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Day Of The Opening 14-5-14Upcoming exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery – Time Lapsed

A Medway artist will be showcasing her creative talents in the latest exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery.

Marissa Mardon – a painter from Rochester – will debut pictures of the historic town amongst a new display called ‘Time Lapsed’.

Mardon is known for her paintings of traditional landscapes using monochrome colours, but this exhibition shows an experimental side of the artist as she moves away from her usual style.

Many of the oil paintings will illustrate Medway’s rich history and reflect on the area’s ongoing regeneration.

Her canvases are bare in places, revealing visible pencil marks and brush strokes to show how a painting has developed over time – a fact that has helped inspire the name for this exhibition.

Visitors will also be able to watch a short film, capturing the process of Mardon’s work and how an image evolves from beginning to end.

Some of her pieces have been showcased at galleries throughout Britain and found homes across the world.

Also on display at the exhibition will be ceramics by two other artists. Imogen Noble will be presenting a selection of her crafted pots, rich in colour and inspired by natural patterns such as weathered stone and wood.

She will be joined by Raewyn Harrison, who will display her clay creations based on the themes of architecture, industry and tidal landscapes.

The artists’ work will be further complimented by historic objects loaned from the Rochester Guildhall Collection.

The exhibition will run from 28 March to the 1 June with a special preview on the 27 March between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Free Admission. Opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sundays, 10.30pm to 5pm

Burlesque63Red
Flushed with success, now entering its fourth fabulous year, the world’s original touring burlesque spectacular is about to hit town.

Officially Britain’s biggest burlesque extravaganza – a quarter of a million people have now seen this show – An Evening of Burlesque is responsible for exposing the cream of the West End of London’s thriving burlesque scene to the world. Not only has the ever-so-cheeky production revealed the secrets of the art of burlesque to delighted audiences across the UK, it has also thrilled theatregoers at the swishest venues throughout Europe as well.
From Milan to Zurich, St Petersburg to Minsk, Leipzig to Verona, Dresden to Riga, Padova to Dessau the reaction has been the same – absolutely incredible, says show producer Michael Taylor.

“Nothing is lost in translation,” says Michael. “An Evening of Burlesque’s content – sparkling glamour, physical humour and a dynamic score – are appreciated in any language.”
An Evening of Burlesque features corsets, killer heels and stockings aplenty – and that’s just the theatregoers who come to see the show!

“For a spectacle that sparkles from its elaborately-decorated headdresses to its immaculately varnished toes,” says Michael, “it might not come as a complete surprise that audiences are predominantly female. Also, we’re pleased to report that, with a prize for the best-dressed member of the audience, theatregoers revel in dressing up for the occasion.”
The show itself sparkles with couture costumes recalling the golden eras of burlesque. An Evening of Burlesque claims to be the most glamorous show on tour.

For over-18s only, it boasts that its success is built on a combination of sultry vocals, breathtaking choreography, mischief, magic, frivolity and fun.

“It’s all tease, no sleaze,” says Michael. “The show combines musical and theatrical parody, cutting-edge variety, magic, comedy and dance with the art of striptease.”

Michael says he is proud to be bringing variety back to the theatre, claiming An Evening of Burlesque is the slickest, wickedly wittiest, most delightfully choreographed cabaret spectacular of the year.

“Dress up and come to the cabaret,” he says.

DRESS TO IMPRESS – PRIZE FOR THE MOST GLAMOROUS MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE

Sparkling with couture costumes, featuring killer heels and stockings aplenty. . . no, we’re not talking about the burlesque all-star performers appearing in Britain’s hottest new theatre show sensation An Evening of Burlesque.

That’s a description of audiences for the glamorous production. Its combination of song, dance, mischief, magic, music, frivolity and fun has proved an unqualified hit with the ladies.

“Throughout the UK,” says show producer Michael Taylor, “at every venue, the fairer sex make up the majority of our audiences. “And the ladies just love dressing for the occasion.”

So much so, the production now offers a “burlesque-tastic” surprise prize for the best-dressed member of the audience on the night. The prize will be awarded by the show’s production manager, their decision being final.

“The show is an opportunity,” says Mike, “to forget about all your troubles for an evening and enjoy the thrills and spills of modern-day burlesque.

“Theatregoers completely immerse themselves in the evening’s entertainment.”
Michael says, as performers look out from the stage the auditorium is aglitter with the most dazzling outfits.

“As a consequence, the atmosphere at theatres is absolutely electric,” he says.

“We would like to reward the most glamorously-dressed person with a prize they’ll treasure forever.”

