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  • 1. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 FREE Shining a light on literature, art, music and performance in Somerset LITERARY FESTIVAL ISSUE INSIDE THIS ISSUE Taunton Literary Festival Programme Space Man: David Duthie Taunton Sinfonietta Kathryn Chambers Big Art Weekend Somerset Fonts Poetry Corner Short Story Fire River Poets Competition Short Story Competition My Favourite Cinema Obscura
  • 2. ALBURY HOUSE GROUP PRACTICE 134 Wellington Rd Taunton TA1 5LA Osteopathy: Sara Kennard & Associates 01823 332871 Physiotherapy: Maria Andrew 01823 332070 Chiropody: Marian Barnacle & Assoc. 01823 322516 * Established since 1987 * Free Parking * GroundFloor Treatment Rooms * Wheelchair Access
  • 3. Contents 05 Introduction 07 Taunton Literary Festival Programme 22 Space Man: David Duthie 24 Calendar of Events 31 Taunton Sinfonietta 32 Fire River Poets Competition 33 Kathryn Chambers 37 Shakespeare Aloud 40 Somerset Fonts 41 Big Art Weekend 43 Poetry Corner: Emily McCoy 44 Short Story 42 Short Story Competition 46 My Favourite: Bridget Hodges Editor: Lionel Ward Copy Editor: Jo Ward All enquiries: lampmagazine1@gmail.com 01823 337742 c/o Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 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.
  • 4. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Welcome to the October and November edition of LAMP Magazine. In the following pages you will find the full programme of the third Taunton Literary Festival as well as articles on the visual arts, drama and music. The festival begins later this year, in November rather than September. It runs from 2-19 November, over a longer period though with events more spread out. During weekdays most events will be in the evening, so I hope they will be more accessible to those of working age or those who are at college during the day. The festival would not be possible without the collaboration of the venues and I would like to thank them in advance for their help in making it possible. We have no separate funding, however, for marketing the festival so the programme in this magazine along with our website, the use of social media and the goodwill of the local media, will be the main vehicle for this. Please help by spreading the word among your friends and acquaintances by whatever means you have at your disposal. The festival, for one reason and another, has had to be put together in much haste, so I am particularly pleased that we have been able to secure some great names for the festival: household names such as Ranulph Fiennes, Peter Snow, Gervase Phinn, Douglas Hurd and Victoria Glendinning, but also renowned authors in their specialist fields such as David Crystal (language specialist), Marcus Chown (science specialist), Philip Hook (art specialist), Christian Wolmar (railway specialist), John Bradshaw (animal specialist)... I could go on. Suffice it to say I hope you will find it a very strong and eclectic list. This year we also have a new initiative with a book fair of local/self published authors on the first day of the festival. Above all, please do try and come along to one or more events. By giving it your support you will help secure an annual book event for Taunton. Lionel Ward
  • 5. CW BRASS TUITION PERFORMANCE Professional, friendly, brass instrument tuition for the complete beginner to the more advanced player. Christmas party booking now being taken Also available to play at weddings and funerals including ‘The Last Post’. Contact details: Claire Whitworth on 07947 601205 PARK ART PARK ART AND COLLECTABLES ‘Actively Promoting Artists’ ‘ACTIVELY PROMOTING opposite Vivary Park Gates. 31B High Street Situated ARTISTS’ Contact: Rachel Hartland Tel. 077 301 33397 Situated opposite Vivary Park Gates Contact: Rachel Hartland E mail: hartlandart@googlemail.com Tel: o7730133397 Exhibiting and selling original E mail: hartlandart@googlemail.com art, plus vintage and retro collectables, Park Art offers an exceptional High Street position for Artists showcasing their work, and for customers wanting to buy affordable art and interesting collectables for the festive season. Exhibiting and selling original art, plus Opening Hours Tuesday 10am-1pm.........2pm-4pm Vintage and retro collectables, Park Art Wednesday 10am-1pm......2pm-4pm offers an exceptional High Street position Friday 10am-1pm Saturday 10am-1pm for Artists wanting to showcase work. Opening Hours Tuesday 10am-1pm….....1pm-4pm
  • 6. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Programme Overview For further information please refer to the following pages Date Time Event Venue Sat 2nd Nov 2-5 5.00 6.00 Book Fair of Local/Self Published Authors Richard Huish College Self Publishing Talk Juncture 25 Sun 3rd Nov 11.00 Roman Fiction Panel 2.00 Historical Crime Talk 4.15 Naval Fiction Talk Hestercombe Gardens Mon 4th Nov 6.00 7.30 David Hilary Crystal Stephen Moss Creative Innovation Ctre Wed 6th Nov 4.00 6.00 7.30 Emma Carroll Sara Wheeler Marcia Willett St George’s Primary Brendon Books Thu 7th Nov 6.00 7.30 7.30 Saul David Fire River Poets Julian Richards Creative Innovation Ctre Fri 8th Nov 6.00 7.30 Christian Wolmar Ranulph Fiennes St James Church Sat 9th Nov 10.00 Shakespeare Aloud 11.00 Victoria Glendinning 6.00 Marcus Chown Somerset Museum Taunton Library Castle Hotel Sun 10th Nov 2.30 6.00 Peter Haggett Graham Fawcett Mon 11th Nov 6.00 7.30 James Crowden Brendon Books Graham Hurley Tue 12th Nov 6.00 Philip Hook Castle Hotel Wed 13th Nov 7.30 Mark White Queen’s College Thu 14th Nov 7.30 Sinclair McKay Somerset Museum Fri 15th Nov 6.00 7.30 Ffyona Campbell John Bradshaw Brendon Books Sat 16th Nov 11.00 Douglas Hurd 6.30 Peter Snow Tue 19th Nov 7.30 Gervase Phinn Brendon Books Castle Hotel Taunton School Penguin Books Supporting Literary Artistic Endeavour in Somerset
  • 7. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Saturday 2 November 2.00-5.00pm Local Author/ Self Publishing Book Fair 5.00pm Self Publishing Talk 6.00pm Juncture 25 Poetry Event Free entry to visitors for the above events Further Information: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com Venue: Richard Huish College South Road, Taunton TA1 3DZ Sunday 3 November Historical Writers’ Association Day (as part of ‘History Month’) 11.00am Roman Panel 12.30pm Lunch Break 2.00 Historical Crime Panel 3.30 Tea break 4.15 Naval Fiction Talk Venue: Hestercombe Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton TA2 8LG 11.00am The Roman Panel: Ben Kane, Ruth Downie and Anthony Riches Ben Kane was born and raised in Kenya and then moved to Ireland, in Dublin he studied veterinary medicine at University College Dublin, but after that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for ancient history. he now lives in North Somerset with his wife and family. Bestselling Books: Hannibal: Fields of Blood (Hannibal 2), Spartacus: Rebellion (Spartacus 2), The Silver Eagle: (The Forgotten Legion Chronicles No. 2). Ruth (RS) Downie left university with an English degree and a plan to get married and live happily ever after. She is still working on it. In the meantime she is also the New York Times bestselling author of a mystery series featuring Roman doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso. Bestselling Books: Semper Fidelis: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Medicus), Ruso and the River of Darkness (Medicus Investigation 4), Ruso and the Root of All Evils (Medicus Investigations 3). Anthony Riches began his lifelong interest in war and soldiers when he first heard his father’s stories about World War II. This led to a degree in Military Studies at Manchester University. He began writing the story that would become Wounds of Honour after a visit to Housesteads in 1996. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children. Bestselling Books: The Eagle’s Vengeance: Empire VI (Empire 6), Fortress of Spears (Empire), The Leopard Sword (Empire 4).
  • 8. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme 2.00pm The Historical Crime Talk: Kylie Fitzpatrick Karen Maitland Kylie Fitzpatrick is the author of the novels Tapestry and The Ninth Stone and is published in eleven languages. Her third novel, The Silver Thread, was published by Head of Zeus on 1 October 2012 and in paperback in May 2013. Kylie Fitzpatrick has worked in drama and documentary television production as a script editor and researcher in the UK, America and Australia. She has worked in the UK as a manuscript editor, and is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Karen Maitland is a British author of medieval thriller fiction. Maitland has an honours degree in Human Communication and doctorate in Psycholinguistics. Her love of all things medieval grew from frequent ‘escape’ visits across the North Sea to Belgium.Karen Maitland travelled and worked in many parts of the United Kingdom before finally settling in the beautiful medieval city of Lincoln. She is the author of The White Room, Company of Liars, The Owl Killers and The Gallows Curse. 4.15pm The Naval Fiction Talk: Jenny Barden J.D. Davies Jenny Barden is an artist-turned-lawyer-turned-writer who has had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. A fascination with the Age of Discovery led to travels in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for her debut came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama. She is currently working on a sequel centred on the first Elizabethan ‘lost colony’ of early Virginia. Her latest book, The Latest Duchess is published on 7 November. Born in Wales in 1957, J D Davies was educated at Llanelli Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, where he completed a doctorate in 17th century naval history. He taught History for thirty years, chiefly at Bedford Modern School, where he also served as a Deputy Headmaster. He won the Samuel Pepys prize in 2009 for his book, ‘Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89’, and is also a previous winner of the Julian Corbett prize for naval history. His acclaimed series of naval historical fiction, ‘The Journals of Matthew Quinton’, has been published in the UK, North America and Germany. David is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a former Chairman of the Naval Dockyards Society and Vice-President of the Society for Nautical Research. The above talks are £6.50 each or £15.00 for all three talks. (available from Brendon Books or Hestercombe Gardens) Meal inclusive Options (available from Hestercombe Gardens only) £20.00 for two talks and a cold buffet lunch with the authors £15 for two talks and a cream tea (1 scone, cream, jam pot of tea) £30 for an all day ticket including three talks, lunch and tea. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Hestercombe Gardens: 01823 413923 www.hestercombe.com
  • 9. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Monday 4th November Venue: Creative innovation Centre, Memorial Hall, Paul St, Taunton TA1 3PF 6.00pm David Hilary Crystal, Wordsmith and Warriors Tickets: £6.50 Wordsmiths and Warriors explores the heritage of English through the places in Britain that shaped it. It unites the warriors, whose invasions transformed the language, with the poets, scholars, reformers, and others who helped create its character. The book relates a real journey. David and Hilary Crystal drove thousands of miles to produce this fascinating combination of English-language history and travelogue, from locations in south-east Kent to the Scottish lowlands, and from south-west Wales to the East Anglian coast. David provides the descriptions and linguistic associations, Hilary the full-colour photographs. They include a guide for anyone wanting to follow in their footsteps but arrange the book to reflect the chronology of the language. This starts with the Anglo-Saxon arrivals in Kent and in the places that show the earliest evidence of English. It ends in London with the latest apps for grammar.In between are intimate encounters with the places associated with such writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth; the biblical Wycliffe and Tyndale; the dictionary compilers Cawdrey, Johnson, and Murray; dialect writers, elocutionists, and grammarians, and a host of other personalities. David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has written or edited over 100 books and published numerous articles for scholarly, professional, and general readerships, in fields ranging from forensic linguistics and ELT to the liturgy and Shakespeare. His many books include Words, Words, Words (OUP 2006) and The Fight for English (OUP 2006). 7.30pm Stephen Moss, The Great British Year Tickets: £6.50 Britain is a place of remarkable beauty and surprising extremes: nowhere else in the temperate world boasts such extreme variety in such a small area. Our humble island has over 10,000 miles of coastline; iconic animals and birds; and unique spectacles of migration that see wildlife from all corners of the globe descend upon our shores. Here, life is governed by the seasons: each month bringing extraordinary transformations to our land and its inhabitants. This lavish companion to the new BBC One series brings Britain to life, celebrating the vibrancy of the changing year through stunning photography and mesmerising time-lapse sequences, and revealing the unmissable drama and beauty to be witnessed on our very own doorstep. 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. 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. 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 VicePresident of Somerset Wildlife Trust. To purchase tickets or for further information on the above: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Creative Innovation Centre: Tel. 01823 337477 Email: info@creativeinnovationcentre.co.uk 10
