Music Matters – Way Out, Petersfield

Way Out is a young up-and-coming four-piece from The Petersfield School; Callum on vocals, Jack on bass, Harry on drums and Zach on electric guitar. The band have all just finished their GCSEs and are off to college. Henry Wood visited them to find out a little bit more about their music.

Way Out, from Petersfield

When did you start playing as a band? 

Harry: “Me, Jack and Zach started playing music together around the end of Year 7 and we had a singer at the time who wasn’t really right for the band, and didn’t want to play the sort of music that the rest of us wanted to. So at the end of Year 9 we messaged Callum who we knew was interested in playing music, and he joined the band. So for the three of us it’s been around four years and two years for Callum.”

What are the key musical influences for each of you?
Callum: “My singing influence is definitely Matt Bellamy from Muse as I like how experimental he is with his singing and uses a really wide vocal range.”
Jack: “I know it’s a bit boring but Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers because he is such an amazing bass player and a real inspiration.”

Harry: “I’m a big fan of John Theodore who is now drumming in Queens of the Stone Age but previously played in Mars Volta because of the amount of power he plays with whilst always keeping in time. It’s pretty amazing.”

Zach: “Mine is actually strange but I have a really close friend who also plays guitar and he is extremely devoted to it and is very experimental with it which really inspires me.”

What’s the writing process like within the band ?

Harry: “Well we don’t actually play any originals yet but it is something which we are going to start working on very soon. At the moment we play covers of bands like Royal Blood, Arctic Monkeys and a bit of Muse which is good because it’s quite a mix of genres.”

What are some goals that you have for the following year as a band 

Harry: “Our main priority is definitely to write some originals which we can perform and play a few gigs. We have done a handful of gigs but it would be good for people to hear some music that we have written.”

Where can people find your music? 

Callum: “I have a youtube channel which has some of my acoustic stuff with Harry and there are a couple of band songs on there. The channel is called Callum Hornby music. Also I’m quite active on Facebook and I put quite a lot on there so you can look on my Facebook page.”

Have you got any forthcoming gigs? 

Harry: “Callum’s parents run the Good Intent in Petersfield which is a good little venue and we have played a couple of gigs there. But it’s definitely somewhere that we will be playing again in the future.”

 

We want to hear your stories. Do you live in Petersfield, Haslemere of Farnham and are in a band? Are you a young local singer songwriter waiting for that big break? Do you take part in local open mic events? Email [email protected] and tell us more!

McKellen returns to play Lear in crystal clear production

REVIEW

 ‘King Lear’ by William Shakespeare

Minerva Theatre, Chichester

The first season with Daniel Evans and Rachel Tackley in charge of Chichester Festival Theatre is crowned with a memorable production of King Lear in the Minerva. Any doubts about staging yet again one of Shakespeare’s bleakest, bitterest and bloodiest plays are removed by Jonathan Munby’s exemplary direction and a fine ensemble cast, led by Sir Ian McKellen.

This production marks another return to Lear in the last few years. These include: Frank Langella’s superb performance at the Minerva in 2013, the somewhat disappointing National Theatre version with Simon Russell Beale in 2014, and Anthony Sher in Gregory Doran’s RSC production last year. In the current programme notes, written by the actors and production team, Sir Ian says that he welcomed the chance to play Lear again when he himself was a similar age to the character, in his eighties.

“I’m not the first actor who has wanted to return to this play, as if unfinished business. Perhaps it’s just that the closer you get to the king’s age, the more telling it becomes; for some, more a therapy than a job.” Sir Ian was a highly praised Lear directed by Trevor Nunn at the RSC 10 years ago, and this was turned into a TV film. Sir Ian also wanted to perform in the intimate surroundings of the Minerva.

King Lear embraces authority and chaos, misjudgement and madness, age and infirmity, betrayal and brutality, justice and injustice. At the end there is reconciliation but only when Cordelia lies dead in the arms of her father who is briefly finds humility and sense. But Britain is left in ruins, without government. At the end of the play Edgar speaks to our time, when untruth has become so significant in our world: ”The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.”

At first Lear is an unsympathetic character. A quick-tempered authoritarian, used to absolute power, he is removed from knowing or understanding himself, his children, his court or his circumstances. Haunted by his age and a fear of madness even in Act 1, Lear is fevered with his lack of self knowledge: “‘Tis the infirmity of is age; yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.”

And he also has a sense of his own senility: “Oh! Let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven; Keep me in temper; I would not be mad.”

