Friday, 28 March 2014

Winter's Tale (ballet)

I absolutely adore +Royal Opera House's Alice In Wonderland production which was Christopher Wheeldon's debut full-length ballet for the Company. Now he is continuing his hugely successful collaboration with designer Bob Crowley and composer Joby Talbot to create his first ballet based on a Shakespeare play, The Winter's Tale, and we've already got our tickets! The production is due to star Lauren Cuthbertson and Steve McRae who I remember were Alice and The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, as well as Edward Watson, Federico Bonelli, Zenaida Yanowsky and Sarah Lamb.

The Bard's late romance certainly presents plenty of intensely emotional material ripe for interpretation as a ballet. Its story takes in marital destruction through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child, and seemingly hopeless love. Yet despite the tone of remorse and regret, the uplifting comic ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation after a statue comes miraculously to life!

+Cineworld Cinemas, Mon 28th Apr, 19:15.
Tickets £17.90, £14.20 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Jeune et jolie (film)

The Eastbourne Film Society mini-season presentation at the beginning of April is to be a French film, Jeune et Jolie (Young and Beautiful). The 2013 French drama film was directed by Francois Ozon and produced by Eric and Nicolas Altmayer. It has an 18 certificate.

Marine Vacth stars as a young girl named Isabelle who, at the start of the film, is on holiday for the summer with her family in the south of France. In a brief holiday fling, she loses her virginity to a German boy, Felix (Lucas Prisor), but finds the experience to be much less than she had been expecting. Come the autumn, Isabelle has morphed into Lea, a prostitute, and is using this work to explore her sexuality. She has several regular clients including an older man named Georges. When Georges dies of a heart attack while with 'Lea', she quickly leaves the scene and is scared into giving up her secret life. However, the police eventually track her down and tell her mother what has happened.

Curzon Cinema, Wed 2nd April, 14:00, 17:30, 20:15.
Tickets £6.80, concessions £4.80, available by calling 01323 731441 or in person from the Box Office (15:00 to 19:00) daily.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cosi Fan Tutte (opera)

A fresh, vibrant young cast stars in The Met Opera's lively production of Mozart's celebrated opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, which will be screened at Eastbourne's Cineworld towards the end of April. Music director James Levine - famed for his work with the likes of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic - makes his long-awaited return to the podium to conduct and Lesley Koenig's inventive staging brings Mozart's beloved masterwork to life.

Officers Ferrando (Matthew Polanzani) and Guglielmo (Rodion Pogossov) are devoted to their sweethearts - sisters Dorabella (Isabel Leonard) and Fiordiligi (Susanna Phillips). But cynical older gentleman Don Alfonso believes that all women are inherently unfaithful. In order to prove his theory, he makes a crafty wager that he can expose Dorabella and Fiordiligi's true natures. Amused, Ferrando and Guglielmo agree to the wager.

Cineworld, Sat 26th Apr, 17:55.
Tickets £17.90 adults, £14.20 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Purple Zeppelin (music)

Purple Zeppelin 
The ultimate rock tribute show is heading to Eastbourne's Congress Theatre at the beginning of April for a full-on two and a half hours of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin music. Whether you were lucky enough to have seen the originals live or not, Purple Zeppelin will take you back to the magic, the excitement and the sheer raw energy generated by those incredible musicians. This is the tribute band's first time playing to an Eastbourne audience and they tweeted that they're looking forward to the visit.

John, Mark, Mike and Alex are genuine admirers of both Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and will play more than thirty of both bands' classic songs. They describe their concert as 'basically the best bits, all of the time'. Expect costume changes for each band plus Ritchie Blackmore’s Lute, Jimmy Page’s twin neck Guitar and Theremin, and a very special Violin Bow Solo!