  • 10. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Wednesday 6th November Venue: Brendon Books Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 6.00pm Sara Wheeler, O My America! Price £6.50 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.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. 7.30pm Marcia Willett, Postcards From the Past Price: £6.50 Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be. But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years? Marcia Willett was born in Somerset and lives in deepest Devon with her husband . A former ballet dancer and teacher, she is the author of many bestselling novels. Marcia began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Until then she had been an avid reader and had never considered writing. When her writer husband, Rodney, suggested that she should—she laughed and dismissed the whole thing out of hand. However, after months of nagging she agreed, for the sake of peace and quiet, to see what she could do. Since that first novel Marcia has written twenty more under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym ‘Willa Marsh.’ Success has not been limited to this country: she is now published in sixteen other countries - with contracts for books to be published in twoothers - and has been in the bestseller lists of both Germany and Greece. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 11
  • 11. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Wednesday 6th November 4.00pm Emma Carroll: Frost Hollow Hall Free Event (though please book your place via Brendon Books) St George’s Catholic School The Mount, Taunton TA1 3NR .Frost Hollow Hall is a thrilling historical fiction debut. Told in Tilly’s unique voice, it is a tale of love and loss, and how forgiveness is the key to recovery. Emma Carroll is a secondary school English teacher. She has also worked as a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into filofax paper. She recently graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing For Young People.Frost Hollow Hall is Emma’s debut novel. Told in the distinctive voice of Tilly Higgins, it was inspired by a winter’s day from Emma’s childhood. Currently, Emma isworking on her second novel, set in a Victorian circus. Emma lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.Age guide: 9-12. Thursday 7th November 6.00pm Saul David: 100 Days to Victory Tickets £6.50 Creative Innovation Ctre, Memorial Hall, Paul St, Taunton TA1 3PF Saul David’s 100 Days to Victory is a totally original, utterly engaging account of the Great War - the first book to tell the story of the ‘war to end all wars’ through the events of one hundred key days between 1914 and 1918. The history of any war is more than a list of key battles and Saul David shows vividly how the First World War reached beyond the battlefield, touching upon events and lives which shaped the conduct and outcome of the conflict. Ranging from the young Adolf Hitler’s reaction to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, through a Zeppelin raid on Scarborough, the tragic dramas of Gallipoli and the battlefields of the Western Front to the individual bravery of the first Indian VC, Saul David brings people and events dramatically to life. Saul David is an historian, broadcaster and the author of several critically-acclaimed works of fiction and non-fiction. Saul has presented and appeared in history programmes for all the major TV channels and is a regular on Radio 4. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 7.30pm Fire River Poets £5.00 Tickets available on the door of the Creative Innovation Centre An evening with the local poets’ group, Fire River Poets, and their guest, Rebecca Gethin. Rebecca Gethin lives on Dartmoor. Her second collection A Handful of Water was published by Cinnamon Press in Feb, 2013. Her first novel, Liar Dice, was published in 2011 and she hopes her second one, What the Horses Heard, will be out in 2014. Her poems appear in a variety of poetry magazines. She has been a teacher for most of her working life and has, until recently, taught Creative Writing in a prison and is now a tutor for the WEA. There will also be an open mic session for which slots may be booked in advance through enquiry@ fireriverpoets.org.uk or phone 01823 252486. 12
  • 12. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Thursday 7th November 7.30pm Julian Richards: Stonehenge Tickets £8 (Available from Somerset Museum) Somerset Museum, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4AA Tel 01823 255088 Stonehenge is the UK’s most celebrated prehistoric monument, seen by over a million visitors a year, and with an image instantly recognisable around the globe. It has a fascinating history of investigation and speculation but now, at last, we are perhaps a little closer to understanding its mysteries.In this illustrated talk Julian Richards will answer, with the aid of cutting-edge science, some of the big questions about Stonehenge – ‘When was it built?’, ‘Who built it?’, ‘How was it built?’ and, perhaps the most difficult to answer, ‘Why?’Julian Richards is a British television and radio presenter, writer and archaeologist with over 30 years experience of fieldwork and publication. He maintains a special interest in the prehistory of Stonehenge. Friday 8th November St James Church, 6.00pm Christian Wolmar: St James St, The Story of the World’s Greatest Railway Taunton TA1 1JS Price: £6.50 It is the world’s longest railway line. But it is so much more than that, too. The Trans-Siberian stretches nearly 6,000 miles between Moscow and Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast and was the most ambitious railway project in the nineteenth century. A journey on the railway evokes a romantic roam through the Russian steppes, but also reminds travellers of the vastness of our world and hints at the hardships that were endured in its construction. Christian Wolmar expertly tells the story of the Trans-Siberian railway from its conception and construction under Tsar Alexander III, to the northern extension ordered by Brezhnev and its current success as a vital artery. He also explores the crucial role the line played in both the Russian Civil War -Trotsky famously used an armoured carriage as his command post - and the Second World War, during which the railway saved the country from certain defeat. Like the author’s previous railway histories, it focuses on the personalities, as well as the political and economic events, that lay behind one of the most extraordinary engineering triumphs of the nineteenth century. Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster, principally on transport matters. He writes regularly for a wide variety of publications including the Independent, Evening Standard and Rail magazine, and appears frequently on TV and radio as a commentator To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 13
  • 13. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Friday 8th November 7.30pm Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth St James Church, St James St, Taunton TA1 1JS Price: £8.00 There are only few human beings who can adapt, survive and thrive in the coldest regions on earth. And below a certain temperature, death is inevitable. Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spent much of his life exploring and working in conditions of extreme cold. The loss of many of his fingers to frostbite is a testament to the horrors man is exposed to at such perilous temperatures. With the many adventures he has led over the past 40 years, testing his limits of endurance to the maximum, he deservedly holds the title of ‘the world’s greatest explorer’. Despite our technological advances, the Arctic, the Antarctic and the highest mountains on earth, remain some of the most dangerous and unexplored areas of the world. This remarkable book reveals the chequered history of man’s attempts to discover and understand these remote areas of the planet, from the early voyages of discovery of Cook, Ross, Weddell, Amundsen, Shackleton and Franklin to Sir Ranulph’s own extraordinary feats; from his adventuring apprenticeship on the Greenland Ice Cap, to masterminding over the past 5 years the first crossing of the Antarctic during winter, where temperatures regularly plummeted to minus 92 * C.Both historically questioning and intensely personal, Cold is a celebration of a life dedicated to researching and exploring some of the most hostile and brutally cold places on earth. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Ssaturday 9th November 10.00-2.00 Shakespeare Aloud Participatory Event The Library, Paul St, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ Free Event Come and participate in the reading of the whole of Shakespeare’s sparkling comedy: Much Ado About Nothing. You do not have to stay for the full reading of the play. There is a change whenever a character finishes speaking (no matter how short or long the speech). This system encourages careful concentration on what is being said, and everyone has a fair turn at reading! Our single rule - that no one criticises or comments on how anyone else reads their part - helps create a relaxed atmosphere in which humour, enjoyment and the exploration of meaning can flourish. It does not need to be well read, but if it is read with enthusiasm and curiosity it rewards the reader like no other reading does. 14
  • 14. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Ssaturday 9th November 11.00 am Victoria Glendinning: From a Suppressed Cry to Raffles The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF Price: £10.00 Please note, following the talk, there is an opportunity to have a 2 course lunch with the author inclusive of wine a ticket for the talk. Price £39.00. For this option please contact The Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com A Suppressed Cry was Victoria Glendinning’s very first book and Raffles her most recent. Victoria Glendinning looks at how her research methods have evolved and then in more detail at the extraordinary life of Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), the charismatic and persuasive founder of Singapore and Governor of Java who remains a controversial figure. In the first biography for over forty years, Victoria Glendinning charts his prodigious rise within the social and historical contexts of his world. His domestic and personal life was vivid and shot through with tragedy.His own end was sad, but his fame immortal. An English adventurer, disobedient employee of the East India Company, utopian imperialist, linguist, zoologist and civil servant, he carved an extraordinary (though brief) life for himself in South East Asia. The tropical, disease-ridden settings of his story are as dramatic as his own trajectory - an obscure young man with no advantages other than talent and obsessive drive, who changed history by establishing - without authority - on the wretchedly unpromising island of Singapore a settlement which has become a world city. After a turbulent time in the East Indies, Raffles returned to the UK and turned to his other great interests - botany and zoology. He founded London Zoo in 1826, the year of his death. 6.00pm Marcus Chown, What a Wonderful World Price: £10.00 Please note, following the talk, there is an opportunity to have a 3 course dinner with the author inclusive of wine a ticket for the talk. Price £49.00. For this option please contact The Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work - or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something rather than nothing? In “What a Wonderful World”, Marcus Chown, bestselling author of “Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You” and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. Lucid, witty and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumbs’ length each year, how money permits trade to time travel why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing and why we are all living in a giant hologram. Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is currently cosmology consultant of the weekly science magazine New Scientist. He is the author of the bestselling Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You, TheNever Ending Days of Being Dead and The Magic Furnace. He also wrote The Solar System, the bestselling app for iPad, which won the Future Book Award 2011. To purchase tickets or for further info: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com 15
