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