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    • MARCH/APRIL 2014 FREE Shining a light on literature, art, music and performance in Somerset This Issue Includes: Arguing the Toss: Nikki Sved Christopher Nicholson Tweet of the Day Oh My America: Sara Wheeler Duet For One 50 not Out! Hog in the Fog: Julia Copus Graham Fawcett Fire River Poets An Evening with Horace Batchelor Calendar of Events Jenny Graham Clare Donoghue Workshops, Courses & Classes Irving Finkel Hothouse Festival Flying Folk Hestercombe Art
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    • Contents 05 Arguing the Toss: Nikki Sved 08 Oh My America: Sara Wheeler 11 Hog in the Fog: Julia Copus 12 An Evening with Horace Batchelor 14 Never Look Back: Clare Donoghue 15 Hothouse Festival 17 Ark Before Noah: Irving Finkel 18 Out of the Blue: Jenny Graham 20 Preoccupied by Ghosts: Christopher Nicholson 22 Duet For One 23 Graham Fawcett on Ted Hughes 24 Calendar of Events 31 Workshops, Courses and Classes 36 Flying Folk 37 Hestercombe Art Gallery 38 Tweet of the Day: Stephen Moss 39 Music on the Quantocks 40 Fire River Poets Competition Results 44 Short Story 47 My Favourite with Liz Constable Editor: Lionel Ward Copy Editor: Jo Ward All enquiries: 01823 337742 c/o Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 3 Welcome to the March/April issue of LAMP. In this issue we have introduced Courses, Classes and Workshop listings which we hope will be of interest. Just before we went to press we received the a press release from The Brewhouse which appears on page 40 of the magazine. I am sure you will join me in welcoming the reopening of the theatre. The views expressed in Lamp are not necessarily those of the editorial team. Copyright, unless otherwise stated, is that of the magazine or the individual authors. We do not accept liability for the content or accuracy of the magazine including that of the advertisers.
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    • Arguing the Toss: Nikki Sved Theatre Alibi brings its exciting new comedy show, Hammer & Tongs to Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre as part of its national tour. Artistic Director Nikki Sved explains why the show will appeal to anyone who’s ever craved the last word. ‘Hammer & Tongs is a very human comedy and is a series of stories that together form a kind of “riff ” on arguing,’ explains Nikki. ‘It’s very funny, very off-the-wall and really wrestles, sometimes quite literally, with the idiocy that constitutes most arguments.’ Tongs takes a fresh and inventive look at arguing, and explores what we argue about and why - and just how low we will sink to prove we are right. most people,’ jokes Nikki. ‘Other people’s bad behaviour and pratfalls can be hugely entertaining, that’s why it’s the basis of most comedy. But there’s a dark side too, of course, when you’re pitching one soul ‘Daniel and I work very closely on The- against another. The show doesn’t shirk atre Alibi shows. Our first show togeth- away from that, with moments that are er as Artistic Directors was called Little both moving and poignant.’ Written by Daniel Jamieson, formerly White Lies and was nominated for a joint Artistic Director who is now Asso- Fringe First Award. So I guess we’re in- The show is physical, funny, moving, ciate Writer at Theatre Alibi, Hammer & terested in bad behaviour, along with messy and gloriously absurd as two men 5
    • and a woman tiptoe into tiffs, negotiate shoals of red herrings, take offence and descend into disgraceful, bad behaviour. Everything from farcical fisticuffs at a wedding disco to squabbling for control of the TV remote are played out against a backdrop that includes HM Bateman animations, live music, and inflatable hammers! – how a show can at its best engage an audience emotionally and intellectually so completely.’ Another thing that is special about a Theatre Alibi performance is the way in which they tightly integrate art forms like live music, puppetry, animation, photography and film. One of their recent shows, Goucher’s War - about a vicar, who is co-opted into a military dirty tricks outfit during the Second World War - included brilliant animation by Forkbeard Fantasy’s Tim Britton, and earned them much acclaim in the national press. So what treats have Theatre Alibi got in store next? ‘It’s a bit like Father Ted in tone,’ explains Nikki. ‘The four characters are way over the top at times, and there are some quite extraordinary visual surprises, great live music from boogie to blues and even a hilarious contemporary dance sequence.’ When Daniel decided to create a show about arguing, he asked people to tell him stories of their biggest and best arguments, and some of those stories have made their way into the show, as Nikki explains, ‘I think everyone in the audience, whether they like a good argument or not, will recognise something of themselves in there and I think they will have a really enjoyable time with the show.’ Set up in 1982 by Alison Hodge and Tim Spicer, Theatre Alibi have developed an excellent reputation for imaginative new work that combines an inventive physical performance style with original live music, visually striking sets, props and projection. When Alison and Tim left in the 1990’s, the company then appointed Nikki Sved and Daniel Jamieson as joint Artistic Directors. Like Alison and Tim, Nikki and Daniel had both graduated from Exeter University’s Drama Department and both had first worked with the company as performers before branching off into directing (Nikki) and writing (Daniel). Nikki is now the sole Artistic Director and Daniel is the company’s Associate Writer. ‘I love working with a strong team to create a show - it’s like going on an ad- 6 Nikki Sved venture every time, even when it’s a bit of a white knuckle ride!’ says Nikki of her role at Theatre Alibi. ‘I enjoy the puzzle to be solved in figuring out how to best tell a good yarn - and sometimes even getting a chair on and off stage can be a teaser that takes a lot of time and thought.’ At the core of the company’s work is a determination to use the ‘live-ness’ of theatre to the hilt, as Nikki explains, ‘We never ignore the fact that we’re storytellers and that our audience is with us in the room. Our actors tend to remain on stage throughout and we make visible many aspects of theatre making that are often hidden, creating sound effects live on stage for example.’ It’s this shared openness with the audience that Nikki believes enables things of quite an epic nature to happen. ‘No two performances are ever the same because of that special chemistry between performers and audience. For me it’s the thing that’s most magical about theatre ‘Last autumn we adapted Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns. It proved to be a huge success so we’re touring that to big theatres around the UK and internationally in 2015,’ says Nikki. ‘We’re also commissioning a new show for adults called Dad Dancing, a piece about the relationship between fathers and daughters and the uniting qualities of a good boogie, which sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.’ Not craving the last word, I leave that to Nikki, who says, ‘I’m not sure there’s really such a thing as a “successful” argument. More often you win the argument, but lose the battle.’ By Sara Loveridge See Theatre Alibi’s ‘Hammer & Tongs’ on Tuesday 18th March at 7.30pm. Tickets: £11 / £9 Concessions / £7 Students. Recommended for those aged 14+ (the performance contains moderate swearing). Venue and tickets: Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton. TA2 8PD Box Office: 01823 414141
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    • After her acclaimed book on Antarctica, where she spent seven months working and travelling in Antarctica, and following biographies of male explorers she was immensely relieved to be able to at last write a book about female travellers. The Knoll. Harriet Martineau’s house in the Lake District 8 Sara Wheeler rediscovered America thirty-five years after her first Greyhound trip across the country. She returns in turbulent midlife to trace the steps of six women who fled various sorts of trouble in nineteenth-century England and went to the United States to reinvent themselves. Her travel companions include Fanny Trollope, mother of Anthony and author of the biting “Domestic Manners of the Americans”; the actress Fanny Kemble, who shocked the nation with her passionate first-hand indictment of slavery; the prolifically pamphleteering economist Harriet Martineau; the homesteader Rebecca Burlend, who had never been more than twelve miles from her Yorkshire village before she sailed to the New World; the traveller Isabella Bird, whose many ailments remained in check as long as she was scaling the Rockies; and the novelist Catherine Hubback, niece of Jane Austen, who deposited her husband in a madhouse and rode the brand-new rails to San Francisco. Tough-minded outsiders, these women’s truest qualities emerged in a country as incomplete and tentative as their native land was staid and settled. And they discovered second acts for themselves at a time when the world expected them to disappear politely. From the swampy heat of Georgia’s Sea Islands to the icy purity of the Cascades, Sara Wheeler finds their path, and her own. Sara Wheeler’s books include the international bestseller Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica, of which the Telegraph reviewer wrote, ‘I do not think there will ever be a better book on the Antarctic.’ The Magnetic North: Notes from the Arctic Circle, was chosen as Book of the Year by Will Self, Michael Palin, A. N. Wilson and others. Sara’s previous book before Oh My America was Access All Areas: Selected Writings 19902010. Her other biographies of travellers are: Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard, and Too Close to the Sun: The Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton, and was immensely relieved to write about women at last in O My America! Talk and Booksigning with Sara Wheeler 7.00 pm Wed 5 March Venue and Tickets: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742
    • DILLINGTON HOUSE Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DT 01460 258648 Stephen Devine Colin Booth Two Harpsichords in Concert with Steven Devine & Colin Booth Also see Sunday 9 March 2.30pm Piano Recital with Bernard d’Ascoli Sunday 13 April 2.30pm day course listings after calendar of events The Song of Angels with Opus Anglicanum Sunday 27 April 11.30am Green & Pleasant Land – An English Tapestry with Opus Anglicanum Sunday 27 April 2.30pm Bookings Office 01460 258613 9
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    • Hog in the Fog Julia Copus is one of the nations foremost poets and has now produced her first picture book. The tale of a hog in the fog. This is the story of Candy Stripe Lil and Harry the Hog who lived over the hill...and a foggy March day, roundabout three, when Lil had invited Harry for tea. Lil is expecting Harry the Hog for tea, but there’s a swirling fog outside and Harry is nowhere to be seen. Lil sets off to find her friend. Luckily she meets Deer, Sheep and Crow along the way, who all join in the hunt to find the hog in the fog. A heartwarming rhyming adventure story about friendship, teamwork and teatime! 11 Julia is not sure where the impulse came from to write a picture book; it was just something she felt as though she wanted to do - though she remembers the magic they afforded her both as stories and as treasured objects. However, having decided to write a picture book, she found she was influenced by the surroundings in her own village in Somerset where she lives at the bottom of a hill, just like Lil does, and where it is often quite foggy. Her illustrator is Korean artist Eunyoung Seo. She has never met her, and though her remoteness made the process of putting the book together more complicated, it seems to have worked very well and it was ‘a huge thrill to see the book brought to life by her pictures and extra ideas.’ Julia Copus’ books of poetry include The Shuttered Eye (Bloodaxe, 1995), which won her an Eric Gregory Award and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, In Defence of Adultery (Bloodaxe, 2003) and The World’s Two Smallest Humans (Faber, 2012), shortlisted for both the Costa Book Awards (poetry category) and the T.S. Eliot Prize. All three collections are Poetry Book Society Recommendations. Hear the story read live by the author and have your books signed with a personal message. Julia Copus will be at Brendon Books from 11.00-12.00 on Saturday 22 March. Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER Tel. 01823 337742 email:
    • “Good Evenings Friends, the name is Horace Batchelor” Roland Oliver as Horace Batchelor Photo: Zuleika Henry For those of a certain age, the name Horace Batchelor conjures up memories of listening to Radio Luxembourg. It was a world where going to bed with a tranny meant listening to the radio under the bed sheets. Blue Brook Productions, a Bristol based Theatre Company, will perform An Audience with Horace Batchelor at The Castle Hotel in Taunton in April. Writer and co-founder of the company, Kevin Cattell, describes its genesis. ‘The play came about because I am a Keynsham boy. Wherever I am in the world and get asked by a certain generation where I come from, I always get the answer 'is that K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M?' 12 I started looking into the life and times of Horace Batchelor and found out that nobody really had a good word to say about him. As Keynsham seemed to have cast out their most famous son I thought there must be more to the man than a dodgy Wikipedia page. ‘Horace was born in 1898 and in the first fifty years of his life was a local entrepreneur. He sold bootlaces and shoe polish in Keynsham market, owned a fruit barrow in Old Market, Bristol, sold insurance, patented his own fire extinguisher, and marketed his own brand of herbal cigarettes (with seven secret ingredients) - whether he was ahead of his time or trying to cash in on the popularity of Wills tobacco it is unknown, but probably the latter. When he was fifty, he won the pools and invested his fortune in his Infra Draw system of winning the football pools. His marketing stroke of genius was advertising it on Radio Luxembourg. Although kids hated the interruptions to the music, people trusted his quaint Bristol charm, and thousands sent for his booklet at 20 shilling a go. I think he was in the right place at the right time, taking advantage of the in- nocence of the day. He was the ultimate self-publicist, long before Branson and Sugar. I think people either loved him or loathed him. Apparently a local councillor once suggested naming a street after him and was shouted down as his gambling and womanising brought shame to Keynsham, so there's not even a blue plaque. People would also mock his local accent, but his system was based on logic and skill, and I think it really did work. You had a much better chance winning using Horace's method than wasting your money on a random bingo machine that draws out coloured balls twice a week! Horace Batchelor at his desk