Congress Theatre, Thu 3rd Apr, 19:30.
Tickets £19.50, concessions £17.50, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Eastbourne Theatres Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Return (musical theatre)

An almost last minute call for the brand new Pocket Size Theatre show which will be staged at the Crown And Anchor both tomorrow evening and Saturday evening (21st and 22nd March). The evening of contemporary musical theatre promises to include two hours of songs from the popular Pocket Size cast and I am told that tickets have been selling well so it's probably best to email or phone ahead to check availability. Contact details are on the poster below:


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Painting Animals in Pastels workshop (art)

I spotted on the Gallery North blog yesterday that local artist Josie Tipler has another of her popular workshops planned to take place at the Gallery very soon. 

Painting Animals in Pastels is scheduled for Monday the 24th of March and will last three hours from 14:00 until 17:00. This workshop is suitable for beginners and those wishing to try pastels as a new medium and the fee is £15 to include some materials. Please call Josie (01323 485153) to check what you need to bring and also to book your place in advance – the workshop will only run if there are sufficient numbers.

Josie's work on the wall at Gallery North

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Lighthouse Keeper's Cat (theatre)


We saw the fantastic Rude Mechanicals show, The Dressing Book, in 2012 and I heard wonderful reports of their 2013 production, Harlequin Goes To The Moon. Now they are returning to the Under Ground Theatre for one-afternoon-only with a funny, family show of the Ronda and David Armitage book, The Lighthouse Keeper's Cat. The production features their trademark slapstick and commedia dell'arte and this performance will be the World Premiere of the play!


Mr and Mrs Grinling’s cat, Hamish, thinks he’s unloved because he overhears them say he’s too plump and well fed to catch the lighthouse mice, so he runs away. He meets lots of very scary things – like cows and bicycles and screaming babies. As a storm begins he sadly looks out to sea where he sees the lighthouse beam flashing and wishes he were home in Mr Grinling’s cosy white cottage on the cliffs, but how will he escape? Will he ever eat Mrs Grinling’s delicious star-gazy pie again?

Under Ground Theatre, Mon 7th Apr, 14:00.
Tickets £6.50, £5.50 concessions, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926, or in person from Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre and the Under Ground Theatre.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Moby Dick (film)

As part of the Sovereign Seas International Maritime Folk Festival weekend Eastbourne's Under Ground Theatre will be screening the classic 1956 film, Moby Dick at as its Sunday matinee film on the 6th April.

Moby Dick is based on Hermann Melville’s famous 19th century novel about one man’s dark obsession to kill a whale that mutilated him on a previous voyage. Ishmael (Richard Baseheart), a wandering sailor boards the Pequod, a whaling vessel commanded by Captain Ahab (Gregory Peck). Ishmael and the crew soon learn the true purpose of the voyage and as Ahab’s bitterness spreads; the crew manically join their captain in the final, fatal attack.

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


Friday, 14 March 2014

Growing Up With Paul (talk)

Another Spyboy presentation for today's blog - this one an intimate and illuminating talk by Paul McCartney’s brother, Mike McGear. 

McGear's show, Growing Up With Paul will be on at the Underground Theatre, Eastbourne on Sunday 13th April. Mike will talk his audience through his family album, with wonderful and humorous stories of Liverpool life from childhood to entering showbiz, when because of Beatlemania, he had to change his name to McGear. Hear about his time with Roger McGough and the Scaffold, how Rod Stewart woke his relatives and how Jimi Hendrix became Mike's backing musician! Learn why George Harrison pinched Joe Brown's guitar! And why Billy Connolly had to separate Mike from Michael Parkinson?

Under Ground Theatre, Sun 13th Apr, 19:30.
Tickets £17.50 and ONLY available by calling Hailsham Pavilion on 01323 841414.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Fay Hield (music)

At Hailsham Pavilion next month we can look forward to an evening of folk music from Fay Hield and her band The Hurricane Party. This event is a Spyboy promotion.

Leading proponents of traditional song and tunes, their material is fresh and original, yet rooted in centuries old tradition. Fay’s rich, unadorned voice fronts a stellar band, The Hurricane Party, that includes musicians from the elite of the English folk music establishment, including Bellowhead’s Sam Sweeney, Remnant King’s Rob Harbron, acclaimed accordionist Andy Cutting, and the legendary Roger Wilson on fiddle and guitar. 