  • 15. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Sunday 10 November 2.30pm Peter Haggett: The Quantocks Price £6.50 Venue: Brendon Books Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4QS The Quantocks are a quiet corner of Somerset’s countryside with many claims to fame. Blessed with heather-clad hills, deep wooded combes, and flanking villages with fine medieval churches, it was the first area in England to be given Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) status. Crucible for the Coleridge- Wordsworth friendship in the 18C, refuge for scientists and sinners in the 19C, today it has a rich legacy of fine country houses and landscaped gardens. This new biography captures its fascinating past and its challenging present. Peter Haggett was born, bred and schooled in Somerset. A former Cambridge don and Bristol University professor, he has returned to his roots to write this affectionate tribute to this gentle, unpretentious region. To do so, he has teamed up with his daughter to richly illustrate the text with over 130 photographs. 6.00pm Graham Fawcett: Seven Olympians Tour:Byron Night In his Seven Olympians, Graham wants to give audiences who love poetry a fresh experience of each poet which he hopes will feel more like listening to a live radio programme with readings rather than to a lecture, blowing away some of the more daunting associations we have with that word...Graham Fawcett returns to Brendon Books following his marvellous talk on Pablo Neruda earlier in the year. Some comments on the Byron talk: “Byron lived fast and died young. Graham brought the poet to life again for one extraordinary evening of poetry, politics and adventure. It was wonderful.” (Lucy Moy-Thomas at London Byron Night) “I was royally entertained”. (Annie Freud, after Byron Night in Lewes) “Thank you for your wonderful talk on Byron at the Hopblossom in Farnham. I found myself gripped and enthralled and am so pleased to have finally understood why my late mother was so besotted with Byron. Thank you for revealing why and how his work should be approached. Can’t wait, now, for some time to sit down and enjoy what I’ve missed all these years!” (Jane Lees, at Farnham Byron Night) To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 16
  • 16. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Monday 11th November 6.00pm James Crowden: Flowers in the Minefield Venue: Brendon Books Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4QS As an anti-tank gunner with the 51st Highland Division John Jarmain saw action at El Alamein in October 1942 and then for the next six months he fought with them through the Libyan deserts, right up into Tunisia, and then took part in the capture of Sicily. The 51st were often in the thick of the fighting and took terrible casualties. He sent over 150 airmail letters back to his wife, often written at night in a small dugout by the light of the moon, and inside the letters were the poems. ‘Among the poets lost to us by the war, John Jarmain must take a considerable place. A real loss.’ Vita SackvilleWest, Observer 13 January 1946. ‘Jarmain speaks with steady certainty and related intensity. Always lonely, he feels more isolated because of his deep humanity and an unconscious responsibility for the inhumanity that he cannot control… He will be of considerable stature in the final estimate of his war-poetry.’ Alec M. Hardie, TLS 5 January 1946 James Crowden is an author and poet who lives in Somerset. He has written many books including In Time of Flood, Dorset Man, Literary Somerset and Ciderland. 7.30pm Graham Hurley: Touching Distance Three unrelated, random killings. Or something much, much worse? Graham Hurely’s new crime thriller unleashes a serial killer; combining Hurley’s talent for ultra-realistic, character driven police-procedurals with a plot powered by an explosive ticking clock and kicking his books into a new realm of tension and fear. Jimmy Suttle has barely got his feet under the desk at his new job. Having flown in the face of his superiors on his first big case he now finds himself trying to track down a random, hugely skilled killer before another innocent dies and before the media tear the force apart. Full of a sense of place, sensitive to the deep rooted agonies of a policeman alone and facing disaster, and close to, and with a chilling understanding of the motivations of the killer this is a bravura piece of crime fiction that will secure Hurley’s reputation and win new readers. Based in Portsmouth, Graham is best known for creating the character of DI Joe Faraday, following several standalone novels. He contributed a column to The Portsmouth News. He received both a BA and an MA in English from the University of Cambridge.[2] He worked as a script-writer with Southern Television before becoming a researcher and later a director. He filmed the seabed wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck (with American oceanographer Robert Ballard) and produced ITV’s account of Richard Branson’s attempt to cross the Atlantic by balloon.. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 17
  • 17. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Tuesday 12th November 6.00pm Philip Hook: Breakfast at Sotheby’s: An A-Z of the Art World Price£10.00 Venue: The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF Please note, there is an opportunity have dinner with the author following the talk. Price £49.00 (inclusive of talk). For this option please contact The Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a wry, intimate, truly revealing exploration of how art acquires its financial value, from Philip Hook, a senior director at Sotheby’s. When you stand in front of a work of art in a museum or exhibition, the first two questions you normally ask yourself are Do I like it? And Who’s it by? When you stand in front of a work of art in an auction room or dealer’s gallery, you ask these two questions followed by others: how much is it worth? How much will it be worth in five or ten years’ time? and What will people think of me if they see it hanging on my wall? Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a guide to how people reach answers to such questions, and how in the process art is given a financial value. Fascinating and highly subjective, built on thirty-five years’ experience of the art market, Philip Hook explores the artist and his hinterland (including -isms, middle-brow artists, Gericault and suicides), subject and style (from abstract art and banality through surrealism and war), “wall-power”, provenance and market weather, in which the trade of the art market is examined and at one point compared to the football transfer market.Comic, revealing, piquant, splendid and absurd, Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a book of pleasure and intelligent observation, as engaged with art as it is with the world that surrounds it. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com Wednesday 13th November 7.30pm Professor Mark White: The Dazzling Image of JFK £2.00 Tickets available on the door Venue: Queen’s College, Trull Road, Taunton TA1 4QS During his lifetime, John F. Kennedy created a dazzling image that has been sustained since his assassination in 1963. This book examines how Kennedy succeeded in using his military service in World War II, his literary efforts, his sex appeal, his family and other attributes and achievements to develop such a potent image. It also explores the roles played by Joseph and Jackie Kennedy in bolstering his appeal. Probably no other figure in history has created such a positive impression on people throughout the world today than Kennedy. This book seeks to explain how this happened, and to consider the extent to which the image conformed to the reality of the man. Tickets available on the door. For any further information please contact Mr G Bisson, branch secretary of The Taunton Historical Association on 01823 353749 or email geoff_bisson@hotmail.com 18
  • 18. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Thursday 14 November 7.30pm Sinclair McKay: The Lost World of Bletchley Park Price £8.00 Venue: Somerset Museum Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4AA The huge success of Sinclair’s The Secret Life of Bletchley Park - a quarter of a million copies sold to date - has been symptomatic of a similarly dramatic increase in visitors to Bletchley Park itself, the Victorian mansion in Buckinghamshire now open as an engrossing museum of wartime codebreaking. Now, therefore, Aurum is publishing the first comprehensive illustrated history of this remarkable place, from its prewar heyday as a country estate under the Liberal MP Sir Herbert Leon, through its wartime requisition with the addition of the famous huts within the grounds, to become the place where modern computing was invented and the German Enigma code was cracked, its post-war dereliction and then rescue towards the end of the twentieth century as a museum whose visitor numbers have more than doubled in the last five years. Featuring over 200 photographs, some previously unseen, and text by Sinclair McKay, this will be an essential purchase for everyone interested in the place where codebreaking helped to win the war. Sinclair McKay is a features writer for The Telegraph and The Mail on Sunday. Friday 15th November 6.00pm Ffyona Campbell: The Hunter-Gatherer Way Price: £6.50 Venue: Brendon Books Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 Ffyona Campbell spent many years exploring the world from on foot and, as she went, learning from Australian Aborigines, African Bushmen, Pygmies, and North American Indians. In 1997 she returned home to learn the wild food of her native land and to find out what happened to us, 4,000 years ago, to turn us away from the hunter-gatherer life we loved. Since then she has taught over 1,000 people to be hunter gatherers here in Britain. Her book The Hunter-Gatherer Way: Putting Back the Apple has recently been published. She is also the author of three bestselling books about her epic series of walks: Feet of Clay, On Foot Through Africa and The Whole Story To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 19
  • 19. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Friday 15th November 7.30pm John Bradshaw: Cat Sense £6.50 Venue: Brendon Books Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 From John Bradshaw, one of the world’s leading experts on animal behaviour, and the author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, In Defence of Dogs, Cat Sense is a scientific portrait of the true, surprising nature of cats. Worshipped as gods, feared as demonic servants, seen as both wild opportunists and beloved companions, cats often seem as unfathomable, enigmatic and magical to us today as they did in ancient times. They have lived with humans for at least ten thousand years (far earlier than the reign of the Pharaohs), and today are the most popular pet in the world. That they now outnumber the dog, man’s ‘best friend’, by three to one, is small wonder: at once affectionate and self-reliant, they seem to be perfectly suited to our busy 21st Century lifestyles. Yet cats still think like the wild scavengers and hunters from which they are descended - and to which they can quickly revert. Today, they face unprecedented challenges in their life with humans: from conservationists who cast them as a threat to wildlife; from other cats who they compete for territory with; and from good-intentioned owners and vets with misconceptions of what they require.Cats need not so much our sympathy, but our understanding, if they are to continue to enjoy our companionship. The recent surge in feline science - with John Bradshaw at the forefront - means we are now better equipped to understand them than ever before. Cat Sense offers us for the first time a true picture of one of humanity’s closest and most enigmatic companions. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Saturday 16th November 11.00 Douglas Hurd, Disraeli £10.00 Venue: The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF Please note, following the talk, there is an opportunity to have a 2 course lunch with the author inclusive of wine a ticket for the talk. Price £39.00. For this option please contact The Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com Benjamin Disraeli was the most gifted parliamentarian of the nineteenth century. A superb orator, writer and wit, he twice rose to become Prime Minister, dazzling many with his famous epigrams along the way. But how much do we really know about the man behind the words? How did this bankrupt Jewish school dropout and trashy novelist reach the top of the Victorian Conservative Party? And why does his reputation continue to have such a hold over British politics today? In this engaging reassessment, Douglas Hurd and Edward Young explore the paradoxes at the centre of Disraeli’s ‘two lives’: a dandy and gambler on the one hand, a devoted servant and favourite Prime Minister of the Queen on the other. A passionately ambitious politician, he intrigued and manoeuvred with unmatched skill to get to - in his own words - ‘the top of the greasy pole’, but he also developed a set of ideas to which he was devoted. His political achievements are never quite what they seem: he despised the idea of a more classless society, he never used the phrase ‘One Nation’, and although he passed the Second Reform Act he was no believer in democracy.By stripping away the many myths which surround his career, Douglas Hurd and Edward Young bring alive the true genius of Disraeli in this wonderfully entertaining exploration of his life. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above and following event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com 20