    • Residence at the National Theatre Studio. His productions include Danger:Memory! (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Dolphin Crossing (Brewery, Bristol and Ustinov, Bath), and the touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He recently assisted Sir Richard Eyre on The Dark Earth and the Light Sky at the Almeida, relating the meeting between poets Edward Thomas and Robert Frost. Kevin Cattell Ed Viney and Kevin Cattell formed Blue Brook Productions in 2011 with the sole intention of putting on plays that they would like to watch themselves: stressing the importance of good writing, performance and production rather than experimental gimmicks and frivolity. Scene from The Dophin Crossing Scene from Danger: Memory Dophin 13 Ed Viney Primarily, it was Ed Viney who directed and Kevin Cattell who was in charge of production. Their first production was a little-known Arthur Miller play Danger: Memory! which played at Jermyn Street Theatre in Piccadilly. Following the Miller, they decided to concentrate on original works with an historical or local connection. The Dolphin Crossing was adapted from a children’s book by Jill Paton Walsh about two boys who sailed to Dunkirk to rescue our troops. The current production, Horace Batchelor, was a personal project for Kevin Cattell. He had always, he told me, been an amateur scribbler. It was when he joined a writers’ group (where he also met Ed Viney) that he gained the confidence to believe his writing might be of some worth and in 2011 he won the Christchurch Writers Award for best play. Horace Batchelor is his first professionally produced play, though he is already working on his next one, a one-woman-play based on the true story of Princess Caraboo, the farmer’s daughter from Devon who travelled in poverty around the south west before tricking Bath and Bristol’s high society with the story of her life as Caraboo, the beautiful princess from the mystical island of Javasu. Ed Viney trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the National Theatre where he was Director in Roland Oliver is known for his performances with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol having played King Lear and appeared in several productions to date including Richard II, Hamlet and Taming of the Shrew. Roland originated the roles of Andrew McKinlay MP and Michael Mates in the verbatim plays at the Tricycle Theatre. His television credits include Bad Girls and appearances in numerous popular drama series including Vera, Coronation Street, Casualty and Eastenders. An Audience with Horace Batchelor Friday 11 April 7.00pm Venue: The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF Tel. 01823 328303 email: Ticket Only: £15.00 Ticket with 3 -Course Set Dinner & Wine: £49.00
    • Never Look Back CLARE DONOGHUE interview suggesting to her interviewers that she may be a psychopath and ‘how would they know’. She went travelling for six months and then returned, re-applied and this time was successful – deciding this time not to bring up the psychopath angle. Clare had always been an avid reader though she had never thought that she would be a writer until one day, about 5 years ago, she picked up Pig Island by Mo Hayder. She was so impressed by the dark creepy story that she began to wonder how she did it, so much so that she thought for the first time that this might be for her and applied for a creative writing course at Bath Spa University. She had read at the front of Pig Island that this was where Mo Hayder had learnt her trade. They turned her down initially. She thinks it may have been because she gave a ‘slightly weird‘ 14 Following her course she was lucky enough to land a contract with major UK publisher, Macmillan. It became a dream come true, if rather a late dream in her life. Though earlier on in life she had not believed she had what it takes to be a writer, she found that her natural organisational skills which she had previously used in her job working for various law firms in London over 10 years or more, were a great asset in putting together stories and that, for her , the necessarily solitarily life an author must lead for much of the time held no terrors. Never Look Back is a crime thriller that is set in South East London and uses much of the background of the areas where she lived before she returned to Somerset. She writes in the third person limited point of view which means that at any one time we only know the feelings of a single character. It does mean that we can see the point of view from multiple characters without losing the sense of intimacy and immediacy which this offers. Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver . . . Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it’s the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level. DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into Though she enjoyed working in London turmoil too she is pleased to return to Somerset and Taunton where she went to school (at Clare Donoghue Queen’s College). She loves the friendliness and warmth of the people and the variety of Talk and Booksigning the landscape. While writers like Mo Hay- 7.00 pm Wednesday 19 March der, Stephen King and Jo Nesbo are predictable influences recent authors she has Venue and Tickets: admired are Yan Martel, Paul Coelho and Brendon Books, Lloyd Jones. Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER She has already completed her second 01823 337742 book, No Place to Die, which will be published next year.
    • The Hothouse Festival Hothouse Festival is a one-day Acoustic / Folk / Roots Festival for the new generation! Showcasing the finest UK (and international) young folk talent, there will be appearances from young local musicians and dancers too. It takes place at Halsway Manor, National Centre for the Folk Arts, near Crowcombe, on Saturday 19th April. Now in it’s third year, the 2014 line-up welcomes back Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners Moore, Moss, Rutter, honey-toned shanty-men The Balina Whalers and young folk troubadour Sam Brookes. Line-up also includes European Bluegrass Band Award runners-up Jaywalkers, lively Glastonbury duo The Drystones, Australia’s acclaimed singer songwriter Katie Wighton, New Acoustic / Americana quintet The Gathering Sky, pure-voiced singer and pianist Jen Ord, fresh indie / folk from Jess McAllister, hirsute minstrels Sam Mabbett & Dylan Cairns-Howarth.. and that’s not all! All-female rapper dance team Silver Flame Rapper will be making an appearance, to perform and 15 to run a rapper-sword-dance workshop. There will be appearances from local bands – Torr and Wells Blue School Folk Band amongst them – plus an open mic stage, and a Silent Disco to round off the night. The day will also feature brand new performance pieces created by local young dancers and musicians during a week-long residency at Halsway Manor. You can find recordings and reviews from last year’s event on the Halsway Manor website – – featuring live recordings from Hothouse media partners Folk Radio UK and Songs from the Shed! Kicking off at 12 noon, Hothouse Festival takes place in the fantastic setting of Halsway Manor, on the edge of the Quantocks between Crowcombe and Bicknoller. Most of the activities will take place inside the 15th Century Manor House, so no need to worry about the weather, but if the sun does make an appearance you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens and grounds! Hot and cold food plus a licensed bar will be available. Plenty of parking onsite. Camping and B&B are also available at the Manor – but must be booked in advance. Tickets: £10 / £2 aged under 14 (must be accompanied by an adult). To book contact Halsway Manor on 01984 618274 or book online: uk. Top: The Drystones Middle:Sam Brookes Bottom: Hannah - Gathering Sky
    • Top Left: Moore, Mosse & Rutter. Top: The Jaywalkers Bottom Left: SIlver Flame 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. All are welcome. Further information: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7.00pm Wednesday March 12th Talk followed by book signing The Lost Islands of Somerset by Dr Richard Brunning Tickets from: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 The book briefly describes the islands and their surrounding wetland landscape, how they were linked by wooden trackways in the prehistoric period and how the floodplain was gradually reclaimed in the Romano-British and Medieval periods. A dozen of the island are then covered in more detail, with especial focus on islands such as Muchelney and Aller where geophysical survey and excavation took place. By Richard Brunning, the Levels and Moors Archaeologist for Somerset County Council. It is a timely publication and should be of great interest. 16
    • The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood One day in 2008 a member of the public brought in a palm sized clay tablet into the British Museum. It proved to be of extraordinary significance. Dr Irving Finkel is coming to Taunton in March to talk about how it was decoded and what it revealed. inscriptions. Finkel is the curator in charge of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets of clay from ancient Mesopotamia at the British Museum. The tablet bore, among other things, a copy of the Babylonian Story of the Flood including instructions on building a large boat to survive the flood. Further investigation was to reveal a number of enthralling discoveries enabling Dr Finkel to decode the story of the flood and a radical re-interpretation of the Noah’s Ark myth. The tablet dated back to to 1850 BC in cuneiform script. Cuneiform, consisting a small set of imprints and wedges, is the world’s oldest script, ‘ older by far than any alphabet’., practiced by the Sumerian and Babylonians , yet extinct by the rise of the Roman Empire Yet the tablet, which had been brought back from the Middle East after the Second World War by Leonard Simmons who had served with the RAF. was not thought of significant as some academics had dismissed it as ‘rubbish’. Luckily, his son, Douglas, brought it along to a British Museum open day in a tea chest along with a number of other items. Finkel describes it as “one of the most important human documents ever discovered” The clay tablet imprinted with the Cuneiform script. 17 With the arrival of the tablet began an enthralling real-life detective story by Dr Finkel. Finkel’s full title is Assistant Keeper of the Ancient Mesopotamian script, languages and cultures Department: Middle East at the British Museum. The department has 130,000 pieces, more than any other modern museum and its remit is to read and translate all sorts of Talk and Booksigning The Ark Before Noah by Dr Irving Finkel 7.00pm Wed 26 March Venue and Tickets: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4Er 01823 337742
    • Out of the Blue For eight years now Jenny Graham has been part of the Spring farm Collective based at the former Moorlinch Vineyard and takes much of her inspiration from the landscape around her. In April she is putting on a new exhibition, Out of the Blue at ‘Contains Art’ in Watchet. As well as looking forward to the exihibition, I took the opportunity to ask her about her earlier work and influences. ‘I have known since I was 6 years old that I had an ‘ability’ to record the world as I saw it. However, for most of my early years, until I was about 15 and at secondary school, I planned to become any entomologist. It was only my maths teacher who discouraged me, saying that my maths wasn’t up to getting a science degree. My art teacher on the other hand insisted that I apply for art school, which I somewhat reluctantly did. I was accepted at all 3 art schools I had applied for and chose to attend the Cooper Union Art School in Greenwich Village, New York City, as it had the best reputation for fostering creativity as all the tutors were practicing artists who worked there part time. My family were living in America at the time. New York was a very inspirational and exciting place to be in the 1960s, with famous people like Andy Warhol and the world of Pop Art and the Abstract Expressionists at the forefront of world art at the time. being young, I don’t think I realised how lucky I was until much later. The main bone of contention during my art training was that I wanted to paint like Edward Hopper, Geor- 18 gia O’Keefe and Grant Wood, but the American Ruralists were completely out of fashion and frowned upon at the time. So I decided to become a graphic designer and paint ‘on the side’. It wasn’t until many years later, when I had returned to England and moved with a new husband to Somerset that I stopped my graphic design work and allowed my passion for painting and printmaking to surface again. Even though I am known regionally primarily for my landscapes of the Westcountry I have always been interested in working in different media and experimenting with alternative ways of looking at the world. Over the years since my move to Somerset in 1984, I have been involved in an Environmental Art project at Hestercombe Gardens, ‘Genius Loci’, and 2 photographic projects, ‘Working the Land’ (with photographer Pauline Rook) and ‘Four Star’ in which I recorded rural independent garages and services stations. My renewed interest in printmaking began about 15 years ago when I took a short etching course at the Brewhouse Arts Centre in Taunton. I subsequently went on to do a NVQ in printmaking at SCAT, followed by an MA in Multi-disciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England in Bristol, where I graduated in 2000 with my commitment to printmaking securely established. I think that having a studio away from my home ( I have been at Spring Farm for 8 years now) and helping establish Spring Farm Arts has been a good experience. Having other artists around always has a positive effect on me, even if we only get together occasionally for open weekends. Spring Farm is a wonderful place to work and I feel very lucky to have found such a lovely studio so close to my home in Burrowbridge.’
