Friday, 31 January 2014

Adrian Oldland (music)

There's a change to the previously published Chamber Music programme at the Under Ground Theatre on the 16th of February because unfortunately Rachel Fryer is unable to appear. In her place, talented pianist Adrian Oldland will be making his debut performance at the venue.

Having begun playing piano aged seven, Adrian has gone on to achieve his BMus (Hons) degree in 2012 at Trinity College of Music and is currently finishing a Master’s (MMus) degree. He was awarded first place at the Chelmsford Competitive Festival of Music in 2007, and in his second year won the Alfred Kitchin Piano Competition playing works by Chopin. Adrian enjoys a diverse repertoire and his recital will include works by Bach, Brahms, Schumann, Kabalevsky and Rachmaninov, reflecting his particular love of music of the Romantic Period.

Under Ground Theatre, Sun 16th Feb, 14:45.
Tickets £9, UGT members £8, students £5, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926, or in person from the Under Ground Theatre and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Chris Wood (music)

Last minute shout out for this gig at Hailsham Pavilion THIS Saturday! Acclaimed folk singer Chris Wood will be performing, joined by Grace Petrie. The show is a Spyboy promotion.

Chris Wood who regularly tops the polls at the annual BBC Folk Awards is nominated again this year for the category Best Original Song with “None the Wiser”. He writes traditional songs with a heart and soul rarely found in contemporary music, which prompted The Guardian to say of his award winning song "Hollow Point" (a chilling portrayal of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes)....."This is the finest and most original singer-songwriter to have emerged from the British folk scene since Richard Thompson". Chris recently underwent a fifty date tour with Joan Armatrading and regularly performs alongside Martin and Eliza Carthy and others in The Imagined Village. Now he's on his way to Hailsham!

Set to open the show is Grace Petrie whose passionate and politically aware songs have been applauded by the likes of Billy Bragg (with whom she took the stage at Glastonbury), Frank Turner and Tom Robinson.

Hailsham Pavilion, Sat 1st Feb,
Tickets £18.50, available online, by calling 01323 841414, or in person from the Box Office.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Equally Divided (theatre)

My avid interest in theatre began many years ago with my Mum's love of musicals. However, I had hardly seen any plays until Dave took me to see Nicholas Lyndhurst and Julian Glover in a fantastic production of Ronald Harwood's The Dresser which toured to the Theatre Royal, Brighton in 2004. Pandora's Box was opened! The point of this reminiscence is that another Harwood play, Equally Divided, is soon to be performed by, and at, Seaford Little Theatre.

Directed by Dennis Picott, Equally Divided is on from the 14th to the 22nd of February with evening performances at 19:45 and a Saturday matinee on the 15th of February. The rewarding play is full of intelligence, humanity and humour. It stars Margaret Kennedy, Sylvia Aston, Roland Boorman (The Titfield Thunderbolt) and Alan Lade (The Cemetery Club).

Two sisters, downtrodden Edith (Margaret Kennedy) and glamorous Renata (Sylvia Aston), reunite after their mother’s death at her bizarre house, and learn from the local solicitor that her estate is to be divided equally between them. This seems fair, but is it? Edith is poor and Renata is rich. Edith has been her mother’s carer, while Renata has merely been her daughter. This funny poignant play revolves around the age old problems of inheritance and sibling rivalry.

Seaford Little Theatre, Fri 14th to Sat 22nd Feb.
Tickets £8 all performances except the first Friday, the matinee and the last Saturday which are £7, available in person from Stitch in Broad Street, Seaford.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Emperor The Stag (music)

Thanks to my friend Chrissie for recently drawing my attention to the local band who are the focus of this post.

With their debut album, Fantasy To Bleak, being released this Monday coming, the third of February, Emperor The Stag are set for its launch gig at Eastbourne's Under Ground Theatre very soon afterwards. I've been listening to some of the new songs from their Facebook page and am especially liking the second track, Leaves, and the lyrics of Animals. These tinny laptop speakers definitely aren't doing the music justice though. I need to hear the songs played through a decent system to appreciate the giant sound of Glue!

The band is made up of Nick Webb (vocals, guitar), Alex Spiers (drums, vocals), Rob Baird (electric guitar) and Harry Whitburn (bass, vocals). The indie four piece have already earned themselves an exciting reputation with BBC airplay and comparisons to American garage rock heroes ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ as well as British anthem stompers ‘Doves’. The YouTube video below is White car never Comes from their debut EP Speedwell Drive.

