Friday, 10 December 2010

Rounding off the Christmas Season

Christmas Music Concert
Thank you to all of you who came and supported our Christmas season in the theatre. The Miracle Well was a great success and stupendous achievement for all involved. You'll be pleased to hear that you won't have to wait long until the next innovative piece of student drama! Stewart Wright will be joining us on Friday 21st January with the return of The Nothing Show. Stewart first performed this 'work in progress' back in May 2008, and we loved it! He'll be back running a workshop during the day with a group of students to develop a brand new piece of physical theatre. He will then tie in with his piece for the evening performance! Not to be missed!

This weeks Christmas concerts also went down a treat. The carol service at St Mary's Church was a lovely, heart-warming affair, followed by the school concert in the theatre. It was great to see so many students taking part - despite sickness trickling through the troops! There was a wide variety of ensemble, solo and group performances, including some choir and orchestra pieces conducted by the students themselves. Well done to all involved... and bring on the Spring concert!

We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. There are still plenty of bookings for this season, so we'll see you in 2011!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sing in your Christmas Cheer!

The Bradon Forest Music Department are proud to present their contrasting Christmas concerts to suit every taste! Tonight we have our traditional Christmas Carol service in St Mary's Church, Purton, starting at 7pm for approximately 1 hour. The service will include readings and choir pieces as well as carols for you all to join in on.

Tomorrow night we have the school concert in the theatre, starting at 7.30pm. There will be festive refreshments served before the performance and during the interval... so bring your change!

Enjoy a wide variety of Christmassy treats performed by the choir and glee club, the orchestras, soloists, rock school band and ensembles! The concert starts at 7.30pm and should be finished vy 9.15pm.

Not only will you have the usual high standard of musical delights in, but the Music Department are plotting with some of the other staff at Bradon Forest to give you a special treat!

Remember to wrap up warm for the Church Carol service - it's cold out there! Brrr...

Circomedia: A Night You Won’t Forget

It’s that time of year again- the skies are turning grey, the wind is getting chilly and there’s only a few weeks left until Christmas… So how about treating yourself to something special this December?
On Saturday the 18th of December, Circomedia- Bristol’s very own world-class circus and theatre school- is offering friends and supporters the opportunity to book tickets for an exclusive cabaret evening.

Starting from 7pm in the atmospheric St Paul’s Church, we invite you to enjoy an alternative Christmas event in the company of the best circus and physical theatre performers in the country. With a mouth watering fork buffet provided by local Zest Food, stunning circus displays in our cabaret show, beautiful decorations and musical entertainment the night is guaranteed to be unforgettable!

You can book a seat or table at a cost of £47 per person. Tables seat ten and are arranged facing the performance area in a cabaret club style- perfect for viewing both the ground based performers and spectacular aerialists. You will also be entertained by your host for the evening, a rather special compere with some unique tricks up his sleeve. Following food and performances our DJ and dancing is sure to keep you entertained until the bar shuts at 12.30am.

St Paul’s Church is an intimate and enchanting venue. Our bar serves beers and ales from local companies Bath Ales and Bristol Beer Factory while the wines are selected by Corks of Cotham. Our experienced Front of House team will ensure your evening of sumptuous food, entertainment and dancing goes smoothly and that you experience a night you won’t forget…

Tickets are limited and selling fast. To book or for further information please contact Ali on 0117 924 7615 or email

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Guest review - The Miracle Well

The Miracle Well
"Wow… Guess that’s just about all I can say. It was acted out brilliantly and there was always something happening. Polly's life certainly seemed to be exciting as she was travelling between the two worlds and having to save them both and when The Mad were around I couldn’t help but see resemblance from how they are, and how some of my friends are.

The audience where involved with it all the way through, Mary Theresa was talking to the audience and we were handed leaflets inviting us to attend an election. There wasn’t a chance to get bored during this performance!

Having not watched Mary Theresa’s Cupboard I was worried I wouldn’t understand The Miracle Well but it explained all I needed to know. This was interesting as it could make it a separate performance, that doesn’t need Mary Theresa’s Cupboard before it. It was appreciated that all was explained though.

I have only one nitpick… the sound effects and background music were very loud and occasionally you couldn’t hear the conversations on stage. You heard a few words every now and again but nothing more. But other than that it was amazing and I would definitely recommend others go and see it."

- Vicky Edgerton

You still have two more opportunities to catch this great show! We have a few tickets left for tonight and tomorrow. Show starts at 7.30pm and runs until approximately 9pm including an interval. Refreshments available.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It's December 1st... what does that mean?

It's the first day of your advent calendars... the first day it's acceptable to put up your Christmas decorations... the start of the party season.... and... the opening night for The Miracle Well! Here's a few preview photos, but make sure you come and get your tickets. The weather looks to be holding off for us and we're selling out fast... so don't delay, reserve yours today! Ho ho ho :o)

Wednesday 1st - Friday 3rd December
Approx finish time: 9pm

Christmassy interval refreshments available from the PTA. Tickets are £3 for students, £4 for adults and don't forget your exclusive Facebook discount!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Miracle Well trailer

I've put together this trailer for The Miracle Well which opens next week! Let me know what you think. I've used clips from last years Mary Theresa's Cupboard and also some short extracts from rehearsals from this long awaited sequel. Today, we've been painting the set and making a start on the lighting. It's all getting quite exciting now! Tickets are on sale for just £3 for students and £4 for adults. Don't forget you can get a 50p discount if you 'like' us and book through Facebook.

The show opens next Wednesday 1st December at 7.30pm and runs through to Friday 3rd December. There will be a short interval during the show where we will have a bar serving mulled wine and mince pies, as well as other refreshments. So come along and get yourself in the Christmas spirit... it will be December, after all!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Purton Artists Exhibition

This weekend if the Annual Purton Artists Exhibition, featuring work from Bradon Forest students. I've just been down there and there are some lovely pieces up for your viewing pleasure. Most items are for sale so it's a great opportunity to get some early Christmas presents! Choose from a wide variety of art including paintings, photography, wood carvings, pottery and a great selection of handmade cards.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Bag yourself an early Christmas treat!