    • ‘My forthcoming OUT OF THE BLUE show at Watchet literally came out of the blue. A few months ago I received the application form from ContainsArt in Watchet to put forth a proposal for an exhibition, an exciting initiative I had been keeping an eye on for some time. The idea of combining my own and archival photography, recycling coastal ephemera and marine salvage with cyanotypes seemed to fall neatly into place as an idea and I was delighted to have the opportunity to once again ‘experiment’ with a different medium and have an exhibition at the end. I also have the opportunity to work with some of the archival material from the Watchet Museum which adds to the excitement and, hopefully, the local relevance of the show. I’ve always felt that some projects have a life of their own and are meant to be. Out of the Blue feels like one of them.’ Cyanotype is a historical photographic process whereby paper or fabric is coated with a light sensitive solution which is then exposed by contact with a negative the same size as the image. This can be done using either sunlight or another UV light source. The resulting image is a positive print in which the darkest tones turn a rich indigo colour and other tones a somewhat lighter shade of blue. The print is developed by washing in cold water for several minutes. Photograms can also be made by placing objects directly onto the coated paper, then exposing a developing as before. Above: two of the objects which will appear in the Out of the Blue exhibition. Top: Towards the Lighthouse. Bottom: Postcards from Minehead 1. Above right: From Earth to Air - photo etching and below: At Alton Barnes 19 Saturday 12th April - Monday 21st April ‘Out of the Blue’ Jenny Graham. A solo exhibition of cyanotypes and constructions created from found coastal and town ephemera based on the town of Watchet, past and present. ‘Containsart’ gallery in Watchet. Containsart, East Quay,WatchetSomerset TA23 0AQ Tel: 07866 730093
    • Preoccupied by the subject of ghosts Born of a chance conversation with Alice Dilke, who knew Hardy as a child, Christopher Nicholson has written a story based around the true story of the first theatrical production of ‘Tess of the D’Urbevilles. On 17 April he comes to Taunton to give a talk. Here he explains how the novel came to be. ‘In his later life Thomas Hardy was much preoccupied by the subject of ghosts. They come to life in his poems, where they talk among themselves and reflect on their previous lives and on the sorry state of the world. ‘Winter’ attempts to conjure three such creatures from the dead, one of them being Hardy himself. ‘The novel is set in late 1924 and early 1925, when the 84 year old Hardy, the most celebrated English writer of the day, was living at his Dorset home of Max Gate with his second wife, Florence. Aged 45 but in poor health, she came to suspect that Hardy was in the grip of a romantic infatuation. The woman in question was a beautiful local actress, the 27 year old Gertrude Bugler. thatched farmhouse up a muddy track, felt like something out of the pages of ‘The Woodlanders’, or another of Hardy’s novels. ‘Unlikely as such an infatuation may seem, Hardy had past form when it came to young women. Many years earlier, he had even written a short novel, ‘The Well-Beloved’, which describes a man who falls in love with a woman, then with the woman’s daughter, and then the woman’s grand-daughter. For that and a host of other reasons among them Hardy’s complex, secretive personality - it’s perhaps not so surprising that Florence began to feel seriously alarmed. ‘We talked a lot about Hardy. I had always loved Hardy’s work, as had Alice; she came from a literary family. But she said that when she was a child, in the Dorset of the 1920s, she had been warned off Hardy by her parents. I asked why, and she said: ‘I think they didn’t think he was a nice man. There were stories about him and women. Of course, I immediately read every novel of his that I could find.’ Alice went on to mention Gertrude Bugler, whom she had known as a friend in the 1950s and 60s, when they were members of the same Women’s Institute. She told me that Hardy had written a poem in which he had imagined eloping with Gertrude from a particular place, Toller Down Gate. The poem, supposedly, was destroyed by Florence. I started to write ‘Winter’ the next day.’ ‘Winter’ is constructed around the developing crisis. It was born out of a chance conversation. One Sunday in November 2010 I went to lunch with an elderly woman by the name of Alice Dilke, who lives in the Marshwood Vale of west Dorset. The countryside thereabouts is one that can have changed little since Hardy’s time, with thin, treelined lanes winding past damp pastures and boggy woods. Alice’s home, an old, Christopher Nicholson’s two earlier novels are ‘The Fattest Man In America’ (2005) and ‘The Elephant Keeper’ (2009). ‘The Elephant Keeper’ was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the Encore Award. A serial adaptation was broadcast as a BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’. Christopher Nicholson Talk and Booksigning 7.00 pm Thursday 17 April Gertrude Bugler as Tess (National Trust Collections) 20 Portrait of Hardy by Reginald Grenville Eves, 1923 Venue and Tickets: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742
    • The Rural Living Spring Show Taunton Racecourse: 12th & 13th April 2014 Following last year’s triumphant debut, The Rural Living Spring Show returns to Taunton Racecourse in April. Run by the people who have brought you the much-loved Rural Living Show at King’s Hall for the last twenty years, the Show is full of exciting ideas to buy which will transform your home and garden. The Rural Living Spring Show will showcase some of the finest produce and crafts to be found in the West Country and Taunton Racecourse, with its ample parking and plenty of space for both indoor and outside stands, is the ideal venue for this exciting event. Get your Easter gifts here! Among the features of The Rural Living Spring Show are: • Over 100 indoor stands, with many more outside • Craft demonstrators • Plant and Garden marquee • Eco-friendly and Sustainability stands • Ideas for home and garden • Food Hall, with café and tasting area for local produce • Vintage market • Local nursery stands • Garden Design • Ample parking • Children’s Entertainment • Classic Vehicle Day on Sunday • Fun Run by NSPCC on Sunday (Contact organisers for more details!) • Raising money for St Margaret’s Hospice Further information: Tel.l 01823 323363, LAMP Magazine special offer. Readers receive complimentary admission on production of the ticket below. 21
    • Duet for One Also at the theatre on 17 April there is a guitar rehearsal by Christopher Evesham In recent years, Christopher has performed regularly as concerto soloist with various orchestras around the UK. He has performed Vivaldi’s Concerto in D major and Weiss’s Concerto in D minor and has given many performances of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with orchestras around the UK. In 2008 he gave solo recitals in Mainz and Stuttgart which led to performances with prize winning organist Andrew Dewar in Germany. In 2012, Christopher worked with composer Ezra Williams on the revised edition of his two movement work for guitar solo which led to recording the work. Duet for One is based on the life of renowned British cellist Jacqueline du Pré. She is particularly associated with Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, her interpretation of which has been described as “definitive” and “legendary”. Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28, and led to her premature death. Posthumously, she was the subject of a film entitled “Hilary and Jackie” (based on her siblings’ memoir, A Genius in the Family). Duet for One tells the story of a virtuoso violinist, Stephanie Abrahams, who has had her career brought to a staggering halt by the onset of multiple sclerosis, which also threatens her marriage. Already in a wheelchair, Stephanie is advised - against her will - to consult with a psychiatrist by her concerned husband. The play is structured as sessions between Abrahams and her German shrink, Dr Feldmann – a man who shares 22 her passionate love of music. Their exchanges build to become a battle of wills, during which Stephanie tries to cope with her illness and its effect on her life. This immensely moving play won the London Theatre Critics Award for best play of 1980, and still packs an emotional punch, with the relationship between doctor and patient creating a satisfying and absorbing narrative. Duet for One by Tom Kempinski Ilminster Warehouse 2-5 April 7.30 Classical Guitar Recital by Christopher Evesham 17 April 7.30 Ilminster Warehouse Theatre, Brewery Lane, Ilmiinster (opposite The Crown public house by the pelican crossing.) Telephone 07943 779880 for tickets In 2009 his first CD ‘Christopher Evesham, Solo Guitar’ was released. In this year he gave 5 recitals on board the cruise ship ‘Balmoral’ on the South American and Caribbean leg of the world cruise, he also gave a solo recital for Brent Knoll music club to raise money for the Mathieson school in India. He has also given recitals in 2010 and 2011 for charities including Save the Children and Cancer Research UK. His recital work has taken him to Arts centres, music clubs, and other venues all over the UK. Christopher has travelled to Brazil regularly since 2006 and has consequently increased his repertoire with a lot of works from this country’s musically rich and diverse heritage In 2011 2012 and 2013 Christopher performed solo recitals regularly for various cruise lines.
    • ‘His England is now the England of Langland, Shakespeare and Hopkins’ Seamus Heaney Following on from his successful Seven Olympians Tour, Graham Fawcett returns to Taunton in April with his World Poets Tour exploring the life, legacy and poetry of the late, great Ted Hughes. So few people knew that Ted Hughes was ill that when he died, on 28th October 1998, it felt as though part of the landscape - a tree, or an expanse of woodland - had spirited itself away while we weren’t looking, after a life-time (his and ours) in which he did as much as anyone to make us want to look at the landscape and stand next to him in it. In a tribute to Ted Hughes at the funeral service in the North Devon village where he lived for nearly forty years, Seamus Graham Fawcett studied Classics at Christ’s Hospital, where his love of poetry began while translating the great English poets into Greek and Latin. He read Archaeology & Anthropology and English at Cambridge, and has worked for Southern Television, Southern Arts, the British Institute of Florence, the Arvon Foundation and Art History Abroad. He taught translation at Goldsmiths College for fifteen years from 1991, and now lectures on both poetry and translation at universities in the UK, Italy and Spain. He has been a tutor for The Poetry School in London since 1997, devising and teaching new courses on poetry past and present from around the world. He has written and presented radio programmes about literature and music on BBC Radio 3 for many years. His verse translation of Dante’s early love poems, La Vita Nuova, was a BBC Radio Drama commission broadcast on Radio 3 as A Voyage of Sighs directed by John Theocharis. 23 Heaney unerringly placed him in the wider pantheon of the millennium. ‘His England is now the England of Langland, Shakespeare and Hopkins’, said Heaney. But where did that distinctive Hughes voice come from? And what were the triggers that spurred him on, extending his early grasp of the elemental potency of life-in-language further and deeper than the nature and landscape of his native Yorkshire, into the creation myth of Crow, other worlds of farm and river especially in the West Country, and inspirational late flowerings as both a translator and a love poet? Graham Fawcett sets out on a personal journey through the poetry of Ted Hughes, whom he knew in Devon during the 1970s, a man whose originality of utterance and output made him one of the outstanding English poets of the twentieth or any other century. World Poets 1: Ted Hughes Lecture and Reading by Graham Fawcett 7pm-8.30pm Tuesday 8th April 2014 Venue and tickets from: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742
    • March Events Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date 1 Event Details Venue Time Music/Dance Escuela Fuego Flamenco Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 Music The Kings of Swing Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 Music Fairport Convention Playhouse, WSM 7.30 2 Lecture Charles II and His Court with Professor Ronald Hutton Dillingtonh Hse, Ilmiinster 2.30 3 Music Royal Marines Association Concert Band and the Yeovilton Military Wives Choir Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 3.00 4 Music/Dance Motionhouse: Broken Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 Talk On Wings and Wind: Pollination of Flowers - Anne Bebbington Crayford Village Hall 7.30 4-7 Musical Godspell - Srode College Strode Theatre 7.30 5 Music Tom McConville Halsway Manor 8.00 Talk O My America! - Sara Wheeler Brendon Books 7.00 Poetry Fire River Poets: Poetry Reading by Lucy Lepchani tbc Ballet Giselle Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 Talks, Film Frome Amnesty Int. present: Evening of Film, Food & Speakers Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.00 Storytelling Mendip Storytelling Circle - Somerset Storyfest 2014 Court Hotel Chlicompton 7.30 6 Comedy Comedy Night Creative Inn. Ctre 7.30 6-8 Comedy Boeing Boeing - Talkin Scarlet (+ Sat matinee) Playhouse. WSM 7.30 6-15 Variety Highbridge Festival of the Arts Various - see programme Various 7 Theatre Time & Tide Theatre Group presents ‘Two Nations’ A folk story told in music, drama and poetry Ilminster Arts Centre 8.00 Music Kammer Philharmonie Europa Regal, Minehead 7.30 Drama Owdyado Theatre: ‘Above Bored’ Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Elizabeth Watts and Simon Lepper: The Nightingale and the Rose Milverton Church 8.00 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Over Stowey Church 7.30 Music Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse Tributes Oake Manor Golf Club, Taunton 7.30 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Winsford Village Hall 7.30 Music Orchestral Concert - Somerset County Orchestra St James’s Church 7.30 Music Peter Knight’s Gigspanner Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Nancy Kerr & James Fagan. David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Comedy Ed Byrne: Roaring Forties Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 8.00 Music Paul Salvage & Friends: Sound of the 60s & 70s Strode Theatre 7.30 Dance James Wilton Dance present: Last Man Standing Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 Music One Night of Elvis (tribute) Frome Memorial Theatre 7.30 Music Two Harpsicords in Concert Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 8 9 24