For a start, Lear was mad to believe that he could surrender his power to his daughters while keeping their love and support, and retaining his authority without responsibility; that he and everyone else would be happy with his retirement hunting and roistering with his 100 knights; and that power would not corrupt his children and turn them against him. “Does thou call me fool, boy?” He asks his Fool, who replies: “All thy other titles thou hast given away; that wast thou born with.”

Lear’s anguish is mirrored by that of his servant Gloucester, an adulterer who trusts his bastard son Edmund rather than his natural heir, Edgar. The engrossing action works well within the close confines of the Minerva, whether Lear is celebrating at table with his knights, or out on the bleak, cold, rain-lashed heath. We were warned before the play began that there would be two hours before the interval but the production did not drag for one moment and time passed swiftly. This is a tribute to the work of director Jonathan Munby. His production is far bigger than the sum of its parts and he brings great clarity to this complicated work.

Phil Daniels exemplifies this as a Fool who looks and performs like a cross between Eric Morecambe and Elvis Costello; he is both witty and wise, whereas sometimes the character seems crass and convoluted. Some of the playing is uneven, and that includes Sir Ian. Neither Goneril (Dervla Kirwan) nor Regan (Kirsty Bushell) completely convince as the evil sisters. Damien Molony does not seem devilish enough as Edmund. But Danny Webb makes a convincing Gloucester and Michael Matus earns his laughs as the servant Oswald.

While it is a surprise to find the Earl of Kent/Caius played by a woman, Sinéad Cusack brings great vitality to the part of a noble who is both loyal to the king and outspokenly blunt (especially when disguised as Caius after his/her  expulsion from court). These minor criticisms should not detract from an extremely high-class exposition of King Lear, which runs at the Minerva until October 28.

www.cft.org.uk

Nick Keith

Nostalgia theme at August’s Write Angle

REVIEW

Write Angle – poetry and music cabaret 

The Townhouse, Petersfield

Tuesday, August 22

As it was warm in the upstairs room at The Townhouse, the opened windows admitted the noise of traffic, police sirens and revellers spilling out of the downstairs bar but in spite of that, the audience seemed well tuned to the music and poetry that filled the evening.

Guest poets for the evening were Claire Dyer and Claire Booker. Although the two Claires were booked together, they do perform separately and each is a strong, headline performer in her own right.

Coincidentally, there was an unplanned element of nostalgia, within the 29 poems read and performed by the two Claires which seemed, somehow, to continue with the open mikers.

Claire Booker started with a beguiling poem of her First Kiss – “you are seven, I am six”; about her father suffering from dementia in Visiting My Father – this is full of gaps, like his mind with occasional “bright berries of memories”; of her bossy elder brother in Building My Brother’s Sand Castle as, King Canute-like, he tried to hold back the incoming sea; in On the Centenary of My Teacups, memories “of mouths, people who sipped on roses, their lips figures of eight” and “stories lost, family lore, weddings, wakes, heart-to-hearts…”.

Clare Dyer’s  poems included one about her great-grandmother, Queenie – her grief at her child buried at sea; her rebellious grandmother in My Grandmother Played Tennis in 1916 – it was with her brother, “home on what will be his last last leave”; and her mother’s baking in The Memory Cake, including as ingredients not flour, butter, etc but all the favourite things of a seven-year-old. Though their styles are quite different, both held the audience in their grip from beginning to end.

Poet and potter, Colin Eveleigh, was a strong start at the open mic with his Red Dot.  His work was exhibited at the Petersfield Arts & Crafts exhibition and he described “making an exhibition of myself” –  telling of the anxiety to get red dots by each piece to show it’s been sold (all his sales proceeds go to charity).

Leah Cohen read two poems about Hiroshima, one serious: Hiroshima Hiroshima, – “Truman’s expensive new toy” – the other, Holiday in Hiroshima, humorous in a macabre, cynical way – “Well, here’s your one-way ticket, LITTLE BOY”.   She finished with a short poem, Words – “What harm can they do?”

Jilly Funnell followed with some musical nostalgia: Hello My Baby, a ragtime song from 1899 penned by Howard and Emerson; her poem Looking Back: My Thirties in the Eighties – “Gosh, was I in good condition” and, then, her song All the Way to America. There is something in the way music and poetry blend so well with each other.

Your reviewer read Typhoons and Hurricanes about the shock when the 1987 hurricane attacked “this green and pleasant land”; then Letter Writer, Letter Writer, about an unfriendly neighbour – “We met your family, they say: It’s you she talks about so much”.