Bradon Forest School are hosting a special promises auction to raise money for new curtains in the school hall. Year 10 Business Studies students, together with the PTA, have managed to secure some excellent promises for you to bid on. So, if you're after that extra special Christmas gift, or wanted to indulge in an overnight stay for a weekends shopping, then make sure you get yourself a ticket! They are just £5 for the night and that includes a drink and dinner.

The evening is for over 18's and so there will be a licensed bar. Live musical entertainment will also be provided from a former member of The Kings Singers! Contact Emma Haydon on 01793 770570 to reserve your ticket today.

Click here to see a full list of promises which include hospitality tickets for Liverpool FC, romantic meals for two, overnight stays in hotels, spa treatments, golf and fitness passes and much, much more! Don't miss this exciting opportunity to bag yourself a bargain!

Friday, 22 October 2010

From Mecca to Meca

You may remember we already blogged about this in September, but the official press release is now in circulation.

"Last month Swindon woke up to the announcement of a venue that the town has wanted for years. GVS Entertainment limited, a consortium of local business men, started work to convert the Old Mecca Bingo Hall into a 2000 capacity music Venue.

Speculation on the name, acts and what is planned have circulated online and across the town. The new owners are now able to release that the official name will be M.E.C.A. Taking its lead from what the venue has been called since its closure over 2 years ago but putting a twist on it that allows people to know exactly what is intend for the venue.

M.E.C.A will stand for Music Entertainment Cultural Arena”, stated Steve Causer, spokesman for GVS. “We put out a smoke screen name recently to get people talking about the venue, the name and keep the mystery going on what we have planned. MECA has always been the name from the initial time we took the building on, you can search facebook for Swindon Meca and see we have been talking about the project for the past year”.

The announcement of the name comes as the venue is preparing to open its doors for the first time this December.

“Work is on track to be ready by the end of November as we have already announced. We have a number of events that will be announced formally in the next week or so. We have looked hard at what to put on this year to show what the venue wants to cater for and show it off. We look forward to people attending and inputting into what the venue should be offering, looking to bring to the town and more”. Commented Steve

Tickets for the first events will be on sale next week via online ticket agency and via outlets around the town including Swin City Comics on Morley Street.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Showing next at the Ashton Keynes Movie Club

Showing next at our local film club is Four Lions, a story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that-while terrorism is about ideology-it can also be about idiots.

"Morris' film is brutally unimpressed with the moral idiocy of suicide bombing and suggests that the only sane response is derisive laughter." The Guardian
Wednesday, 3rd November at 7.30pm

For more information call 0844 776 0001. Tickets available from the Ashton Keynes shop and on the door − £3.50

Don't be late - first come first served!

Certificate 15

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Where's home for you?

You know how we love a bit of physical theatre here at Bradon Forest... well, I've just been pointed in the direction of Tangled Feet... a company who have been "devising together since 2003 with a strong belief in the power of ensemble working methods and the many benefits of a shared rehearsal and performance history." Sounds like another day in our theatre already! Check out their trailer and let me know what you think. I know the Big Top 2012 is still quite a time away, but I think they would be perfect!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Velcro Dance Company

Marie-Louise Flexen has been in touch about this exciting new dance company; Velcro is an integrated dance company through which disabled and non-disabled performers and choreographers can develop. The company devises its own work, performs contemporary dance and undertakes commissions and education work. The aim is to produce inspiring and powerful dance performances and to influence formal education locally and nationally. Underlying all the company’s work is a belief in equality and empowerment (making Velcro proactively integrated), and the balance between performance and education.

FEAST is a selection of performance, workshops, talks and demonstrations which venues can mix up for audiences to sample.
Gloucestershire Dance can organise and manage a fun family event fusing food and dance - this is not just a show!  GD staff will bring together your venue with local communities, workshop providers / chefs and / or restaurants.

The Feast performance piece uses conventions of people eating together to explore different cultural attitudes.  We witness how relationships are strained and rebuilt around the dining table!
The 25 minute piece was created for Velcro in 2010 by internationally renowned choreographer Marc Brew (Scottish Dance Theatre).  It is danced to a specially commissioned soundtrack by Tiago Oliviera.

Choreographer: Marc Brew
Composer: Tiago Oliviera
Costume designer: Corinne Hockley
Lighting designer: Neil Smith
Artistic / Rehearsal Director: Marie-Louise Flexen
Educational Director / Dancer: Ollie Ellis
Dancers: Hannah DeCancho, Stephanie Holt, Frank McDaniels, Kim Noble
Apprentice: Jack Mullins

Booking Details
Performance piece only (limited offer for 2010!): only £350!!Full FEAST package (including workshops and 'food events') subject to negotiation.
Download full promoter pack here.
For more information / to book contact: / 01452-550 431

If you are interested in commissioning the company, e-mail or ring 01452 550 431

Friday, 15 October 2010

Guest Review: Autumn Music Concert

 Our music concerts always continue to astound me. The wealth of talent our students have always makes for an enjoyable evening. With potential cuts looming over the arts, evenings such as this need to be embraced and celebrated. When students of all ages and talents can stand up in front of a sell out audience with the sole purpose of entertaining them.

I'll try not to be too gushing, but I was very proud to be a part the audience for last nights concert. The students performed superbly, not only in their group pieces with the orchestras and choirs, but also all the soloists who played a variety of pieces - including their own compositions. Thank you to Rhianne and Vicky for the following review:

"Well what a way to start the new year with the Autumn Music Concert! It was kicked off by the Orchestra which set a great tone to a fantastic musical night. The evening was full of singers, pianists, flute players and even guitarists and drummers. It was full of a range of instruments which gave the feel off individuality to all of the students who performed.

As last minute rehearsals went on in the theatre, all the other students waited nervously backstage, warming up their voices to give a sparkling performance. (We were two of these nervous people!) 
We had a  packed out audience full of friends, family and even teachers. You could see from their faces that they didn’t really know what to expect, however as each person performed they grew gradually more and more impressed with the talent we have in this school.

With a total of about 50 students (making it almost impossible to name them all) taking part there was a lot of talent to show. The concert started with Radetsky March by Strauss which was conducted by our very own Miss Hedges. This was a really lively way to start the concert, getting everyone smiling and moving along to the music. Going on to an amazing piano solo by Emily Fitzpatrick, it was short and sweet and a lovely way to continue the concert.