Under Ground Theatre, Sat 8th Feb, 19:45.
Tickets £4 in advance, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926, or in person from the Under Ground Theatre and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre. If any tickets remain, they will be £5 on the door.

Monday, 27 January 2014

War Horse (theatre)

This National Theatre Live screening could well be the biggest event of their season, if not of several seasons! The whole War Horse phenomenon has been so wildly successful that I am sure many people will want to see it, especially as tickets to see the stage play 'in person' are still pretty pricey. There is still a month to go before the broadcast. Hopefully Cineworld won't have already sold all the seats - or if they have, perhaps they can be persuaded to add another screen?

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. Filled with stirring music and songs, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-sized puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

Cineworld, Thu 27th Feb, 19:00.
Tickets £14.20 adults, £12.10 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Good The Bad and The Ugly (film)

Possibly the definitive spaghetti western, The Good The Bad and The Ugly is Seaford Community Cinema's matinee choice for the day after Valentine's Day. So anyone who had to sit through something too soppy the evening before might like to get their revenge here! The film has an 18 certificate.

In the fully restored version of the last installment of the ‘Dollars’ trilogy by Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood reprises the role of a taciturn, enigmatic loner as he searches for a cache of stolen gold against rivals the Bad (Lee Van Cleef), a ruthless bounty hunter, and the Ugly (Eli Wallach), a Mexican bandit. Though dubbed ‘the Good’, Eastwood’s character is not much better than his opponents – he’s just smarter and faster. The film is immensely entertaining and was beautifully shot in Techniscope by Tonino Delli Colli.

Instead of the usual trailer for the You Tube clip below, I have chosen the famous musical theme by Ennio Morricone. The theme got to number one on the British pop charts and, should you listen, it will be rolling round your head for days! This version is performed by the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Barn Theatre, Sat 15th Feb, 14.30.
Tickets £6 adults, £5 members, available online or in person from Seaford Tourist Office. Any remaining tickets will available on the door.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Eastbourne Rock and Pop Competition

I spotted this competition being publicised on Facebook earlier this week. Hopefully there's still spaces available?

"If you're a young musician aged between 13-17 with talent and inspiration, then this event is your chance to be in the spotlight! Bonners Music Superstore is looking for a maximum of 30 musicians including drummers, guitarists, contemporary pianists and singers of all types to perform their best 2 minute solo spot on stage at the Birley Centre in Eastbourne on Tuesday 18th Feb 2014 at 6.30pm. Performers are asked to prepare a 2 minute performance, with three outstanding finalists being selected to win fantastic prizes. You can choose to perform any piece you like - your own composition or your own version of a favourite song. Adjudicators including local teachers and representatives from big names in the music business will be looking for style, feeling and presentation.

The three finalists will receive valuable prizes sponsored by Bonners Music Superstore (*top prize is £200 to spend in the store!) plus the opportunity to perform in the Eastbourne Festival Concert at The Winter Garden on Sunday 2nd March. And there’s more! A further two of the most outstanding performances will be selected by the adjudicators to have a free recording session at CMP Studios in Eastbourne."

Further details are available at

Friday, 24 January 2014

How To Make A Killing In Bollywood (theatre)

Something a bit different for Valentine's Day is on offer at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Seaside when the Scottish NLP Theatre Company stage their production of How To Make A Killing In Bollywood. The play was written and devised by Umar Ahmed and Manjot Sumal, and directed by Umar Ahemd. It was produced by Scott Kyle, NLP Theatre Company/Regal Theatre, Bathgate.

This brand new comedy introduces us two best friends (Raza and Gurjit) who decide to quit their jobs in a takeaway restaurant and head to India to pursue their Bollywood fantasies. As they begin to pursue their dreams, events don't quite go to plan and their friendship is tested to its limits. Just how far are the boys willing to go to realise their dreams?

Punctuated with well-choreographed, vibrant Bollywood style dance numbers and a fantastic soundtrack, the story takes us from the Magic Grill takeaway to the teeming streets of Mumbai in a tale of ambition, hope and friendship - everything you need to Make A Killing In Bollywood!

I found an extensive review on Jake Campbell's blog of a performance in Paisley last year. It does include some spoilers.