Bruce Parry, who brought his music teacher with him, set up his trusty hammer dulcimer, for the lovely Gilbert and Sullivan’s When a Merry Maiden Marries, followed by a traditional Irish tune, My Own House. He then read his new poem, Time Immemorial – “Rest in peace my 1970’s wild!”  Julie Beaven, his teacher, who plays the Celtic harp (she constructed it herself) played My Love is Like a Red Red Rose and Greensleeves, followed by another Irish tune Shulearoon.  They completed the set with a lovely duet, Gentle Maiden. We’re hoping they return with some more music. The harp and dulcimer make a wonderful sound when played together.

Jake Claret

Rain never stopped play for fifth Petersfield Shakespeare Festival

Petersfield Shakespeare Festival

Outdoor theatre space, Bedales School, Steep

July 2017

Hey ho, the wind and the rain. The fifth Shakespeare festival braved the open-air space at Bedales just as the backlash after the heatwave struck – but gales and lashing rain were a trifling matter for the hard-working cast.

 

Company in rehearsal before the rain cover had to go on!

The main event, As You Like It, directed by Jake Smith and Chris Cuming, and starring a number of local performers, was a very agreeable torrent of colour, music, comedy and general bonkersness.

The costumes, from the slick blacks and greys, leather and tailoring of the court attire to the hippy/90s grunge-glam multi-coloured flamboyance of the forest-fest crowd, were excellent – well done Nicole Small for design and Eve Oakley as wardrobe mistress.

The production rolled along a fair old pace, interspersed with lively musical numbers, and it was good to see people taking a number of roles, including some scene-stealing sheep! The shearing was an inspired touch, adding extra laughs to a scene between Audrey (Katie Solly) and William the countryman who is pursuing her (Freddie Wride).

Several cast members were also proficient musicians – jumping onto the drums or grabbing a guitar when not required onstage.

It feels unkind to single out actors as everyone was so good, but Twyla Doone as Rosalind gave a very strong performance, engaging and expressive, as did Laura Peterson as Celia.

Twyla Doone as Rosalind

The night I watched it was Sam Hollis playing Orlando – and he did very well as the young lover, as did young Crispin Glancy as Silvius, mooning after Phoebe, played by Freya Sollis, the youngest cast member. It was easy to forget just how young many of the cast are.

William Bedford-Russell played Touchstone as a rangy, bewhiskered hedonist, rude and rough. He reminded me of a film character but the name escapes me.

Albert de Jongh as Jaques had great stage presence and the PYT gang of Adam Young, Fred Hughes-Stanton, Tom O’Kelly and Susie Coutts brought out much of the comedy, as well as pitching in with the singing and dancing.

Meanwhile, representing both the more mature section of the cast, and Petersfield’s Lion and Unicorn theatre group, were Simon Mackarness as Adam and Norman Stewart as Corin the old shepherd, providing some calm in the midst of the feverish goings-on.

Ed Taylor-Goodby added his solid professionalism as both boo-worthy Oliver and the drunk priest, with David Podger as the Duke bringing it all together, and Nada Sharp as Duke Frederick (not sure why the part was played by a woman but it didn’t make a jot of difference to the story).

Dannie Pye as Hymen the god of marriage, as a silver-clad drag act, leading the singing at the end, pushed the whole thing completely over the top as everyone crowded onto the little circular stage in a melee of sound and colour and movement.

The wind threatened to drown out the voices, and whisk away the sheet which protected the stage, and the rain lashed down on the poor cast, but they battled on regardless. I hope they each got to have a hot bath after the show! Well done all – great fun.

Shakespeare’s Lost Women is a new play by Greg Mosse with onstage music by John Gleadall. It is a one-woman, one-act show about an actress, Deirdre Compton, who has made a career playing the milkmaids, victims, fools and clowns – Shakespeare’s bit-parts – while her mother mourns a fading career playing the leads. Harriet Benson swept us along with her as she told us the tale of these female characters, which she fleshes out with empathy and good humour. She moved adeptly from character to character, bringing the women to life, with songs revealing their ‘back stories’. A clever, inventive and interesting play.

The Buried Moon, written by talented young playwright Laura Turner, brings the relationship of Caliban and Miranda from The Tempest, up to date. Set in a Lincolnshire marsh, where teen tearaway Caliban’s tent is pitched as he fishes for eels, and miranda seeks solace after the death of her mother, the play looks at issues of friendship, sex and love, parenting, loss, and being an outsider.