There were a few piano solos and also a keyboard solo by Lewis Boulton, this was very interesting and definitely made us smile (we think it was different and certainly surprised us). The piano solo by Rei Shimizu shocked us a lot. You see a nervous looking girl walking over to the piano and then you're blown away by the talent. The piece was long and technical, certainly impressive. Katy Sellars’ piano solo was wonderful also. It had depth and was a soothing piece of music. A great choice. From reading this you can see we thought the piano pieces were certainly brilliant. They all seemed comfortable once they started playing and everyone loved listening.

Both orchestras (Key Stage 3 and 4) certainly made us laugh, playing Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - all songs well known by everyone. They were played well and (we think) a lot of people wanted to hum along to the parts that they knew, just as we did.

The concert was ended by the Glee Choir singing Don’t Stop Believin'. As everyone has heard either this version or the original it was a great way to end it. People were singing along (we even caught Miss Moore singing along, so the choir were proud of that!) and it was a big finish. Overall it was an incredible way to start the year."

By Rhianne Groom and Vicky Egerton

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

John Williams, The Beatles and Journey? In one line-up? Really?

Really! This Thursday sees the first Music Concert of the year. I'm really looking forward to this as not only will there be the debut performance from the Bradon Glee Club, but also some great renditions of The Beatles and John Williams tunes!

Using the theme of dance, our wonderful orchestra, choirs, soloists and ensemble performers will entertain you with their musical talents as they play a variety of toe-tapping pieces that will leave you humming the night away.

Our music concerts always sell out so if you would like one reserved, please let me know as soon as possible.

The concert starts at 7.30pm but please collect reserved tickets by 7.15pm. Adults are £3 and students only £1.50, but don't forget, if you 'like' us on Facebook and reserve your tickets through there, you'll save 50p off a ticket! Make sure you RSVP to the event and let your friends know you're coming along.

Monday, 11 October 2010

I value the arts... do you?

The NCA has launched a major, new public campaign: I Value the Arts. This campaign aims to give everyone a chance to voice their views on support for the arts.

Three quarters of the adult population attend or participate in arts activities every year and an even higher proportion of young people. At a time of recession, more and more people are turning to the arts and culture. Reduced opportunities to take part in the arts could have a major impact on the quality of people’s lives and the vibrancy of their communities. As the Government is encouraging us all to get engaged and create a ‘Big Society’, we believe it is important for those people who care about the arts to get involved in the decision-making about what their communities will look like. This campaign gives everyone who cares a chance to have their voice heard and collectively show that the arts provide a valued public service.

If you value the arts and want to have a say about the arts in your community please register your details on a new website: . You will then be kept in touch with plans that could affect the arts nationally and in your area, with practical suggestions on what you can do to strengthen the case for the arts.

Promotion of the campaign is reliant on supporters encouraging others to sign up - so your active support is vital.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN - visit the website for a range of resources, images, logos, web buttons and suggestions for action.

Follow the @IValueTheArts on Twitter

The National Campaign for the Arts is leading this campaign whose website and associated technology has been made possible thanks to generous donations of skills, time and resources by industry suppliers.

The NCA is the UK’s only independent campaigning organisation representing all the arts. It provides a voice for the arts world in all its diversity. It seeks to safeguard, promote and develop the arts and win public and political recognition for their importance as a key element in our national culture. The NCA does not receive core funding from the Arts Council or from any governmental or political body. We are funded by our members to carry out our vital lobbying and advocacy work.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Guest Review - The Memory of Water

After an intimate viewing on Wednesday, the final night of The Memory of Water played to a sold out audience with standing room only! Thanks to Vicky Edgerton for providing us with a review:

"The constant childlike bickering and sarcastic comments much reminded me of my own family. The relationship between the three sisters is strained and this was made apparent by the way they treated each other. Sending each other to the brink of madness and drinking (of course the grief of the loss of their mother didn’t help).  Even though it is a performance about a very difficult time for most it kept the audience laughing and on the edge of their seats. It was clear to see how this play had won the 2000 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

The characters were played by GCSE students and they certainly lived up to the standards. They got involved in their characters very well and delivered lines just as well. The mother, at first, was quite confusing. It was clear it was separate from the main part of the play (between the three sisters), it did eventually become clear the she was the mother, just at a younger age. But, this wasn’t the actors fault, they were following the script (brilliantly, I might add). The mother was played well as she seemed quite dreamy and rather closed minded and focused. She wasn’t as emotional as the sisters and she preferred to see things her way rather than how her daughters saw things. She certainly made the play memorable as it was a different perspective. The character of Catherine was played very impressively, you could really understand her wistfulness for love and to be cared for. Theresa was a very overpowering character, liking to be in control and for things to go her way and go correctly, this was portrayed superbly in her emotions and actions. Mary was clearly dreaming of a normal family with a husband and children (but her boyfriends wife always seemed to make things difficult), wishing to find her son and have another. The audience could feel for her and wish for her dreams to come true too. Mike, her boyfriend, was also played well as you could see his indecision between Mary and his wife. The last (but by no means least) character was Frank. His dry sense of humour and inappropriate comments and awkwardness was very entertaining.

Overall this play was acted very well and I enjoyed it, a lot. I was very glad that I went and would happily go and see it again. The only nit pick I have is that occasionally a couple of the actors slipped out of character and just seemed to be a bit wooden, awkward and uneasy. This could easily be resolved by a couple more performances as things get easier as they go on. Also that maybe the audience should be aware of the bad language and sexual innuendos in the play so they can prepare any children they wish to bring."

Vicky Edgerton

Thursday, 30 September 2010

We'll be finding it for weeks!

Some people were surprised by the amount of confetti this show produced. I even clocked a few knowing glances from audience members considering our clear up operation. Frank and Dave (cameo and sound guy) seemed to have this down to a fine art though! When I first heard that Frank likes to recycle his confetti I was impressed by his eco-friendliness. It then became apparent why... a lot of the confetti had been diligently created by hole punching many different colours of paper! A process I am familiar with thanks to my Dad's suggestion for the 1990 play-off final between Swindon Town and Sunderland. We did have the finest looking red and white confetti though so I recommend spending the time to do it properly. However if, like our dear Confetti Maker, you do this job for a living, it may well drive you a little crazy.