    • March Events (Continued) Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Event Details Date Venue Time Music Sinatra, Sequins and Swing - Big Band Swing Orchestra Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Storytelling Somerset Storyfest 2014 - free family event Bath Central Library 1.30 Storytelling Somerset Storyfest 2014 - free family event Holbourne Museum, Bath 3.30 Talk Jeremy Harvey’s Talk on Chagall Somerset College 7.00 Talk SIAS: The Somerset & Dorset Railway - the Bath Extension North Town Primary, Taunotn 7.30 Drama Paines Plough present Hopelessly Devoted By Kate Tempest Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 11 Talk David Spears - microscopic plants and animals St George’s School, Taunton 7.30 11-15 Drama Taunton Thespians: ‘The Killing of Sister George’ Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.30 11-22 Musical YAOS: Sister Act Octagon Theatre, Yeovil Various 12 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore North Curry Village Hall 7.30 Poetry Adam Kammerling Strode College Theatre 10.30am Drama Cube Theatre present Freddy Dare And The Ginger Robber Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 Talk The Lost Islands of Somerset - Richard Brunning Brendon Books 7.00 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Halse Village Hall 7.30 Music Philip Clouts Trio - meoldic Jazz with Afro-Lationo flavours Creative Inn. Centre, Taunton 7.00 Talk Gertrude’s Flowers: Talks about art by Maggie Giraud Castle Hotel, Taunton 11am Music Jazz Nights - Philips Clouts Trio Creatiuve Innovation Centre 7.30 Talk The YCAA presents Len Copland, Photographer Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 Comedy Jason Manford Playhouse WSM 8.00 10 13 13-14 13-15 Blakehay Theatre< WSM 7.30 Strode College Theatre 7.30 Music The Ronnie Jones Quartet Ilminster Arts Centre 8.00 Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Regal Theatre, Minehead 7.30 Music Sunjay Brayne David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Comedy 15 Worle Operatic Society Presents; Jack The Ripper (+Sat matinee) Street Theatre presents Hay Fever Opera 14 Opera Comedy Drama Jethro at Large Welsprings Leisure Centre 7.30 Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Memorial Hall Trull 7.30 Sounds Spiritual II - Phoenix Singers St John Baptist, Wellington 7.30 Music Clarinet Marmalade Concert Cossington Vill Hall 8.00 Talk Joceline Dimbleby in Conversation Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Great Western Chorus 40th Anniversary Concert Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Acoustic Music @ The Arts Centre Wellington Arts Centre 8.00 Music/Dance Essence of Ireland Frome Memorial Theatre 7.30 Storytelling Somerset Storyfest 2014 - free family event Taunton Library 1.30 Storytelling 16 Opera Music Somerset Storyfest 2014 - free family event Museum of Somerset 3.00 2-5.00 Halsway Manor Church St Mary, KSM The Circus of Horrors Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Drama Theatre Alibi: ‘Hammer & Tongs Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.30 Comedy 25 Family Intergenerational Storytelling Day Evensong - In Ecclesia Circus Act 18 Storytelling Music Sherlock Holmes - The Pantaloons Regal, Minehead 7.30
    • March Events (Continued) Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date Event Details Venue Time Talk Never Look Back - tall on new crime thriller by Clare Donoghue Brendon Books, Taunton 7.00 Talk SAGT AGM and Talk by Max Hebditch on Portraying the City Creative Innovation Centre 7.30 Music Clare Teal - The Divas & Me! Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Comedy Brazz Comedy Night Castle Hotel 9.00 20-22 Musical Crispin School presents Our House Strode College Theatre 7.30 21 Theatre Norwich Puppet Theatre: ‘The Frog & The Princess Tacchi-Morris, Taunton Music Flying Folk Ilminster Arts Centre 8.00 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Victoria Rooms, Milverton 7.30 Variety That’ll Be The Day Spring 2014 Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Talk Western Steam in Wales - Alan Saintly (Gt Western Society) Stoke St Mary V. Hall 7.30 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore Hazelbury Plucknett Bible Cntre 7.00 Music The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Frome Memorial Theatre 7.30 Opera Somerset Opera Touring - Gilbert & Sullivan - HMS Pinafore King’s College, Taunton 2.30 Lecture How Much is Enough? with Dr Edward Skidelsky Dillington Hse, Ilminster 2.30 Comedy Lee Hurst: Things that make you go ARRGGHHH!!! Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Variety Some-R-set 4 Talent: Best qualifying acts Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.00 24-25 Comedy Drama Boeing Boeing Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 25 Music The Liberty to Choose - English Folk Songs Silver Street Sessions 8.00 26 Music Joo Yeon Sir & Irena Andrievsky: Schubert/Brahms Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 Talk Noah Before the Flood - Talk by Irving Finkel of British Museum Brendon Books, Taunton 7.00 26-29 Drama Play @ The Arts Centre Wellington Arts Centre 7.30 26-28 Dance Spring Forward - Take Art Tacchi-Morris 7.30 Talk An Evening with…Sunny Ormonde (Lillian Bellamy the Archers) Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 Talk The Wildlife of Blagdon Lake - Nigel Milbourne St Catherine’s Ch. Hall, Frome 7.30 Drama Of Mice and Men Regal, Minehead 7.30 Musical Mark Youth Theatre present...Me and My Girl (Sat matinee) Princess Theatre, BOS 7.30 Music/Poetry An Evening of Music and Poetry by South Somerset Peace Group. David Hall, S Petherton 7.30 Music Jersey Boys Tribute Night Oake Manor Golf Club, Taunton 7.30 Music An Evening of Burlesque Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 8.00 Talk Jurassic Ecosystem of Strawberry Bank Ilminster Ilminster Parish Hall 7.30 28-30 Music The London Haydn Quartet Castle Hotel, Taunton Various 29 Dance U.Dance South West 2014 - Take Art Tacchi-Morris 6.30 Music 4 Parts Guitar. Sat 29th Mar. 8pm David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Music Jackson: Live in Concert (Tribute) Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 7.30 Dance Le Phare present Insight Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 31 Music Emily Smith - Scottish Folk Songs Silver Street Sessions 8.00 31-1Apr Dance National Dance Company Wales: Interactive Matinee Octagon Theatre, Yeovil 1pm 20 22 23 27-29 28 26
    • April Events Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date 1 Event Details Venue Time Comedy Jon Richardson: Nidiot Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Talk Somerset Glow Worms Caryford Village Hall 7.30 1-5 Drama GSMCS presents: The Witches of Eastwick Strode College Theatre 7.30 2 Comedy Jon Richardson: Nidiot Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 Talk Bird Ringing Shapwick Village Hall 7.30 2-5 Drama Duet for One by Tom Kempinski Warehouse Theatre, Ilminster 7.30 3 Comedy Billy Pearce Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Comedy Jethro - The Legend at large Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Mike Denham SpeakEasy with Pete Allen Ilminster Arts Centre 8.00 Music Pink, Katy Perry and Jessie J Tribute Night Oake Manor Golf Club, Taunton 7.30 Music Set Your Soul Alive starring Joe McElderry Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Medium Tony Stockwell Frome Memorial Theatre 7.30 Drama Kiss Me Donkey by Max Taylor (Drama Festival) Prinicess Theatre, BOS 7.00 4-5 Comedy Jason Manford Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 5 Music Taunton Concert Band: ‘Easter Spectacular’ Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Dr John Cole Memorial Concert Taunton Choral Cociety, Amici and Orchestra West King’s College Chapel 7.30 Music Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble. David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Music Katherine Jenkins Tribute Night Oake Manor Golf Club, Taunton 7.30 Music The Day The Music Died - Buddy Holly tribute Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Drama Wessex Division Final present Four One Act Plays Merlin Theatre, Frome 2.30/7 Drama Getting Away With It by PTC Writers/Paradise View Princess Theatre, BOS 7.00 4 5-6 Musical Play Peter Pan - Dreams Productions Regal, Minehead 7.30 6 Comedy Jenny Éclair: ‘Eclairious’ Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 8.00 Music Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble. David Hall , S Petherton 8.00 Children’s Show Bananas in Pyjamas 2014 Playhouse, WSM 3.00 Dance Tap Factory - Theatre Productions Octagon, Yeovil 7.00 Music Hothouse Festival - all day foilk festival from noon til late Halsway Manor, Crowcombe noon Talk Graham Fawcett biographical peformance on Ted Hughes Brendon Books 7.00 8 8-9 Drama Entertaining Mr Sloane - Joe Orton Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 10 Music The Peatbog Faeries. Thurs 10th April. 8pm. David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Music Armonico Consort with Sir Willard White Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Ballet Vienna Festival Ballet present Swan Lake Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Celebrate; Lerner & Leowe, Rodgers & Hammerstein Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 Musical The Sound of Music -Benham Academy of Dance Strode College Theatre 7.30 Music Under Her Skin. Directed by John Wright David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Music Dominic Kirwan 2014 Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Drama Two Way Mirror (Arthur Miller) Red Rope Theatre Company Regal, Minehead 7.30 10-12 11 27
    • April Events (Continued) Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Event Details Date Venue Time Drama Castle Hotel, Taunton 7.00 Music Maiastra: ‘String Quartets’ An evening of classical music supported by the Aidan Woodcock Foundation Ilminster Arts Centre 7.30 Music The Searchers Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music The Bohemians - A Night of Queen (Tribute) Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Freshly Ground - traditional english folk songs Silver Street Sessions 8.00 Music Olde Tyme Music Hall Blakehay Theatre, WSM 3.00 Dance Dance Academy present The Firebird Merlin Theatre, Frome 2/7 Music 12 An Audience withn Horace Batchelor Geryy across the Mersey - Gerry and the Pacemakers Memorial Theatre, Frome 7.30 Drama BOSH Youth Theatre present...The Rocky Monster Show Princess Theatre, BOS 6.00 Music Piano Recital with Bernard d’Ascoli Dillington Hse. Ilminster 2.30 Music Solid Silver Sixties - sixties hits from original artists Playhouse, WSM 3.00/7.45 Music A Celebration of Neil Diamond (Tribute) Regal, Minehead 7.30 Music Philip Clouts Trio - Afro Latino Flavoured Jazz Creative Inn. Ctre, Taunton 7.30 13-14 Panto Peter Pan: Easter Pantomime with Bobby Davro Octagon, Yeovil Various 15 Music Sinfonia Classica with Lesley Garret Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Comedy Josh Widdicombe: Incidentally Playhouse, WSM 8.00 Talks The Somerset Coast - Nigel Phillips Cheddar Catholic Ch Hall 7.30 Comedy Josh Widdicombe: Incidentally Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 Music Des O’Connor Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Poetry The Poetry Joe Show From CBeebies Rhyme Rocket (3-5 years) Merlin Theatre, Frome 11/2 Comedy Billy Pearce 2014 Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Talk Winter - talk on new fictional work on Thomas Hardy with auhtor Christopher Nicholson Brendon Books, Taunton 7.00 Recital Christopher Evesham Warehouse Theatre, Ilminster 7.30 Music Ken Peplowski & Julian Stringle with The Craig Milverton Trio Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Music We’ve Only Just Begun - Carpenters Tribute Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Bobby Socks and Blue Jeans - hits from the 50s and 60s Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Talk An Illustrated talk: Ham Hill Country Park St. John’s Church Rooms, Yeovil 7.30 Music Virtuoso violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and cellist Gemma Rosefield/ Honeymead Ensemble members Alfredo Zamarra (viola) and Benjamin Nabarro - Music on the Quantocks St Mary’s, Taunton 7.45 Talk The Life and Times of the Brown Hare - Peter Thompson United Reform Church, Somerton 7.30 Musical Back to Broadway Regal, Minehead 7.30 Talk The Magic of Herb United Reformed Ch. Somerton 7.30 Talk Tweet of the Day. Talk by Stephen Moss on the book and popular radio 4 programme Brendon Books, Taunton 7.00 Drama Altered Skin: ‘Power Games’ Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.30 Talk Peter Massa’s Talk on his art Creative Innovation Centre 7.30 13 16 17 18 19 20 23 24 28
