Writing a play for your local school is a treat, especially in these cash-strapped times of functionalism where education is seen more as a preparation for wage slavery than an expander of the mind. Arts in schools are at a dismally low level so I’m chuffed that the opening IRON OR festival event is Cullercoats Primary’s world premier of the new Mortimer stage opus, Zephaniah Haddock and the Stolen Star.The plot involves Zephaniah climbing a ladder to steal a star – with disastrous consequences.When I gave the script to drama teacher Jenny McCall I suggested that some pupils might draw illustrations for use in the poster.On my next visit, a collection of 250 masterpieces was piled on the desk. Jenny will direct the play and fellow teacher Chris Howlett has already built an ambitious set.Katherine Rain is working on the music, with Corinne Harris looking at choreography.Several parents are coming up with props and costumes, and there’s the infectious enthusiasm … [Read more...] about Young take centre stage at festival
This year’s Gate To Southwell Festival is at its base near Southwell Racecourse from June 6-9. With the 13th Gate To Southwell Festival on the horizon, more than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend. The family festival kicks off with a special Thursday Americana night starring Los Pacaminos (featuring Paul Young) supported by Louisiana’s Truckstop Honeymoon, young Californians Blue Summit and Joshua Cook, plus a special new Midlands’ artists showcase on the Frontier Stage.More than 50 artists will be performing on five stages over four days. These include Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Leicester protest singer Grace Petrie, punk veterans Otway & Barrett and Hotel Palindrone from Austria, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Welsh stars Calan, former BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr and acclaimed ceilidh band Blackbeard’s Tea Party. i.There will also be dance talent from all over the UK and the traditional … [Read more...] about Acts galore get ready for Gate To Southwell music festival
Animals charity the Scottish SPCA is staging its Forth Rail Bridge abseil on Sunday, June 9 - and there are only a few places left. A spokesperson said: “We’re calling on animal lovers and adrenaline junkies alike to take part in this once in a lifetime challenge.“It’s a fantastic opportunity to do something fun and memorable and to raise vital funds to rehabilitate, rehome and release animals in Scotland.“At the event, there will be a team of highly skilled instructors to ensure participants are equipped with everything they need to make the abseil as safe and enjoyable as possible.“Those who have taken part in abseils for us in previous years have said that it’s an amazing experience and one they’ll never forget.”Fundraiser John Murasev has completed the abseil three times for the charity.He said: “The reason I took part was because I saw this as the perfect opportunity to raise much needed funds and raise awareness of the … [Read more...] about Are you up for the Forth Rail Bridge challenge?
With just over a month to go before Platform Festival 2019 arrives, it is full steam ahead towards one of the region’s most unique celebrations of outstanding live music and comedy. Platform Festival takes place under the roof of Grade II listed building The Old Station, Pocklington from 10 – 13 July and features some of the very best music and comedy from across the UK and beyond. Now into its fourth year, and brought to you by Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC), this year’s festival will see thousands of people enjoying live comedy from Chris Ramsey, and Al Murray plus live music from Hothouse Flowers, Seth Lakeman, Lucy Spraggan, The South, and many more. PAC director Janet Farmer said: “It really is full steam ahead for team PAC now with our festival just two months away. “We really are so excited to bring you a line-up that is without doubt our most diverse and dynamic to date. “So I would urge you to get your tickets, grab a refreshment, and jump … [Read more...] about Full steam ahead to this year’s Platform Festival
Scores of vessels of many different types are at the Falkirk Wheel stretch of the Forth and Clyde Canal this morning, in what promises to be a great free Canal Carnival. But if you wondered what all the fuss is about, this picture tells the story.Taken yesterday, it shows boats triumphantly passing under the lift bridge at Bonnybridge, which for more than a year was out of order - along with the bridge at Twechar.Among the passengers was Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson, the Scottish Government’s transport secretary, who was delighted such an important local tourism and leisure asset is up and running again.The blockage had prevented sea-to-sea boat travel on the canal network, which was claimed set to have a major effect on leisure visits to the area around the Falkirk Wheel.Thanks to a £1.625m funding boost from the Scottish Government both bridges have now been fixed, and today’s carnival (with lead elements of the “fleet” due to arrive at Bonnybridge … [Read more...] about Canal Carnival Armada floats in to Falkirk