I found the two performers, Georgina Hellier and Michael Kinsey, absolutely mesmerising. The play takes twists and turns, getting ever darker and more difficult, but the pair carry it on their young shoulders, inhabiting these characters completely. These were subtle, mature performances in a thought-provoking, beautifully scripted play.

Kat Wootton

World-renowned cellist to perform in Grayshott

One of the world’s most celebrated cellists, Raphael Wallfisch, is making his first visit to Grayshott in September.

He is regularly invited to play at major festivals including BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, and events in Italy, Spain, Norway, Germany and the United States – and now Grayshott.

Accompanied by the famous London Mozart Players, he is to perform one of the three great romantic works for cello, Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor. Grayshott has already staged cello concertos by Elgar and Dvorak and now completes the trio with Schumann’s final emotive, enigmatic and lyrical masterpiece.

 

Raphael Wallfisch

“It’s a huge privilege to bring Raphael to Grayshott. He’s such a star,” said Concerts artistic director, Vivien Harrison. “We’ve featured some amazing performers over our 15 years – and Raphael is among the very best!”

 

Mr Wallfisch has performed with most of the finest orchestras across the world including London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Halle, Berlin Symphony and many others. He has also recorded every major work for his instrument, releasing hundreds of acclaimed CDs and many leading composers have worked closely with him in premieres of their works. Teaching is one of Raphael’s great passions and he is much in demand all over the world, holding professorships in London and Switzerland.

The event on Friday,September 15 will be the 58th to be staged by Grayshott’s ambitious classical music promoters, Grayshott Concerts, whose performances attract music lovers from an increasingly wide area. Booking online is now open. Demand for tickets is expected to be high – early booking is recommended.

Grayshott’s next event, on November 24, features the world famous choral group The Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers. This a cappella group is known to many through their regular appearances on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and on television. This concert will include a newly-discovered arrangement of Allegri’s Miserere, written in 1638 for the Sistine Chapel Rome and first written down by the 16-year-old Wolfgang Mozart in 1770.

Grayshott Concerts’ reputation of attracting bookings and selling out at all events is resulting in a growing number of members, Friends of Grayshott Concerts, who are entitled to priority booking. Friends can book at any time whilst general booking opens online seven weeks prior to each event.

For more information, visit www.grayshottconcerts.co.uk or ring 01428 606666 (voicemail).

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Fiddler on the Roof – another Chichester masterstroke

Fiddler on the Roof

Chichester Festival Theatre

Tuesday, July 18 2017

The lone fiddler, perched atop a black, empty stage, opens the show.

All at once doors open, light spills out and on come the residents of Anatevka, the little Jewish settlement in 1905 Russia where this story is set, for the opening number Tradition.

It sets out the importance of family, of heritage, of clinging hold of beliefs and ways despite being surrounded by a different and often hostile culture. But the tradition so powerfully sung about here (when all the voices are raised together in this show, it’s like a wall of sound – thrilling) is under threat, not only by the ruling forces but also from modern ideas, represented by the student Perchik. These ideas, about women and arranged marriages, politics and faith, disturb the delicate fabric of this mini-society, before the Russians rip it apart wholesale by forcing the Jews to get out of the country en masse.

It all seems very apposite – transpose Islam for Judaism, Syria for Russia, and you start to see some similarities: people ousted from their homes, the fear of ‘aliens’ and their strange customs, mistrust of other faiths and languages, refugees, the fear of mass migration…

As Tevye, the dairyman, Omid Djalili is spot-on casting. The comedian brings a self-deprecating warmth and a wry nod to the audience as if to say ‘families, eh? they’re all the same’.

Omid Djalili as Tevye in Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Photo by Johan Persson

There’s a subtle approach to this production – it seems underplayed slightly; more realistically perhaps than I’ve seen it performed before. The accents do seem a bit, well, varied, but that’s a minor quibble.

Tracy-Ann Oberman plays Golde his wife with assurity.  The three main daughters – Simbi Akande as Tzeitel, Emma Kingston as Hodel, and Rose Shalloo as the bespectacled Chava all seem a little unsure of themselves – I wasn’t really feeling the emotion if some of their scenes. But they’re young, which might explain it.

Omid-Djalili, Tracy-Ann Oberman and company. Photo by Johan Persson

The dream sequence was, in complete contrast, totally prog rock, over-the-top, panto style with flames and smoke and Thriller zombies – Laura Tebbutt screeching and wailing as the butcher’s dead wife. Very funny.