    • April Events (Continued) Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Event Details Date Venue Time Drama Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Poetry Luke Wright presents Essex Lion Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 Talk Wildlife on the Somerset Levels - Nigel Phillips St Catherine’s Ch Hall, Frome 7.30 Talk The Jazz Age: Dr Paul McDonald Dillington Hse, Ilmiinster 1.00 Talk 50 Years of a Somerset Town - Paul Bovett Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Drama DYAD Productions - Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe Merlin Theatre, Frome 7.45 Talk 25 Morecambe - Tim Whitnall’s Olivier Award-winning play Wildlife at Arnos Vale Wells Museum 7.30 Talk Conservation of the Somerset Levels and Moors - Steve Parker Ilminster Parish Hall 7.30 25-27 Music The Vienna Piano Trio Castle Hotel, Taunton Various 26 Music Heidi Talbot. Sat 26th April. 8pm David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Music RAFA Concert Band Presents; Music in the Air Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 Music In Dreams - Trib to Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly & Everly Bros Frome Memorial Theatre 7.30 Music Serenade Big Band: Around the World - A Sentimental Journey Princess Theatre, BOS 7.30 26-27 Music The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 27 Music The Song of Angels with Opus Anglicanum Dillington Hse, Ilminster 11.30am Music Green & Pleasant Land-English Tapestry with Opus Anglicanum Dillington Hse, Ilminster 2.30 Music 28-3 May Mairearad Green & Anna Massie - Scottish folk musicians Silver Street Sessions 8 Musical Anything Goes Cole Porter’s Classical Musical. Taccni-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 Art Exhibitions March/April Saturday 4 January - Saturday 29 March Looking back looking forward. The exhibition tells the museum’s story, from its origins as a working farm to the creation of the museum forty years ago, and looks forward to what the future holds. Final exhibition at the museum before it closes in March for a major redevelopment. Somerset Rural Life Museum, Abbey Farm, Chilkwell Street,Glastonbury, BA6 8DB. Saturday 18 January - Saturday 8 March The 156th International Print Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society. Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 4AA. 01823 255088 Thursday 13 February - Thursday 13 March ‘A Good Idea at the Time’. Andy and Leo Davey. Mon: Fri 9.30- 12.30. Saturday: 9.00 - 5.00. Creative Innovation Centre CIC, Me- morial Hall, Paul Street,Taunton TA1 3PF. 01823 337477 Tuesday 18 February 10:00AM Saturday 5 April 2:00PM Artists 303: A Mixed Exhibition. Strode Theatre, Strode College, Church Road, Street, Somerset BA16 0AB 01458 442846 Monday 24 February - Saturday 29 March 2014 MA & Other Post Graduates. Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Street, Somerset BA16 0YD 01458 444322 Thursday 27 February - Wednesday 2 April Linda Hollingshead: ‘Flow’. Linda’s mixed media paintings - a response to water and fluidity in nature and the beauty of emotion. Monday-Friday 10am - 4pm (plus performance nights). Free. Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton. TA2 8PD. 01823 414141. 29
    • Tuesday 4 - Friday 28 March Inspiration from The Blackdowns Taking inspiration from The Blackdown Hills, local artists Andrew Bell and June Dobson present an exhibition of paintings and ceramics. Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm. Saturday 9.30am - 2.30pm. Free. Ilminster Arts Centre at The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. 01460 54973. Monday 31 March - Saturday 12 April SAGT Sponsored Spring Art Exhibition at Taunton Library, Paul St, Taunton TA1 3XZ. Monday 31st March to Saturday April 26th Annual Open Exhibition. Sponsored by Branston and Ilminster Arts Centre. If you want to be part of this prize-winning event then please contact us, E-mail or phone the centre with your contact details. (01460 54973) The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. 01460 54973. Saturday 12th April - Monday 21st April ‘Out of the Blue’ Jenny Graham. A solo exhibition of cyanotypes and constructions created from found coastal and town ephemera based on the town of Watchet, past and present. ‘Containsart’ gallery in Watchet. Containsart, East Quay,WatchetSomerset TA23 0AQ Tel: 07866 730093 Wednesday 23 April - Tuesday 20 May Nancy Farmer: ‘A Medusa for All Seasons’Etchings and drypoint prints inspired by the idea of Medusa - the snake-haired femme fatale of ancient greek mythology - and by the passing of our very English seasons. Monday-Friday 10am - 4pm (plus performance nights). Why Not Advertise in LAMP? Make yourself visible while supporting the promotion of the artistic community in Somerset LAMP Magazine c/o Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings Bath Place Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 30
    • Workshops, Courses & Classes (March & April) Listings are for March and April alphabetically by venue charged at £3.00 per line or part line (up to 110 characters including spaces). Single individual entries also accepted. Creative Innovation Centre Workshops Creative writing for business and leisure – Wednesday evenings from 5:30pm to 7:30pm – Nine Weeks from 15/01/14 to 12/03/14 Portrait clay head class- Thurs 1:30-4:30pm10 wk course starting Thursday 9th Jan 1.30 -4.30pm. Painting and drawing art class10 wk course starting Friday 10th Jan 9.30 -12.30pm or 1-4pm Shibashi Taichi For Beginners-Monday evenings 10 February to 31 March 2014 7-8.30pm. Biodanza – The Amazing International Dance-based System! -Six weeks from Wednesday 22nd January to 5th March, 8pm to 9.30pm Yoga Classes at CICCIC-10 week course starting Tuesday 7th Jan. 6.15- 7.45 pm DILLINGTON HOUSE DAY COURSES MARCH – APRIL 2014 www.dillington Tel. 01460 258 648 Flower Arranging for Beginners - Saturday 1 March www.dillington The Language of Icons- Saturday 1 March Ukulele Workshop - Beyond Beginners - Saturday 1 March Book Club - Off Balance by Mary Sheepshanks - Tuesday 4 March The Trial of the Generals - Nuremberg 1945 - Saturday 8 March The Camden Town Group - Saturday 8 March Researching Your Family History Introductory Day - Saturday 8 March Great Women Reformers: Miss Coutts & Miss Hill - Saturday 22 March The British Army 1905-1914 and the Haldane Reforms -Saturday 22 March Buddhism - A Philosophy for Life - Saturday 22 March Looking Good Feeling Good - Saturday 22 March Britten’s Operas - Death in Venice - Monday 31 March Book Club - A Room with a View by E. M. Forster - Tuesday 1 April West Country Canals -Monday 7 April Four Historians - Tuesday 8 April iPad Art for Beginners - Tuesday 8 April Boxed Cushions for Chairs & Window Seats - Thursday 10 April Easter Floral Designs - Thursday 10 April The Ladies’ Paradise: Study Day of Zola’s Novel - Thursday 10 April The Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt - Saturday 12 April Understanding Schoenberg - Saturday 12 April An Introduction to Chi Kung - Saturday 12 April Two Tudor Composers - Monday 14 April Wildflowers & Wildlife in Somerset - Monday 14 April Rutland Boughton & The Original Glastonbury Festivals - Tuesday 15 April Pearl: A Study Day of Loss & Resolution - Tuesday 15 April Matthew Paris - England’s Greatest Medieval Artist - Wednesday 16 April 31
    • Workshops, Courses & Classes (March & April) Listings are for March and April alphabetically by venue charged at £3.00 per line or part line (up to 110 characters including spaces). Single individual entries also accepted. Fitness League Classes every Friday 10-11am at St George’s Church Hall Wilton TA1 3JT to improve mobility and strengthen muscles. Contact Nikki Mumby. 01823 283350 or Halseway Manor, Crowcombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4BD 01984 618274 Saturday 1st March Sunday 2nd March Thursday 6th March Thursday 6th March Friday 7th - 9th March Mon 10th - 14th March Thursday 13th March Fri 14th - 16th March Sun 16th - 19th March Thursday 20th March Fri 21st - 23rd March Thursday 27th March Fri 28th - 30th March Mon 31st - 4th April Thursday 3rd April Fri 4th - 6th April Sunday 6th April Monday 7th 11th April Fri11th - 13th April Saturday 12th April Mon 14th - 19th April Thursday 17th April Sun 20th - 25th April Thursday 24th April Fri 25th - 27th April Northumbrian Small-pipes Taster Day Halsway Sunday Club 2014 March Step into folk! West Somerset Morris Men Practisc Session Bonny Sartin Weekend March 2014 Mary’s House Party West Somerset Morris Men Practice Session Folk Song South West. Singaround Weekend Arranging for Folk Musicians West Somerset Morris Men Practice Seesion Halsway Manor Playford Weekend West Somerset Morris Men Practice Session The 2nd PolkaWorks workshop weekend 2014 Anglo Scottish Dance Week West Somerset Morris Men Beyond Playford Historical & Folk Dance W/end Halsway Sunday Club 2014 April Contra and Square Dance Week Irish Set Dancing Weekend with Ceili Time Ceilidh: Irish Set Dance Night with Ceili Time Spring Hothouse 2014 West Somerset Morris Men Practice Session Halsway Manor Easter House Party 2014 West Somerset Morris Men Practice Session Falconers Folk Dance Club 2014 10.00am - 4pm 8.00pm 4.30 - 7pm 7.45 - 10pm 7.45 - 10pm 7.45 - 10pm 7.45 - 10pm 7.45 - 10pm 8pm 8pm 7.45 - 10pm 7.45 - 10pm Ilminster Arts Ctre at The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN 01460 54973 Clay. Informal Sculpture group. 3-14 April. Every Monday.. 9.30am-3.30pm. £7 per weekly session. All abilities. Watercolour Workshop. 4 Mar - 1 Apr. Every Tuesday and Friday 7 Mar and Fri April 4. Learn techniques of watercolour. Friendly & relaxed classes. All abilities welcome. 10am-3pm . £20 double session. Book : Nicky on: 01460 281 773. Thursday 6 March. Lino Printing. Learn the art of Lino Printing at this exciting workshop led by local artist Rita Yates. 10am3pm. £25 per session (excluding the cost of materials). Friday 14 March. Rag Rugs. Learn the green craft of rag rug making and create eye-catching designs using scrap materials. 11am-1pm. £10 per monthly session. Friday 14 March. Readers’ Group. Spend an afternoon once a month with like-minded people, a good cup of coffee and a chat about the latest ‘read’. All books are provided by the library service. 2.30-4pm. £4 per session (includes refreshments). Thursday 20 March. Knit Tog, Crochet Too. From casting on to finished garment. Come and share your ideas and be inspired - whatever your level of skill from beginner to master knitter! 2.15-4.15pm. £4 per session (includes refreshments). 32
    • Workshops, Courses & Classes (March & April) Listings are for March and April alphabetically by venue charged at £3.00 per line or part line (up to 110 characters including spaces). Single individual entries also accepted. Friday 21 March. Felt Making. Come and learn how to make felt flowers, slippers, scarves and waistcoats. Beginners to advanced welcome. 10am-3pm. £20 per monthly session (excluding materials). Thursday 3 April. Quilting with k3n: Stitch and Flip. Suitable for beginners and the more experienced. Please bring your own sewing machine. 10am-3pm. £25 per session Tuesday 8 April. Rag Rugs. Learn the green craft of rag rug making and create eye-catching designs using scrap materials. 11am-1pm. £10 per monthly session. Thursday 10 April. Children’s Willow Spring Garlands Workshop.10am-12pm. £6 (all materials supplied). Suitable for ages 6 upwards only. Friday 11 April.Readers’ Group. Spend an afternoon once a month with like-minded people, a good cup of coffee and a chat about the latest ‘read’. All books are provided by the library service. 2.30-4pm. £4 per session (includes refreshments). Thursday 17 April.Knit Tog, Crochet Too. From casting on to finished garment. Come and share your ideas and be inspired whatever your level of skill from beginner to master knitter! 2.15-4.15pm. £4 per session (includes refreshments). Friday 25 April. Felt Making. Come and learn how to make felt flowers, slippers, scarves and waistcoats. Beginners to advanced welcome. 10am-3pm. £20 per monthly session (excluding materials). Musgrove Willows Willow Fields, Lakewall, Weston Zoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset TA7 0LP 01278 691105 Lunch and refreshmsnts provided. Saturday 8th March Thursday 13th March Saturday 15th March Wednesday 19th March Saturday 22nd March Wednesday 26th March Friday 28th March Saturday 29th March Friday 11th April Saturday 12th April Wednesday 23rd April Friday 25th April Plant Climbers & Garden Edging (Half Day) Willow Hurdles/Fencing (Full Day) Living Willow Structures (Half Day) Bumble Bee Skeps (Full Day) Hedgerow Baskets (Full Day) Fan Wall Climber (Half Day) Living Willow Structures (Half Day) Bird Sculpture (Full Day) Plant Climbers (Half Day) Small Animal Sculpture (Full Day) Garden Sculpture - Willow Balls (Full Day) Bumble Bee Skeps (Full Day) 10.00am - 1pm 10.00am - 4pm 10.00am - 1pm 10.00am - 4pm 10.00am - 4pm 10.00am - 1pm 10.00am - 1pm 10.00am - 4pm 10.00am - 1pm 10.00am - 4pm 10.00am - 4pm 10.00am - 4pm £35 £75 £35 £75 £75 £35 £35 £75 £35 £75 £75 £75 Tacchi-Morris Cube Theatre’s Easter Holiday School. Mon 7 - Fri 11 April . 5 day course of drama-based games and activities for 7-11 year olds. 9am-3pm daily. £60 / £50. School Road, Taunton. TA2 8PD. 01823 414141 Workshops at the Willows & Wetlands Centre, Stoke St Gregory, TA3 6HY For further details visit Or call 01823 490249 Saturday 1st March Willow Animal Sculpture Day (includes lunch) 9.30am - 4pm Saturday 15th March Felting-Nuno Felt Scarf 10am-4pm Saturday 15th March Basket Making Workshop (includes lunch) 9.30am - 4pm Saturday 22nd March Willow Deer Sculpture Day 9.30am - 4.30pm Saturday 12th April Cockerel and Chicken sculpture day 9.30am-4.00pm Saturday 26th April Felting - Wall Hanging 10am-4pm Saturday 26th April Basket Making Workshop (includes lunch) 9.30am - 4pm 33 £70 £35 £85 £60 £60 £35 £85
