Aladdin at Haslemere Hall in aid of Action for A-T

Join Aladdin and friends as they discover the Cave of Doom and meet the magical Genie of the Lamp on December 18 when this year’s panto is performed in aid of local charity Action for A-T. Audiences will be transported to the streets of Peking with songs, audience participation and slapstick comedy.

Taking place at Haslemere Hall, this family favourite show is ideal for kids aged three to 11. Tickets cost £8.

Contact [email protected] with any enquiries. Click the “Tickets” button to purchase your seats.

Perfect night of pop folk at G Live

REVIEW

Amy Macdonald and guests

G Live, Guildford

Monday, October 30

G Live offered the perfect setting for a night of pop folk from Amy Macdonald and special guests.

The stage and lighting were expertly set with a variety of instruments on display, including a wide range of styles and sizes of guitars.

Holiday Oscar opened the show as Amy’s support and won the crowd over immediately with his charismatic humour and modest gratitude towards the audience, claiming it was the biggest crowd he had ever performed to. Holiday played his acoustic guitar with ease and actually dedicated one of his folk tunes to his school guitar teacher.

Holiday reflects on ‘first world problems’ in his music with simple but effective lyrics covering topics such as constantly checking your phone, which brought laughs from around the room. He also delivered a fantastic cover of Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel #2.

An interval followed, before Amy Macdonald took to the stage in a cool, relaxed outfit of ripped jeans, a black t-shirt and boots and a sleeve of tattoos. She was greeted warmly by the audience and went straight into her first song. Her stripped back set was supported by three fabulous musicians who seemed to be able to play every type of instrument from the double bass to the banjo. All three were incredibly professional, with smooth changeovers aided by the G Live staff.

Amy’s voice was astounding; a beautiful, distinct, folky tone that was powerful and heartfelt throughout, offering both slow tracks as well as upbeat tunes that had the audience on their feet.

She was charming and funny in between songs, giving background information to the music and her career history as well as having a few laughs and also complimented G Live, claiming that it was “lovely behind stage” and that it was “so good to perform in a nice, clean venue”.

The whole room got to their feet as the show ended, demanding an encore from an obliging Amy and her musicians.

This was a fantastic evening of entertainment, proving that there is more to modern music than just pop and rap.

Alex Ashbee

Powerful performances in this topical play from L and U

REVIEW

Playhouse Creatures (Lion & Unicorn Players)

Festival Hall, Petersfield

Thursday, November 2

Set in 1663 and written more than 20 years ago, Playhouse Creatures was brought bang up to date (presumably when the Lion & Unicorn Players were in rehearsal) by Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein scandal.

April de Angelis’s play focuses on the first women actors to tread the boards – and it soon becomes apparent that they are the mere playthings of drunken boorish men who prey on them in the worst way possible.

All their hopes and aspirations are gradually dashed by the mostly unseen patriarchy, from the theatre owner to the baying audience and the actresses’ various ‘protectors’.

King Charles II’s plaything Elizabeth Farley (Zoe Maddison) attempts a gruesome abortion in a bid to keep her thespian job, while the ageing Mary Betterton (Eileen Riddiford) suffers the indignity of being sacked by her own husband, the theatre manager, because the punters want to see younger flesh.

The feisty Rebecca Marshall (Kat Wootton) meets perhaps the cruellest end. Knowing that true independence for a woman could only be attained by financial security, she is on the verge of becoming a ‘partner’ in the theatre when she is decried as a witch by a male pursuer who has cynically tricked her in the past.

On the surface the young Nell Gwyn (Gemma Lynette) comes off best, being offered a house in a park with a coach and horses of her own – but, of course, her good fortune is only available while she keeps her male benefactor (the king again) happy.

It’s depressing that the feminist issues raised are still so relevant but the theme of female subjugation is powerfully dealt with in this clever play. There are also plenty of light-hearted moments. Mrs Betterton teaching Nell to act with a series of clockface poses stands out as a comedic highlight – but most of the best lines go to Doll Common, a cockney backstage helper brilliantly portrayed by Beryl Savill.

Whenever the atmosphere is getting a little too dark, this down-to-earth character arrives with a caustic put-down or a wry observation.

The action switches between the actors’ dressing room and the ‘real’ stage where they all overact superbly, and the set is cleverly arranged so that the audience’s attention moves seamlessly from one to the other with a subtle use of lighting.

It was a brave challenge for an am-dram group to take on a play with such weighty issues that switches delicately between forceful drama and laughter, but the Players pull it off with aplomb. There are powerful performances all around the stage – although the few men involved in this production are, for once, playing second fiddle to a female tour de force.