  • 20. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 Programme Saturday 16th November 6.30pm Peter Snow: When Britain Burned the Whitehouse Price: £10.00 Venue: The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF Please note, following the talk,there is an opportunity have dinner with the author following the talk. Price £49.00 (inclusive of talk). For this option please contact The Castle Hotel: 01823 328303 or email: events@the-castle-hotel.com In August 1814 the United States’ army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place. 9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain - now America’s close friend, then its bitterest enemy - set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore. In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, America’s national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain’s fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig.On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world’s foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong. Tuesday 19th November 7.30pm Gervase Phinn: Little Village School Series Price: £8.00 Taunton School, Staplegrove Rd Taunton, Somerset TA2 6AD 01823 349200 Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, school inspector, educational consultant and visiting professor of education.For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children’s charities and educational organizations. The third Little Village School novel Summer has arrived in Barton-in-the-Dale and as a new term begins at the little primary school, it’s not just the warm weather that’s getting people hot under the collar. Meetings with the teachers from Urebank School to discuss the merger are producing more than a few fireworks, a disruptive new pupil arrives, set to cause trouble, and a surprising staff love affair is exposed. There’s also a big school production of The Wizard of Oz to organise as well as an impending visit from the Minister of Education. Headteacher Elisabeth Devine certainly has her work cut out for her. And that’s just some of the drama set to shake-up the village. Throw in a sprinkling of secrets, shocking revelations, old flames, new liaisons, psychics, weddings and misfortune ...There’s plenty to gossip about this term. To purchase tickets or for further info on the above event: Visit Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER. Tel. 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com www.tauntonliteraryfestival.net 21
  • 21. SPACE Man: David Duthie As Taunton’s SPACE Company prepares to bring Shakespeare’s ‘Titus’ to the derelict, industrial landscape of Fox’s Mills in Wellington, Director David Duthie describes the challenges and triumphs of site-specific theatre. flexibility and dexterity - like you’ve never seen them before! You won’t recognise them, but you will recognise their talent, drive and energy!’ our own version of Titus’ Rome, allowing the history of the site as a cotton and wool mill during the Industrial Revolution to influence design choices and staging.’ This latest production by The SPACE Company presents the full horror of Titus’ Rome and his descent into madness. Those familiar with the text will know it’s not a play for the faint-hearted and features some epic moments of gruesome violence. So just how do you prepare students for such challenging scenes? The SPACE Company have developed a reputation for staging cutting-edge, site-specific performances of Shakespeare texts at landmark sites around the region. In 2011, The SPACE teamed up with West Somerset Railway to perform ‘Lear’ on a moving 1950s train, stopping at stations en-route to the restoration yard at Williton, where the show culminated amongst the abandoned railway carriages and freight containers. ‘The subject matter is famously horrible’ admits David. ‘From Lavinia muted by the removal of her tongue and hands, to Tamora’s sons decapitated, made into pies and fed to her in a sickening feast of horror.’ He is quick to add that the students have been warned of the content, and are free to leave rehearsals or take a break from the process if they need to. ‘These pieces are always logistically demanding but ultimately a unique and unforgettable experience for cast, crew and audience alike.’ says David. ‘Last October we performed “The Tempest” at the military fort on Brean Down - an eerie shell of a building perched on the cliff edge. The fort had no electricity so the entire production was lit by fire - a magical experience.’ Rather than recreate Shakespeare’s entire original text, The SPACE Company have chosen to adapt the play to give it a more contemporary feel. ‘To me, a script is a record of a performance that once happened and a stimulus for one which is yet to begin.’ explains David. ‘We intend to take the essence of the revenge story, the thrill and horror of its climactic moments and the most beautiful and exhilarating passages of the text and team it with contemporary physical theatre and some technical twists and treats.’ ‘The students come from a generation who have grown up watching horror movies and dramatizations of serial killings and often their stomachs are stronger than us directors!’ jokes David, reminding (and perhaps reassuring) audiences, ‘This is the cast that brought you ‘Our House’ - but testament to their Always on the look-out for potential new sites to stage productions, the atmospheric former Fox’s Mills buildings caught David’s attention after he and his family moved to a village in the area. ‘This year we needed a new challenge for the talented group of students who are moving into Year 2,’ says David. ‘And Shakespeare’s most violent and bloody play seemed the perfect choice!’ 22 ‘The derelict buildings will create a dynamic shell within which we can create ‘I would like to add our thanks to Abacus Construction for allowing us to use the site, and Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre through whom the tickets for “Titus” and other SPACE shows will be sold.’ Situated next door to Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, The SPACE opened four years ago, to offer world-class, bespoke training to young people with an interest in performance. The work at The SPACE continues the reputation of excellence in the performing arts established at Heathfield Community School. The course has seen graduates go onto great things - studying at the country’s top schools for drama and dance, in university or directly into em-
  • 22. ployment, either in the creative industry or in vocations which use the vital transferable skills that an involvement in the performing arts promotes. “Titus” is just one of the exciting shows The SPACE has lined up for this season. While the Year 2 Company rehearse “Titus”, the Year 1 Company will be rehearsing for their launch event, “Ignition 2013”, involving a promenade performance and an extract of Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” taking place from 1st - 2nd October. They will then begin a devised production using the verbatim technique, based on the work of the emergency services called “Blues and Twos” taking place from 10th - 12th December. By Sara Loveridge As well as teaching Drama and co-directing shows, David Duthie is Course Director at The SPACE, and leads a dedicated team of talented and passionate staff. He became interested in Drama at school, after taking part in school musical productions. He graduated with a B.A. Honours from the Univeristy of Wales at Aberystwyth, specializing in performance and set design before training in Drama teaching. David then taught in a secondary school, spending his spare time performing and directing semi-professionally, before joining The SPACE team, and bringing together all his skills and experience to the role. See “Titus” performed at Fox’s Mills, Wellington Tue 15th-Thu 17th Oct at 7.30pm (time may be subject to change - please check when booking). Recommended age 15+ years. Tickets: £10 / £8 / Concessions / £5Students. Book through Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton. TA2 8PD. Box Office: 01823 414141. www.tacchi-morris.com. 23
  • 23. Cinema Obscura, the Wiveliscombe-based film society, has just begun its 14th season with a well-attended, warmlyreceived screening of Untouchable, the most successful Francophone film ever. The next show, on 20th October, marks the 100th anniversary of the first Indian feature film. We’ll be running Satyajit Ray’s 1966 masterpiece, The Hero. An egocentric film-star, en route to an awards ceremony, encounters a young journalist seeking a scoop to launch a new magazine. Her directness and lack of awe draw unguarded disclosures from him. This stylish film, incorporating some entertaining dream sequences, shows the influence of French cinema on Ray. The 17th November meeting features Bamako. Set in the capital of Mali during preparations for a wedding, it centres on a symbolic trial of Western financial institutions that exploit African countries. Anything but dry and academic, it features several passionate, moving performances, plus a “Greek chorus” of three laconicallyamusing onlookers and some beautiful African music. On 8th December we are showing Alice In The Cities, an early film by Wim Wenders, best-known for Buena Vista Social Club. One of Wenders’s homages to American “road-movies”, it tells how Phillip, temporarily acting as guardian of Alice, treks across Germany to help the little girl find her grandmother. Films are shown at Wiveliscombe Primary School in North Street (TA42LA) starting at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00, when you can buy hot and cold drinks and cakes and chat to other film-fans. Admission is £5. For further information, you can ring me on 01984 629114. Top: Still from The Hero (Nyak) Above: Still from Alice in the Cities ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 24
  • 24. October 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 Event Details Venue Time 1 Ballet Swan Lake - Moscow BBallet Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 2 Musical Ignition 2013 - Space Theatre Company Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 Drama Cymbeline - Shakespare re-imagined - Phizzical Theatre Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 Music The Bootleg Sixties Sight and Sound Show Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 3 Music Putting on tne Ritzitz - The Pasadena Roof Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 3-5 Musical The Sound of Music - WODS Musical Theatre (2.30 Sat matinee) Playhouse, WSM 7.30 3-5 Drama Calendar Girls - Minehead Dramatic Society (Sat matinee 2.30) Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Faustus Trio Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Flying Folk Evening Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Music Kaiser Monkey Killers Tribute Night Oake Manor Golf Club 7.00 Music RAFA Concert Band Presents; Music From the Films Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 Show Postman Pat Live - Permier Stage Productions Octagon, Yeovil 2.00 Music Chris While Julie Mathews David Hall 8.00 Music Jazz Country Charity Concert: Rice, Clark Storey Dunster Tithe Barne 7.00 Music Fake Thackery - The Songs of Jake Thackery Arts Centre, Wellington 7.30 Music Meet the Minstrels Bishop’s Palace, Wells 11-4 Musical Actiontrack Show - Heathfield Year 10 Students Tacchim-Morris Arts Centre 7.00 Music Rooted in Landscape: OrchstraWest concert in memory of John Cole St Mary’s Church, Taunton 7.30 Music Blowzabella David Hall 8.00 Talk Crewkerne Textile Industry - Somerset Ind. Arc. Soc North Town School 7.30 Music Westfest music festival Bath West Showground 7.00 8-12 Musical Guys and Dolls - Yaos (Saturday matinee) Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 11 Music Eurospka Quartet Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 9-12 Musical A Chorus Line - Taunton Amateur Operatic Society Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 10 Music Charlie Landsborough Playhouse, WSM 7.30 12 Music Camerosa Quartet David Hall 8.00 Music Evening of Music For Voice Piano Gill Reed/Martin Newman St Peter St Paul Ch , Nth Curry 7.30 Reading The Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare Aloud Yeovil Library 10.00am 12-13 Variety Showtime 2013 Minehead Regal 7.30/2.30 13 Music Golden Age - Stormy Times - The Phoenix Singers Church St Andrew, Stogursey 3.00 Talk Putting on an Olympic Show with Piers Shepherd Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 Music The Sensational 60s Experience Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Cinema Live Ciinema: RSC Production of Richard II Wellesley, Wellington 14 Drama Jason and the Argonauts - The Courtyard Octagon, Yeovil 7.00 15 Drama Sahkespeare Schools Festival Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 Drama Jason and the Argonauts - The Courtyard Octagon, Yeovil 10/2.00 4 5 6 7 25