Royal Hippodrome, Fri 14th Feb, 19:30.
Tickets £15 adults, £11 concessions, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Eastbourne Theatres Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Tabu (film)

If you enjoyed yesterday's Mary And Max at the Curzon Cinema, you might be interested to know about the next Eastbourne Film Society screening at the same venue. Tabu is a Portuguese film directed by Lisbon born film-maker Miguel Gomes. First off, I love the haunting crocodile's eye on the posters!

A film of two halves, Tabu is set partly in Lisbon where the 80 year old Aurora and her Cape Verde housemaid Santa live together off Aurora's pension, and partly in the Portuguese Africa of the early 1960s where the young Aurora lived with her husband. Aurora had an affair in Africa. The man's friend discovered the couple and insisted they not see each other again but Aurora shot the friend and the man left both her and Africa for good. Now, believing herself close to death, she wants to find her erstwhile lover again.

Curzon Cinema, Wed 5th Feb, times tbc.
Tickets £6.80 adults, £4.80 concessions, available by calling 01323 731441 or in person at the Box Office (3pm to 7pm daily)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The All New Chicago Blues Brothers Revue (music)

"Assembled exclusively for your entertainment pleasure from the music capitals of this continent, this is the hard working all-star show band of 'Joliet' Jake and Elwood Blues...we are The Chicago Blues Brothers!"

And they're on their way to Eastbourne's Royal Hippodrome Theatre for one night only to chase away the cold February blues. The show promises over thirty of the best from the original Blues Brothers movies, plus other classic Blues, Funk, Motown and Soul tunes in a unique style capturing the sound, energy and persona that propelled the original Blues Brothers into the phenomenon that still thrills audiences throughout the world today. The performers have a wide range of experience and have played at some of the greatest Music venues around the world including Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, London's Albert Hall, Joe’s Be-Bop Café in Chicago and The London Palladium to name but a few.

Everybody bring your trilby hats and ray ban wayfarers to this night of exclusive entertainment from some of the UK’s most talented musicians. Be ready to sing your heart out and shake your tail feather with this tribute to the kings of cool. Once this show starts – you're not sitting down!

Royal Hippodrome, Sat 8th Feb, 19:45.
Tickets £21 adult, £19 concessions, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Eastbourne Theatres Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Children Of Eden (theatre)

The children of Cavendish School will be taking over the stage of the Devonshire Park Theatre at the end of January when they perform the musical, Children Of Eden.

Based on the book of Genesis, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John Caird, Children Of Eden was originally conceived as an amateur American musical and performed at a religious high school theatre camp in Illinois. However, once Stephen Schwartz had extended the work into the full two-act musical it now is, the Royal Shakespeare Company got involved and staged the first professional performances.

The first act begins with the story of Adam and Eve having to leave the Garden of Eden and then moves to show their life outside the Garden but with their children, Cain and Abel. Act two is set many generations later and tells the story of Noah and the Flood.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Wed 29th Jan to Sat 1st Feb, 19:00.
Saturday matinee, 14:30.
Tickets £7 and £10, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at the Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Bully Boy (theatre)

Bully Boy by Sandi Toksvig is to be the next Bootcamp Theatre production and will be
performed at the Under Ground Theatre in February. The work is a ferociously gripping play that tackles the challenging moral issues of contemporary military occupation and its effect on the mental health of serving soldiers with startling insight.

Falklands War veteran Major Oscar Hadley is sent to a combat zone to probe allegations of severe misconduct by Eddie Clark, a young squaddie from Burnley and part of a self-styled ‘Bully Boy’ unit of the British Army. As the interrogation develops, Oscar begins to discover that ‘truth’ in a modern insurgency can be a point of view rather than a fact.

Well known and loved as a broadcaster, comedian and author, Sandi Toksvig’s other work for the stage includes the musical Big Night Out at the Little Palace Theatre (Watford Palace) and The Pocket Dream (Nottingham Playhouse/West End).

Under Ground Theatre, Wed 19th to Fri 21st Feb, 19.45.
Tickets: £11 (Students and UGT members £9), available online, by calling 0845 680 1926, or in person from Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre and the Under Ground Theatre.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

In The Mood For Love (film)

Over to the Seaford Community Cinema for today's post as they are screening a suitably romantic film on Valentine's Day in February.

In The Mood For Love is a Hong Kong film, originally released in 2000 and written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at that year's Cannes Film Festival.