Some highlights for me include Gareth Snook as a really creepy Lazar Wolf the butcher – “but I liiiike her…”; the Russian soldiers’ dancing and the ridiculously extended note sung by one of them (apologies for not recalling which of the actors); the ensemble scenes when the vocal power could have knocked over an army; the beautiful Sunrise, Sunset song which had me in tears, and the incredibly poignant final scene with the cast tableau in front of huge photographs of the actual Jewish emigrants trying to start a new life in America, in ragged clothes, with haunted dark eyes, staring ahead. A waterfall in front of them represented… what? A barrier? A veil? A clean start? A sea of people, little droplets falling together to make a huge stream? Whatever it meant, it was very effective.

This a production that will no doubt head for the West End, as so many Chichester shows have done. There was a standing ovation on the night I attended – well-deserved. Get a ticket if you can.

Kat Wootton

 

Statue of Jane Austen placed today, 200 years since her death

A life-size bronze of Jane Austen is to be placed in the Market Square in Basingstoke to mark 200 years since the author’s death.

Today is the bicentenary of the death of Jane Austen, and all across Hampshire people are celebrating her life and legacy.

Adam Roud has been commissioned to create the sculpture, which he hopes will represent Jane not only as a writer, but also as a strong-willed and independent character in her own right.

Jane was born in 1775 in Steventon, just a few miles outside Basingstoke, where she lived for more than half her life. The places, people and landscapes of the borough had an enormous influence on her novels, and she created the first draft of Pride and Prejudice whilst living at Steventon, where her father was vicar of St Nicholas Church. Jane Austen knew Basingstoke well: she attended social gatherings at the Assembly Rooms in Market Square, near the current-day Lloyds Bank, and regularly visited family friends at the Vyne, Oakley Hall and Ashe House, amongst others.

Many events will be part of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Jane Austen 200 project. For up to date information on events visit www.janeausten200.co.uk

Petersfield Shakespeare Festival is As You Like It

The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival is set to return this summer and love is definitely in the air…

Themes of disguise and mistaken identity dominate the joyful programme which is packed with comedy, romance – and quite a lot of cross dressing.

The intimate theatrical festival takes place in the inspiring grounds of Bedales School in Steep, next to the 17th century Sotherington Barn between July 19-30.

This year’s centrepiece is a production of Shakespeare’s  most elegant comedy, As You Like It which will be directed by last year’s dream team of Jake Smith and Chris Cuming. The show will create an energetic world which captures a joyously displaced portrait of life and theatre in the Elizabethan era and now.

Company in rehearsal

A firm favourite among Shakespeare’s comedies, and featuring some of his best-loved characters, as well as four weddings and no funeral, As You Like It will be performed July 19-24, and 29, at 7.45pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on July 28.

To inspire and delight audiences further, the festival is pleased to welcome two acclaimed touring companies, Illyria and Merely Theatre.

The Comedy of Errors (July 27 at 7.45pm) is the bard’s shortest comedy. Two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, unknowingly end up in the same city, and through a series of chance meetings their lives and sanity begin to unravel. Illyria returns with its intrepid band of five actors, desperately trying to work out how they can possibly reach the end of the play without needing more actors! It’s fast, polished and authentically Elizabethan in style.

Merely Theatre are joining the festival for the first time, on July 30 presenting fascinating productions of Romeo and Juliet (2.30pm) and Twelfth Night (7.45pm).  Each actor is twinned by another actor of the opposite gender, and they rehearse their parts together. The result is men and women playing every role in any and all potential combinations, creating five-hand Shakespeare plays with immense energy, pace and clarity.

And to cap it all the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival presents the world premiere of two short, Shakespeare-derived works – The Buried Moon, by Laura Turner and Shakespeare’s Lost Women, by Greg Mosse and John Gleadall.

Shakespeare’s Lost Women charmingly tells, through dialogue and song, the stories of some of the Bard’s forgotten female characters. Actress Deirdre Compton has made a career playing victims and luscious milk maids, fools and clowns. Meanwhile, her mother plays Desdemona, Titania and Lady Macbeth. They do not get on. With words by well-known local writer Greg Mosse and onstage music by John Gleadall, Shakespeare’s Lost Women is performed by the wonderful Harriet Benson, who returns to the festival for her fourth season.
In The Buried Moon, playwright Laura Turner uses a 21st century Lincolnshire setting to explore the youthful relationship between Miranda and Caliban, charting its twist and turns. Miranda is a young woman struggling to come to terms with her mother’s death and to understand her father. Caliban is an awkward outsider. A friendship is born between them but Miranda is never sure if Caliban is a malignant spirit of the marshes or a lost soul looking for a home.