ENTERTAINERS, 200 LONDON ROAD, HADLEIGH, BENFLEET, ESSEX, SS7 2PD
Tel: 01702 427100 switchboard, 01702 427102 direct easytheatres.com

Oliver Twist Concert Poster (3)

Oliver Twist Cine Concert

A French school choir will perform two concerts in the Britannia Theatre, Dickens World in Chatham on Tuesday the 4th March. They will accompany a French version of the Frank Lloyd 1922 silent black and white film Oliver Twist, re-mastered by Lobster Films and with English sub titles. The choir is from Nevers near Bourges in central France. Their Choir Master Cyril Lohbrunner wrote the music and his wife the lyrics. The organisers would be particularly delighted for local schools to attend.

Members of the Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) will read from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist (in English) before each program. The Dickens Fellowship is one of the sponsors of the concert.

Performances are at 2pm in the afternoon and 7.30pm in the evening and tickets from the theatre in advance or on the door cost £4 per person.

For tickets or more information on events, please use the following contact information:

http://www.britanniatheatrechatham.co.uk

Box Office telephone Number – 0844 858 6656
Bookings/general enquiries: bookings@dickensworld.co.uk
Events Information: events@dickensworld.co.uk

chdtbeatlesIt’s Full Steam Ahead to The Historic Dockyard Chatham this Easter, as thousands plan to travel to one of the South East’s biggest and best events – The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport. Visitors to the Festival on Easter Sunday and Monday, 20th and 21st April, are in for a real treat this year as one of the South East’s favourite events gets bigger and better still!

The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport is back this year with an injection of even more music to complement the classic and vintage vehicles across the 80 acre site. Visitors will be treated to a variety of music on two main stages located within a historical setting.

The Victorian Warship HMS GANNET, No. 3 Slip and No. 1 Smithery will encapsulate the Folk and Blues Stage, surrounded by vehicles dating from 1901 to 1930 and Steam Traction Engines, where visitors will be entertained with lively and toe tapping folk and blues music.

Acts performing to the crowds include: Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs an ‘off the rails’ skiffle band, well known on the Glastonbury Festival scene, with their quirky and comedic act playing music with wash boards, soap boxes, banjos and guitars and CoCo and the Butterfields, provide something a little different. A five piece band with a unique fusion of folk, pop and hip hop or ‘Fip Fok’ they are not to be missed! Funke and the Two Tone Baby a talented multi-instrumentalist will entertain with his mechanical alt-blues music; Kentish band The Flowing play alternative and folk songs with a range of instruments; and performances from Larkspur with their mix of lively traditional and modern folk music, will ensure that visitors will not be disappointed.

The River Medway sets the scene for a second stage, backed by the beautiful Commissioner’s House. This Sixties and Rockabilly Stage will be flanked by vehicles from the 1960’s, hot rods, trucks and American vehicles and this area will have an American Diner feel to it where visitors can rock ‘n’ roll the weekend away!

Acts on this stage include: Scarlett Rae and the Cherry Reds who perform a fusion of blues, rockabilly and jazz; Like…The Beatles bringing visitors the most accurate and fun Beatles tribute act in the UK, take a trip down memory lane; making a welcome return Thee Waltons, a playful act with a unique blend of hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll; The Kick-Backs are a six piece rock, funk and soul band with sing-a-long covers; The Scalextrics are a new-wave punk rock band with hits from the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s; and performances from Leroy and the Rockets with impressive credits in the music industry, be entertained with a mix of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and blues.

With such an impressive festival line up set to come to the Medway Towns, visitors are being encouraged to buy their discounted tickets in advance to avoid the queues, to enjoy their music filled Easter weekend at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. For more information and tickets, go to www.thedockyard.co.uk/steamandtransport
chdtbutterfields

Statue of General Gordon (Ron Strutt) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Statue of General Gordon (Ron Strutt) / CC BY-SA 2.0

24th October, 7pm, Royal Engineers Museum

General ‘Chinese’ Gordon was one of the most famous figures of Victorian society and has been immortalised books, paintings and most notably the 1966 film ‘Khartoum’ where he was played by Charlton Heston. Read More

hrhprincemichaelHis Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham on Friday 4th October.