    • Contacts List Atkinson Gallery, Millfield School, Street, Somerset BA16 0YD 01458 444322 Barn, Obridge House Priorswood, Taunton. Contact: Jeremy Harvey. 01823 276421 Barrington Court, Barrington,  Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0NQ 01460 242614 Bath Central Library 01225 394041 Bishop’s Palace, Cathedral Green, Wells Somerset BA5 2PD 01749 988111 The Blakehay Theatre, Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JZ 01934 645493 Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 Bridgwater Arts Centre, 11-13 Castle Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3DD 01278 422 700 The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF 01823 272671 Caryford Community Hall, Ansford, Castle Cary, South Somerset BA7 7JJ Cheddar Catholic Curch Hall,Tweentown, Cheddar, BS27 3HU Court Hotel Chilcompton 01761 471209 Cossington Village Hall Rrivetts Way , TA7 8LH. Creative Innovation Centre CIC, Memorial Hall, Paul Street,Taunton TA1 3PF. 01823 337477 The David Hall, Roundwell St South Petherton. TA13 5AA 01460 240340 Dillington House, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DT 01460 258648 Dunster Tithe Barn 01643 821658 Frome Memorial Theatre - Christchurch Street West, Frome, Somerset BA11 1EBTel: 01373 462795 Fyne Court, Broomfield, Somerset TA5 2EQ 01823 451587 Ginger Fig, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 326798 Halseway Manor, Crowcombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4BD 01984 618274 Hestercombe Gardens, Hestercombe, Taunton TA2 8LG 01823 413 923 Hobbyhorse Ballroom, Esplanade, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5QP 01643 702274 Holburne Museum, Bath 01225 388569 Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster TA19 0AN 01460 55783  Iminster Parish Hall, North Street, Ilminster, TA19 0DG Merlin Theatre, Bath Road, Frome, Somerset BA11 2HG 01373 465949 Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton Somerset TA1 4AA 01823 255088 Music in the Quantocks 01823 451162 Night of the Prom: 07973 252 346 Oake Manor Golf Club,Oake Taunton  TA4 1BA 01823 461992 Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil BA20 1UX 01935 422884 Parish Church St John, Wellington, 72 High Street Wellington(01823) 662248 The Playhouse Theatre,High Street,Weston super Mare,BS23 1HP 01934 645544 Porlock Village Hall, Toll Road (New Rd), Porlock TA24 8QD 01643 862717 Queen’s Conference Centre, Trull Road, Taunton Ta1 4QS 01823 272559 Regal Theatre, 10-16 The Avenue,  Minehead TA24 5AY 01643 706430 Richard Huish College, 2 Kings Close,  Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XP 01823 320800 Silver Street Centre, Silver Street,  Wiveliscombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 2PA 01984 623107 Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society, Field Officer, Peter Daniel, 29 Barbers Mead, Taunton, TA2 8PY. Telephone : 01823 339368. E-mail : Somerset Rural Life Museum. Abbey Farm, Chilkwell Street, GlastonburySomerset BA6 8DB 01458 831197 St Catherine’s Church Hall, Park Road, Frome, BA11 1EU St John’s Church, Park Street, Taunton TA1 4DG St. John’s Church Rooms, Yeovil, BA20 1HE St Mary Magdalene Church, Church Square, Taunton TA1 1SA 01823 272441 St Mary’s Church, St Mary Street, Bridgwater TA6 3EQ 01278 422437 St Mary’s Church, Stogumber St Peter & St Paul Church, Moor Lane, North Curry Ta3 6JZ 01823 490255 Shapwick Village Hall Shapwick The Swan Theatre, 138 Park Street,Yeovil BA20 1QT Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton TA2 8PD 01823 41 41 41 Taunton Flower Show Taunton Library, Paul St, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ 0845 345 9177 Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Somerset TA3 7BL 01823 337172 Temple Methodist Church, Upper High Street, Taunton TA1 3PY (01823) 275765 Tyntesfield Wraxall, North Somerset, BS48 1NT United Reform Church, Somerton Warehouse Theatre,  Brewery Lane, Ilminster, TA19 9AD Tel 01460 57049 Wellesley Theatre, 50-52 Mantle Street, Wellington TA21 8AU 01823 666668 Wellington Arts Centre, Eight Acre Lane, Wellington, TA21 8PS 01458 250655 Wells Museum (admission by side entrance) off Cathedral Green, Wells BA5 2UE Wellsprings Leisure Centre, Cheddon Road, Taunton TA2 7QP 01823 271271 Yeovil Library, The Library, King George Street, Yeovil Somerset BA20 1PY Tel 01823 336370 34
    • Flying Folk Featuring an ever-changing line-up of fine folk artists from across the West Country, a new series of Flying Folk nights are really taking off at Ilminster Arts Centre. Co-organiser and one half of Lazibyrd, Sharon Martin, offers an insight. Lazibyrd will be at the one scheduled for October. Sharon says audiences can expect ‘a varied programme of folk in its broadest sense, bands from across the West Country, emerging and established artists performing in an intimate venue with fantastic acoustics.’ Sharon Martin and Tom Chapman of Lazibyrd. Sharon is Co-organiser of the Flying Folk nights at Ilminster Arts Centre. ‘There have been two nights so far and they have both been really successful,’ says Sharon, ‘the last one in October [2013] was a sell-out and what was particularly pleasing was that it brought a new audience to the Arts Centre.’ Already well-known for its established series of jazz concerts, the Flying Folk evenings are a relatively new addition to Ilminster Arts Centre’s extensive music programme, which also includes classical performances by Concerts in the West. ‘I originally contacted Tony [Hayward, of IAC’s Performance Committee] as I knew the Arts Centre was a great venue,’ says Sharon. ‘He then suggested we put on a night featuring several bands, which in the first instance were going to be duos. Tony 35 The line-up for 21st March includes Ian Perry, Iain and Martine, The Langfords and Light Garden. Ian Perry is an emerging musician and poet based in Bristol. His songs fuse many influences and styles together, ranging from folk country and blues to boss, flamenco, soul and jazz, whilst retaining a distinctive integrity of voice and ambience. Iain and Martine, organises the Arts Centre side of things and I contact artists and bands I have come across through gigging.’ Sharon is one-half of contemporary folk duo Lazibyrd, with Tom Chapman who together performed at the very first Flying Folk night back in March last year. Sharon pens most of the songs, sings and plays the violin and ukulele, while Tom plays guitar and sings, and is responsible for most of the harmonies and all the guitar parts. Based in Somerset, Lazibyrd formed just over 2 years ago and won ‘Best Folk Act of 2013’ at the South West Music Awards. Their debut album ‘Under the Sky’ has been played by over 50 radio stations, and has been BBC Somerset album of the week. Although not performing at the next Flying Folk night, Ian Perry
    • who are based in West Camel, create music that promises to make “your soul dance on your bones". Their passionate and playful fusion of guitar and violin will take you on an exciting journey from sublime reflection to recklessness - sometimes all in one tune! The Langfords are from Hanging Langford in Wiltshire - hence the name - and feature Alexa Mackenzie on lead vocal and guitar, Mark Kenchington on guitar and vocals and Mark Honan on bass guitar. They describe themselves as an original psychedelic country folk band, with Nashville guitar licks, soaring vocals and a touch of melancholy. LightGarden are also from Wiltshire and include David Moss on vocals, overtone chanting, bouzouki, and fiddle, Masha Kastner on harmonium, vocals, overtone chanting, and piano, and Rob Colquhoun on guitar, vocals, and mandolin. Rob joined in 2011 after a chance encounter at the Trowbridge Village Pump folk club. He brings a powerful driving energy to the sound, further increasing the band's versatility. As with almost all of its performances, Ilminster Arts Centre is offering a delicious supper prior to show. For Flying Folk the set menu includes a mouth-watering Moroccan Chicken dish with rice and vegetables, followed by a dessert of Black Forest Gateaux and coffee. Suppers are becoming an increasingly popular option prior to a show, and as places are limited they need to be booked in advance. By Sara Loveridge The Flying Folk night takes place on Friday 21st March at 8pm. Tickets are £10 (or £21 with a pre-show supper at 7pm - this must be booked in advance). At Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. Box Office: 01460 54973. Top: Lightgarden Middle: The Langfords Above: Iain and Martine 36
    • CONTEMPORARY ART COMES TO HESTERCOMBE Opening of Art Gallery SATURDAY MAY 24th 2013 Bringing a whole new world of opportunity to the region, Hestercombe is opening a dynamic contemporary art gallery making an innovative use of historic Hestercombe House, right at the heart of the estate. Not opened to the public since the eighteenth century, visitors to Hestercombe House will be able to experience works by some of the country’s leading contemporary artists from May 24th making it well placed to become a regionally important gallery space. The opening exhibition, titled ‘Leaping the Fence’ celebrates the breadth of contemporary art of the last 20 years, bringing together provocative and exciting art works including sound and film pieces, sculpture and digital works as well as paintings from LAUNCH OF GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC CENTRE FOR YOUNG MUSICIANS AT HESTERCOMBE There will be music in the air too. In March the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama launched a regional Centre for Young Musicians in Hestercombe House. This is only the second such centre in the country. The centre offers talented young musicians aged 7 to 18 the opportunity to take advantage of the exceptional quality of music tuition for which the Guildhall is famed. Operating every Saturday during term time, the Centre is run by Tomas Yardley, from the Guildhall: ‘I am thrilled that we have opened this school at Hestercombe in the heart of the West Country. We will use the London model to bring a curriculum that isn’t dictated by examination boards and the school systems but offers a more holistic approach to music making in the region. Hestercombe provides an ideal backdrop for our musicianship because we are a classical school and where better for a classical school than in a stately home with its sweeping views?’ Students attending the Centre will be offered ensemble opportunities, tuition in 37 the national Arts Council Collection together with works borrowed from leading art galleries and collectors. Exhibition curator Tim Martin says, ‘This is a truly exhilarating venture. We will bring together a range of works of the kind not often seen in this region. I am in negotiations regarding pieces from renowned names in the art world including Turner prize winner Mark Wallinger, Mark Quinn and Meriele Neudecker. Hestercombe has always had a place at the leading edge of creativity as the world famous gardens were designed by people who, before they became garden designers, were established artists in their own right. The gallery will build on and renew this long-standing tradition of art intertwined with landscape. utive of the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, Philip White MBE, explains, ‘We are looking for volunteers with a wide range of skills for a variety of activities from: painting and decorating, to invigilating the rooms once the artworks have been installed, meeting and greeting visitors, manning the new second hand bookshop and serving tea and coffee. Previous knowledge is not necessary as we will be giving training including an opportunity for volunteers to learn about the art. This could offer stimulating new opportunities for local people.’ Anyone who would like to be involved in this invigorating project please contact Hestercombe through the website www. or on 01823 413923 or pop along to one of the Volunteer Open Mornings: 10.30am on Saturday 1st and Wednesday 5th March. End. Private Press View Thursday May 22nd. Volunteer input will be a crucial part of this exciting project as Chief Exec- Hestercombe Gardens, CheddonFitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG any instrument, singing and theory of composition history studies. Somerset based students of all music grades, from beginner to grade 8, are very welcome to apply. Sessions run from 9.30am – 2.30pm on Saturdays. Tuition is offered at very competitive rates(£27 for the whole session) and the Sound Foundation of Somerset Music Hub is offering substantial bursaries for the benefit of students. To apply contact Tomas Yardley via For further gallery and volunteering information Hestercombe opens its doors to budding music students from Somerset in the new Centre for Young Musicians, a regional hub run by the prestigious Guildhall School of Music
    • Tweet of the Day Stephen Moss comes to Taunton to talk about Tweet of the Day, the book resulting from the hugely popular radio 4 programme. Imagine a jazz musician, improvising on a theme. Then imagine that he is able to play half a dozen instruments - not one after another, but almost simultaneously, switching effortlessly between instruments and musical styles with hardly a pause for breath. If you can countenance that, you are halfway towards appreciating the extraordinary song of the nightingale ...Wherever we are, there are birds. And wherever there are birds, there is birdsong. It’s always a pleasure (and a re- lief) to hear sounds which prove the world’s still spinning: whether it’s the sighing of migrating redwings on a damp October night, the twitter of swallows fresh in from South Africa in April or the call of the cuckoo in May. Based on the scripts of BBC Radio 4’s beloved year-long series, and distilling two lifetimes’ knowledge, insight and enthusiasm into these pages, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss take you month by month through the year, and the changing lives of our favourite birds.From peregrines swapping sea-cliffs for skyscrapers to swifts spending almost their entire lives on the wing; from charms of goldfinches to murmurations of starlings; from ptarmigans thriving in the Highland snow to the bright green parakeets thronging London’s parks; this book is packed full of extraordinary insights and memorable facts. Tweet of the Day is a book for everyone who loves Britain’s birds. His special areas of knowledge include British wildlife; birds and climate change; the social history of wildlife-watching; getting children back in touch with nature; and UK environmental issues. He is the original producer of BAFTA award-winning series Springwatch. He has worked with David Attenborough, Bill Oddie, Alan Titchmarsh, Chris Packham, Kate Humble, Simon King, Charlie Dimmock and Michaela Strachan. Stephen Moss is one of Britain’s leading nature writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers. A lifelong naturalist, he is passionate about communicating the wonders of the natural world to the widest possible audience. 38 He has been the author of many previous books and articles on British birds and wildlife and writes a monthly Birdwatch column for the Guardian. He is President of Somerset Wildlife Trust. Talk and Booksigning with Stephen Moss 7.00 pm Thursday 24 April Venue and Tickets: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742