I really enjoyed watching a day in the life of 'Frank', who spiced up his monotonous and painstaking task of creating different types of confetti, with humorous impressions and tomfoolery that kept the audience laughing. I personally took great delight in watching his lunch break, where he slowly 'killed' his croissant before filling it with confetti shreds. He then proceeded to talk and munch his way through a huge pile of paper - well, he is 'allowed to eat as much as he wants!' You had to try and work out what he was saying from the odd audible word. Something that I've become quite good at as it's a favourite trick of my husbands whilst he's cleaning his teeth. "Mumblemumblemumbleandtheelephantsaid...mumblemumble."

Frank's delightful and kooky character really captivated us which is why it was such a surprising contrast when he flipped out. How anyone can create such a realistic puppet from a roll of wallpaper is beyond me, but Frank's desire to have a life beyond the factory was quite emotional. After destroying the set, covering everyone in confetti and the ripping the head off his 'paper wife'... "we'd tear each other to pieces", Frank resigned himself to his fate. After all, he does get Sunday afternoon off entirely.

An unconventional and quirky performance that left me not only smiling, but wondering whether Frank would be my friend.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Embracing the 'Like' button and other stories.

I've been making a few changes to our online presence today and if you're already a member of our Facebook Group you'll see a message in your inbox from us. After some deliberation we've decided to change our Group to a Page. This is for many geeky reasons, but all you need to know is that it will be easier for us to filter through relevant information to you without bombarding your inbox. You'll also notice more 'Like' buttons popping up around the place. Do feel free to click away if you've seen a show you enjoyed, tagged yourself in a photo, or agree with a post from here!

As an added bonus, all Facebook Fans will receive a 50p discount off all Bradon Forest Theatre produced shows. Seeing as all our own productions are only £3 for students and £4 for adults, that's quite a discount! NB. Discounts only apply to tickets reserved in advance via FB, email or by calling the box office.

There are also lots of photos now uploaded to the page so if you've been in a production, get tagging and be proud of your achievements!

Don't forget: Frank Wurzinger is performing tomorrow night in The Confetti Maker, a delightful show about the day in the life of... a man who makes confetti! Full of optimism, he pursues his profession: making confetti - cutting, perforating, shredding - all day, every day - but he has ambitions, dreams and fears far beyond the factory life – romance… love… family…

The show starts at 7.30pm and the run time is only an hour. Enjoy our great priced tickets at £5 for students and £6 for adults. There are just a few tickets left - call me to reserve yours!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A reason to be proud to be British...

Find out more and get involved here.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Reminder: Buddy auditions tonight!

The Chocolate Theatre are auditioning tonight for thir next production, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY, which will run from 30th June to 2nd July 2011 at the Arts Centre.

Auditions are tonight at Holy Rood Jnr School in Swindon. It's a great opportunity for a young man who enjoys performing art, though be aware, it is a very large part to learn with approximately 20 songs!
Contact Michaela Kearns on 07962 222190. If you can't make tonight, Michaela will try and squeeze you in before next Friday... but be quick!

Applications for NYT's 2011 auditions and interviews are now open!

Just seen this via Theatreworks on Twitter and thought it worth a repost (Harley, I'm thinking of you here!):

National Youth Theatre is Britain’s biggest youth arts organisation. We have over 50 years’ experience of proving that outstanding ensemble drama gives young people the tools to discover their voices, describe their lives and grasp opportunities for change.

We will be holding workshop-based acting auditions and technical interviews to join NYT in 30 venues across the UK throughout February 2011.

Apply online at The application fee is £30 per person and our application process will allow everyone to individually select their own audition date and venue.

A bit of trumpet blowing... parrum pa pa!

I know this is not theatre related, but I'm going to shamelessly use this post to rave about my sisters new job and to show some support to our local football team. Yes, they are connected! 

Kate Cady (dear big sis) has just been appointed as Head of Sports Therapy at Swindon Town Football Club. A job that she has been determined to have since we saw our first football match in 1990 - Swindon vs Sunderland, in the play-off final. Some people said as she was female it would never happen, but hats off to her for realising her dream!

Celebrate with the team by taking advantage of one of their current ticket offers:

On Tuesday 5 October, Town face Torquay at home for the 2nd round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The match starts at 7pm and advance tickets are just £10 for adults and, here's the sweet bit, FREE for under 16's! You have to be accompanied by an adult, but with a ration of one adult to three 'youths'.

Huddersfield Town are the visitors this Saturday 25th September (3pm ko) before Plymouth Argyle are in Town next Tuesday 28th September (7.45pm ko). With two games in close proximity, fans have the chance to attend both for one great price!

The Arkell's Stand / Don Rogers Stand
Adult £27
Concs. £22.50
Junior £13.50

Town End
Adult £24
Concs. £18
Junior £13.50

This ticket offer must be purchased by 5pm, Friday 24th September. This offer will also be available for Season Ticket holders to bring a friend for half price for the Plymouth Argyle match if purchased  by Friday 24th September, offer will be subject to STFC conditions.

Please call the STFC Box Office on 0871 223 2300 for more information or to book your tickets.

Kate will be starting in November, so make sure you give her a huge cheer when she runs on for the first time :o)

Come on Swindon, come on!

Monday, 20 September 2010

"'PC Load Letter'? What does that mean?"

I'm aware that the theatre site needs an update with our next show, The Confetti Maker (Wednesday 29 September, 7.30pm)... but there is a problem with iWeb. After the latest iTunes update the program does not want to open. I've tried all suggested solutions and am about the throw the computer out the window. Just kidding, but I'm pretty frustrated. I'm working on it though and will have the new details up ASAP. Bear with me. And if you have any suggestions on how to fix the problem, let me know! Thanks :o)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Don't you just love that?

You know... when you have certain expectations about something and it turns out to be so much better than you imagined? And that's what I loved about Francis the Holy Jester... the imagination. Mario Pirovano was on stage, alone, for almost two hours. There were no props or costumes. No masks, music or sound effects. Just one man and his talent for storytelling. That was the great thing though - you didn't need any of that. You could see the people and places he was talking about. Mario brought four stories of Francis of Assisi to life with so much energy and passion that we felt a part of the story too.