In 1960s Hong Kong, two people move into new apartments next door to each other on the same day. Both Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) are married and find themselves often left alone as their respective partners work extreme hours. They begin to meet by chance, soon realising that their partners are having an affair and console their broken hearts by developing a relationship themselves.

Barn Theatre, Fri 14th Feb, 19.30.
Tickets £6 adult, £5 member, available online, in person in advance from Seaford Tourist Office or in person on the door if there are any left.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

John Skoog (art)

Today is the very first day of a potentially fascinating new film art exhibition at the Redoubt Fortress on Eastbourne seafront. Entrance to the exhibition is free but unfortunately (apparently) the museum will be closed for its duration. 

John Skoog works with film and video. Born in Kvidinge, Sweden, he lives and works in Frankfurt and is the winner of the 2013/14 ars viva prize for visual arts. He follows in the tradition of Scandinavian film through the use of stark landscapes and slow-pacing. The poetic use of the Swedish landscape and powerful studies of character and emotion evoke memories of film works by cinema greats such as Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller. For his first solo show in a UK public gallery, Skoog will make a new film set in the flat farmlands of the southern provinces of Sweden. 

The accompanying still image is from Förår (2012), a digital film of 16 minutes and 32-seconds. (Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias, London.) There is an interesting review of two of Skoog's films currently on show at Pilar Corrias - Sent på Jorden and the aforementioned Förår in this article by Florence Ritter for The Cultural Expose

Redoubt Fortress, Sat 18th Jan to Sun 30th Mar, 10:00-17:00.
Free admission to the exhibition.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Noel Coward's Private Lives (theatre)

Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor star in the hit production of Noel Coward's comic masterpiece which will be broadcast to cinemas nationwide as part of the West End Theatre series. It's coming to Eastbourne's Cineworld on the 6th of February.

Elyot Chase (Toby Stephens) and Amanda Prynne (Anna Chancellor) endured a stormy marriage and have been divorced for five years. Now they've both remarried and are on honeymoon with their strait-laced new spouses Sibyl (Anna-Louise Plowman) and Victor (Anthony Calf). What they didn't anticipate was that they'd wind up in adjacent suites in a hotel on the French Riviera! The volatile divorcees' passion is quickly reignited - with fabulous comic consequences.

Cineworld, Thu 6th Feb, 19:30.
Tickets £10.50 adults, £8.40 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Growing Old Disgracefully (theatre)

Two Spyboy shows are being staged at the Under Ground Theatre in Eastbourne soon. The first is something rather different for Spyboy because, in a departure from his usual musical fare, Virgina Ironside takes a hilarious journey through the joys of being a sexagenarian. According to this doyenne of Fleet Street in her show Growing Old Disgracefully, unlimited free drugs, fun funerals, grandchildren and sex, or even better no sex, are just a few of the reasons that your sixties are the best and funniest time of your life. The show is directed by Nigel Planer.

Under Ground Theatre, Sat 15th Feb, 19:30.
Tickets £16.50, available by phone from 01323 841414 or in person from the Under Ground Theatre and Hailsham Pavilion.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Don Giovanni (opera)

The Royal Opera House's boldly imaginative new production of Don Giovanni is the next to grace screens at Cineworld in Sovereign Harbour. Mozart's tragi-comic opera is one of the world's most popular, but with a running time of nearly four hours, it might not be the best choice for newbies! The screening lasts three and a half hours and will include an interval.

ROH Director of Opera Kasper Holten concentrates on the theme of imagination for this follow-up to his directorial debut (Eugene Onegin). While retaining a light comic touch, he explores Don Giovanni's womanising by presenting it as an attempt to escape mortality. The superb cast is led by Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni. Alex Esposito is a fresh, vigorous Leporello, while acclaimed French soprano Veronique Gens sings Donna Elvira. Set designs are by Es Devlin and Nicola Luisotti will conduct.

Accompanied by his long-suffering servant Leporello (Alex Esposito), promiscuous nobleman Don Giovanni (Mariusz Kwiecien) seduces his way across Europe. But when he goes too far and commits murder, vengeance is unleashed from beyond the grave.

Cineworld, Wed 12th Feb, 18:45.
Tickets £17.90 adults, £14.20 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Cinema Paradiso (film)

A classic Italian film has two screenings at Hailsham Pavilion at the end of January.
Cinema Paradiso celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with a re-release last year having originally hit cinema screens in 1989 when it won the Academy Award for best foreign language film. It stars Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili and was directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Cinema Paradiso will be shown in Italian with English subtitles.