Fay Hield is very excited to have won two awards at the recent BBC Folk Awards - Best Group and Best Album for The Full English. The Full English also played at the Albert Hall ceremony.

Hailsham Pavilion, Sat 12th Apr, 19:30.
Tickets £18.50, available online or by calling 01323 841414.




Monday, 10 March 2014

Black Coffee (theatre)

A staple of Monday mornings, we've probably all had too much coffee already today! However, Black Coffee, the play, begins a week long run at Eastbourne's Devonshire Park Theatre this evening. Agatha Christie's very first play introduced the character of the Belgian detective, Poirot and he will be portrayed by the fantastic actor Robert Powell. The production is courtesy of the Agatha Christie Theatre Company who visited Eastbourne last year with Go Back For Murder.

A quintessential English country estate is thrown into chaos following the murder of eccentric inventor Sir Claud Amory, and the theft of his new earth shattering formula. Arriving at the estate just moments too late, one man immediately senses a potent brew of despair, treachery, and deception amid the estate’s occupants. That man is Hercule Poirot.

No stranger to 'police work', Robert Powell starred alongside Jasper Carrott in the 1990s spoof, The Detectives. He is also a serious actor having received multiple awards and a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of ‘Jesus’ in Franco Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth. His extensive stage performances include roles in the national tours of Alan Bennett’s Single Spies and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Mon 10th to Sat 15th Mar, 19:45.
Wed and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Marco Spada (ballet)

It was during an interval at the Bolshoi Ballet's production of Lost Illusions that I saw a trailer announcing that there would be a change of performance at the end of March. Instead of the previously advertised Golden Age, the Sunday matinee screening would now be Marco Spada. 

Nineteenth century French composer Daniel Fran├žois Esprit Auber's rarely performed ballet in three acts has been recreated specially for the Bolshoi by choreographer Pierre Lacotte. This glorious production is both technically and dramatically demanding. It features complex choreography, lead roles created for each of the five principals, several changes in scenery, and the participation of nearly all the Corps de Ballet. Directed by Alexei Bogorad, the running time is 170 minutes.

Although no one has ever seen him, the misdeeds of bandit Marco Spada are notorious. Even his lovely daughter, Angela, has no idea of Spada's secret double life. He's raised her in his castle lair, while conducting his brazen plundering right under the nose of the Governor. Angela, meanwhile, has become romantically obsessed with Prince Frederici. But she's distraught to learn that he is already betrothed to Marchesa Sampietri - the Governor's daughter! 

Cineworld, Sun 30th Mar, 16:00.
Tickets £17.90, concessions £14.20, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Singin In The Rain (musical theatre)

The big spring musical for the Congress Theatre this year is to be Singin In The Rain, The professional show will star stage and screen leading man Maxwell Caulfield as studio boss R.F. Simpson, Coronation Street favourite Vicky Binns as starlet Lina Lamont, James Leece as Don Lockwood, and Amy Ellen Richardson as Kathy Selden. They're all going to have to work hard to outdo the previous Rattonians performance though!

Don Lockwood is a silent movie star with everything he could want - fame, adulation and a well-publicised ‘romance’ with his co-star Lina Lamont. But Hollywood is about to change forever. There is rumour in the studio of a new kind of film, where the actors actually talk…and sing...and dance. Can Don and the uniquely voiced Lina make the transition and will chorus girl Kathy Selden fulfil her dream of stardom and capture Don’s heart along the way?

Congress Theatre, Tue 8th to Sat 19th April 2014 (not Sun 13th), 19:30.
Thu and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Friday, 7 March 2014

West Side Story (film)

After the screening of Hairspray, the next fun film party at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre will be my Dave's favourite musical, West Side Story. The classic based its storyline on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, transporting the doomed lovers from Italy to 1950s America. The music was composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

The original Broadway production in 1957 was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. He struck on the idea of keeping the dancers playing the Jets and the Sharks apart throughout rehearsals so that they began to develop their own gang mentalities. I remember friends being involved with an amateur production in Sussex several years ago now where the same divisions happened naturally during the rehearsal process.