Our audience, as usual, was made up of primarily students and for the first show of the year, we had an excellent turn out. I admit, I was a little worried that the show might be a bit 'high brow' but everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy Mario's animated performance and I happily confess my error of judgement. There is something quite relaxing and, at the same time, engaging about Mario's wonderful Italian accent and I found myself quite riveted by the stories he told. If only every lesson could be taught this way!

Mario seemed to be on a high after the show and treated us to a book signing. He complimented our students on their ability to respect a totally different kind of performance from what they are used to, so extra kudos to all of you who made it. Let us know what you thought of the show and more importantly, let Mario.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Anyone for Bingo? No? How about a new music venue in Swindon then?

Exciting news to report! It's just been reported in The Link that the old Mecca Bingo hall in the town centre is to be opened as a new music venue!

"We have a few twists and additions that will make us different to other venues planned on the build, and we will continue to add to the look and feel even when open. The opening is planned for the end of November with dates to be announced shortly." Steve Causer
How exciting! The venue will hold up to 2000 people... can I put in an early request for Mumford and Sons, Biffy and Fenech-Soler?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Do you remember Green Eyed Zero?

You may remember this exciting and creative company when they came to the Bradon Forest Theatre with In The Shadow of Picture Frames. We all loved their delightful heartfelt piece which combined creative physical imagery and the a use of new media and technology. It looks as if they've taken the next piece a step further...
"Ground-breaking multi-touch screen technology has been developed especially for this performance to allow performer and set to become intrinsically one, where the real and unreal combine in a feast for the mind.

By simply touching the screen with any part of their body or any object, the performers can directly interact with the screen in real-time while on stage. Manipulating images, videos or virtual objects, they create unique digital landscapes and animations enhancing the visual impact of the imagery created.

This is a unique feature that has never been used in performance before making it a huge development for performance arts."

How cool does that sound? If we don't manage to get Green Eyed Zero back at Bradon Forest then I'll let you know of their tour dates as soon as they've posted them. This is a company not to miss!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

What are you doing next Tuesday?

Why not come and enjoy the opening performance for the 2010/2011 season at The Bradon Forest Theatre! You're in for a real treat... Mario Pirovano, Dario Fo's long term associate, performs Francis the Holy Jester, a one man show fresh from Edinburgh festival. The Stage writes;
"...Pirovano delivers Fo's characteristically folksy monologues about Francis of Assisi with a verve and informality that closely resemble Fo's own performance style."
When else would you get to see the work of one of the worlds greatest playwrites up close and personal in our 100 seat theatre?!
"Pirovano performs with enthusiasm and high energy, accompanying every line with movements, facial expressions or gestures that sometimes approach the manic style of Robin Williams but that, like his stories, are rendered friendly and unthreatening by his obvious pleasure in sharing with us."
With ticket prices at only £5 for students and £6 for adults, you can't afford to miss it!

Call me now on 01793 773981 or email over your booking. See you next week!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Can you help us?

There's less than a week until the students return to the theatre and our guest director is working hard on final preparations for The Memory of Water, our first student production of the season. There are a few props that we need... can you help?

Whiskey bottle (empty)
Medical books 4-5
Glass breast pump with a rubber end
"Garry Glitter" style shoes
A sheet of florist designs
A dressing table (with a draw)

Drop me a line if you have any of the items... and to reserve your ticket for the show!

Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 October, 7.30pm. Tickets are £4 for adults and £3 for students.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Preparing for next season

Are your diaries to hand? You can download the Autumn season flyer to easily add the dates for all the amazing shows coming up in to your calendars. We like to make things easy for you :o)

Friday, 30 July 2010

Summer break

Well, as always, it seems that the end of the school summer term was a mad rush! The last week was spent striking the set from Sweet Charity, unloading equipment from the Big Arts Day and making sure that everything is ready in the theatre for September.

The local paper included a few reviews from the Big Arts Day, for which we lent equipment to run three of the performance tents. If you managed to get down there, don't forget to give the council your views on how it all went.

I'm currently preparing for the launch of the Arts Award at Bradon next academic year. Make sure you watch this space for more information on how to get involved, but it's all looking quite exciting!

If you've taken part in the Arts Award previously, or have any resources or information you think may be of use to our students, get in touch!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Guest Review: Sweet Charity

"I was privileged to spend an evening watching the Bradon Forest School Production of Sweet Charity. Having seen the film version many years ago, my expectations were high and I was not disappointed. Lucy Bosley played the lead role of Charity Hope Valentine with confidence. She captured the eternal optimism of the character but still managed to show the vulnerability also. Her singing was excellent, managing maintain character whilst belting out “If They Could See Me Now". 

The supporting characters in the Fan-dango Ballroom were equally strong, most notably Kira Sawford and Hannah Sellars. Their voices complimented each other well and they clearly understood the characters they were playing. Rae Elias acted well but shone when she took on the role of Daddy Brubeck. The range in her vocals was outstanding and for a time I forgot all about Sammy Davis Junior in the role. Bradley Williams acted the role of Herman very well. His mannerisms and facial expressions were excellent and he performed the song “I Love to Cry at Weddings” very well indeed.

Reece Kinnet as Oscar Lindquist stood out for me. He acted superbly, particularly in the elevator seen – the timing was excellent. Clearly a lot of work and practice had gone into this role. The other supporting actors, Ryan Clarke, Kirsten Harris and Charlotte Quinn did not seen out of place in this production. Considering that Harris and Williams are only in their first year at Bradon Forest, I expect them to be scooping up bigger roles in future productions. 

The choreography was technically very challenging, Sawford, Sellars and Bosley coped well with singing and dancing at the same time. The chorus worked hard and the Rhythm of Life Church routine was breathtaking with complicated lifts and movement.

The direction by Mrs Stimson showed both an understanding of the production, taking elements from the Broadway and film versions. She managed to get good performances from all. All of the performers managed to seem real, they reacted in the background, the timing of the comical lines were well placed and it is clear that a lot of work had gone into the preparation.

Having a live band added to the ethos of the show and the direction from Miss Groom was brilliant (she does need a baton though). I understand that the group of musicians did not have long with the music and practices were sparse. I tip my hat to the professionalism from all of them.

I will close by saying that I have been to a number of productions at the Bradon Forest Theatre and this one was, once again, a most enjoyable way to spend an evening."

