ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT by Tom Guest

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Concert Success

Lirica’s annual concert at Ceddesfeld Hall. on October 6th was sold out, and the audience appreciated and enjoyed the wide variety of music performed. The group ranged from modern Musical Theatre to Contemporary Pop and Rock, alongside more classical choices and modern arrangements of popular poetry.

Particular audience favourites were a new arrangement of Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches; Crosby, Stills ad Nash’s “Helplessly Hoping” and a beautiful arrangement of “Scarborough Fair” and “The Sound of Silence”. Lirica’s next appearance will be alongside the Sedgefield Lyric Singers and Sedgefield Lyrics Youth Choir at the Christmas Concert in the Parish Hall on the 14th & 15th December.


It’s nearly Panto Time!

Rehearsals are well under way for the Players’ annual Pantomime, ‘Cinderella’ - a version by David Jasper and Tom Guest, who serves as director as well as playing Ugly Sister Eugenia, opposite Terry West as Fatima.



Sarah Legender and Kelsey White take on the principal boy and girl rôles as Cinders and Prince Charming whilst Jacqui O’Meara and Sarah Atkinson are sharing the roles of Smash and Grab the bailiffs with Joshua Wilson and Cameron Andrews. Jessica Sadler and Alisha Quinn are also sharing the rôle of Fairy Godsister Cheryl, under the supervision of Rosemary Jones as the Fairy Godmother. Kieron O’Donnell and Lucy Atkinson take on the sidekick rôles of Buttons and Dandini, while Ian Thurgood and Viv Jacobs play the Baron and Baroness Hardup. Elizabeth Flanagan and Jean Hewling round out the cast as the Angry Woman and Mrs. Curtain respectively. Two teams of SPYS and a team of dancers will take to the stage over the course of a week, in what is always the Players’ favourite time of year.

The production features original music by Tim Jasper and will be choreographed by Gill Rowe. Set design by Walter Howell, Costume design by Jeanne Iveson, and lighting and sound design by Adam White and Richard Flanagan all will come together to produce another outstanding production.

Tickets are available on the Players website www.sedgefieldplayers.co.uk or from Tickety Boo for the 5 performances from 27th to 30th December.


Sedgefield Book Ends

This year’s theme, ‘Lines of Life’ opened up some interesting pathways which resulted in a wider range of events and activities. Lines are everywhere; in music, lyrics, art, photographs, history, expeditions, stories and poems, so a varied, interesting journey began. The music and lyrics of Lennon McCartney/Liverpool Poets inspired the first event which proved a popular, well attended evening, with fantastic performances from local performers and musicians.

There were of course lots of familiar Beatles songs to enjoy. Ron Eyley talked about his life in journalism, which provided a fascinating insight into the varied, challenging, often exciting work of a busy journalist, under pressure to chase a story and get it on the front page. There were a range of inspirational workshops from Easington and North Pens Writers, as well as Sedgefield and Stockton’s U3A writing group. Local school children enjoyed a very special event with Peter Barron (author of Snow drop the Spikeshuffler and Darly’s Magical History Ride) and a fantastic young illustrator Jonathan Raiseborough, whose brilliant, detailed drawings and explanation of his working process was absolutely fascinating and enthralled the children. Sara Gibbeson, an artist and illustrator of children’s books, ran a very productive workshop at the library for younger children; great fun and hands on.

Natalie Scott’s workshop, ‘Pen Power, Writing for Wellbeing’ inspired deep thinking and some soul searching; extremely powerful and thought provoking. In between the talks and workshops, we were also entertained by the fantastic Lirica, who bring such joy to singing, and over 55 guests enjoyed a delicious Book Ends dinner at a special event to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook and HMS Endeavour. These ‘Lines of Life’ go way back and as far as Australia!

The final week began with a History of Darlington Civic Theatre presented by Chris Lloyd from the Northern Echo, followed by a brilliant talk by prolific author Griff Hosker on his novels (historical fiction), which range from the Romans to WW2. The Book Ends final day, “Super Saturday”, began with 4 more fantastic workshops, which were well attended: a Master Class, ‘Writing from ‘Life’ from Avril Joy & Wendy Robertson; Paul Parsons’ ‘Fat Bloke on a Bike’; Adam Bushnell’s Folk Tales from County Durham and poet Anna Woodford’s writing workshop.

Exhibitions by local artist Jane Spink and Ceddesfeld art group, as well as a very thought provoking photographic exhibition from Sedgefield U3A added another layer of interest and texture to the event and complimented the wide range of books written by local authors on sale and display. Special thanks must also go to Sedgefield Twinning for providing coffee and cakes.

Sedgefield Book Ends built momentum this year, with good attendance and appreciation of the range of events, which were planned to interest and engage a wide range of people of all ages and interests. Special thanks to the organisers and to DCC and SCA for sponsoring the event. For more information on this year’s festival, follow Sedgefield Book Ends FB page.