The West Side Story film was based on the stage show and has a stellar cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten, including the Best Picture. Famous songs include I Feel Pretty, America, Somewhere, A Boy Like That and the funny Officer Krupke.

Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Sat 22nd Mar, 19:30.
Tickets £12, concessions £10, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Box Office.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Clannad and Mary Black (music)

March 2014 will see two of Ireland’s musical icons share the stage in a special tour that will be sure to delight fans of both artists. Performing both separate sets and together in 15 dates across the UK, this unique concert is one not to be missed and we have one-night-only in Eastbourne at the Congress Theatre!

Clannad, the Irish family group responsible for such timeless music as ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, ‘In A Lifetime’ and ‘I Will Find You’, recently celebrated their 40th career anniversary. Their music entwines the traditional and the modern, past and future with stunningly beautiful results. With their haunting songs, mesmerizing vocals and captivating sound the group has sold over fifteen million records worldwide. They have also completed recording their first studio album in fifteen years. Scheduled for release in September 2013, Nadur will be the first to feature all five members since Past Present (1989).

For over a quarter-century, singer Mary Black has been a dominant presence in Irish music, both at home and abroad. Mary has released eleven studio albums all of which achieved platinum sales status and spawned countless hits. Her enduring success has proven that her depth of talent and her love of singing transcend the generations, as well as national and musical boundaries too. She is considered to be a real Irish treasure.

Congress Theatre, Fri 21st Mar, 19:30.
Tickets £29.50, £33.50, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person from the Box Office and Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

La Boheme (opera)

Dave and I went to see the Royal Opera House screening of La Boheme back in December 2012 - my first 'proper' opera and I thought it was wonderful! Now the Met Opera's production is set to be screened at Cineworld in Sovereign Harbour at the beginning of April.

One of the most famous operas of all time, La Boheme is a swooning tale of young romance that eventually culminates in tragedy. When poet Rodolfo (Vittorio Grigolo) sets eyes on the beautiful Mimi (Anita Hartig), it's love at first sight. But as Mimi becomes sick and Rodolfo becomes increasingly jealous, the couple seemed destined to remain apart.

Oscar-nominated film director Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo and Juliet) first staged his dazzling production of La Boheme at The Met in 1981. Now his sumptuous and lush vision returns to once again captivate audiences. Soprano Anita Hartig reprises her role as Mimi alongside Italian operatic tenor Vittorio Grigolo playing the passionate Rodolfo. Stefano Ranzani conducts.

Cineworld, Sat 5th Apr, 17:55.
Tickets £17.90 adults, £14.20 concessions, available online, by calling 0871 200 2000, or in person from the foyer.


Monday, 3 March 2014

Before It Rains (theatre)

Before It Rains by Katherine Chandler is the next play in Eastbourne from the acclaimed Green Room Productions company. It will be performed at the Under Ground Theatre at the end of this month.

On a hard-bitten, back woods Cardiff estate... Vodka-sloshing single mum Gloria sinks into a deckchair and drinks her troubles away. Her gentle son, Michael, gamely ploughs the allotment, tends to the soil, and tries to make order of things. From the other side of the tracks, Carl – wild, unpredictable and footloose – watches both with interest, bouncing his ball. And then a cat gets nailed to a neighbour’s door. Funny, brave and beautifully told, Katherine Chandler’s tale of parenthood, protection and provocation looks at how we all develop our own ways of coping with the world, our craving for companionship and the consequences of having either threatened.

Katherine Chandler won the Writers Guild Playwright award at the Theatre Critics of Wales Awards for 'Before it Rains'. The play is considered suitable for audiences aged 12 and over as it does contain some strong language.

Under Ground Theatre, Wed 26th to Fri 28th Mar, 19:30.
Tickets £11, students and UGT members £9, available online, by calling 0845 680 1926 or in person from Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre and the Under Ground Theatre.