    • 50 NOT OUT … 50 SOLD OUT! Chances are the last time you went to a classical music concert in the South West there were more empty seats than bums on seats. Not if it was a Music on the Quantocks’ concert! You see, Somerset's leading concert organiser, whose confident strapline proclaims 'Great Music is for Everyone', recently held its 50th consecutive sold-out concert. teel bygone age." Peter Lewis continued, "We knew right from our very first gig that unless we dumped that uncool image we wouldn’t attract large audiences - you know, the kind that are made up of all kinds of people and buzz with a fantastic atmosphere. So, by positioning Music on the Quantocks as a refreshing alternative to Oddly, far from toasting this remarkconventional concerts, and by dragging able achievement with a glass of bubbly, classical music kicking and screaming the Music on the Quantocks team are into the 21st Century, we’ve been able keen to play down. "Yes, it is amazing to jam-pack our gigs with thousands to think we have never had a single of people who would normally stay at unsold seat", says trustee Peter Lewis. home”. The result, he emphasised, is "Problem is," he continued, "now every that the age range and social mix of the time we plan a concert we dread it Music on the Quantocks’ audience is will be the one that bombs ending our much wider than classical music audisuccessful run.” ences elsewhere in the West Country and in other rural counties. There’s no chance of that happening judging by the loyalty of Music on the It’s hard to believe this innovative Quantocks’ audience. charitable concert organiser was formed only three years ago and their But why, when the number of people volunteers had no previous concert attending classical music concerts in experience. They claim their first gig provincial areas is falling to an all-time was, of all things, an accident! “Yes, low, why when many traditional conit’s true”, says Fay Chilcott, who runs cert societies are facing a bleak future, the box office. “I heard on BBC Radio why is Music on the Quantocks so sucthat a touring Russian Orthodox choir cessful? “Because we have modernised had had one of their cathedral concerts the way that classical music is presented cancelled at short notice. So I rang the and marketed", answers Peter Lewis. studio to get in touch with the Russians He explained, “Far too many people and asked if they’d like to sing in my today are put off going to a classical village in return for free accommodamusic concert because they think it will tion. Long story short, they said 'yes', be dull, staid and stuffy. Unfortunately, and their concert sold out within 24 they're usually right! And, what with all hours thanks to a post on Facebook the silly twee customs at these concerts, that went viral”. well, it's like stepping back into a gen- 39 Fay has given only half the story. In fact, the Russians were so popular that they had to give three performances, two in one day, to meet the demand for tickets. “Well after that,” said Fay, “we realised there was a huge demand round here for world-class music. So it was just a question of how to build on it.” In the three years that followed, Fay and her Music on the Quantocks team have staged one concert after another featuring the world's finest musicians. Concerts regularly attract over 700 people. The team could not have chosen a better way to celebrate their 50th sold-out concert, persuading the most famous choir in the world, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, to perform their special Christmas concert at Taunton last December. All box office records were broken when over 3,000 people jammed the lines hoping to buy some of 800 tickets on offer. Judging by the line-up for 2014/15, Music on the Quantocks is determined to extend its record of sold-out concerts. The Sixteen will be returning to headline the programme, but there will also be packed audiences for Sir James Galway and several other 'big names' whose identity is a closely guarded secret at present. "Sorry, I can't spill the beans just yet," said Fay, "but I promise you, we will soon be announcing a series of jaw-dropping gigs." “We are determined to bring more and more of the best musicians to West Somerset.” said Fay. “We're determined to put this area ‘on the map’ and transform it to become one of the top cultural centres of the South West”.
    • CLARINET MARMALADE Saturday March 15 - 8.00pm (doors from 7.00pm) Venue: Cossington Village Hall Trivetts Way Cossington Somerset TA7 8LH The concert named after a landmark jazz composition of 1918, will see the supreme duo Mike Denham ( piano) and Mike Snelling ( clarinet and saxophone ) perform an evening of vintage jazz playing the fine music of Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman and more. Jazz classics like Mood Indigo, The Entertainer, Maple Street Rag, One O’clock Jump and by request a couple of Monty Sunshine works will be in the evenings programme. Be prepared for a super evening of quality jazz. Reserved seats at tables cost £10.00 (includes tasty interval treats) and are available from host Roger Collett: 01278 451187 Two Harpsichords in Concert with Steven Devine & Colin Booth Sunday 9 March Two spectacular harpsichords and a varied programme including solo pieces; Bach prelude and fugue, and a new piece commissioned by Colin from composer Liz Lane, and stunning arrangements of music by Vivaldi and Boccherini. Colin Booth is the UK’s leading supplier of early keyboard instruments to rent and has performed as soloist and continuo harpsichordist in a number of countries, from Denmark to South Africa. Steven Devine is harpsichordist with London Baroque, Co-Principal keyboard player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and performs regularly with many other groups around Europe. Press Release by Tone Theatre Association Issued 17 February 2014 Taunton Theatre Association is delighted to announce that it has reached agreement with Taunton Deane Borough Council for access and funding to allow commissioning work to begin at The Brewhouse. “It’s time to bring the theatre back into to life and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get on with the job” said Val Hammond, Chair of Taunton Theatre Association. Work will begin immediately to ensure the sound and lighting systems are in good working order and that the theatre is safe, clean and bright after its long sleep. There is much to do after such a long period of darkness to bring the Theatre back into use for April 2014. Looking further ahead, the first shows are already in production. Tickets are on sale now from Taunton Tourist Information Office for this year’s Gang Show, 8-12 April which is celebrating 25 years in Taunton. The Young Musical Theatre Company’s (YMTC) production of ‘High School Musical’ is currently in rehearsal and is scheduled for 16-19 April at The Brewhouse. Tickets are available from . “Right now we need to rebuild a list of contacts and friends, as much from the past has been lost” said Val Hammond, appealing for people and businesses to sign up for information, to offer help or to donate funds via the website: More information will be coming out regularly. Taunton Theatre Association is grateful to Taunton Deane Borough Council for its financial and steadfast support without which it would not be possible to re-open the theatre. 40
    • Creatives Club is an informal networking group that meets to provide a place where the local, but dispersed community of professional creative people can come together to share interests, bounce ideas around, spark off one another, create opportunities, increase exposure, explore collaborations and build ventures. Creative Somerset, Somerset Contemporary Artists Network and CICCIC will support the formation of a group in Taunton. The group will meet between 7.30 and 9.30 pm on the second Tuesday of every month at CICCIC, Paul Street, Taunton, starting with 11th March. There will also be a launch event on Saturday March 1st at the CICCIC 2-4pm. Background Creatives Clubs are creating a community of people who provide support and information that will help each other. Together they share the learning of new developments in the sector: new tools, processes, leaders, training programs, products and services. The aim of the network is to help people discover the solution to a problem and in turn give the satisfaction of potentially providing the key piece of information that makes a real difference in the life of one of those in the network. Meeting in this way develops vital networks across different disciplines in the Creative Industries and is especially useful for the multitude of micro businesses in the County to be able to connect, innovate and support each other. Somerset is overwhelmingly a small business economy particularly in the more rural areas – 84% of businesses in the County employ 10 or less employees. We believe expanding Creatives Clubs across the whole of the County will develop this infrastructure on a wider regional scale and enable further exciting developments to emerge as a direct result. The net network will also support the work of Creative Somerset as it cascades informa- 41 tion about the organisation across the county, enabling us to better achieve our aims of advocacy and partnership; signposting and information sharing; investment support and creating a strategic focal point for the creative industries. The pilot began in 2011 in Watchet (West Somerset) funded by CIDF and has proved to be a key element of the emerging cultural activity in this area. Projects such as Contains Art (an exciting new venue providing artists’ studios, a space for exhibitions and events and a networking centre for West Somerset’s creative industries) developed directly from conversations and partnerships initiated at Creatives Club. After approximately 12 months of facilitated development the group is now self sufficient and continues to thrive due to the direct input and will of the members. In response to this group a second venture has started at The Princess Theatre and Arts Centre, Burnham on Sea (Sedgemoor) following the same format. This group is still emerging but the feedback is that it is proving to be a valuable resource and the hope for future development is to cascade the sharing/learning to other practitioners in the region. Greater collaboration between the cultural and creative industries and the wider business community will enable economic development potential through increased partnerships and positively impact on businesses in other sectors across the county. In West Somerset direct economic benefit for the local community has been clearly demonstrated with the development of the Contains Art project progressed by members of the Creatives Club, part of a strategy for developing a supportive infrastructure for the creative sector in the locality.
    • Taunton group Fire River Poets’ 2013 Competition attracted a high standard of entries from as far as Australia and as near as Taunton. Award-winning poet Ann Gray judged the competition, awarding first prize of £100 to Susan Davies of Fareham, Hants. for her poem, YOU ARE WHEELED INTO THE BRIGHT SUNLIGHT. Second prize winner is AKH Shaw of Templecombe, Somerset, who wins £75 for his poem, SPRINGTIME’S OVER and third is Andrew Sutton of Seavington St Mary, winning £50 for VAGABOND TRICKSTER. Rosie Garland, Ciaran Parke, Simon Williams and Vicky Mackenzie were all commended. The winning and commended poems can all be seen on Fire River Poets’ website, Details of the next Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition will be posted on the website later in the year. If you are interested in poetry, you may want to come along to one of the readings, Poetry Cafes or open mic sessions regularly hosted by Fire River Poets. Details of these and other events can be found on Fire River Poets website: 42 2013 Poetry Competition First Prize YOU ARE WHEELED INTO THE BRIGHT SUNLIGHT and ceremoniously, the surgeon dons his scrubs, the texture of bladder-kelp strewn along the berm crest, thick with beach hoppers and pill bugs known to sting like needle-pricks. And in no time you’re walking across the sands to rock pools in search of shrimps, lugworms and whelks. And your Medulla, as predatory as anemones, leads you to believe that the drill boring a burr hole in your skull is the call of curlews as the tide comes flushing in. But your heart falters and you feel giddy and strangely un-earthed. You stumble to the cries of godwits and head throbs. There is no choice but to leave your bones for scavengers, and your desiccated skin on hot stones. But always ready to make the best of things, you take your chance. Never a spendthrift of words, you hover over the spume, mute, spreading your magnificent wings. SUSAN DAVIES Second Prize SPRINGTIME’S OVER Old Ben is late again: his ticker, so they say, a shared concern, for I myself, by twist of fate, a thin ill-tempered length of rusted wire wrapped round a hollow core, am way beyond the point of no return. As softly as the closing of a door, time shuts down options, weakens mettle, takes away all thoughts of spring, till what remains is just a worn-out coil, which neither oil, nor grease, not soothing words, can then restore. When young, as bright as brass and full of zip, two caterpillars long when stretched, and tight as tuppence if hard pressed, I’d crouch inside my one-bed, all-square, little house, as full of fire as hot shots from a cowboy’s hip. If mum or dad thought fit to raise the roof, I’d shoot young Jack into the air, and Tom, a chubby mite, no bigger than a kiss and curl, who couldn’t quite believe his eyes, would clap his hands and chuckle with delight.