  • 25. October 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. Event Details Date Venue Time 15-17 Drama Titus - Space Theatre Company (Book through Tacchi-Morris) Fox’s Mill Wellington 7.30 16 Music Syd Lawrence Orchestra Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Cinema Live Cinema: Royal Opera House: Royal Ballet - Don Quixote Wellesley, Welliington 7.00 17 Drama Dracula - Blackeyed Theatre Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 18 Literature A Way with Words Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Stand-Up Comedy Box Blakehay Theatre, WSM 8.30 Music Voodoo Room Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Barbara Dickson Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Variety Weston Super Mare Showcase Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 Music Fleetwood Mac Tribute Night Oake Manor Golf Club 7.00 Music And Finally - Phil Collins Tribute Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music The Urban Folk Quartet David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Talk Britten Uncut with John Bridcut Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 Music Concert: Louise Jordan Halsway Manor tbc Children’s The Elephant Bridesmaid Playhouse WSM 2.30 Music CCS - Martin Roscoe - New Piano Concert Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Talk The Manufacture of Explosives for WW1 - Som Ind Arch Soc North Town School 7.30 22-24 Drama Twelth Night Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 23 Comedy Happyism: Adam Hills Playhouse WSM 8.00 23-26 Drama An Inspector Calls Warehouse Theatre, Ilminster tbc 24 Music Fascinating Aida Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music Vampires Rock Playhouse WSM 7.30 24-26 Drama Cider with Rosie - The Barnstormers Minehead, Regal 7.30 25 Music Jazz All Star Special Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Stand-Up Jo Caulfield Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Variey Performance Evening David Hall, S Petherton 7.30 26 Music Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga Tribute Oake Manor Golf Club 7.00 23-27 Musical That’ll Be The Day Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 25 Music Blake Playhouse WSM 7.30 27 Music Gigspanner David Hal, S Petherton 8.00 Music Concert with Michael Dussek Leos Cepicky Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 19 20 21 Music Bach the Magnificent with Leos Cepicky Dillington House, Ilminster 6.30 27 30 Stories Gory Stories Stroytelling Bishop’s Palace , Wells 11/12/2 28 Talk Mary Berry Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 29 Drama The Canterbury Tales - The Pantaloons Playhouse WSM 7.30 26
  • 26. November 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 Variety Theatre Same Difference Pop Academy The Selfish Giant Puppet Theatre Blakehay Theatre, WSM Blakehay Theatre, WSM 6.00 11/1.30 Music Meatloaf Meets Blues Brothers Tribute Oake Manor Golf Club 7.00 Octagon, Yeovil 2.30 Chiuldren’s show The Elephant Bridesmaid - People’s Theatre Company Book Fair Taunton Literary Festival Event. Self-publishing/local author Book Fair (from 2.00pm-5.00pm) Richard Huish College, Taunton 2.00 Talk Talk on Self publising Richard Huish College, Taunton 5.00 Poetry Reading Juncture 25 Poetry Reading book launch Richard Huish College, Taunton 6.00 Talk An Evening with Henry Blofeld Ilmiinster Arts Centre 7.00 Stories Spooky Somerset Stories with Bard for Life David Hall 8.00 Talk Charles Dickens with Claire Tomalin Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 Show An Evening with Pam Ayres - Warren Productions Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Roman Panel: Historical Writers’ Talk. Ben Kane, Ruth Downie Anthony Riches Hestercombe Gardens 11.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Historical Crime Panel: Historical Writers’ Talk. Kylie Fitzpatrick Karen Maitland. Hestercombe Gardens 2.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Naval Fiction Talk: Historical Hestercombe Gardens Writers’ Talk. Jenny Barden J.D. Davies 4.15 Music Armonico Consort with Gillian Keith Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Drama Merry Wives of Windsor - Creative Cow Minehead, Regal 7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. David Hilary Crystal,Wordsmiths Warriors Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton 6.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Stephen Moss,,The Great British Year Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton 7.30 4 Talk The Glastonbury Canal - Som Ind Arch Soc North Town School, Taunton 7.30 5-6 Drama Educating Rita - Talking Scarlet Presents Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 6 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Sara Wheeler, O My America! Brendon Books, Taunton 6.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Marcia Willett, Postcards From the Past Brendon Books, Taunton 7.30 Music Alice Throughout the Century - Heathfield Comm. School Wellington School 5.30 Music Steve Graham’s Classic Jazz Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Drama Still Moving - A level drama students Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Saul David: 100 Days to Victory Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton 6.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Fire River Poets With Guest Poet Rebecca Gethin Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton 7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Julian Richards: Stonehenge Somerset Museum, Taunton 7.30 Comedy Life is Pain - Alan Davies Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 Music Alice (Through the Century) - Primary and Secondary Students Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 6/7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Christian Wolmar, Story of the World’s Greatest Railway St James Church, Taunton 6.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Extreme Adventures St James Church, Taunton 7.30 Comedy My Valentine - Sandi Toksvig Live Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music Kimber’s Men David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 2 3 7 8 27
  • 27. November Events (Cont’d) 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 Reading Taunton Literary Festival Event. Shakespeare Aloud Group: Participatory reading of Much Ado About Nothing Taunton Library 10.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Victoria Glendinning, From a Suppressed Cry to Raffles Castle Hotel, Taunton 11.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Marcus Chown, What a Wonderful World Castle Hotel, Taunton 6.00 Comedy Paul Merton’s Impro Chums Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 Musical Back to Broadway Playhouse WSM 7.30 Music Taunton Sinfonietta in Concert St James, Taunton 7.30 Music Orchestral Concert - Taunton Sinfonietta St James Church, Taunton 7.30 Music Pied Piper of Hamelin Puppet Theatre Blakehay Theatre, WSM 11/1.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Peter Haggett, The Quantocks: Biography of an English Region Brendon Books, Taunton 2.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Graham Fawcett: Seven Olympians, Byron Night Brendon Books, Taunton 6.00 Talk Red Plain of Mars - Sanjeev Gupta Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. James Crowden, Flowers in the Minefield: John Jarmain Brendon Books, Taunton 6.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Graham Hurley, Touching Distance Brendon Books, Taunton 7.30 11 Music Armistace Day Concert - Collegium Singers St John’s Church, Wellington 7.30 11-16 Drama Disposing of the Body - Swan Theatre Company Swan Theatre, Yeovil 7.45 12 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Philip Hook: Breakfast at Sotheby’s: A-Z of the Art World Castle Hotel, Taunton 6.00 12-14 Drama War of the Worlds Student Production Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 12-16 Musical Grease - Yeovil Youth Theatre (2.30 Saturday matinee) Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 13 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. History Society Talk: Prof Mark White, American Icon: The Dazzling Image of JFK Queen’s College, Taunton 7.30 Music That’ll Be the Day Xmas Show Playhouse WSM 7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Sinclair McKay, The Lost World of Bletchley Park Somerset Museum, Taunton 7.30 9 10 14 Time Music Maiastra Concert Ilminster Arts Centre 7.30 14-16 Drama Educating Rita - Talking Scarlet (Saturday matinee 2.30) Playhouse, WSM 7.30 14-16 Musical The Spice of Life - Waterfront Theatre Company Minehead, Regal 7.30 15 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Ffyona Campbell, The Hunterer-Gatherer Way Brendon Books, Taunton 6.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. John Bradshaw, Cat Sense Brendon Books, Taunton 7.30 Music A Taste of India Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Comedy Comedy Box: The Best in Stand-up Blakehay Theatre, WSM 8.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Douglas Hurd, Disraeli Castle Hotel, Taunton 11.00 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Peter Snow, When Britain Burned the Whitehouse Castle Hotel, Taunton 6.30 Music Autumn Concert:Amici St Mary Magdalene 7.30 16 28
  • 28. Event Details Date Venue Time Music Martyn Joseph David Hall 8.00 Comedy Reginald D Hunter Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 Music Midwinter Dreams Bishop’s Palace 12.30 Talk Extraordinary World of Quantum Physics Dillington House, Ilminster 2.30 Music Concert: O’Hooley and Tidow Halsway Manor tbc Talk The History of Clark’s - Som Ind Arch Soc North Town School, Taunton 7.30 Talk Taunton Literary Festival Event. Gervase Phinn: Little Village School Taunton School 7.30 Music Elkie Brooks Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Storytelling Stioytelling Show: The Tower of Bagel Halsway Manor tbc 19-23 Drama Arsenic and Old Lace - Taunton Thespians (include Sat matinee) Tachi-Morris Arts Centre 7.30 20 Music Steeleye Span Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 20-23 Drama Laying the Ghost - Combined Arts Drama David Hall, S Petherton 7.30 21 Music Bets of the Eagles - Talon Tribute Band Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Literary Lunch Henry Blofeld: Squeezing the Orange Castle Hotel 12.00 Ballet The Nutcracker - Russian State Ballet Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music Best of Eagles - Talon Tribue Band Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music The Way of the Drum - Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Minehead, Regal 7.30 Music Melvyn Tan Milveton Church 8.00 Music Richard Lennoz Salutes Some Piano Legends Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 23 Comedy Normal Service Will Be Resumed - Ministry of Entertainment Minehead, Regal 7.30 23-24 Musical Niracle on 34th Street - Paul Taylor-Mills Octagon, Yeovil 2.30/7.30 24 Children’s show Fireman Sam Playhouse WSM 1.30/3.30 26 Music Dominant Quartet, Moscow Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 28 Music Show of Hands (folk) Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music The Big Chris Barber Band Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Music Robert Fowler, Dominic Ashworth/Craig Milveton Trio Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 Music Viennese Strauss Xmas Gala Playhouse, WSM 7.30 Variety Girls’ Night Out - World Vision Minehead, Regal 7.30 18 19 22 29 Art Exhibitions October/November Until 26 October. Kathryn Chambers: Stitched Up. Quilted Textile Art. Ilminster Arts Centre. 5 October - 4 January 2014 Somerset Revealed: Art from the Museum Collection. Tue - Sat 10.00-5.00 7 - 27 October. Lorraine and John Charnley Photography Exhibition. Lutyens Gallery, Hestercombe Gardens. 8 - 25 October. The Big Draw. The largest drawing festival in the world. 28 October - 17 November. Rosy Reed: Driftwood Art. Lutyens Gallery, Hestercombe Gardens. 29 October - 23 November. Neroche Artists. Ilminster Arts Centre. 30 October - 24 November Jeremy Cooper: Postcard Patterns. Contains Art Exhibtion, Watchet Harbour. Wed-Sun 10.00-5.00 5 November - 20 December. Sites of Fact and Fiction by Jenny Graham. Tacchi Morris Arts Centre. 1 November - 31 January 2014. Lainey Whitworth. Mixed Media and Textile Art. 3D Exhibition. Hestercombe Gardens. 29
  • 29. Contacts List Barn, Obridge House Priorswood, Taunton. Contact: Jeremy Harvey. 01823 276421 Barrington Court, Barrington,  Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0NQ 01460 242614 Bishop’s Palace, Cathedral Green, Wells Somerset BA5 2PD 01749 988111 www.bishopspalace.org.uk The Blakehay Theatre, Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JZ 01934 645493 Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 brendonbooks@gmail.com Bridgwater Arts Centre, 11-13 Castle Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3DD 01278 422 700 The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF 01823 272671 St Peter St Paul Church, Moor Lane, North Curry Ta3 6JZ 01823 490255 The David Hall, Roundwell St South Petherton. TA13 5AA 01460 240340 info@thedavidhall.org Dillington House, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DT 01460 258648 dillington@somerset.gov.uk Dunster Tithe Barn 01643 821658 info@dunstertithebarn.org.uk Enmore Inn, Enmore Rd,  Durleigh, BRIDGWATER, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2AW01278 422 052 Fyne Court, Broomfield, Somerset TA5 2EQ 01823 451587 Gallery4Art. www.gallery4art.co.uk. 01984 623357 Ginger Fig, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 326798 Glastonbury Abbey Shop Ltd, The Abbey Gatehouse, Magdalene Street, Glastonbury Somerset BA6 9EL 01458 831631 shop@glastonburyabbey.com 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 Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster TA19 0AN 01460 55783  Imagine Design Create Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 252133 imaginedesigncreate@live.co.uk Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton Somerset TA1 4AA 01823 255088 www.somerset.gov.uk/museums 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 contact@queenscollege.org.uk Regal Theatre, 10-16 The Avenue,  Minehead TA24 5AY 01643 706430 mail@regaltheatre.co.uk 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 : peter.daniel51@btinternet.com Somerset Rural Life Museum. Abbey Farm, Chilkwell Street, GlastonburySomerset BA6 8DB 01458 831197 St Mary Magdalene Church, Church Square, Taunton TA1 1SA 01823 272441 St Mary’s Church, St Mary Street, Bridgwater TA6 3EQ 01278 422437 saintmarybridgwater@gmail.com St Mary’s Church, Stogumber office.qtb@btinternet.com St John’s Church, Park Street, Taunton TA1 4DG secretary@stjohnstaunton.org.uk The Swan Theatre, 138 Park Street,Yeovil BA20 1QT swantheatre@gmail.com Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton TA2 8PD 01823 41 41 41 info@tacchi-morris.com Taunton Flower Show http://www.tauntonfs.co.uk/ Taunton Library, Paul St, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ 0845 345 9177 Taunton RFC Hyde Park, Hyde Lane, Bathpool, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8BU 01823 336363 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 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 Wellsprings Leisure Centre, Cheddon Road, Taunton TA2 7QP 01823 271271 Yeovil Library, The Library, King George Street, Yeovil Somerset BA20 1PY Tel 01823 336370 30
