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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

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HMD Poster FINALA holocaust survivor will recall the horrors of fleeing Nazi Germany during a special event at Rochester Cathedral.

Susi Bechhofer, who wrote a moving book of her experience, is expected to talk about how she fled Germany at the age of three and and how it took her almost 50 years to learn that her mother had died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, in Poland, in the Second World War.

Susi’s account is part of an event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at the cathedral on Monday, January 27, at 6pm.

Medway schools have been busy preparing for the event and there will be readings, poetry, drama, music, exhibits and prayers by pupils.

Pupils will also reflect on more recent genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia and Bosnia, focusing on the current problems in South Sudan.

In addition to the Memorial Day, there will be an exhibition of artwork at Rochester Guildhall produced by schools and Mid Kent College students.

A Peace Wall has also been created where individuals will be able to pledge what they can do to make the world a better place.

Members of the Medway Youth Parliament will be taking the Peace Wall to the Pentagon Centre in Chatham on January 25 and it will be at the cathedral on the day of the service, which this year has the theme of ‘Journeys’.

Holocaust Memorial Day is being supported by Medway Council, Rochester Cathedral, Medway Youth Parliament, Chatham Memorial Synagogue and Medway Inter Faith Action.

For press enquiries and confirm a place at the Memorial Day call Canon Philip Hesketh from Rochester Cathedral on 01634 843366 or email bookings@rochestercathedral.org

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

imagine theatreYoungsters from Gravesend and nearby areas who have that extra special star quality are being encouraged to come along to the The Woodville and audition for the Christmas pantomime! More

Woodville Theatre for Youth created their very own make believe chocolate factory at the Woodville last week.

The 23 young people, most of whom had never met, were given a short script and tasked to come up with ideas on how to condense Charlie and the chocolate factory into a 20 minute performance, where everyone in the group could be involved. More

edna – energise dance nourish art is a distinctive dance, arts, health and well being project especially designed for older adults aged 55+ years. It will pilot a creative dance/movement, arts and science research based activity that will happen in two community settings in Medway and Gravesham. 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

RichardIII-blogpostTwo Medway pupils will be treading the boards this summer with a professional theatre company. Kent-based Changeling Theatre Company open-air tour of Richard III comes to Rochester Castle on 10 July and Upnor on 31 July and 1 August.

Ashley Stevens and Jacob Clarke are playing the princes in the tower at the Rochester and Upnor performances after successfully auditioning earlier this year. Ashley, who turns 16 next month, lives in Lordswood and has just completed his GCSEs, including drama. He is looking forward to performing in Medway with all the cast. He said: “I’m not sure acting is something I want to pursue because at the moment I need to concentrate on my A’ Levels studies – including drama. I’m really grateful to Changeling Theatre Company for giving me this opportunity. More

Three Towns Theatre Company will be putting on Cinderella and rehearsals are well under way, with tickets going on sale shortly. Check their website for details by clicking HERE

cinderella-web

More than 200 artists across 32 venues will be opening their doors this July as part of the Medway Open Studios & Arts Festival. Spread across Lower Higham, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham, the annual Festival is the largest art trail of its kind in the area. 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

Two Brook Youth Theatre performers in a previous production.

Two Brook Youth Theatre performers in a previous production.

Wannabe young actors can learn the tricks of the trade and take the first step on the performing arts career ladder thanks to The Brook Youth Theatre. Run by Play on Words theatre company, place are now booking on the new 10-week summer term, which starts on Wednesday 17 April.

Aimed at 13-18 year olds, the workshops will give young people the opportunity to work with industry professionals, develop drama skills and introduce them to important theatrical practitioners, writers and styles of theatre.

The workshops will include improvisation, scripted drama, songs, movement, devising short theatrical pieces, as well as working towards performances at the Dickens Festival and a Young People’s Performing Arts Gala Evening on Saturday, 6 July. The group meets at The Brook Theatre, Chatham, from 17 April to 26 June, from 7-9pm. The course is £44 and places can be booked from 23 March through the theatres box office on 01634 338338. More

4 February was the 30th anniversary of Karen Carpenters Death. On the 28 February Carole Gordon, with the Blue Jeans Band and Singers will be performing at the Woodville Halls Gravesend, paying tribute to Karen Carpenter with their show “Voice of the Heart” Karen Carpenter – A musical memory with tracks from The Carpenters. Box Office 01474 337774

‘Throwing Snowballs On The Thames’ is just one of the works painted by artist Chris Billington especially for the Blake Gallery at The Woodville, Gravesend.