In the somewhat saccharine drama, a filmmaker recalls his childhood, when he fell in love with the movies at his village's theatre and formed a deep friendship with the theatre's projectionist.

Hailsham Pavilion, Wed 29th and Thu 30th Jan, 19:45.
Tickets £7.00 adults, £5.50 concessions, available online, by calling 01323 841414, or in person from the Box office when open.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Birdsong (theatre)

I enjoyed Original Theatre's Three Men In A Boat back in August last year so was eagerly anticipating their next production, a play of Sebastian Faulks' novel Birdsong. Unfortunately, the original tour dates did not bring it any closer than Brighton's Theatre Royal so I steeled myself to splash out on a train ticket and went. A couple of weeks later (I'm writing this in August 2013), the new Eastbourne Theatres brochure arrives and, what do you know, Birdsong was coming to the Devonshire Park after all - but not until February 2014 so that would have meant an additional six month wait!

In pre-war France, a young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that their turns their world upside down. As the war breaks out over the idyll of his former life, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep under ground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him.

First off, you need to know that the play is LONG! The first act is an hour and a half and the second act is an hour. Having said that, it didn't feel like anywhere near as much time was passing as I was caught up in the story being told onstage. I hadn't read the book so needed to concentrate as the characters move swiftly in and out of flashbacks and several of the actors also play more than one role. It's obvious when they change characters, but some of the time changes are quite subtle. The actors are all very good and the detailed set is excellent. I'll be amazed if it all fits on the Devonshire Park stage - it does look like the crew has got a two-day get in though because performances don't start until the Wednesday! It changes from being a First World War trench to sapper tunnels to town streets all with a flip of the lighting effect and the addition of props.

My problem with the play, and the reason this blog isn't raving that you should all go see the production, is the script. Many of the lines are unbelievably prescient and I found that distracted from the story. The cast build up tremendous atmosphere within a scene and then one of them comes out with something incredibly clunky and immediately I was back in a theatre watching a play, not with these people in their world. Having said that, it's well worth an evening out.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Wed 12th to Sat 15th Feb, 19:45.
Wed and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at the Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Eastbourne Ancestors (art)

I've been fascinated by the progress of the Eastbourne Ancestors project over the past year. They have been posting regular updates and am now very much looking forward to seeing the results of all their hard work. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded them a grant in April and an incredibly popular Community Excavation took place over the summer months in the Rodmill area of town.

A brand new feature for 2014 will be the Eastbourne Ancestors exhibition, open at The Pavilion until November, which adjoins the fortress grounds. This ground-breaking exhibition follows the biggest project of its kind, which saw scientific analysis of human remains dating back to the Bronze Age. With discoveries including a rare African lady dating back to Roman times, found nearby at Beachy Head, the exhibition includes 3D and 2D facial reconstructions and a chance to see their story, with scientific results telling us, where they resided, what they ate, what they did for a living, their social status and how they died.

Please note this exhibition is held in The Pavilion, which adjoins the fortress grounds. The exhibition will however remain open during the annual fortress winter closure (fortress closed between 18 November and 31 March).

The Pavilion, Sat 18th Jan - Sun 16th Nov 2014, 10:00-17:00.
Free admission.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Gilda (film)

There's classic film noir from Hollywood for the Sunday afternoon matinee at the Under Ground Theatre in February. Originally released in 1946, Gilda was directed by Charles Vidor and stars Rita Hayworth as a glamorous femme fatale alongside Glenn Ford as a small-time gambler.

Johnny (Glenn Ford), a professional gambler, becomes the right hand of Ballin Mundson (George MacCready), the owner of an illegal casino in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When Mundson turns up one day with his new wife, Gilda (Rita Hayworth), it is immediately obvious that she and Johnny have a history together. While Johnny and Gilda resume their love-hate relationship in secret, Mundson is visited by two German businessmen, one of which he shoots and kills.

The screening will be introduced by Dr Niall Richardson, Convenor of MA Gender and Media, School Of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex. 

Under Ground Theatre, Sun 9th Feb, 14.30.
Tickets £6.50 to include tea/coffee and cake after the screening, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926 or in person from Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre and the Under Ground Box Office.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Rusalka (opera)

Dvorak's timeless masterpiece is the next Met Opera to be 'live on screen' at Eastbourne's Cineworld. Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts in Otto Schenk's haunting production and award-winning soprano Renee Fleming returns to her signature role, delivering a spellbinding, enchanting rendition of the much-loved 'Song to the Moon'.