The play continues until Saturday.

BARRY RUTTER

Free entry for Surrey residents to Watts Gallery this Sunday

This Sunday, November 5, in partnership with Surrey County Council, Surrey residents can visit Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village for free.

The Surrey Open Day has been organised to enable residents of Surrey to discover the extraordinary Artists’ Village founded in Compton in 1890 by the great Victorian artist George Frederic Watts OM RA (1817 – 1904) and his wife, the designer Mary Watts (1849 – 1938), to provide Art for All.

On Sunday, visitors can experience Watts Gallery – currently showing an unparalleled exhibition of masterpieces by G F Watts brought together to celebrate the bicentenary of the artist’s birth; Watts Studios – in which G F Watts created many of his most important works and in which Mary Watts held terracotta modelling classes for the local community; Watts Chapel – the culmination of a visionary community art project, led by Mary Watts; Watts Contemporary – a gallery space selling affordable contemporary art with proceeds supporting Watts Gallery Trust’s Art for All learning programme; plus arts and crafts activities (also free for Surrey residents on Sunday, November 5) and refreshments and gifts on sale in the tea shop and shop.

Also this Sunday, visitors to Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village will be able to find out more about the Trust’s Physical Energy public sculpture project.  As a lasting legacy of Watts200 – a year-long programme of special exhibitions and events to mark the bicentenary of the birth of G F Watts – Watts Gallery Trust has authorised a new bronze cast of Watts’s great equestrian sculpture, Physical Energy, to stand in the public realm as a beacon of creativity in the region.   Visitors will see the original plaster model from which the new cast has been made – the model is on permanent display at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village – and will have an opportunity to hear the Trust’s plans for the project.

To enjoy free access to Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village this Sunday, Surrey residents must present a 2017 utility bill, library card or driving licence at the Visitor Centre.

Further information about the Physical Energy project can also be found by visiting Watts Gallery Trust’s website: www.wattsgallery.org.uk

 

Music masterclass at King Edward’s Witley

Pupils at King Edward’s Witley were treated to an exceptional learning opportunity when Alexandra Vaduva, the celebrated pianist, delivered a music masterclass to pupils in Years 9-11. The inspiring coaching, followed by a short recital to students and staff, was made possible by the generosity of The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, founded by The Countess of Munster, a concert pianist herself, to support young musicians of professional calibre to achieve their aims.

Romanian-born Miss Vaduva started playing the piano at the age of four and has performed all over the world, winning numerous accolades, including first prize at the ‘Vienna International’, ‘Pro Piano’ and ‘Carl Filtsch’ International piano competitions. After completing a Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts and Advanced Diploma courses at the Royal Academy of Music Miss Vaduva is now studying for a PhD there. After spending time sharing her skills and knowledge with the pupils, Miss Vaduva’s recital, which took place in the School’s Recital Room, included Kinderszenen by Schumann; two sonatas by Scarlatti and a Suite by Bartók and concluded with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

Commenting on the special occasion, Stasio Sliwka, King Edward’s Director of Music, said: “It has been a huge privilege for our pupils to be afforded the opportunity to spend time with the incredibly talented Miss Vaduva, and indeed for the whole school to have the chance to attend such a rousing performance. The school enjoys a special relationship with The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, as the Countess kindly financed the building of our Music School which bears her name, and which she personally opened on 29 May 1963. Music has always played a central role in school life at King Edward’s and we remain committed to offering musical tuition of the highest calibre to enable our pupils to maximise their potential. As a result, we regularly welcome talented professionals to inspire our pupils with their talents – indeed the first performance in our Recital Room more than 50 years ago was given by world-class violinist Yehudi Menuhin accompanied by his pianist sister Hephzibah.”

Alexandra Vaduva with King Edward’s pupils at the Masterclass

 

Piano recital by Churcher’s College student in aid of MND Association

Madeline Plummer (17) from Haslemere will be performing a classical piano recital at St Peter’s Church in Peterfield on Sunday, November 12, 1.30-2.30pm, in aid of MND Association.

Madeleine is a sixth form pupil at Churcher’s College in Petersfield currently studying for A Levels in English, History, Music and Music Technology.  She hopes to go on to study for a music degree at university and a post graduate course in conducting. A gifted pianist, Madeleine will be playing the following pieces:

·         The second and third movements from Beethoven’s ‘Pathetique’ Piano Sonata

·         Prelude and Fugue in G minor by Bach

·         Reverie by Debussy

Madeleine explained: “I lost my grandma to MND a year ago and wanted to do something in her memory to help improve life for people with this condition. I decided to combine my love of music with raising funds for this cause and I hope that as many people as possible will come along. All proceeds raised on the day will go to the MND Association, and all donations will be gratefully received to help raise much needed funds and awareness.”