Big thanks to Chris Thomas for his detailed review! I have to say that extra kudos does indeed go to the band... only two rehearsals all together!  

(NB. The photo shows all the band, except Jemima Palfreyman who played the piano excellently for the evening performances. Thanks to Fiona Fleet for giving up the flute to play piano on the matinee performance.)

Little Shop of Horrors

A Chocolate Theatre Society is a small, local, musical theatre company who came together in February 2010. The members are from a diverse range of backgrounds such as SALOS, Clarendon Players & The Cotswold Players. Most of the cast have sang professionally with various bands across the country & some of the musicians, who are also members of a Jazz/swing band, have played at the West End in block busting shows such as Les Miserables.

They are currently rehearsing their debut production of...

July 29th to 31st
Swindon Arts Centre
Start: 19:30
Tickets £10 (concessions Thurs-Fri £8)
"A Little Shop Of Horrors is one of the most entertaining musicals ever written & its Broadways longest running musical to date. The musical numbers will have you tapping your feet, the characters will have you begging for more, you will be enthralled by the exquisite costumes & the flamboyant set & you will be SPEECHLESS by our wonderfully HUGE plant!"
For more information or tickets please email Michaela or call her on 07962 222190.
Tickets are also available from the Arts Centre Booking Office.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Catch The Shudders at The Big Arts Day

You should have heard by now that there's a little festival going on at Lydiard Park on Saturday 10 July called The Big Arts Day. We're supporting the event by loaning out some of our technical equipment for... I think it's three tents now! So if you see Dominic and Dan around, buy them an ice cream :o)

Obviously, for those of you paying attention, you will have noticed that Saturday is our final matinee performance of Sweet Charity followed by the cricket and BBQ on the field. I wouldn't recommend you miss this for anything! So, in the interest of supporting local culture, I'd suggest that you pop on down to the Big Arts Day after the afternoon draws to a close here!

Check out the website, and if you have really good eyesite, you'll be able to see the line-up. If you can, catch The Recs - they're a new up & coming band featuring some of our Year 8 talent! But as a final top tip from me, don't miss The Shudders. They're playing on the Sugarhill stage at some point and aside from being the perfect music to enjoy on a sunny Saturday afternoon, they have to be the best looking local band going. Wouldn't you agree?

{[NB. Photo pinched from The Shudders site, courtesy of Puttyfoot.]

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Resounding success on opening night

The first performance of Sweet Charity was well received by the audience last night! I heard one chap as he left say;
"Well, that's a lovely way to spend a Tuesday evening!"
Mr Vizor, our Head of Science, commented;
"If you want something uplifting, make sure you see Sweet Charity. Makes you think, 'our students are bloody brilliant!'"
There are still a few tickets left for the remaining shows tonight, Thursday and Friday evenings and also a few for the Saturday matinee at 12pm. Don't forget to bring some spending money as the refreshment bar is going down well! From tomorrow night onwards, the bar will be licensed too!

Give me a call to reserve your tickets - 01793 773981.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Opening Night Tonight!

Tonight is the opening night for Sweet Charity! It's finally here, after months of hard work and preparation! There are still a few tickets left for this evenings performance, so call me now to reserve yours! 01793 773981.

Last night was the last dress rehearsal and it's looking amazing. The band sound awesome - it's hard to believe they've only had 2 rehearsals all together! Make sure you come along to see not only how talented your fellow students are, but also how talented your teachers who are playing in the band are!

The show starts tonight at 7.30pm and there will be a 20 minute interval. Our lovely PTA will be doing refreshments all week, including a raffle, so make sure you bring some spending money!

There is also a Textiles Exhibition on in the textile rooms this evening from 4pm - 7.30pm. I recommend getting here a little early so that you can catch that too.

See you all there - you won't regret it!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Guest entry: News from The Dacoits...


Just a little note to let you know that we’re playing our very own show at The Victoria in Swindon on the 9th of July. That’s the Friday after this one fact fans, giving you more than enough time to start polishing up your dancing shoes in preparation. Support comes from those fine, upstanding chaps in Bodyglass, so things are already shaping up nicely for an evening of prime cut rock & roll action. And if you’re thinking to yourself that you’d really like to let your hair down on the 9th of July but the emergency budget is taking a wee all over your fireworks, then panic no more, because this little shindig is free entry. We tried to get the money saving expert in on this but our schedules clashed. Thanks anyways Martin, keep up the good work.

Due to the fun we’ve had embracing our inner acoustic troubadours over the last few months we’ve lined up another show at CafĂ© Tarifa in Oxford on the 13th of July. Pete once got into a bit of trouble for embracing an acoustic troubadour in an inappropriate manner, but that’s really a story for another time.

I think that’s it for now, see you on the 9th,


 - Phil's obviously been having a bit of a Fry & Laurie moment!  The 9th is obviously the last evening performance of Sweet Charity, but as it finishes at 10pm, you may be able to catch the end. Best bet though if you want to catch both, is to come and see Sweet Charity on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or the Saturday matinee!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Final preparations

The final preparations are now underway for Sweet Charity as there is less than a week to go before the opening night on Tuesday 6th July! Chairs are being painted, the set is being dressed, scenes are being polished (as we speak!) and bowls are being decorated like cakes...

Ticket sales are increasing every day so make sure you come and buy yours before your preferred night sells out! Either call or email the box office (01793 773981) or you can pop by the arts office in the dance studio on the school site.

Don't forget, the Saturday matinee performance (12pm) will be followed by a staff vs Purton village cricket match and BBQ on the school field. The ladies PE staff have also organised a mini Rounders tournament so if you would like to enter a team, contact Emma Hayden on 01793 770570.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Come on England!

In the spirit of tonight's big match, I thought it was worth pointing your attention to our 'alternative' Sweet Charity poster. As you know, all week day performances will start at 7.30pm... unless England make it through to the semifinals. Then we'll start the show at 5pm so you can all make it back for the match. Extra fingers and toes crossed for that one... what an evening! Two entertaining performances one after the other! Come on England!

Incidentally, while we're on the sporting topic, the Saturday matinee will start at 12pm. This will be followed by a Twenty20 Cricket match between staff and the local village. There will also be a delicious BBQ! Tickets are selling out fast for this summer Saturday, so get in quick to avoid disappointment!