There are 22 paintings in the exhibition that embrace the colours of Christmas including the titles ‘Oh Christmas Tree’, ‘Christmas Under The Clock Tower, Gravesham’ and We Three Cosmic Kings’

Cornwall based abstract artist Chris Billington said ‘To be invited to paint for this exhibition and to return to Gravesend for the first time in 40 years, has been an absolute delight for me . Through these paintings I have rediscovered my love for the area and there is a strong element of Kent in a lot of the work.’

The Colours Of Christmas exhibition will be on show until the 28 December 2012

Entrance to the Blake Gallery is Free.

The Little Lost Frog and the Christmas Wish: The Brook Theatre, Chatham, Saturday, 15 December to Saturday, 5 January 2013
The Little Lost Frog and the Christmas Wish is this year’s Christmas show at the Brook Theatre, Chatham.
Designed specifically for three to six year olds, the promenade performance takes the audience on an interactive journey through magical lands as the audience help the Little Lost Frog find his way back home.
Featuring large scale interactive sets, a multisensory tunnel, puppetry, new music, animation, contemporary dance and smell design, the show is the third annual joint Christmas production by three resident creative companies at the Brook Theatre – Icon Theatre, Loop Dance and Play on Words Theatre.
Previous years have been very successful, and with annual audiences figures of more than 4,000, it’s becoming something of a festive must-do for families with 3-6 year old children.
‘Lovely theatre… No wonder the children were so entranced. If I see a children’s Christmas show this year with more charm and originality, I shall be very surprised.’
The Stage review of The Mouse Who Saved Christmas (Christmas 2010).

Cast

The Christmas Wish: Nina Atkinson
Cookie & ensemble: Natalie Bond
The Little Lost Frog: Mark Conway
Mrs Cupcake, the Christmas Sprite & ensemble: Miriam Cooper
Miriam Cooper has just finished in Bravo 22’s award winning production of The Two Worlds of Charlie F (‘Stark and powerfully affecting’ – Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph) and work has also included Playing with Fire (Young Vic), The Ghost Train (Bristol Old Vic). Mark Conway recently starred in the Southwark Playhouse’s Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World – Time Out Critic’s Choice.

Creative team

Animations: Reza Ben Gajra (Barbican, Framed Film Festival).
Set design: Irina Borisova (The Doll’s House, Arcola Theatre & The Space. ‘Beautiful spatial awareness… with dream-like signs and symbols’ – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian).
Costume design: Emma Thatcher
Composer & arranger: Darren Clark (Jackson’s Lane, The Pegasus Theatre, Wilton’s Music Hall, Royal National Theatre and BBC)
Director: Nancy Hirst (Release, Pleasance Edinburgh & UK Tour, Fringe First Winner 2011. ‘A sharp, impeccably performed and blazingly impassioned piece of theatre… simply terrific’ – The Times)

Production companies

Icon Theatre is an award winning, national touring company producing innovative visual and physical theatre. Working with diverse collaborators from different backgrounds, each of their shows generates a unique combination of theatrical techniques, blurring the boundaries between movement, text, film, dance, mask, mime, music and puppetry. Their most recent show ‘Release’ won a Fringe First Award 2011 and was shortlisted for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award and the Brighton Festival Fringe Emerging Talent Awards. Reviews of their work include:

‘Icon Theatre has created one of the most compelling and theatrically effective pieces of storytelling on the Fringe’ The Scotsman
‘Icon has achieved something remarkable… this is a theatrical treat.’ The Stage
‘Stellar high energy, gritty performances, strikingly staged… a moving, forceful production’ **** British Theatre Guide

Play on Words formed in 1990 and has produced: Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer (2001-12), touring Ireland, UK, Australia, USA, and winner of a Fringe First Award, Pick of the Fringe – Best Solo Show Award (Sunday Times), Best Solo Performance Award (New York International Fringe Festival), and Best Theatre Work by Established Artiste Award (Adelaide Fringe). Other productions include Galway Girl and Melody for Medway Fuse Festival 2009 and O’Sullivan Beara – The Last Gaelic Chieftain, which toured extensively in Ireland in 2010 & 2011. Its most recent production Prostitutes Only Marry in May toured N. Ireland and Scotland (2008 -11) ending at Waterloo East Theatre, London, where it received a nomination in the Off West-End Awards for Best Female Performance. Reviews include:
‘This is a genuine small pleasure, the kind of piece that gives you an insight into unseen and unsung lives.’ The Guardian
‘An unparalleled portrayal.’ New York Times
‘Spirited, highly-intelligent, powerful’ The Stage
‘No less than a triumph.’ Sunday Tribune Dublin
‘Miriam Cooper is a talent we’ll surely be hearing more of’ WhatsOnStage
Loop Dance is an exciting and accessible award winning dance company based in the south east, performing work by Nina Atkinson (Artistic Director) and international choreographers. Formed in 1992, they have an impressive history of creating large scale site specific dance events for camera and installation works gaining a reputation for ambitious, imaginative and compulsive work created by high profile, cutting edge national choreographers, while their touring programme aims to benefit the regional dance ecology and foster national appeal for the art form of dance and dance education. More

Popular French painter Toulouse-Lautrec is the subject of an illustrated talk in Chatham later this month (April).