  • 30. Musical Trend Setters ‘‘The Taunton Sinfonietta - a Musical Trend Setter’ was a proud slogan to be seen on some car stickers in the 1990’s. This was no idle boast; the Sinfonietta had indeed been a force for innovation in the West Country’s musical scene for over ten years. It was founded by Hugh Bushell in 1982 out of the belief that there was a place, indeed a need, for a professional orchestra working in the area, and built from resources available within the region. Before that there had been only the usual gatherings of professional musicians in theatre orchestras, pits or churches, engaged on an ad-hoc basis for local performances of opera, oratorio etc. Hugh William Done Bushell was a double bass player himself and studied at Jesus College, Oxford, and played for ten years with the Salomon orchestra in London. He was on the staff of the Richard Huish college in Taunton, conductor of the Wednesday orchestra and assisted with the National Children’s Orchestra. With his violist wife Anna he was a tireless promoter, not only of this orchestra, but especially of introducing music to children in the area. He maintained his energy and drive until his death from chronic lung disease in August 2003, though he had been forced to give up active playing a few years earlier due to the effort required to carry such a large musical instrument around! Those who came together to form the Taunton Sinfonietta shared the conviction that far more could be achieved by assembling largely the same musicians, but generally without a conductor or singers, and with an appropriate rehearsal and management structure. The rest, as they say, is history. Many ‘themed’ concert series were devised by Hugh, with a lot of input from his wife, and we have fond memories of ‘Vivat Europa’, ‘Very Vivaldi’, ‘Mozart with a Modern’ and many others. Whilst the orchestra’s base is Taunton, over the years it has played in places as diverse as Bath, Bristol and Canterbury Cathedrals, and many other venues closer to home in the South West. The orchestra has been flattered to have had Allan Schiller, the world-renowned pianist, as its president for many years. Whilst the title of the next programme ‘Emphasis on Elgar’, is based on our tribute to one of England’s greatest composters, Edward Elgar, the high spot of the programme in November will be the C major cello concerto by Joseph Haydn. Written in about 1761, the concerto was lost until rediscovered in a library in Prague 200 years later. It is now possibly the best known and loved cello concerto 31
  • 31. of this era, and will be played by the talented Mehuhin School student Sarah Padday, playing on an instrument made by her father Tony. Sarah lives near Shepton Mallett in Somerset. Salut d’Amor (Love’s greeting) was written by Elgar as an engagement Event Details present to his fiancée, and is unashamedly romantic; the Introduction and Allegro for Strings, on the other hand is a demanding and sublime work, contrasting a solo string quartet with the full string orchestra. Hugh Bushell would be pleased that we are performing a world première in this programme. Eric Sweeney has been described as ‘– one of Ireland’s most significant contemporary composers, music of ethereal melodic beauty’. This work should prove to be a valuable addition to the string orchestra repertoire. See Taunton Sinfonietta Orchestral Concert Elgar - Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Elgar - Salut d’Amour,Sweeney - CEOL Concertante (World Premier), Haydn - Cello Concerto in C Soloist Sarah Padday - Menhuin School 7.30 9 November St James Church, Taunton 01823 336344 3.00 10 November, Bridport Arts Centre 01308 424204 www.tauntonsinfonietta.org.uk Sara Padday FIRE RIVER POETS OPEN POETRY COMPETITION 1st PRIZE: £100 2nd PRIZE: £75 3rd PRIZE: £50 ENTRANCE FEE: £3 for one poem, £5 for 2 poems, £10 for 4 poems CLOSING DATE: 8 November 2013 JUDGE: Ann Gray has an MA in Creative writing from the University of Plymouth. Her collections include At The Gate (Headland, 2008) The Man I Was Promised (Headland, 2004). Rules * Poems may be in any style and on any subject but must be the entrant’s original, unaided work. Each poem must be in English and must not be a translation. * Each poem must be no more than 40 lines, typed, on A4 paper, one side only. * Any number of entries may be submitted provided each is typed on a separate sheet and accompanied by the correct entry fee. The entrant’s name must not appear on the poem sheet. * Entries must not have been published, appeared on the internet, been broadcast, won a prize in a previous competition, been accepted for publication or be currently submitted to other competitions or for publication. * Poems must be accompanied by correct payment an entry form from Fire River Poets’ website or a sheet of paper with titles of poems, name, address, telephone number and email address of the entrant. Poems will be judged anonymously. * Members of Fire River Poets and their immediate families are not eligible. * No alterations can be made to a poem once it is submitted. * It is regretted that entries cannot be returned. * The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence regarding it can be entered into. * Submission of a poem implies the entrant’s acceptance of the rules. Payment Cheques, Postal Orders and International Money Orders should be made payable to FIRE RIVER POETS. We can only accept pound sterling (GBP). Acknowledgement and results Enclose SAE marked ‘A’ for acknowledgement of receipt of poems or ‘R’ for results. Prizewinners will be notified by 21 December, 2013. A list of prizewinners and winning poems will appear on the Fire River Poets website www.fireriverpoets.org.uk as soon as possible after their announcement and for the ensuing year. Copyright remains with the writer. Winners will be invited to read at a future poetry event in Taunton. Please post entries to Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition, 9 Turner Road, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 6DT 32
  • 32. Stitched Up: Kathryn Chambers theme.’ says k3n, who has also been developing and adapting various textile art techniques to use in her work. As a result, visitors to ‘Stitched Up’ can expect to find plenty of surface embellishment and other less conventional quilting techniques, particularly in her landscape pieces. Award-winning quilter Kathryn Chambers known as k3n - returns to Ilminster Arts Centre with a new exhibition called ‘Stitched Up’. ‘Ilminster is my local town and the Arts Centre is such a fabulous venue to have on my doorstep.’ says k3n. ‘My last exhibition two years ago was very successful and I met a great range of people - both quilters and non-quilters. I am really looking forward to coming back.’ K3n’s latest exhibition ‘Stitched Up’ is so-called partly because she likes the pun, but also to reflect her current body of work titled ‘The Path of the Sacred Feminine’. This covers all sorts of subjects including witchcraft, goddesses and female literary figures such as the Lady of Shalott. ‘I have been doing a lot of research over the past year about how women have been treated historically and many of the pieces on display will be on this Many people think of quilts only as bed coverings, but for k3n it is important to have her work seen as art, and viewed by a wider audience outside of the quilting world. ‘I like the ‘shock factor’ - hopefully encouraging people to see quilts in a whole new light and contemplate hanging them on their own walls as well.’ explains k3n. ‘As the Arts Centre features such a range of work in different media, I am keen to help fly the flag for the textile side of things!’ exhibiting as a group at Ilminster Arts Centre in Autumn 2014. ‘I am also a member of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles and have recently joined Contemporary Quilters South West which is affiliated to the Guild.’ says k3n. ‘Being an artist of any kind can be a lonely occupation and I think it is important to have contact with my peers so that my work doesn’t stagnate.’ Kathryn works under the name k3n (try saying it fast!) which was invented by her partner Hans, mainly because people kept spelling ‘Kathryn’ incorrectly. ‘People love it or hate it’ says k3n, ‘but hopefully they’ll remember it and not being averse to a bit of pretension, I actually like it.’ Although modest about her achievements, k3n has won an impressive number of awards for her work at various shows and competitions including the National Quilt Championships (3rd Place Open Themed and Art Deco Themed Competitions, 2011), the Spring Quilt Show, Exeter (South West Regional Winner Open Themed Competition, 2011), Bath and West Quilt Show (Best Freehand Machine Quilting, Best Large Wall Hanging and Best in Show, 2012) and Festival of Quilts It was during a 6 year stint living in (Highly Commended, 2012). France that k3n took up patchwork and quilting again with a vengeance, teach- ‘On 3rd October I will be running a working herself techniques such as appliqué, shop in Quilted Textile Art where I will foundation piecing, fusing, fabric-dye- be teaching many of the techniques I use ing and freehand machine quilting from in my work, including Stitch and Flip, Fabric Bubble Wrap, Strippy Collage, books, magazines and the internet. Confetti, Fabric Weaving, Couching and For the past 3 years she has lived in Som- more.’ says k3n. ‘Participants will be able erset with her family - partner Hans, chil- to either make a sampler from blocks of dren Joey and Lily, plus 1 cat, 2 dogs, and each technique or pick and choose their 3 bantam chickens. She is a member of favourites to adapt for use in their own South West Quilters, a very active group work. The workshop is aimed at quilters in the region that is open to quilters of who want to expand their horizons but I all abilities and experience for whom k3n also welcome complete beginners, as long gives occasional workshops and talks. as you can use a sewing machine and sew More recently she has joined the South a (vaguely!) straight line!’ West Textile Group, who will be holding a group exhibition at the Town Mill Arts She will also be running a Christmas Guild in Lyme Regis in October, before Quilting workshop on 28th November Born in Blackpool in 1965, k3n grew up in the New Forest from the age of 3. She started doing patchwork at the age of 9 using scraps left over from her mother’s dress making, and although she admits during her teenage years other interests took over - namely ballet, horse riding and boys - she has always been keen on all types of needlework including knitting, embroidery and cross stitch. 33
  • 33. where participants can make fabric bowls that make ideal festive gifts. K3n’s workshops are suitable both for beginners and more experienced quilters. ‘I think the key thing is not to be afraid to experiment.’ advises k3n, describing how her 9 year old daughter creates beautiful little pieces she has confidently freehand machine quilted because no one has told her she can’t. ‘The biggest lack in people coming to my workshops is never ability, it is confidence. And never listen to the infamous ‘Quilt Police’ – that elusive group who are very good at pointing out what is wrong with other people’s work and pontificating about how things should be done. There is no right or wrong way – there is only your way!’ For those still in need of a little guidance, k3n will be holding a free Quilt Clinic in the gallery every Monday and Wednesday morning throughout her exhibition. As well as demonstrating different things on her sewing machine, k3n would like people to bring along their own work for her to see, especially if they need any help or advice with any aspects of patchwork or quilting. ‘I am self-taught so I have made most of the mistakes - or should I say met most of the challenges - myself at some point.; says k3n. ‘I can show the solutions I have found that work for me, but what I won’t do is criticise.’ By Sara Loveridge See k3n’s exhibition ‘Stitched Up’ from Monday 30th September - Saturday 26th October. Open Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday 9.30am 2.30pm. Free. K3n’s Quilted Textile Art workshop takes place on Thursday 3rd October and Christmas Quilting workshop takes place on Thursday 28th November. Both workshops take place from 10am - 3pm and cost £25 per session. Please bring your own sewing machine and book in advance through the Box Office: 01460 54973. K3n’s Quilt Clinic takes place in the gallery every Monday and Wednesday morning throughout the exhibition. From 9.30am - 12.30pm. Free. All take place at Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. www.themeetinghouse.org.uk. 34 Top Left:Reflecions of Long Pond Top Right: Genoag Gansen. Above: Eve Ensnared.