You know the box office number: 01793 773981

Monday, 14 June 2010

Wicked Young Writers Award

The Wicked Young Writers' Award has been established to recognise excellence in writing, encourage creativity and help develop writing talent in young people. Any young person between the ages of 5 and 25 years old is eligible to enter, making the award the first of its kind to reward excellence to such a wide age-range of young people across the whole of the UK

There will be the opportunity to enter into five different age categories:

5-7 years old
8-10 years old
11-13 years old
14-16 years old
17-25 years old

The top 20 winning entries from each age category will be invited to a very special autumn prize ceremony. One overall young writer will be chosen as a winner from each age category and will receive:
  • An exclusive WICKED experience including four tickets to see the London production of WICKED with their family and an opportunity to meet cast members after the show.
  • A WICKED writing master class from one of the WICKED Young Writers’ Award judges.

The WICKED Young Writers' Award is completely free and is all about what young people want to write; entries can range from stories, to poems, to drama and if the Young Writer is feeling particularly creative they can even include illustrations (judging will be based on writing only).

The Award is open to any young person from the UK and Northern Ireland aged between 5 and 25 years old on the closing date of Saturday 31 July 2010. See the website for more details and to download an entry form.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Could you live in a world without dance?

Sundial Theatre, at Cirencester College, presents Footloose.
Welcome to Beaumont - a town of strong family values but where dance is considered the work of the devil. Newcomer Ren soon finds himself at odds with the powerful local minister, Reverend Moore but not his beautiful daughter Ariel.
With classic tracks and foot tapping numbers like the title track, “Lets hear it for the boy” and “Holding out for a hero” you will love this feel-good show.
Tuesday 15 June - Thursday 17 June. See the website for full details.

Bradon Forest Comedy Tent

We have been supporting organisers of the Big Arts Day at Lydiard Park with the loan of some of our extra equipment. This will be put to use in the comedy tent and as such, it will be known as the Bradon Forest Comedy Tent! Well, we do like to help out wherever we can!

Even though the one day event is being held on the final day of Sweet Charity, if you make it to one of the other four performances, you may still be able to catch some of the many arts activities going on during the day. See the Big Arts Day website for more details.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Coming very soon...

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Artsmark Gold - Third Time Running!

Woohoo! Great news! We've just received notification that our third application for the Artsmark Gold Award has been successful!

"We are pleased to inform you that your Artsmark application has been successful and Arts Council England is delighted to award you Artsmark Gold in recognition of your commitment to the arts. 
Obtaining Artsmark Gold for the 3rd time is an outstanding achievement and we congratulate you on your continuing success."
Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England

Monday, 7 June 2010

Swing Festival

So & So Circus Theatre will be curating and performing in the Fruit & Fibre cabaret on the 10th of June. There is an unusual and very exciting line up of acts including Sharpwire, Cocoloco, Barbershopera, Mooky and Temujin Gill.

It's all compered by the very charming Alexis Dubus and there will be a few extra surprise guest appearances. For more info on the evening and to book tickets go to the Jackson Lane website or call 0208 341 4421.

The night is part of their Summer Swing festival which is taking place throughout June at Jacksons Lane in London.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Internships at Bristol Old Vic

Just seen this on the Theatre Bristol site. For those of you wondering what to do with your summer, read on!

We are developing an internship programme, and are keen to hear from anyone interested in spending a structured 3 month period of unpaid work with the organisation.  The opportunity will involve time spent with our producing, marketing, education, and fundraising and administration teams.  There will be two posts available, on a rolling three month basis.  The programme will commence in September 2010, and candidates will be selected via interview.
For further information visit 

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A reminder...

For those of you who remember Marie-Lou, and even for those of you who don't!

Local Events

Patrick Monahan, a regular on the UK comedy circuit, will be appearing at the Swindon Arts Centre on Saturday 12 June twice, in a family show and then in the evening. The brilliant Middlesbrough-Irish-Iranian comic, Patrick Monahan is embarking on a full-scale British tour. Often seen on ITV’s Paul O’Grady Show, Patrick’s breathtaking gift for interaction combines with sharp and hilarious observations, paying special attention to his unique cultural roots.

Stories and Fables for Kids who like sitting at tables
Saturday 12 June, 2.30pm
New stories written and told by a 467 year old Middle Eastern storyteller (who looks and sounds a lot like award winning stand up comedian Patrick Monahan) for kids aged 5 to 105!
Ticket prices £8, Children £6, Family £25

The Ladyboys Of Iran
Saturday 12 June, 8pm
Tickets £10 with concessions.

To book tickets for either show call the Arts Centre on 614837.

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Stage: Popular prop gun made illegal

I've just seen this in the Theatre Bristol newsletter and thought it was worth a repost:

Read This and Avoid Going to Prison for 5 Years
If you, your company (or anyone else you know) ever has cause to work with blank firing prop guns, you will want to read this especially as firearms offences tend to carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. A type of revolver that fires blanks and which has been used widely by theatres and film production companies has been made illegal.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Summer Saturday

The first workshop in the Bradon Forest School Summer Saturday series was a great success! The school's art department, who have been running popular ceramics evening classes for two years, have branched out to offer a variety of art sessions to the community.

Saturday saw all the windows blacked out for the Life Drawing class. Ros, one of the attendees, said: "Everything about the class was great. The model was very relaxed and professional, the facilities were superb and we had expect tuition. A brilliant day!"

Sally Cooke, the school's art technician, is our community ceramics teacher. The evening courses have proved so popular that she has answered demand by running beginners as well as intermediate classes.

"We have such great facilities here that I thought it would be a great idea to open them up to the public. The 'Summer Saturday' series seemed a great way to offer the local community taster sessions in different art forms, and so far the response has been really positive!"

The workshops run from 10am to 4pm with refreshments and as we only want to make sure we cover costs, they are great value! The next class is Saturday 12 June where you can learn to create your own medieval letters and then we have Oil Painting for Beginners on Saturday 26 June. Both these classes cost only £25 with a £5 material charge to be paid to the tutor on the day.