This private visit was made primarily to meet members of Chatham Historic Dockyard Volunteer Service (CHDVS) of which HRH Prince Michael has been patron for the past 15 years. His last visit to the dockyard was in 2008 when he opened the newly refurbished Victorian Ropery gallery. Read More

harlequin CD coverThe Rude Mechanical Theatre Company this week release the long-awaited soundtrack album from their 2013 summer production ‘Harlequin Goes to the Moon’. Recorded live by the cast at the company’s Peppe Nappa Studio in Eastbourne during the tour which featured over forty shows covering East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and Devon, “I Want, I Want!” provides a permanent reminder of one of their most successful tours since they started to produce original plays in 2002. Read More

Jessie Brennan portrait © Chris Dorley-Brown

Jessie Brennan portrait © Chris Dorley-Brown

A new exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery this month, ‘Adrift on Life’s Tides’, is inspired by the River Medway’s heritage and will see the first public view of a new work by the award winning London based artist Jessie Brennan.

The exhibition also includes one of the artist’s most famous works The Cut which won Second Prize in the Jerwood Drawing Prize, 2011, more recently this piece won Contemporary Talents 2012 (Drawing Category), François Schneider Foundation, France. Read More

Copyroght Kennard Phillipps

Copyright Kennard Phillipps

Major New Exhibition, 12 October 2013 – 23 February 2014, IWM North Special Exhibitions Gallery, Free Entry, Donations Welcome.

IWM holds an unrivalled collection of twentieth and twenty-first century British art. Now, IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, in Manchester is presenting the first major exhibition of IWM’s collection of contemporary art produced since the First Gulf War – placing more than 20 years of work by over 40 artists in this national collection on public display together for the first time. Read More

Press5After last year’s success, The Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back with a new and vibrant Classical Ballet, The Nutcracker – a family orientated production with the Fairy Tale element and some added glitz from the beautiful costumes.

There will be no surprise to any that this production will be of the most delicate, intimate and powerful kind. This Company is known for its attention to details and, more particularly, for its dramatization in dance of the tragedy and beauty that this ballet is known for.

Join us for an unforgettable journey in the run-up to Christmas and be part of the magic as it unfolds. Read More

listening to treesIf you’ve ever felt like branching out and having a new experience Medway Council could have the answer for you later this month.

A new art installation will give people the chance to listen to the inner workings of trees.

To get to the root of it – how does it work?

Artist Alex Metcalf uses special high performance microphones to record the sounds from inside the tree as water is pulled up from the roots to the leaves. Read More

ORIGINAL 244a Fiona

For the first time ever at any event, Salute to the ‘40s has three of the leading 1940’s female performers together on one stage. With two Main Stages, two dancehalls, dance workshops, street performers and music across the site the weekend at The Historic Dockyard is going to be full of entertaining vintage delight! Keep Calm and Carry On to Salute to the ‘40s on 21st and 22nd September at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Read More

kitesLook to the skies this month for Medway’s highest flying festival. Capstone Festival – Kites ’n’ Bikes takes place 11am to 4pm on Sunday, 22 September at Capstone Farm Country Park, Capstone Road, Gillingham.

The event is a celebration of natural power. Expect jaw dropping bike stunts by cycling display team MAD UK and acrobatic displays of aerial amazement, courtesy of some of the region’s leading kite clubs. Expect the unusual with The Ape Project showing off its collection of wacky bikes, trikes, scooters and cycles all of which defy convention plus tandem trike powered spin painting. Read More

 © Copyright Malc McDonald and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright Malc McDonald and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Eastgate House, a treasured 16th century townhouse in the heart of historic Rochester will be open to the public throughout Heritage Open Days, from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 September.

This will be the final opportunity for visitors to see the whole house before work begins on a heritage lottery funded project to transform the house into an exhibition and community space. Read More

hay wainThe life and times of two of Britain’s most famous artists will be revealed in a talk at Chatham Library, Chatham Community Hub next week. (Sept 5)

‘The Essential English Landscape’ highlights the importance of Turner and Constable in the history of the country’s art.

Martin Heard is one of Kent’s most popular speakers on art and brings to life the role of both painters.

J.M.W (John Mallord William) Turner went to the Royal Academy at the age of 14 and held his first exhibition there at the age of 15. He quickly became one of England’s foremost Romantic artists and almost single handedly established the country’s reputation for landscape and maritime art . He is known throughout the world for his links to Kent and for the influence the county had on his art.

John Constable was a contemporary and rival of Turner’s but during his lifetime did not achieve the same popularity in England, although his work was much in demand in France. However after his death his landcapes achieved wider acclaim at home.