  • 34. A TALE FOR OUR TIMES – ON EXMOOR A compelling story of family and ecological conflict on Exmoor, set against the current financial crisis and interwoven with sexual rivalry and obsession. And at another level, a reflection on our planet as a tiny, living, teeming sward - finite and vulnerable - and floating alone in the dead sea of the universe. PAN’S PRINCIPLE by SIMON PATRICK A ‘MUST-READ’ NOW ON KINDLE – ONLY £0.99P ginger fig gifts and gallery 1b Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 ginger fig gallery promotes artists and designers exclusively from the South West, exhibiting new talent alongside established artists 18 35
  • 35. COME AND SEE WHY OUR REPUTATION GOES BEFORE US HICKIES We’ve moved! Come and visit our new Showroom and Coffee Shop for All your Framing needs and Now also a lovely new range of Furniture,Pictures,Giftware Lamps Opening Times Mon - Sat 9.00 - 4.30 @ Prockters Farm West Monkton, Taunton 01823 412972 info@quantockartandframing.co.uk www.quantockartandframing.co.uk Enjoy Christmas with The Phoenix Singers ‘Fanfare for Christmas’ December 14th – St James’s Church, Taunton, 7.30pm ‘Nine Lessons Carols’ December 23 – St John the Baptist Church, Wellington, 6.30pm rd for further information see www.thephoenixsingers.co.uk 36 the music store Reading Tiverton Est. 1864 New Pianos Used pianos Digital Pianos Piano Hire Piano Removals On Site Workshop A fine selection of grand and upright pianos 01884 257211 Tiverton See our showroom at: 7 Lowman Units Lowman Way Tiverton EX16 6SR Just 10 minutes off J27 M5 www.hickies.co.uk Email: pianos@hickies.co.uk 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 lampmagazine1@gmail.com
  • 36. Shakespeare Aloud at the Taunton Literary Festival When Nigel Smith was inspired to set up the Shakespeare Aloud group it followed 40 years when he had no interest in even watching the latest Shakespeare production on television. In his own words, it was ‘40 years of silence’. Now he has set up a thriving Shakespeare reading group in Wellington. On Saturday 9th November the Shakespeare Aloud group are going to read the whole of Much Ado About Nothing at Taunton Library as part of the Taunton Literary Festival. Nigel did have an interest in Shakespeare dating back to his school years. He would always put his hand up when they asked for parts for the annual production of the school play though was rarely offered a speaking part. He was handicapped at that time by having a severe stutter. He remembers, though the day when he was given a speaking part in Macbeth as a Messenger. He still remembers the feeling of excitement of being involved. It was a book that re-ignited his interest all those years later: ‘There was a book, a lovely picture book showing all the films and productions of Shakespeare.’ He decided that he would read the whole canon of plays and brought books about the plays. He did, though, find this hard going. Then he joined a U3A Group called ‘Reading and Watching Shakespeare’. The idea was to listen to an audio broadcast of Shakespeare and follow with the text. The group would then go to see a production of the play on film or in a theatre. He enjoyed this though felt there was something missing. He had read another book called Speaking Shakespeare by Patsy Rodenburg which stressed the importance of reading Shakespeare aloud. Following some research of Shakespeare reading groups in the USA, he experimented with a reading of Shakespeare with the U3A reading group. It was a success and together with fellow U3A member Bridget Hodges, who was enthusiastic about the idea and had taught Shakespeare to adults, they set up a fortnightly reading group. The Shakespeare Aloud Group was born. are not rushed and part of the time is taken up with introducing the play and reflecting over and discussing the content. Originally, each participant was given a part. However, because some parts were much longer and the absence of a member could create a problem, this was modified so that now parts are not allocated, but read round the group in turn, changing whenever a character finishes speaking (no matter how short or long the speech). This system encourages careful concentration on what is being said, and everyone has a fair turn at reading. This system is particularly suitable for the public reading at the library as part of the literary festival as it means that those wanting to participate do not have to stay for the whole four hour session but can come and go as they please. Reading the play aloud, he believes, helps to a truer understanding of the plays in a non-threatening way (The golden rule is that no one criticises or comments on how anyone else reads their part). However, most of all, Nigel believes, there is the fun of participating and reading the words. He explains: ‘You feel a delight and a thrill when you ‘speak Shakespeare’ for the first time (and over again!). When you allow yourself to speak it you find immediacy, sensuality, playfulness, rebellion and numerous riddles and games. The words are an adventure for the speaker.’ So far they have read seven plays. They read every fortnight and typically a play is read over four weeks. The readings Those interested in joining the group or participating in the literary festival reading can contact either Nigel or Bridget on the following emails. Bridget Hodges: bmlhodges@gmail.com Nigel Smith: nigelr.smith@talktalk.net Taunton Literary Festival Event 10.00-2.00pm Shakespeare Aloud: Much Ado About Nothing Saturday 9th November The Library, Paul St,Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ The Shakespeare Aloud Group in Action at a previous library event 37
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  • 39. Somerset’s Ancient Church Fonts In the 1880s a young man in his 20s, a product of the Victorian era, son of the vicar of West Harptree, set out on a modern-day crusade. His quest was to record all of the ancient church fonts in Somerset before they were lost to the ravages of over-zealous Victorian architects, builders and clergy. That young man was William Harvey Pridham. Pridham witnessed the affect the ‘late architectural blight’ known as the Gothic Revival had on Somerset’s churches, and the ravages of the Victorian’s enthusiasm to do away with the old to make way for the new. Many churches had been thoroughly modernised and dozens of ancient church fonts had been replaced by new less attractive versions. Fortunately in Somerset, Pridham found that only 85 out of the 481 ancient parish churches had lost their old fonts, whereas counties such as Berkshire had lost over 50 per-cent. Pridham set about measuring, describing and recording as much detail as he could for every ancient font in the county of Somerset that he could find. These medieval treasures were often the only survivors of the Gothic Revival, and one of the first he drew was in St Mark’s church, Bristol. He visited every church and chapel in the county on his bicycle, at a time when they were nearly always open, enabling him to undertake his monumental task. He had an excellent eye for detail, as well as being able to execute perspective drawings of numerous fonts, such as those at Shepton Mallet, Edington and Wraxall. He identified several fonts that were of particular 40 Improved thrubwell nempnet Wraxall merit, such as those at Lullington, Nettlecombe and Orchardleigh. He was so thorough and driven in his quest, that when he visited a church or chapel that had lost its ancient font he made enquiries to try and discover it, or its fate. For example, at Abbots Leigh he found the ancient font unceremoniously placed in the sexton’s garden. Other fonts were also found in gardens, churchyards, in a chapel in a near-by castle, in a mission church, in a belfry, and even in a farm yard. A font at Aller was even used to house some gold fish. He traced one font that had been buried under the floor of the nave by the order of the architect who renovated the church! Sadly many of his searches for fonts were fruitless, leaving Pridham exasperated. He wrote of the missing ancient church font belonging to Yatton, which he had seen a drawing of, ‘why the beautiful font . . . should have been done away with it is impossible to conceive . . . The font was a fine specimen of Norman work’. He spared no criticism of one act of vandalism he personally witnessed at Wincanton, in September 1888, when a local builder unearthed part of the 13th Lullington century font, only to destroy it: While intelligent people were rejoicing over the recovered treasure, the contractor sawed it up in order to use the material in repairing the pseudo-Classic South doorway, and save his pocket to the extent of half-a-crown. While we continue bravely sending Missions to the heathen beyond the limits of Wincanton; surely the money need not all be sent away. But he also convinced over a dozen clergymen, on finding discarded ancient fonts belonging to their parishes, to have them restored to their parish church. Pridham’s work was interrupted in 1889 when he sailed to America and took up a post as a draughtsman in Colorado. He soon took a job as an architect and also served as Secretary to the Denver Architectural Sketch Club (DASC). He won first prize in the 1895 DASC competition for his design of a village church in the 13th century English Gothic style. Fortunately for Somerset’s fonts he returned to England in 1898 and recommenced his quest.