Water nymph, Rusalka (Renee Fleming), has fallen in love with a Prince (Piotr Beczala), a fact of which he is completely unaware because Rusalka is invisible to all mortals. She longs to take on human form and is convinced that, should he see her, he would return her love. She consults the witch Jezibaba (Dolora Zajick) who concocts a potion. However, Jezibaba warns that should Rusalka be betrayed by the Prince, once in her human form she will be damned for all eternity. Undeterred, Rusalka decides to drink the potion

Cineworld, Sat 8th Feb, 17:55.
Tickets £17.90, £14.20, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Teresa Currie (art)

I have written a couple of times about art exhibitions by groups tutored by Teresa Currie - the Trinity Art Group and Church Street Art Group. Now Teresa herself will be exhibiting a selection of her own paintings, photography, painting on wood and screen prints at the Under Ground Theatre. The work will be on show and for sale from this Friday, the 10th of January, until the 1st of February. I asked Teresa to tell us more about herself and her work:

TC: I have been working as a professional artist for over 30 years and have exhibited work in Sussex, Surrey and Central London. Originally from Surrey, I studied art and design at Croydon College and became a cartographer and technical illustrator. I went on to obtain an Art History and Classics First Class Honours degree, and a PGCE in art and design. I have been teaching art independently for the last three years. Currently, I am teaching two local art classes with a third planned for the new year. I am also a regular visiting tutor and demonstrator to art groups in Sussex and Surrey.

TC: At present I am working with a range of mediums including watercolour, pen and wash, soft pastel, graphite, charcoal, photography, painting on wood and print making. The biggest impact on my own practice as a visual artist is from teaching others how to ‘look’ and to be creative with colour and composition. As a tutor I am always researching new techniques and the process of breaking things down changes the way that I view my own work. I believe that you should always be critical of your work in order to progress as an artist. I am inspired by dreams (many of my pictures are representations of dreams that I have had!), film, poetry, literature, architecture, wildlife and by other artists, both contemporary and historical: Ana Mendieta, Gerhard Richter, Robert Smithson, and Piero Della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna.

Under Ground Theatre, Fridays 10:00-12:30 and Saturdays 10:00-16:00, 10th Jan to 1st Feb.
Free admission. Art is also on show to patrons during any Under Ground Theatre event.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lost Illusions (ballet)

A "powerful, beautifully realised cautionary tale of desire and disillusionment" is the next offering from the Bolshoi Ballet to be screened at Eastbourne's Cineworld. The broadcast is due to run for 180 minutes, including an interval, and has a 12A certificate.

Based on Balzac's tale of ambition and thwarted love, Lost Illusions is a  new three-act ballet created for the Bolshoi in Moscow by world-renowned choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The original tale was a social satire and the ballet is a rich blend of old and new, with witty nods to ballet history and a moving score by Leonid Desyatniko.

In 19th century France, young provincial composer Lucien falls for a ballerina named Coralie, who becomes his muse. But as he conquers the Parisian scene, he is blinded by his success. Coralie's devious rival, Florine, lures away the increasingly rich and famous Lucien. But this has terrible consequences, shattering the dreams of both Lucien and Coralie.

Cineworld, Sun 2nd Feb, 15:00.
Tickets £17.90 adults, £14.20 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (film)

A very topical film is being screened three times daily at the Curzon this week. Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is a South African film that charts Mandela's extraordinary life, from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa. It is based on Mandela's 1994 autobiography of the same title. Producer Anant Singh was allowed the film rights shortly after the book was published but it was not until sixteen years later that the screenplay by William Nicholson was completed. Long Walk To Freedom has been directed by Justin Chadwick and stars Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa, Jamie Bartlett, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Terry Pheto and Deon Lotz.

Curzon Cinema, Sun 5th to Thu 9th Jan, 14:15, 17:10, 20:00.
Tickets £6.80 adults, £4.80 concessions, available by calling 01323 731441 or in person from the Box Office (15:00-19:00 daily)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Johann Strauss Gala (dance)

Another larger-than-life showman follows Brendan Cole onto the Congress Theatre stage in January as Rainer Hersch will be bringing his Johann Strauss dancers and orchestra back to Eastbourne.

