy, Odcombe, Yeovil BA22 8TD

Friday 13th July
Blackmore Farm Cannington, Bridgwater, TA5 2NE

Saturday 14th July
Cleeve Abbey Abbey Road, Washford, Watchet, TA23 0PS

Tuesday 17th July
Wellington School South Street, Wellington, TA21 8NT

Wednesday 18th July
Dillington House Ilminster, TA19 9DT

Thursday 19th July
Muchelney Abbey Muchelney, Langport, TA10 0DQ

Friday 20th July
Queen’s College Trull Road, Taunton, TA1 4QS

Saturday 21st July
Hartwood House Crowcombe Heathfield, TA4 4BS (SSAFA Benefit)

 

BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR 2018 NORTH DEVON FOODFEST

North Devon’s biggest celebration of local food and drink is back and exhibitors are being urged to get in quick to secure their place at the event.

Online bookings are now being accepted for FOODfest 2018, which takes place on Sunday 21 October at Barnstaple Pannier Market and will feature many local food and drink exhibitors.

Now in its eleventh year, event organisers Barnstaple Town Centre Management and North Devon Council have seen the event increase in popularity and success since it first launched in 2008. With over 10,000 visitors, 100 exhibitors and top chefs from some of North Devon’s best local restaurants at FOODfest last year, the annual event is now a firm favourite in the foodie calendar.

Hannah Harrington, from Barnstaple Town Centre Management, says: “FOODfest 2018 will be as busy and popular as ever, showcasing and celebrating the best of our local food and drink. We are also delighted to be working with The Taw restaurant at Petroc this year for an exciting launch event.  As always, FOODfest will help to promote our area and support our suppliers, growers and traders.”

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “FOODfest is always hugely successful and is a unique opportunity for local food and drink businesses to showcase what they have to offer to the thousands of visitors who flock to the Pannier Market each year. The booking lines are already open so get in quick if you want to be part of the hottest food event of 2018.”

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1 August. Apply online at www.barnstaple.co.uk/north-devon-foodfest, email foodfest@barnstaple.co.uk or call 01271 321049 for more information.

 

FOLK TRIO LEVERET AT HALSWAY MANOR

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts are delighted to be welcoming acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret to perform at the Manor on Saturday 16 June at 8pm. ​

“Classy players … their intuitive way with tunes is glorious” Mojo

Leveret is a unique collaboration between three of England’s finest folk musicians. Andy Cutting (melodeon), Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Harbron (concertina) are each regarded as exceptional performers and masters of their instruments. Together their performances combine consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity. Leveret’s music is not arranged in the conventional sense and instead they rely on mutual trust, listening and responding as they perform live. Their playing is relaxed and natural, drawing audiences in and inviting them to share in music making that is truly spontaneous and yet deeply timeless.

“This is all about the joy of playing and the intoxicating thrill of three masters of their craft … the empathy between them as the music ebbs and flows is exceptional; you can also see the smiles and winks between them. The feel-good warmth they generate is palpable.” Colin Irwin [fROOTS review of In The Round]

Fiddler Sam Sweeney was the 2015 BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year, directs the National Youth Folk Ensemble and is known for his work in Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Full English and his own Made In The Great War project. Melodeon genius Andy Cutting, a three-time BBC Folk Awards Best Musician, is a compelling solo performer and currently works with Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry. Concertina wizard Rob Harbron leads the English Acoustic Collective summer school and is known for his work with The Full English (Best Group and Best Album BBC Folk Awards 2014), Emma Reid, Fay Hield, Jon Boden and others.

“You won’t find English folk music played better than this”R2

Leveret’s music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but sounds fresh and new.  With their albums New Anything and In The Round and over a long string of sell-out gigs, the trio have built a strong reputation as consummate musicians and captivating performers. Latest release Inventions brings Leveret’s trademark groove, energy and intuitive playing to bear on a set of new tunes composed by the trio, three of today’s finest tunesmiths in the folk field.

“Sublime, exquisite music – don’t miss them” Martin Simpson

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, has been established as a Charity since 1965. Nestling at the foot of the Quantock Hills Halsway Manor provides a year-round programme of events and activities in traditional folk music, dance, song, storytelling, folklore and related arts and crafts. There’s ample free parking onsite, a bar and – of course – beautiful atmospheric settings for concerts with wonderful acoustics, and a chance to catch-up with the artists over a drink afterwards!