  • 40. History Society based at Taunton Castle. Their extensive collection of prints, maps, drawings and manuscripts was an ideal home for Pridham’s work. However, he held on to his drawings for another eight years before offering to sell them to the Society for 100 guineas. Pridham worked on finishing his drawings and agreed to sell his eight volumes to the Society, which he was pleased to do as it meant his work remained ‘on its native heath’. The Society also purchased the copyright in Pridham’s notes and drawings, but they remained in their library, unpublished, until now. Pridham’s crusade to record Somerset’s ancient fonts in case any were lost by ‘fire, accident or wilful design’ was a lonely one, but, accompanied by his two foot rule and plumb line, he left an unique record of an important aspect of the county’s past. As for Pridham, he In 1899 Pridham offered his notes to the went on to record over 1,200 fonts across Somerset Archaeological and Natural southern England. Pridham recorded a significant part of the work of Somerset’s medieval craftsmen who carved and chiselled the fonts. At Lullington he drew, in his own words, what he thought was ‘one of the finest fonts in the Kingdom’, and at Dowlish Wake he drew one of the oldest in the county. Many fonts had features which grasped Pridham’s interest, such as Satan depicted as a lizard with an evil grin at East Pennard, and at Pitminster he recorded St George slaying a dragon. He also noted how the fonts at Muchelney, Norton St Philip and Taunton St James had scenes depicting the crucifixion. Many others had beautifully carved angels, shields and features which he drew in precise proportions in case any font was lost by ‘fire, accident, or wilful design’. The Society, through Dr Adrian Webb and Mr David Worthy, have digitised over 400 drawings and edited Pridham’s notes for publication. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Art Weekend Art doesn’t come much bigger than Manet, Munch and Vermeer. You could make up your own list but these particular artists will feature prominently during this special weekend. 29 November - 1 December a local artist and others who will be debating what art is today – cultural In addition there will be presentations and intellectual statements, entertainment, success trophies and so on. and discussions about the purpose of On Sunday afternoon writer and art the visual arts both in the past and historian, James Russell will be giving today. The documentary filmmaker, Phil Grabsky, will describe his involve- a talk about Eric Ravilious. You can ment with some of our major galleries attend for the whole weekend or just in broadcasting live, around the world, for the day on Saturday or Sunday exhibitions of real significance and will only. be showing some of his films. Along with Phil Grabsky, Dillington’s Direc- Full details available on the website: tor, Wayne Bennett will be joined by a www.dillington.com or from the panel of speakers, including a curator, Bookings Office 01460 258613. Phil Grabsky James Russell 41
  • 41. Want to subscribe to LAMP? Have the next six issues of LAMP sent directly to you on publication. Cost £10. LAMP Magazine, c/o Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 lampmagazine1@gmail.com 42
  • 42. Poetry Corner: Emily McCoy Emily’s first poetry ‘book’ was for her dissertation whilst studying English at Exeter University. Since moving to Taunton in 2012 she has been a frequent performer at Fire River Poets events and has joined the newly formed poetry group, Juncture 25, for which she will be performing on the first day of the Taunton Literary Festival on 2nd November. The event will also mark the launch of an anthology by Juncture 25 in which Emily features. The China Vase White porcelain skin stretches around its curved shape embroidered in floral patterns and hung with gold leaf. 1 For Sorrow All these words just drift along a song of the outside, changing pace into staccatoed little beats, tap tap tap tapping at the pane – I smashed the vase, carelessly colliding its fine bone with cold hard stone. It cracked straight through the roses curling up to touch its rim and sliced the golden circle that snaked around its top. All these words just drift along alone in context, they tie thoughts into solid pages pages of thought, but thought – like words – so hard to pin down, changing pace changing length – The vase sits on my window-sill propped up with chocks of wood and superglue to fix the scar. It scowls at me, its line the frown, the chip on its shoulder the cut I caress running my finger over the chunk that is lost. It never reappeared, that small piece that leaves an empty shadow when the sun is low. It looks at me through its scar tissue, the pastel painted roses still hold their shape the gold still tints the light, redirected rays falling into the crack to show them up. One of the poems to be published in the forthcoming collection See Emily peforming poetry on Youube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCLvHY0yWscay4aZJbDLj-zw All these words are like thoughts each individual sound drawn in drawn out to the shape of sorrow – mouth round, edges down – and the staccatoed little beats tap tap All these thoughts sound like silence the staccatoed little beats on thick skin, tied tightly, making music out of sound strung together in pain. From a collection Emily is working on called ‘The Magpies’. Together Things made – and unmade. a bed formed around your body I take comfort – your spine resting in my curving embrace. We are twain, together and separate – unmade and made. 43
  • 43. Short Story Colonel Mustard’s Eventful Day by Marion Smith Colonel Mustard felt the Cluedo box being lifted off the shelf and placed on the table. It had been a while since the family had played Cluedo and he felt pleased at the prospect of a bit of action. He heard children’s voices and the sound of scraping chairs. “Come on everyone,” he called, “The game’s about to begin.” He stood to attention waiting for the lid to be taken off the box while Professor Plum shambled around the corner carrying a sheaf of papers. The professor scowled and said peevishly, “They’re always interrupting. I’ve got more important things to do than play silly murder games!” There was a click of heels and Miss Scarlet appeared in a dress of impossible tightness and redness, matched by equally bright lipstick, nail varnish and ridiculously high-heeled red shoes. She swayed past them leaving behind a waft of heavy perfume. The Rev. Green emerged next with his customary expression of benign absentmindedness, and Mrs White and Mrs Peacock brought up the rear. Colonel Mustard looked approvingly at Mrs Peacock. In his opinion she was the perfect lady, softly spoken, poised and always elegantly dressed. She reminded him of his mother who had worn gloves and thrown small garden parties. The voices of the humans were heard overhead. Grandfather took charge. “Robert, set the board out and make sure everyone has a pencil and paper. Lucy, you can put the three cards in the envelope. No looking now. Pick them up face down, and slide them into the envelope.” 44 There was a grumble from the boy. “That’s not fair Granddad. She always gets to put the murder cards in the envelope. You said last time that I could.” “Stop complaining Robert. You are eleven years old now. Either you want to play or you don’t. You can go to bed if you’d rather.” It appeared that the boy didn’t want to go to bed but neither did he want to play by the rules. He muttered under his breath and pushed the pieces around the board at breakneck speed. Colonel Mustard found himself hurtling along the passageway from the kitchen to the study and then being crashed into a shelf of books in the library next door. “Put Colonel Mustard back in the study, Robert,” said his mother. “You know perfectly well that you can only move one room at a time.” The game continued, and the adults played with silent concentration, the little girl occasionally asked for help and the boy scuffed his feet on the bar of the chair. Colonel Mustard found himself, no longer a suspect, alone in the dining room with time to muse on murder and murder weapons. His own favourite weapon was the pistol. Professor Plum betrayed his innate vulgarity by laying into a victim with the lead pipe as if he were coshing a rival for a university post. Mrs Peacock of course, did everything with the utmost decorum and Miss Scarlet did not. She usually brandished a polished candlestick with undisguised glee, and to Colonel Mustard’s disgust, once finished a poor fellow off with a pointed stiletto shoe. He shuddered at the recollection. Admittedly it was only a game, but even so one should try to maintain certain standards. His reverie was broken by an uproar from the humans. “Ouch,” said the little girl, followed immediately by the sharp tones of the grandmother. “Robert, how dare you stick that dagger into your sister. Apologise at once.” The little girl set up a wail but no apology was forthcoming. Instead Colonel Mustard found himself flying through the air amid a shower of weapons and most of his fellow players. He had the satisfaction of seeing Professor Plum hit the brass fire fender and stagger to his feet with a face almost as purple with rage as his plum coloured jacket. His own impact with the bottom of the grandfather clock was scarcely less violent but when he picked himself up and glanced up at the table he was rewarded by a sympathetic look from Mrs Peacock, the only person not to have been dislodged when the boy swept the pieces off the board. When they were all assembled once more she enquired with genuine concern, “You poor dear. Are you hurt?” He beamed back. “Not at all, dear lady. Nothing that an old soldier can’t cope with.” Meanwhile Robert had been given a politically incorrect and very well deserved clip around the ear by his grandfather. His mother said loudly, “That’s it. The game is ruined and you children are going to bed. Now.” Grandfather chipped in swiftly, “Yes to bed. But the game isn’t ruined. I know exactly where every piece was. We shall carry on again tomorrow, after tea.”
  • 44. The lid was put back on the box, the lights were switched off and the house fell silent. Colonel Mustard drifted off to sleep with his favourite fantasy running through his head. It was 1798 and, in the guise of his most distinguished ancestor, the much decorated Sir James Arbuthnot Mustard, he was standing on the deck of his ship at the battle of the River Nile. Napoleon’s fleet was trapped between the English and the shore, and battle was about to commence. He noted the signal flying from Nelson’s flagship and gave the command, “Fire!” The cannons thundered and the fifteen pounders crashed into the French “Orient” causing her to heel over and capsize. As the smoke cleared he glanced to the shore and saw Mrs Peacock dressed in something gauzy, blue and billowy. She gave him a look of obvious admiration. Just as he was deciding to go ashore for a few moments to stroll hand-in-hand with her past the palm trees and pyramids, he felt a draught above his head and saw the lid of the box being lifted up. The light of a torch revealed young Robert’s face. Colonel Mustard felt a surge of irritation. First the dratted boy had shown a fit of childish temper and now he was interrupting a very pleasant dream. He closed his eyes and returned firmly to Aboukir Bay; thus he did not see young Robert reach in and remove the envelope containing the murder information. The game recommenced the following evening but it was clear from the outset that something was wrong. The boy was uncharacteristically well behaved but the adults were obviously puzzled. After comparing notes and running through the list of possible suspects it appeared that there were no suspects, no murder weapon and no room in which the murder could have taken place. In exasperated tones the grandfather said, “Alright, I give up. Pass me the envelope Robert and we’ll see what’s gone wrong.” The boy grinned as he handed over the envelope. His grandfather reached inside and drew out, not three cards but a single sheet of paper. He read aloud, “The murder was committed by Hercule Poirot with his walking stick on the 4.50 from Paddington.” He glared at his grandson who said innocently, “Well that’s according to Agatha Christie, and she should know.” West Country Writers’ Association 2013 Short Story Competition The above short story is the winner of the 2012 West Country Short Story Competition. Entries are invited for the 2013 competition. The competition is open to any author or aspiring author who has had no more than two short stories professionally published, or read on mainstream radio. The winner will receive £50 in cash and be invited to spend a day at the association’s next annual literary event, March 22nd 2014 in Weston-superMare. The winning entry will be published on the WCWA website. Entries can be on any subject or theme but must include the words EXETER CATHEDRAL at least once. The entry fee is £5 per story. Entries must not exceed 1200 words, must be in English and be the writer’s own unpublished work. They must not be on offer for publication or entered in any other current competition. Each piece of work with its title must be in clear type, double line spaced, on one side of A4 sheet(s) and details of the author must NOT appear on any part of the actual story. Please keep a copy of your work as it cannot be returned. Contestants may enter as many stories as they wish, but each must be accompanied by a separate entry form and the required entry fee. The closing date for entries is Monday 9th December 2013. Entries can only be posted to: Diney Costeloe, Glebe House, Shipham, Winscombe, Somerset BS25 1TW. Cheques should be made payable to WCWA. For an entry form go to www.westcountrywriters.com select ‘Competitions’ and select the link ‘2013 entry form v2’ or send a stamped addressed envelope to: Sue Collins, 21 Manor Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0PL or e-mail to admin@]westcountrywriters.com Regrettably, the judges are unable to supply criticism of any entry, and no correspondence can be entered into concerning the result. All entries that arrive on time will be considered by the panel of adjudicators, whose decision is final. 45
  • 45. My Favourite... We asked Bridget Hodges to Share her favourite piece of literature, art, music and drama with us. Bridget is a writer, currently working on a novel based on a collection of wartime letters, and a founder member of the Shakespeare Aloud Group. Possession, by AS Byatt, has to be my all time favorite read. It is a beautifully crafted and complex story of a literary mystery, set in two different centuries and connected, ingeniously, through letters and journals. A marvelous mix of academic rivalry and romance, its multi layered plot works on every level as a critique of Victorian poetry, an incredibly moving love story and a wicked satire on the modern biography industry. It is the photographs, videos, sketches and sounds used in the work were recorded from the starlings roosting locally on the Somerset Levels. I am not generally a fan of conceptual art but this piece of work, some of which has been on display during Somerset Art Weeks, is both moving and beautiful. music when I’m writing, as it puts me in a calm and peaceful place. The piece that literally raises the hairs on the back of my neck and can move me to tears is Miserere Mei, Deus. Written by Allegri in the 1630s to be sung in the Sistine Chapel during Holy Week, it is the most beautiful example of a cappella choral work. Even more popular now than ever, it’s perfection reaches out across the centuries. My music tastes are so eclectic that making a single choice was really hard. However, I often listen to Renaissance a book that has inspired my own writing more than any other. A young local artist, whose work over the past two years has completely taken my breath away, inspires my art selection. Debbie Fieldhouse has just achieved a First Class BA(Hons) Fine Art degree at Somerset College of Arts and Technology. Her work involves a process of composing, which utilises rules and systems to create sonic events. Her current installation is based on the movement within a murmuration of starlings. All 46 Back to the present now, and I recently had the privilege to listen to the wonderful performance poet, Kate Tempest, who started out at the age of 16 rapping to strangers on buses. Ten years on, she is a published playwright and poet. I heard her performing Brand New Ancients, an hour-long spoken story told over a live orchestral score. It tells the tale of two families as they intertwine and collide, all set against the epic back drop of mythology and the city. Hailed by critics as the new Under Milkwood, it is a truly unforgettable performance.
  • 46. 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 brendonbooks@gmail.com www.brendonbooksonline.co.uk 47
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