Last year's One Night In Vienna showcased beautiful waltzes from the most romantic of historical times. This year Rainer Hersch will again lead the Johann Strauss Dancers in a Johann Strauss Gala - waltzes and polkas to such music as the Blue Danube Waltz, Radetsky March, Skater's Waltz, Lucifer Polka, Emperor Waltz, Cuckoo Polka, Perpertuum Mobile, Il Bacio, Vilja from The Merry Widow and Roses From The South. The whole performance has again been directed and choreographed by Alexandra Worrall. The Orchestra will be joined by soprano Kristy Swift.

Congress Theatre, Thu 30th Jan, 19:30.
Tickets £24.50, £28.50, £31, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at the Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly (music)

A gig that I've recently learned is already nearly a sell-out is the topic of today's blog post. So if you've been undecided about going, there's not much time left to deliberate!

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly, the long standing co-vocalists with The Blues Band take things down a level, simplify the music and get ready to give us a rootsy and exhilarating set of Country Blues at Hailsham Pavilion on the 11th of January. The gig is a Spyboy promotion.  

Paul Jones' career began with Manfred Mann in the '60's, and today along with his live work with The Blues Band and The Manfreds, he also presents BBC Radio 2's Rhythm and Blues show, and his Jazz FM programmes. Dave Kelly followed his very talented sister, Jo Ann, into the world of professional music in 1966. He was soon to cross paths with the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Son House and Buddy Guy to name but a few; ultimately Dave has played with them all and has toured with Wolf and Hooker.

Opening the show will be Alex Butler and Jane Chloe Pearce from Uckfield's Red Butler Band.  

Hailsham Pavilion, Sat 11th Jan, 19:30.
Tickets £20, available online, by calling 01323 841414, or in person from the Box Office.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Mary And Max (film)

After a break over Christmas, Eastbourne Film Society will resume their film programme on the 22nd of January with the wonderful animated feature, Mary And Max. I saw this black comedy when it was screened on Film4 a couple of years ago and thought it was brilliant.

Mary and Max was written and directed by Adam Elliot, a stop motion animator from Melbourne, Australia. Elliot uses clay models for all his films and every single set, prop and character is made by hand by a team of animators and model-makers. There is no computer generated wizardry at all which is remarkable in itself. The film features a star voice cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Bethany Whitmore, Eric Bana and Barry Humphries.

It is 1976 and 8 year old Mary Daisy Dinkle (Bethany Whitmore) is living a lonely life in Mount Waverley, Australia. Her family is quite poor and she is teased for her lack of nice clothes and also because of a birthmark on her forehead. One day, Mary Daisy decides to write a letter to someone who lives in New York City and randomly chooses the name Max Jerry Horowitz from the phone book. Max (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a middle-aged man with anxiety issues and mental health problems. Also lonely, Max writes back to Mary and the two become penfriends, a friendship that endures for two decades.

Curzon Cinema, Wed 22nd Jan, times tbc.
Tickets £6.80 adults, £4.80 concessions, available by calling 01323 731441 or in person at the Box Office (3pm to 7pm daily)

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Lady Crabtree (talk)

Happy New Year!

The Langham Hotel on Eastbourne seafront is the venue for a talk-with-a-difference that I spotted being advertised on Eastbourne's Freegle website.

Lady Crabtree 
To raise funds for our local branch of the RNLI, Lady Crabtree will take a whimsical look at growing older and will prove that the advancing years are to be enjoyed rather than endured. With a mixture of amusing personal anecdotes, comic monologues and sage advice, Lady Crabtree will share her wry observations about various aspects of aging, such as dealing with fashion for the over-50s; coping with health and beauty issues; failing memory, lost glasses… and how to fight back against the modern age. In this celebration of maturity, Lady Crabtree will reveal that there are many advantages to growing old disgracefully!

In the Summer of 1976 Paul James was introduced to the comedy double act of Patrick Fyffe and George Logan, aka Hinge and Bracket, and was inspired by this extremely clever female impersonation, where the line between reality and make-believe became blurred. While appearing in cabaret two years later, Paul decided to create his own character. Lady Crabtree made her first public appearance. Originally intended to be a single performance only, Paul was surprised by the audience demand to see more of Lady C and so the act began to develop.

Langham Hotel, Fri 10th Jan, 10:30-12:00.
Tickets £1, available by calling 01323 731451 or emailing