The talk takes place at Chatham Library, Chatham Community Hub on Thursday September 5th at 7.30pm. Entry is free but booking is essential. Places can be reserved by ringing 01634 337799

mural 2For the past fortnight dozens of volunteers have been hard at work transforming part of Chatham town centre into a work of art – with the finished work set to be revealed this weekend. More

Art Festival highlights are as follows:

A Day at the Sea

Children’s day 21st August Wednesday 21st August starting at 9.30 and finishing at 3 pm. Children’s Craft and fun day in and around St Nicholas Church at Southfleet for 5 – 11 year olds. First child £5, brothers and sisters £3 each. Booking and further details from Rose 01474 322807 Much More

An exciting programme of summer fun events is taking place at Strood Youth Centre throughout August. All the activities are free and aimed at eight to 19 year olds.

Climbing – Monday, 5 August 3pm – 6pm

Archery – Tuesday, 6 and Tuesday, 20 August 3pm – 6pm

Trampolining – Wednesday, 7 August 3pm – 6pm

Cake decorating – Tuesday, 6, Wednesday, 7 and Monday, 12 August 3– 6pm

Jewellery making – Monday, 12 and Tuesday, 13 August 3pm – 6pm

Wet and Wild (water fights, slides and play) – Wednesday, 14 August 3pm – 6pm

Inflatable activity fun (gladiator style challenge) – Monday, 19 and Wednesday, 21 August 3pm – 6pm

All the workshops listed above take place at Strood Youth Centre, Montfort Road, Strood, ME2 3ET

1 – 15 August, Charlton Football Club will be running a summer slam football activity week from 10am – 4pm each day in Northcote Rec, Northcote Road, Strood. For more details about any of the activities and workshops, phone 07789 988165 or email patricia.houssein@medway.gov.uk

Krause006Free Family Printmaking workshops
Sunday, 11 August
10.30am – 12.30pm
1.30 – 3.30pm
Rochester Art Gallery, 95 High Street, Rochester (inside the Visitor Information Centre)
Families are invited to come along and try their hand at a range of fun and simple print making techniques as part of the Rochester Art Gallery’s exhibition ‘The Illustrators Art – Prints from London Print Studio’.

The free workshops will be led by artists from Medway Fine Printmakers. The exhibition features a range of work by five artists and includes pop-up books, and amusing prints of animals that families will love – can you spot the dog riding a donkey, a sausage fight or a rabbit with an egg?

The sessions are suitable for accompanied children aged 7 plus, and are free but must be pre-booked by calling Medway Council’s Arts Team on 01634 338319 or emailing arts@medway.gov.uk

RC Art Gallery Matthew PagettRochester Art Gallery and Craft Case

26 July – 5 October 2013

The Illustrator’s Art

Prints by Andrzej Krauze, Lynn Hatzius and Matthew Pagett
Craft Case – Books by Kaho Kojima and Chisato Tambayashi

The Illustrator’s Art celebrates the work of three very different artists: Andrzej Krauze, Lynn Hatzius and Matthew Pagett, who all work as fine artists and illustrators and explores the influence of narrative and figurative expression transferred from illustration to fine art through printmaking. More

wildlife7oaks2The only annual event in Kent to celebrate the wonderful world of wildlife. This FREE family fun event, now in its 6th year, will be jam packed with interactive activities including bug hunting, small mammal searches, live music, traditional folk dancing and our popular guided walks. There will be opportunities to participate in creative, environmentally aware workshops and demonstrations that share traditional values and you will go home having learnt a little bit more about your natural environment and the wildlife of Kent. More

Artistic portrait with textured background, bearded man with VenGB Theatre Company will be returning to Arundel Castle from 22-24 August for three enchanted evenings of outdoor Shakespearean performances as part of the Arundel Festival.

Hosted in the unique setting of the Castle’s immaculate Collector Earl’s Garden, GB Theatre Company will be performing two of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies against a floodlit castle backdrop.

This year’s audiences can enjoy alfresco performances of The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a particularly apt setting, as Castle Manager Bryan McDonald explains: More

The Russian Artists return to the Galleries for our Summer Exhibition. From sensitive and enigmatic to iconically quirky, the excitingly diverse range of paintings lift the soul and excite the senses.

The Artists of Russia exhibition runs from 21st June to 3rd August 2013. Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.30pm with a special Sunday opening on 23rd June 11am to 4pm
104 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 01634 843081

Glyndebourne has today launched its first national art competition inviting talented and aspiring young artists from across the UK to design the cover of its 2013 Tour Programme. The winning artist will see their artwork grace the cover of 10,000 copies of the Glyndebourne Tour Programme and be exhibited at Glyndebourne and participating gallery spaces this autumn. Read the rest of this entry »

A community project is set to transform part of Chatham town centre into a work of art.
Artists are being invited by Medway Council to submit ideas for a colourful mural that will cover a stretch of wall next door to the High Street Homestyle store. The deadline for applications passes on Tuesday, 7 May with work set to start in July.
The project has a working title of ‘Chatham, past, present and future’ with the winning artist working closely with community groups and local schools to complete the work. The site is owned by Emmaus Church based in nearby Clover Street.