Tickets are priced £15. Call 01984 618274 (option 1), email office@halswaymanor.org.uk or buy securely online at www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

FORTHCOMING FIVE-WEEK ROSE FESTIVAL AT ROSEMOOR

From 16 June to 22 July, RHS Garden Rosemoor will host a five-week-long Rose Festival: a breathtaking showcase of colours and scents set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful RHS Gardens, bordered by acres of stunning woodlands. Swathes of scented blooms, floral workshops and unusual cultivars on sale make this a must-see for Devon visitors this summer.

Boasting one of the UK’s largest collections of roses, RHS Garden Rosemoor is home to two dedicated rose gardens, bringing together over 2,000 roses across more than 200 different varieties and a wealth of hues and perfumes. From cottage garden climbers, to bright and beautiful container varieties, there will be a rose to inspire and suit all gardens.

Top highlights from the festival include guided tours, expert advice from RHS horticulturists, a floral themed craft market, a rose trail, and much, much more.

Festival Events and Highlights:

  • Rose Weekend, extended to a three-day event from 22 to 24 June featuring a floral-themed craft and food market with over 40 stalls in the stunning new Garden Room events building.
  • Brand New for 2018 and to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War and in memory of those who lost their lives, Rosemoor has planted a group of Rosa Pax. Latin for ‘peace’, Rosa ‘Pax’ is a hybrid musk rose and was developed by the rose breeder, Joseph Pemberton, and launched in 1918 to commemorate the end of WW1.

Armed Forces Day, 30 June                                                                        

100 red ceramic poppies, interpreted and designed by popular local artist Renée Kilburn, will be on display to start Rosemoor’s commemorations of the centenary of the end of the First World War. Standing tall amongst the poppies is a wonderful sculpture of an ‘Unknown Soldier’ affectionately known as George N. The life-size soldier is crafted by another popular Rosemoor and Devon based artist, George Hider.

Armed forces personnel have free admission to Rosemoor on 30 June – simply bring ID.

The display will stay up until 11 November when Rosemoor will welcome all serving and retired armed forces personnel plus a family guest in for free (simply bring proof to the front entrance). Then the poppies and George will continue to be displayed as part of the annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition. The red poppies are available to purchase, with a £3.50 donation on every poppy sold going to the Royal British Legion.

  • Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen will be celebrating roses throughout the month with a delectable series of rose-inspired and rose-infused treats, from rose meringues to rose and raspberry cakes.
  • There will be ‘Late’ openings every Friday in July – 6, 13, 20 – and 27, when the garden will be open until 9pm and visitors can enjoy the gardens at dusk as the roses release their evening scent. Special offer of ‘5 after 5’ – £5 garden admission after 5pm. There will be live music and the restaurant will be serving delicious evening meals too (advance table reservations highly recommended).
  • Every Wednesday, there will rose-themed Afternoon Teas (pre-booking required) including an expert florist will demonstrate flower-arranging techniques with English roses and be present for a Q & A session.
  • The Celebrate Summer self-guided trail will take visitors on a historic, scented journey throughout the 65-acre garden and includes stunning rose varieties and their fascinating stories from the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden and the Shrub Rose Garden, down the Long Borders, the Cottage Garden, as well as other roses at Rosemoor House.

Normal garden admission applies, which is free for RHS Members. Please visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor/Articles/Rose-Festival or call 01805 626810 for more details.

 

ALAUDIAE TAKE TO THE STAGE AT ST LUKE’S FOR SIMONSBATH FESTIVAL

After a brilliant evening in the company of ENPA chief executive Sarah Bryan, the fantastically talented opera singers Miranda Westcott and Claire Egan will take time out from their busy schedule of performances at prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to give a concert at St Luke’s on Saturday 26 May at 7.30pm.

Members of the vocal trio Alaudiae, mezzo-soprano Miranda Westcott, from North Devon, and soprano Claire Egan return to Simonsbath Festival to present a hugely varied mix of songs celebrating A Woman’s Love and Life, from sixteenth-century madrigals to reimaginations of recent pop hits such as John Legend’s ‘All of me’ and Beyonce’s ‘Halo’.  At the centre of the evening’s programme is Schumann’s cycle ‘Frauenliebe und Leben’, balanced by a selection of folk music from the British Isles, with many other delights.