Both performances begin at 7.45pm.

Book tickets for Petersfield Shakespeare Festival online at petersfieldshakespearefestival.co.uk or go to One tree Books, Lavant Street, Petersfield – 01730 261199.

Audiences are encouraged to bring picnics or order a pizza and relax with a drink from the Courtyard Bar prior to the performance.

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Guildburys’ Nell Gwynn – a delightful feelgood evening

Nell Gwynn (Guildburys Theatre Company)

Waverley Abbey

Wednesday, July 12

Welcome to the witty, bawdy romp that is Nell Gwynn – Jessica Swale’s award-winning play set in 17th century theatre world. The playhouses have reopened after years of Puritan rule, and there’s a king back on the throne, making hay while the sun shines.

This is a lovely play; as open and warm yet as knowing about human frailty as Nell herself. There’s no sub-plot, no turgid passages pontificating about weighty issues; just rags to riches, real romance, a bit of earthy humour, some memorable songs, and a lot of laughs. Just the sort of play Nell would have liked. It’s a little bit Love Actually in fact.

Best known as the orange-seller who stole the heart of King Charles II, Nell Gwynn was also one of the first female actors on the stage. There is much discussion in the backstage scenes of the play about real women not being able to play women on stage, and about there not being good parts for women when they do get the chance to act.

Director Laura Sheppard must have thanked her lucky stars when Amy de Roche auditioned. She’s perfect as Nell; cheerful, expressive, cheeky – she seems great fun, the kind of person you’d want to hang out with. And she can sing and dance. (The ‘I can dance and I can sing’ ditty will not get out of my head!)

Playing her Charlie is Jason Orbaum, quietly regal and delivering the drily witty lines with elegance and warmth. Phill Griffith as Lord Darlington provides a nice bombastic contrast.

Ally Murphy as the Queen Catherine, her torrent of invective in Portuguese about the king shaming her by forcing her to meet his mistress, was very impressive; as was Tessa Duggleby as said mistress, the ambitious Barbara Castlemaine, looking upon Nell as a rather stupid lamb about to be eaten by a lion. Jemma Jessup as Louise de Keroualle, angling for the king’s affections in order to secure French interests, is also excellent.

In the theatre scene, Andrew Donovan plays the increasingly harassed-looking theatre owner Killigrew; Graham Russell-Price is Dryden the uninspired playwright, Tim Brown is the likeable Charles Hart who first trains Nell for the stage, Michael Thonger is Ned the unassuming young actor, and Eddie Woolwich plays the female impersonator Edward Kynaston – furious that an actual woman has stolen his roles. One of the funniest scenes is where he has created a ridiculous back story for his character, who has but one line to say.

We were also in tears – with hysterical laughter – when Nancy the dresser has a go at acting in the absence of Nell. Her obvious discomfort and desperation to get offstage, much to the exasperation of the other actors and the director, were hilarious. It would be so easy to overplay this, but the timing and expression were spot on and it was one of the highlights of the show. Well done to Pam Hemelryk.

Rose Hall as Nell’s sister Rose was suitably grimy and guttersnipy, while Old Ma Gwynn played by Gilly Fick, has her Doolittle moment to remind Nell where she came from.

The whole production, on a simple but effective set, with lovely costumes and the beautiful backdrop of Waverley Abbey, makes for a very entertaining and feelgood evening. Well done all.

Nell Gwynn is at Waverley Abbey until July 15, then at Haslemere Museum July 27-29.

Kat Wootton

Nell Gwynn, performed at Waverley Abbey by the Guildburys

Petersfield Arts and Crafts exhibition opens August 23

The PACS annual art and crafts exhibition will fill the Festival Hall will take place August 23-28.

Petersfield Arts and Crafts Society was founded in 1934 when Lady Margaret Nicholson became the first president. Among the founder members was well known local artist Flora Twort along with a group of distinguished local artists and craftspeople.

PACS has 300 members from Petersfield and the surrounding area. Members include professional artists as well as people who have discovered their creative side very recently, from painters and illustrators to woodturners, jewellery makers, potters and textile artists.

Throughout the year PACS has monthly meetings and Saturday workshops. These are open to both members and non-members.

PACS exhibition will be open August 23-28 10am-6pm;  Friday, August 25, 10am-8pm.

See www.petersfieldartsandcrafts.org.uk to find out more.

 

PACS exhibition, Festival Hall, Petersfield