    • But Jack, no longer young, has cracked his crown. Old Ben, who clocked up twenty non-stop years of stress and strain upon the mantle-shelf behind a striking Roman face, his hands now hard to raise, is slowly winding down, and I, my span near spent, am lying in this cobweb-shrouded wooden box, my spine all bent, decorum bruised, surrounded by a load of dirty washer, two old nuts, and half a dozen threadbare crosshead screws. A.K.S.SHAW Third Prize VAGABOND TRICKSTER He’s the vagabond trickster; the king of deceit, For he’ll slyly bewitch ya; he’s a wayward aesthete. He’s a heart attack gambler, a counterfeit rambler, He’s a chancer, romancer and verbal entrancer. He’s an illusionist, a fusionist, a daring elocutionist, He’s playing with words and he’ll twist what you say, For he’ll cheat you and beat you and try to defeat you, So best not to argue nor stand in his way. He’s an anarchist minstrel, a weatherman signal. He quotes from the gospels and spoke for all those, Who’ve been given no choice and have not found a voice, Whose options are few and whose chances are closed. He’s an electrified preacher, a crucified teacher. He’s a poet and painter; he’s Chaplin and Bruce, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, he’s that thin mercury sound, He’s Kerouac, Ginsberg with his head in the noose. He’s a bare knuckle evangelist, a sweet talking pugilist. He’ll seduce you or save you, or beat you away, He’s a restless chameleon, kind of awkward and alien, He’s not of this world, of this time or this day. He’s the berated apostle, a street corner hustler, He’s Wyeth, he’s Hopper, the Big Bopper too, He’s living the blues and with nothing to lose, He’s the born again Christian and orthodox Jew. He’s Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Woody and Cisco, He’s the prodigal son and party of one. He’s a high wire autocrat, a freewheelin’ democrat. The Prince of desire and the slave on the run. He’s the crazy old jokerman, he’s old rabbi Zimmerman, He’s Thoreau, Tom Payne; he’s Brando and Dean, He’s Paradise lost, he’s the new Robert Frost, He’s the spirit of all these if you see what I mean. He’s the hobo bumming, the slow train coming, He takes no prisoners and leaves blood on the track, He’s the guitar strumming, the train tracks humming, The harmonica blowing like some old smoke stack. He’s out on the road; he’s the ghost of Tom Joad, He’s the absentee landlord of Cannery Row, And in life’s fundamental, he will not go gentle, He’ll be kicking and screaming when it’s his turn to go. ANDREW SUTTON 43
    • Short Story The Big Tree by Michael Marr I do get lonely. When the sun is shining and the air is still. Then, if I shut my eyes, and if I shut my ears to the never-ending calling of the gulls, I can remember the warm summer days of my childhood. Somewhere a million miles south of here, in a land kissed by warmth. When the sun shines I try not to shut my eyes for too long. The cheap whisky helps. But there is not enough of either of these things. Most of the time, the clouds draw black curtains across the window and the wind rattles the old casements. There is always a wind. Since time began. It has flattened every feature on the island. So there’s nothing higher than the things man has put here for himself. Sometimes he builds them out of stone, sometimes out of dreams. Talking of dreams reminds me of our Alexander. When he was a boy. Quiet, he was. Solitary. I suppose it was inevitable. What with him being an only child. And the nearest neighbours a mile away. He always studied hard. Read his school books over and over. Until there was hardly any print left on the pages. 44 No wonder he’s rich and famous. Still remembers his old mum, though. Sometimes. Writes sometimes. When he’s got a day with enough time in it, I expect. He’s built a busy life out of a childhood of recycled books and some second-hand Lego. was afraid of his dad. Anyway. About these dreams. Dr Pretty finds out that young Alex is having nightmares. Same nightmare every night. “B-big t-tree,” he says to Dr Pretty. Mind you. There were times when “F-fierce f-face. It b-bends over I despaired of him. He used to be a m-me. L-like a n-noctopus. Th-the bed-wetter, you see. Every night. Archie, Archie was his dad, Archie used to say, “Have to make him some waterproof pyjamas.” Instead, he made a sort of waterproof cover for the mattress out of an old sail. Except that it wasn’t really waterproof. I never told Archie. It was just another something for me to try to dry out every morning. With no sunshine to help. b-branches c-come at m-me f-from e-everywhere. It h-hurts h-horribly.” He said that every day Every day Dr Pretty the same questions. Alexander gave him answers. for a week. asked him Every day the same Beats me he knew what a noctopus was. I don’t think Archie ever caught an octopus. Old Mrs MacDonald was the teacher at the school then. Sly old bat. Got worried about the rashes on Alex’s legs. So Dr Pretty told me. He was the psychologist fella she fetched over from the mainland. All for our Alex. Beats me he even knew what a big tree was, come to that. As I already told you, the only trees we’ve got on the island are squat little L-shaped things. Hawthorns, probably. It’s what the wind does. Bend you in This was back in the eighties, of half, too, it will. Best not to go out course. there. I suppose it was about the time they started worrying about the islanders being into child abuse as well as sheep shagging and fish filleting. If I was a proper islander I could write you a poem about it. Dr Pretty got him to draw the big tree. Very good drawing for his age. But nothing like the little things here. Great thick brown trunk, he drew. Enormous balloon of green on top. Reminded me of home. Then Dr Pretty got him to chop it Makes you wonder. Alexander always down. Every day. With the kitchen
    • Short Story (Cont’d) scissors. I had to help Alex. He wasn’t Out there - you can see Scapa Flow good with scissors. if you stand up. Eight hundred men lost. Something like that. At the start The bed-wetting stopped. Eventually. of the war. I think it was about the same time. But remembering things in the right order I told him to go to hell. They weren’t isn’t my strong point. my men. I lost my men, too. “What’s the difference, I said. Eight hundred Yes. I do get lonely. or two?” It’s not them that matter, is it? They’re dead. It’s who they leave The vicar used to call by sometimes. behind that matters. He doesn’t bother any more. Probably knows he’s wasting his breath. Some Five years ago, now. His dad took of us will never deserve redemption. him to Thurso so’s he could catch the Brothers and Sisters! train down to London. I went down to the quay with them. To wave them Isn’t that what they used to say? off. Neither of them looked back for Those evangelists? “Praise the Lord, long. Brothers and Sisters!” Never seen either of them since. Praise the Lord. Alexander’s in New York, now. What Last time he called I think I frightened is it they call it? The Big Apple. Gone him off for good. to find his fame and fortune, he wrote. And he’s found it. Hasn’t he. “Why don’t you come to the kirk more Archie’s boat was washed up in often?” he asked. I don’t go there at pieces. Somewhere along the Firth. all. Never have. I forget where, exactly. A long time after the coastguard had stopped I asked him what for. searching for him. His body has never been recovered. Food for the No doubt he wanted to find me a good fish, I suppose. reason to go. A reason all of my own. “To pray for the souls lost at sea,” he What goes around comes around. said. All holy, like. Another evangelist. I told the vicar he should spend less He told me it was a good Sunday to time making waves and more time go. “Sixtieth anniversary of the sinking listening to the echoes. of the Royal Oak,” he said, like it was a cause for celebration. And he doesn’t drink. 45 No wonder I get lonely. I have a dream. Millennium night, Alexander comes home with a pretty American girl on his arm. And they light up the ceilidh and the neighbours talk to us and remind us of the old days. Not that I need to be reminded. But dreams don’t come true here. I found that out a long time ago, before Alexander was born. Michael Marr Mike has had two novels published by Paper Books. They offer a darkly humorous takes on the condition of Britain. Baber’s Apple is the story of a naive engineer who finds himself working in Kazakhstan for a mafia boss. While there, he discovers his long lost mother and the parentage of the apple tree in his grandmother’s garden. Three Jumpers is an elegy written for a London Underground office worker whose life may or may not end in a startling blaze of publicity. Mike has a PhD in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. He is running a series of Creative Writing workshops at CICCIC. The next programme should be starting in May. Keep an eye out on the CICCIC website for more details. Creative Innovation Centre CIC Memorial Hall, Paul Street, Taunton Somerset TA1 3PF 01823 337477
    • BOOKS: New & Old Ordnance Survey Map Stockists Named as one of the top 50 of all bookshops in the UK by the Independent Newspaper in February 2012 01823 337742 Presenting some great book talks this March and April....... 5 March 7.00pm Sara Wheeler: Oh My America 12 March 7.00pm Richard Brunning: The Lost Islands of Somerset 19 March 7.00pm Clare Donoghue: Never Look Back 22 March 11.00am Julia Copus: Hog in the Fog 26 March 7.00 pm Irving Finkel: The Ark Before Noah 8 April 7.00pm Graham Fawcett on Ted Hughes 17 April 7.00pm Christopher Nicholson: Winter 24 April 7.00pm Stephen Moss: Tweet of the Day All bookings and enquiries to Brendon Books 01823 337742 46
    • My Favourite... We asked Liz Constable to select her favourite pieces of literature, art, music and performance. Liz is a retired school teacher whose passions are now gardening, walking and grandchildren and books - she is a long-standing member of a book club and reads everyday My favourites in the arts tend to be my last best things: but I have loved ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ since my schooldays. The 1952 film is still, for me, the definitive production of ‘The Importance’. I love Redgrave’s twitchy Jack, Denison’s charmingly egocentric Algy and Greenwood’s velvet Gwendolen who will one day metamorphose into Evan’s marmoreal lady Bracknell. But last summer, I saw my freshest interpretation yet. It was performed at the Creative Innovation Centre by students graduating from Exeter’s stage school. They gave a musical version, set in the 20’s, with Cole Porter-style lyrics. It worked brilliantly. The cynical and frantic gaiety of the 20’s was a perfect fit for the text and the witty and tuneful lyrics contained hardly a word which wasn’t Wilde’s. (Only the audience was meagre. Do we deserve to regain the Brew?) with the gift of a golden voice’. I treasure a book of the same name (published New York, 2006) with a painting by Matisse illustrating each line of the song. So Matisse is my artist. I love his planes of colour , his cut-outs, his simplicity of line, and the sense of movement, of fluidity and of our joy in his pictures. My favourite is ‘Pink Nude Nice, 1935’. I love her calm and splendid ease. La danse (first version) by Henri Matisse Currently in the Museum of Modern Art ,New York City, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller in honor of Alfred H. Barr, Jr. swathe of time and space: it deals with the dying of a way of life. It swarms with characters. But Gardam manages her material with jewel-sharp economy. She gives every place and every person complete actuality. Her dialogue has the sparkle and surprise of authenticity. She is generous, funny, wise and life-affirming. I feel better for reading her. Leonard Cohen, during the Geneva concert of the 2008 tour. Author: Rama Cover of programme for Cygnet Theatre production at the July production at the CIC. As a word person, I love the songs of Leonard Cohen. He was indeed ‘born 47 Books are my special delight, and Jane Gardam has most delighted me this year. She has recently completed her Hong Kong trilogy (my name for it) comprised of ‘Old Filth’, ‘The Man in the Wooden Hat’ and ‘Last Friends’. The first two focus on orphans of the Raj: the impeccable Feathers of the opening books marries Betty, from whose point of view the middle story is told. Veneering, subject of the final volume, is the third person in their marriage, born in the old country, but, unlike them, on the wrong side of the tracks. The trilogy covers a great Cover of Old Filth, one of the ‘Hong Kong Triology’
    • 48