Miranda and Claire are joined by Arngeir Hauksson (theorbo, renaissance guitar, lute, percussion) and Marc Verter (piano).

Arngeir regularly performs for Shakespeare Globe productions and Marc performs in the UK and abroad at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre and St John’s Smith Square.

Tickets cost £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (£11 on the door); student/unemployed £7.50; with free admission for 14s and under.  Refreshments are available and a snack may be booked in advance for the interval.

And it’s your last chance to catch this year’s fabulous Simonsbath Festival Art Exhibition, now in its final week and closing on 28 May, at The Old Pottery, Simonsbath, in the centre of the village just by the Exmoor Forest Inn. One of the printmakers will be on hand on most days to explain the processes they use to produce their work. Phone Sandy Schott on 01643 831844 for details.

To buy tickets for Saturday’s concert, visit www.simonsbathfestival.org.uk, email tickets@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or telephone Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

To receive a full colour, printed festival programme or to join the mailing list email info@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or to find out about becoming a Friend of Simonsbath Festival and enjoy ticket discounts and priority booking while also supporting the festival, email friends@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or call Polly on 01643 831302.

BIG ADVENTURES ON EXMOOR THIS HALF TERM

Families looking for a Big Adventure on Exmoor over half term are in luck. The next of Exmoor National Park’s highly popular Big Adventure Days is at Nutcombe Bottom near Dunster (TA24 6TA) on Wednesday 30 May from 10am–4pm. There will be a host of free outdoor activities encouraging families to discover and explore the natural world.

Activities will run throughout the day, including den building, woodland games, forest skills, campfire bread making, wild food talks, our barefoot walking challenge and much more. There’s also an adventure playground, picnic area, toilet facilities and the Tall Trees Trail. The event is free, but donations to Caremoor for Exmoor are welcome from those who have enjoyed their day.

Adam Vasey, Exmoor National Park Ranger, said, “This is an event for the whole family to get back to nature. We’ve got some great activities lined up, especially now that the Forestry Commission are joining us to share how they help look after this very special woodland – home to Britain’s tallest tree. There’s no need to book and everyone is welcome, so grab a picnic and join us for a wild day out!”

Later in half term, Exmoor National Park will also be holding its first Big Adventure Family Campout of the year at Wimbleball Lake (TA22 9NU), from Friday 1 June to Sunday 3 June.

The site opens from 4pm for people to set up camp, with activities starting from 6pm. Tents will need to be down by 11am on the Sunday.

Patrick Watt-Mabbott, Exmoor National Park’s Volunteering and Outreach Officer, said: “Our Family Campouts are really great value and are ideal for first timers or those who haven’t camped with children before. We’ll have a campfire on Saturday night, with some story-telling and then a night walk, so the kids really will have something exciting to talk about when they head back to school on Monday!”

Charge: Family Ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £30/night. Additional adult £10/night, additional children £5/night. Booking is essential online at www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/enjoying/big-adventures-and-family-events

BARNSTAPLE’S ANNUAL BLAST OF SMALL-SCALE THEATRE FUN IS BACK AND BIGGER THAN EVER

The countdown has begun and very soon Fringe TheatreFest will be back in Barnstaple animating venues across the town in a riot of theatre, dance and live performance. Featuring over 60 shows from across the UK, from Thursday 30 June until Sunday 1 July, TheatreFest has been boosted this year by a very welcome grant from North Devon TAP Funding. The grant of £2,605.73 will be helping to kit out some exciting new venues including The Castle Centre and The Southgate who are coming on board for the first time in 2018.

Fringe Theatrefest Artistic Directors, Bill Buffery and Gill Nathanson, are delighted with the way this year’s festival is taking shape. Gill says, “The tap funding couldn’t have come at a better time with these new Fringe venues. Both spaces need complete kitting out to make them perfect for Fringe audiences to enjoy the fantastic programme that we have on offer this year.”

The full line-up for inside shows on offer at Fringe TheatreFest 2018 can be viewed online at www.theatrefest.co.uk.

Tickets will be on sale online via the website from 1 June.