The final workshop is Clay Sculpted Heads with Ron Holmes on Saturday 10th July and is only £25, covering all materials. We also have our matinee performance of the summer musical Sweet Charity on this day, starting at 12pm, followed by our second annual Twenty20 cricket match between school staff and Purton village at 2pm. The PTA will be providing their delicious BBQ and cream teas... what a great way to spend a summer afternoon!

If you are interested in booking yourself on any of the Summer Saturday workshops, or would like to find out more about Sweet Charity and the cricket, please contact me on 01793 773981. Full details can be found on the website.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Review: Seven Deadly Sins & Flautino's Revenge

This week saw the final product of many, many, many weeks hard work by two different casts of the Key Stage 3 Drama Club. 
Claire Parsloe and Ashley Larkin directed 6 small sub-casts in The Seven Deadly Sins. The students came up with their own ideas based on their allocated sin and worked alongside staff to devise the interlocking performance. The climatic finale saw each previous sinner face their god in the showdown of wrath. The students all performed superbly, with intensity and emotion that surpassed their age and experience, especially those still in Year 7! Well done to all involved.

Our young commedia troupe - possibly the youngest in the country! - performed their energetic and vivacious devised piece, Flautino's Revenge. The group started the devising process with a workshop ran by lead practitioner Michael Chase, from Glasshouse Masks. This brand new lazze told the comedic tale of school management with an insight into school inspectors!

The commedia piece was a light hearted way to end an enjoyable evening of exciting new young theatre.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Opening this week...

The final rehearsals are going on as we speak and our next show in the theatre is looking pretty slick! The Key Stage 3 Drama Club have been busy devising their own version of the Seven Deadly Sins and the seven tales will all link together throughout the first performance.

Our young commedia troupe will finish the evening with a bit of light hearted entertainment in Flautino's Revenge. The cast previously worked with Michael Chase of Glasshouse Masks to start the piece off, but have been tirelessly directing themselves to get the play ready for public performance.

With two brand new pieces of theatre by our talented youngsters, it'll be worth making the effort this week!

Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th May
Tickets: £4 adults, £3 students

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Tuesday, 4 May 2010


If you're a fan of Bloc Party, or to be honest even if you're not, make sure you check out their singer Kele's first solo track. I heard it on Jo Wiley over the weekend and it's amazing! Love it, love it. Can't stop listening. Go Kele!

Poster Design

Before Easter I led a session with a group of BTEC Music students on creating publicity for a music event. They had a good time playing around with different themes and ideas and created a poster for any type of event during the session - including drafting an example of how not to design publicity! They were then set the task of producing an appropriate style poster for a future planned BTEC music event. I really like this one that's come through from Jess. Am I a little biased because she's used one of my photos? In all seriousness though, it's relevant, the use of black space and text is well applied, the font is appropriate for the audience, the image sets the scene and she's included all the right info. What do you think?

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Monday, 26 April 2010

For those of you who remember Marie-Lou...

Remember the amazing circus themed physical theatre piece, 'In The Ring' from the Big Top Festival?

Well, that was directed by the wonderful Marie-Lou Flexen whose new choreography features in 'Our House' running from June 3rd - 5th, in the Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham.

Directed by Adrian Ross Jones and featuring the talents of young actors, dancers, and singers from Gloucestershire, I'm sure this will be one exciting musical... and just in time to warm yourself up for Sweet Charity here at Bradon Forest!

Thursday, 22 April 2010


Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Well, now this is exciting! I'm learning the wonderful ways of Photoshop and have just created this rather fetching, and I must say very realistic balloon! You may see something similar feature in the launch of our 2012 Big Top Festival this summer. You know the score... watch this space...

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Calling all Bradon Forest Drama students....

You are invited to watch a performance of Faust by a cast of Year 11 GCSE Drama students on Wednesday 28th April 2010.

The after school performance which will be performed in front of an external examiner, will also include a short piece from another GCSE group.

You should be in your seats no later than 3.45 for a prompt start. As the evening is an exam, the audience will not be able to leave before the end of the final piece. This may be slightly after 5.30pm, so you must ensure that you are able to get home if the late buses have already left.

We expect that seats will fill up quickly, so although tickets are free, you must collect one from the Arts Office. They will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Parents, friends and relatives of performers are also invited to come and watch.

I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to watch fellow students perform some excellent work. Faust has been devised, scripted and directed entirely by the cast and is the result of five years hard work and dedication.

Monday, 12 April 2010

If you're a fan of The Shudders and spelling BBQ in full...

Circomedia Workshops

A reminder that the first of the Spring Intensive workshops is happening on Saturday April 24th, 10.00 - 1.00 for primary age and 2.00 - 5.00 for secondary age. Full details on our website at  (Look for City Circus). Places are limited, so please make sure you book ahead if you are intending to come!

Meanwhile if you have any questions, contact Gillian Donald on 0117 947 7288.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Local Events

Now the clocks have changed and it's lighter later, you may have more of an urge to venture out for evening entertainment. If so, make sure you check out the Arts Centre over the next couple of weeks. First off they have celebrated broadcaster, raconteur, writer and cook, Hardeep Singh Kohli combining comedy with inventive cuisine on Saturday 10 April. Just think Ready Steady Cook but with great cooking and funny anecdotes, all delivered by Glaswegian Hardeep in his own unique, articulate and utterly charming way. Tickets are £12.

If you like Hazel O'Connor, then there are just a few tickets left for her performance on 15th April. Make sure you don't miss out!

Talking of music, Ben Waters, one of the world's leading boogie woogie/rock n roll piano players, is playing on Saturday 17 April, with the Fraser Tilly Trio as support. This whirlwind musician plays some of the fastest boogie woogie piano you'll ever come across and the Ben Waters Band presents a great line up of superb musicians, good sounds and, above all, great fun! His raunchy vocals and exuberant style have earned him a superb reputation as one of the genres finest performers.

Finally, picked as one of the comedy highlights for 2010 by The Times Playlist, Laura Solon’s show will appear at the Swindon Arts Centre on Friday 16 April. Laura - from BBC 1’s Harry and Paul and Radio 4’s Talking and Not Talking – presents tepid-shot publisher Diana Lewis, scrambling to find a writer to finish a book and save the company from crisis. Her obstacles include an American Super Agent, a lightly tanned boss, a call centre worker, a diversity officer, The French and a dead rabbit called Ian.

To book all tickets call the Arts Centre on 01793 614837.