Motor Neurones Disease (MND) is a rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk, swallow and eventually breathe. Up to 5,000 adults are living with MND at any one time in the UK.

Julia Beales for the MND Association added: “At the MND Association we improve care and support for people with MND and their families and carers. We fund research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure. We campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people affected by MND are recognised by wider society.

“Almost all of our work is funded by voluntary donations. We rely on the time and generosity of people like you, and indeed supporters like Madeleine, to help us achieve our vision; a world free from MND.  To find out more about our work please visit our website or join our community on social media.”

 

Maddy Plummer

Russian cellist gives free concert for Making Light charity

Russian cellist Mikhail Lezdkan is giving a solo recital on Sunday, November 12 at 3pm, in St Laurence Church, Station Road, Petersfield.

The programme includes two solo suites by Bach; no. 1 in G and no. 6 in D, plus Suite 3 by Benjamin Britten (written for Rostropovich).
There will also be some short intervening readings from Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Admission is free, with a retiring collection in aid of the charity Making Light. 
Refreshments will be available in the interval. 


Luscious lashes for the party season at TIME to be ME

REVIEW

Nouveau LVL lash treatment

TIME to be ME, Pages Court Petersfield

TIME to be ME is offering a new lash treatment that claims to add length, volume, and lift to natural eyelashes, with no extensions, adhesive or mascara.

Nouveau LVL (Length, Volume and Lift) uses a setting serum to curl the lashes at the root, and the lashes are then tinted, creating the appearance of mascara.

The results last for about six weeks; perfect for the Christmas and new year party season.

The procedure takes up to an hour but the results are beautiful; I was very impressed.

My lashes look thicker and fuller, and I don’t have to think about putting mascara on. I think that’ll be my festive gift to myself.

Sara Govey

No mystery as to why Winton Players are so popular

REVIEW

Murder on the Nile (Winton Players)

Festival Hall, Petersfield

Saturday, October 14 2017

Audiences were transported to Egypt for this Agatha Christie whodunnit with a very impressive set designed by John Chapman; I loved the way the water rippled and the backdrops were beautiful. Sound effects were good too; water birds and music, and Imams calling the faithful to prayer. It set the scene nicely.

The trouble with this 1944 play is its rather cringeworthy portrayal of foreigners, particularly the hawkers at the start, peddling their wares and offering donkey rides. Cindy Graves and Brian Wheble did their best not to make these ‘Johnny foreigner’ caricatures but they couldn’t help the script. As the Egyptian steward, Mike Cox had an easier time of it and we felt great sympathy as fingers were clicked and “Boy! Boy!” shouted at him to attend guests and bring drinks. Accents across the board were a bit hit and miss, from French to German to Egyptian, which sometimes made the words a bit tricky to hear, but for the most part voices were clear and I didn’t miss much.

Of course, being a murder mystery, the play has a lot of words, as backgrounds are detailed and red herrings are planted. There were a couple of prompts and falters, but the majority of the play rattled along a a fair pace. Well done everyone for remembering all those lines!

It’s great fun trying to work out who the murderer is and there was a loud “ooh” from the audience at one point when an essential bit of information was revealed. I was convinced it was the oh-so-saintly Christina Grant, played by Emily Watts, then I started to wonder whether Canon Ambrose Pennefather, played by John Edwards in measured style (“from Shropshire… well a little bit west of Shropshire” was a nice touch – John is Welsh) had done the dirty deed.

Could it be the German Dr Bessner, played by newcomer to Wintons, Gabriel Hearst? Did Kay (played by young Lucy Davies) kill herself? Did the French maid Louise (Joanne Stephenson) shoot her mistress? Was the socialist Smith (Simon Stanley) not quite what he seemed…? Oh the chatter at the interval about motives and methods…

Several deaths later and it all came together neatly. The well-cast Ryan Watts as Simon Mostyn showed how much stagecraft he’s been learning over the past couple of years in local theatre – well done for a performance demonstrating a lot of hard work. Meanwhile Penny Young showed her stage experience as the ridiculously named and very pompous Miss ffoliot-ffoulkes, capturing the character well and giving the play some humour.

I particularly liked the performance by the striking Monika Jankowska as Jackie – with excellent poise and the cut-glass voice of that era. I look forward to seeing her in future productions.

Next up for Winton Players is the traditional panto, Dick Whittington, in January.

Kat Wootton