Art historian Martin Heard will bring to life bohemian Paris in the 1890s and the world of cafés, dance halls, and the popular entertainment of fin-de-siècle Paris, particularly Montmartre.

Like a celebrity photographer, Toulouse-Lautrec not only recorded this lifestyle but he also became an active part of this Parisian world himself.

Toulouse-Lautrec and Bohemian Paris illustrated talk is on Tuesday, 24 April at 7.30pm at Chatham Community Hub.

Booking is essential by phoning 01634 337799

Spring break is fast approaching and Medway’s children’s centres are getting geared up for a fun filled holiday. From bonnet parades to Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts and a visit from the farm, there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained, rain or shine. There are 19 Sure Start Children’s Centres across Medway. To find out more about your nearest centre and what’s on offer there, visit http://www.medwayfisd.com or call 01634 335566.

Monday, 2 April:
10 to 11am: St James’ Children’s Centre starts the holiday off in traditional fashion with a favourite messy play session at the centre, High Street, Isle of Grain, 270341.

1 to 3.30pm: Easter arts and crafts at Brompton Children’s Centre, Brompton Westbrook Primary School, Kings Bastion, 844152.

1 to 3pm: Get active with an Easter themed sports day at Kingfisher Children’s Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Walderslade, 335850.

Tuesday, 3 April:
12.30 to 2pm: Under 1’s Easter play at All Saints Children’s Centre, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, 338833.

1 to 3pm: Tiny tots Easter play and crafts at Kingfisher Children’s Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Walderslade, 335850.

Wednesday, 4 April:
10 to 11.30am: Get dressed up and join in the Easter parade for children between 2 to 5 years old at Lordswood Children’s Centre, Lordswood Lane, 333670.

Thursday, 5 April:
11.30am to 2.30pm: Coo at the lambs, chickens and cute farm animals at Riverside Children’s Centre, St Edmunds Way, Rainham, when the mobile farm comes to visit.

(The farm will also visit Wayfield children’s centre, 10.30am to 1.30pm on Wednesday, 11 April and Saxon Way Children’s Centre, 10am to 12.30pm on Thursday, 12 April.)

1 to 2pm: Beady eyed toddlers are invited to this year’s Easter egg hunt at St James’ Children’s Centre, High Street, Isle of Grain, 270341.

Tuesday, 10 April:
1 to 3pm: Messy play at Oaklands Children’s Centre, Weedswood Road, Walderslade, 333820.

Wednesday, 11 April:
1.30 to 3.30pm: Head out on a bunny hunt with Temple Mill Children’s Centre at Broomhill Park, Strood.

Thursday, 12 April:
11am to 1pm: Get cooking at Bligh Children’s Centre fun with food session, at the centre, Bligh Way, Strood, 336220.

2 to 3pm: Easter egg hunt and activities at Miers Court Children’s Centre, Silverspot Close, Rainham, 236974.

Friday, 13 April:
10am to 12noon: Green fingered toddlers will be heading to the garden for a planting and growing session at St Helen’s Primary School, Church Street, Cliffe.

Want to occupy stir-crazy children during the Easter holidays? Then send them for some creative fun thanks to Medway Council Arts Team.

Two one-day workshops have been organised for young people aged from eight to 16 years old. More

A night of heart rending acoustic ballads is promised when Medway’s own The Singing Loins take to the stage at The Brook Theatre. More

Sundays are for Kids at The Brook Theatre and this year’s line up promises to be as exciting and entertaining as ever. More

Get into the festive spirit with two seasonal talks in December More

One of The Brook Theatre’s in-house production companies is taking its show on the road and heading to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. More

Fans of stand up comedy are in for a treat next month when two comedians trial their Edinburgh Comedy Festival routines on Medway audiences. More

Tightwire walking, juggling and diabolo are just some of the skills children can learn at a circus workshop. Medway Council’s Arts Development Team has organised a special four-day project at The Brook Theatre from Tuesday, 31 May to Friday, 3 June. More

Baby massage, first aid, arts, sports and leisure are just a few of the courses on offer at the family learning fun day in Rochester this month. More

….TO KENT WITH THE COMPLETE CANTERBURY TALES The Pantaloons open-air theatre company are touring the country this summer with their ambitious and hilarious new complete version of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The travellers have taken a slight detour on their pilgrimage to visit some of the most stunning venues in the Kent. More

One of the country’s top selling comedian’s is back in Medway. More

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