Arts & Entertainment
Email any reports/reviews to Geoff Millichap: email@example.com
Sedgefield U3A Book Club
The book is a series of connected individual stories and Olive is the link through them all. This collection of complete stories is about the neighbours, students, people that Olive knows, their hopes, aspirations, mistakes and successes.
Olive is a "bulldozer" of a woman, she's brusque, difficult to like and rarely shows any compassion for others or understanding; apart from three occasions: a suicidal boy, an ex-student; an anorexic girl; and the young man who holds a group of people, including Olive, hostage at gun point in the hospital. Sadly, but not surprisingly, Olive has few friends. Her lack of understanding has caused a chasm to develop between her and her son. This difficult, prickly relationship led to some considerable discussion in the group.
Olive is difficult to like, fascinating to analyse and, as her husband Henry says, she has never, ever apologised!
What we did all agree upon, was Elizabeth Strout's wonderful writing. The descriptive passages took the reader along the roads Henry was driving along. The superbly evocative descriptive sections of the coast were wonderful. The characterisation was detailed and intense; how else could we learn so much about this prickly awkward person and dislike her so much, but also understand what made her tick?
Several criticisms were made about the negativity in the book, is true life really that sad and lonely? One member commented "There is nothing uplifting in the book."
This was contentious book choice; the final scores ranged from several tens down to a four; with an average of 6.4.
The Witham Art Gallery
Two exhibitions of local artists will be hosted during June at the Witham, Barnard castle, both celebrating the nature and landscapes of Co. Durham & the North East, but in totally different ways. Simon Pell moved to Barnard Castle in 1987 after having studied at the Slade & worked as a set designer for the Castle Players, staging Shakespeare at the Bowes museum.
His exhibition at the Witham is an exploration of the local landscape in vivid colour, employing a combination of techniques to create vibrant brilliant renderings of nearby scenes he has photographed. Gill Kopka works mainly in pencil & watercolour, and represents nature much more faithfully. Her work will be exhibited from 16th June-13th July.
Hardwick Hall Events
Hardwick Hall is of course a fantastic venue for outdoor music events like Hardwick live, which is returning to Sedgefield in August (tickets available now at hardwickfestival.co.uk) but live music is returning to the grounds long before that.
On Friday the 11th June a mass karaoke sing-along event called 'Kroud Karaoke' will be held. Tickets are sold by the table (of 4 or of 6), and catering is available hardwickhallhotel.co.uk/events/kroud-karaoke-night.
Local Theatre Returns
Northern Stage theatre company has launched several outdoor performances to local audiences on our doorsteps. The initiative, entitled, Out On The Toon will be totally free & will visit Durham, Consett & Stockton among other venues throughout June.
Visit www.northernstage.co.uk/Event/neighbourhood-events for venues & times.
Sedgefield Lyric Singers Update
Sedgefield Lyric's Youth Choir has been working with Ed Carter, the Artist In Residence at Hardwick Park. They are creating a performance piece based on an old poem about the Park. The Lyric Singers will also be working with Ed over the next few months to create their own Hardwick based composition.
It is hoped that these works will be performed in The Park as part of a Spring festival in 2022. Singers eagerly await further Government clarification as to when large group indoor singing will be permitted.
Poems in a Pandemic
Sedgefield's Marie Barrigan and Angela Richardson of Hetton-Le-Hole have compiled an anthology of art & poetry journaling the experiences of social care staff and those they supported during the COVID crisis.
Poems in a Pandemic is a collection of over 100 poems and 10 pieces of Art offering insights into the most beautiful and painful moments of the pandemic, as experienced by carers and cared-for in social care.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to order a copy. The volume costs £25
+P&P. Ace training is a not for profit company, dedicated to the supporting social care sector.
Spennymoor's new arts & crafts outlet Nightingale Niceties has announced a programme of workshops during June both for kids & adults. The store opened in 2019 but unfortunately was forced to close its doors by government edict within 6 months. Newly reopened, it offers unique gifts & homeware as well as fun and informative workshops, both for adults and for children, while also supporting 25 local traders.
Workshop numbers are still limited & are filled early so please book well in advance. Visit www.nightingalesniceties.co.uk for full programme of events & to browse the store.
Falling On Your Feet
Helix Arts, in partnership with Durham County Council, has launched a fantastic initiative to get people up and dancing both at home and at Eastlea Community Centre, Seaham. The programme, aimed at those over the age of 65, offers weekly classes with professional dancers while encouraging mobility, combatting the risk of falls, and benefitting the mental health of participants.
Classes in June run each Thursday morning 11:00-12:30 from 10 June to 22 July. Technical support is available if any software issues arise. Book places online at www.helixarts.com/foyf.php