It is one of a number of initiatives the council is undertaking to support Medway’s High Streets, not least providing some of the cheapest car parking charges in Kent.
Plans to develop new shops and housing at Chatham Waterfront, ongoing environmental improvements and the transformation of buildings at Sun Pier into a new hub for creative businesses – will further help to regenerate the area.

Festivals like Fuse and the River Festival, back on Saturday, 6 July for its second year, have helped to give more reasons to visit what remains Medway’s biggest shopping destination.

Robin Cooper, Medway Council’s Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture said: “This project will transform the appearance of this part of the High Street for shoppers and visitors alike and produce a work that the whole community can be proud of.

“The artist chosen to create this mural will be expected to involve local groups and schools from the start, including students from the Bishop of Rochester Academy, St John Fisher Catholic School, the Emmaus Church and Medway’s Older People’s Partnership
“That will include everything from workshops discussing the initial concepts to producing the final work.”

The commission is part of the council’s Developing Neighbourhoods Approach (DNA) project, part funded through the European Regional Development fund.

Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

An exhibition of the ultimate expeditions of both Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton – charted through the words, photographs and artefacts of those who survived and those who perished in this most hostile of environments – is being shown at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery from 24 May until 30 August. This exhibition is in association with The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with artefacts from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Royal Museums Greenwich and Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive. More

Registration for the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival closes on Friday 26 April. All artists and makers from the Medway area are being urged to sign up quickly and avoid missing out on being a part of this creative festival.

Now in its second year, the arts festival has increased by 100% since its launch in July 2012. This summer, 30 venues will be displaying work by more than 100 local artists and students, making it the largest independent art festival in Medway.

To encourage more artists to sign up a Makers Market option has been introduced, offering pitches inside the new emerging art venue, Sun Pier House. The art market will be open over the weekends of the festival, with various products and crafts on sale. Apply before Friday 26 April to book your place.

The festival runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013. For more information please visit http://www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk

Art collective Invisible Flock would like you to join them for a conversation and they would also like you to bring something. Not a bottle or a picnic, a friend – or even the noise. They simply want you to Bring the Happy.

Bring the Happy is a new, nationwide project – part public art, part installation, part performance – with, at its heart, an attempt to map the happiness of the UK. Basically, it revolves around a simple idea – asking people to place a moment of happiness onto a map of their town or city; from the uncomplicated to the life-changing, the bitter sweet nostalgia of the elderly to stories of stolen first kisses by teenagers. More

A recent, three month pop-up art studio for adults with learning disabilities in Rochester High Street funded by the Arts Council, is now drawing to a close. Our finale will be an evening launch to show the work that has been made, entitled ‘Art About: Sharing the Love’ at 7pm on Friday the 12th of April (all welcome) followed by an open studio exhibition from the 13th-18th of April from 10-3pm each day.

The evening event on the 12th will also benefit from the neighbouring professional artists studios being open. The Coalshed Press and Printed Wonders spaces will enable visitors to see inside working artists spaces and purchase affordable art. Art About is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and is run by the lead artists Helen Morley and Wendy Daws. The purpose of this project is to provide excellent contemporary Fine Art opportunities to adults who are excluded from mainstream higher
education, for reasons of disability or disadvantage. The majority of our participants are adults with moderate to complex learning disabilities; however our focus is on developing the artist, their art and their abilities, rather than disability.

The studio and exhibition venue is at Boundary Wharf behind Café Moroc and is in the heart of a growing, grass roots arts scene in the area. Each day the artists have been exploring a diverse and demanding set of skills such as experimental printmaking and painting, plaster and sand casting, sculpture and conceptual construction, drawing and sensory workshops. The lead artists have worked with them in a collaborative and highly experimental way, supporting the individual to find their own expressive creative voice where a common question asked has been ‘what happens if….?’ The studio has achieved a very high standard in a short time as our ambitions were considerable. This has been a successful test as an experimental laboratory where people have been deeply challenged in a safe and fun place where all ideas are welcome. More

A new, three month pop-up art studio for adults with learning disabilities in Rochester High Street funded by the Arts Council, is about to open.

Art About is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and is run by the lead artists Helen Morley and Wendy Daws. The purpose of this project is to provide excellent contemporary Fine Art opportunities to adults who are excluded from mainstream higher education, for reasons of disability or disadvantage. The focus is on developing the artist, their art and their abilities, rather than disability. More

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