Autumn is upon us, a time for knitwear, leafy walks in vibrant reds and burnt orange or perhaps a time to head indoors and visit some of Winchester’s cosy city hosts. Here’s the Win Guide to what’s on this October:
The first thing any Wintonian ought to do is follow in the footsteps of Keats, who composed his ‘Ode to Autumn’ whilst gadding about the water meadows, or there about. For a detailed walking trail, follow the guide provided by Winchester’s Tourist Information Centre here.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the modest Turner exhibition in the Discovery Centre, closing on the 15 October. Entry is free and it’s a fine opportunity to admire the breathtaking ‘master of light’. For more information, visit here. Comedian Paul Sinha will be bringing his show Shout Out To My Ex on 7 October at 7.30pm, also at the Discovery Centre. For details, visit the website here.
BBC History Magazine’s Winchester History Weekend will be running 6 – 8 October, in association with Waterstones and for its second year. Events will take place in the Great Hall and the Ashburton Hall, Elizabeth Court. To book for some of the exciting speakers, visit the website here.
If you have little people, make sure you have booked your tickets at the Theatre Royal for The Gruffalo, 6-8 October and Stick Man, 13-15 October. Don’t forget to read our interview with a member of the Stick Man cast, here. Bring the much-loved modern classic stories to life with some live performance in our beloved local theatre. For more details, visit the website. For the slight older children, Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur is on 22 October.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of things on at the Theatre Royal for grown ups to enjoy too. Jay Rayner will be bringing his The Ten (Food) Commandments on Friday 5 October. He’ll ‘invite thee to honour thy pig – and so much more besides’. Opera della Luna will be presenting The Tales of Offenbach on 11 October and Bilimankhwe Arts’ dance version of The Tempest will delight us with traditional Malawian music.
There’s comedy aplenty, including Winchester Comedy Festival – Comedy Gala (6th) Mark Watson (7th), Penny Ashton (16th) Lea Anderson (18th), Ed Byrne (19th, 20th) and Stewart Lee (21st). Comedy drama fans can enjoy Sherlock Holmes and the Crimson Cobbles (25th, 26th) and there’s live music from The Baroque Bohemians (10th), Graham Gouldman, one of the founding members of 10cc (17th) and the Spitfire Sisters (28th). Finally Winchester Poetry Festival will be hosting a Winchester Poetry day on 14 October, and the delectable Private Lives by Noel Coward opens on the 30 October. For full details or to get booking, visit here.
Things get spooky at the end of the month in time for half-term. Join the Halloween Spooky Trail, with a riddle sheet that can be picked up from Winchester’s Tourist Information Centre. Don’t miss the activities at the City Mill including baking, pumpkin carving and storytelling.
Plenty to amuse and entertain this October and we’ll be bringing you more highlights throughout the month on Twitter @Win_Guide.
Stick Man by Scamp Theatre and Freckle Productions is coming to the Theatre Royal Winchester, Fri 13 – Sun 15 October. Here’s an interview with a member of the cast, Christopher Currie.
Tell us about Stick Man
Stick Man is the sweet story of an anthropomorphic stick who becomes lost and finds himself far from home. The show is based on Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s charming and much-loved book.
At the start of our tale Stick Man is happy, living in the family tree with his stick family. Like so many of our favourite heroes, Stick Man will have to lose what he has before he perhaps comes to a deeper awareness of just how precious the love he has really is.
In the face of scary dogs and happy holidaymakers he will assert that he is “Stick Man” and not just any old stick, but can he hold on to his identity long enough? Can he remember who he is and what is dear to him when he is far from what he knows and in a world where everybody would have him be otherwise?
What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?
I hope the audience, young and older, will rediscover this tale anew and be excited, moved and warmed by our adaptation.
What was your initial response to the Stick Man script?
I had never read the book so I did this first. I was delighted when I read the script and observed how innovative it was in bringing the story to life. I felt excited to be involved.
My thoughts were that like Stick Man, us adults must all quest to find home in our lives (whether to rediscover the home we loved when we were young and left behind or the home we long to discover out there) and to stand up for who we are in the face of adversity. This is why Stick Man’s story is and will be everyone’s story. A story we must all live, each in our own way, every day.
Have you find it hard bringing a character to life from the book?
No, I can’t say I have so far. I am aware that we will be joined my puppets to further bring the characters to life. I feel that my physicality suits stick man and that bringing his humanness alive is something I am equipped to do. I think it will be a new challenge though when we rehearse together and the characters come alive in new ways, in relationship with each other.
Did you always want to be an actor? How did you get to where you are today?
As a child, my brother and I delighted in playing with our cuddly toys, giving them voices and adventures. Yes – I have always wanted to act, even though I have other passions as well. When I was fifteen I was offered a role in the school Shakespeare play. It gave me the chance to express emotions inside of me that I could not outside of school and this was very therapeutic and empowering for me at the time. As time went on I realised I had an aptitude for the work and how much it excited me. After three years of auditioning, I was thrilled to be offered a place to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London which was a remarkable place to be. I was gifted with the most brilliant education, it was such a creative and rewarding environment.
What was your favourite book growing up?
Ooh great question! Gosh um…I think my favourite book growing up was Roald Dahl’s Matilda. I adored the story of the girl who was made to feel less, then found her kind teacher Miss Honey and felt like she was finally seen for who she really was. It’s wonderful! In my earlier years, my parents subscribed me to a magazine series which came with cassette tapes of a series of fairy tales brought to life. This was wonderful, I am so grateful for this. My imagination was enriched by these stores. They are magical times, when we read our first stories.
What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?
This is such a lovely and clever adaptation of the book, full of life. I think children and adults are bound to have a fabulous time.
Any advice for budding actors?
I think acting is a wonderful opportunity to give a gift to others and that at its best it is an act of great empathy. Be generous and make it all about those whose lives you touch through your acting and the characters you inhabit. A professional training is a wonderful experience but it is not always financially manageable for everyone these days. Watch the actors you love and ask yourself what it is about them that makes them special to you? Surround yourself with those who love you and support you and choose to believe in yourself, even when things don’t go the way you might have planned. Finally try not to get too caught up in all the drama of being an actor or how “good” you are in the eyes of others. You are a vessel for something bigger. When you come from your heart in your acting it will be full and the world will benefit from it.
Stick Man is live at the Theatre Royal Fri 13 – Sun 15 October:
September is here, the summer holidays for some have come to an end but fear not, for Winchester is offering plenty to amuse and entertain us all this month.
You have hopefully read our Heritage Open Days guide but just in case you missed it, don’t forget to visit some of the many free events on offer locally to celebrate our heritage, 7-10 September. Over the four days there will be more than 70 events: everything from guided walks and labyrinths to storytelling and river dipping for families, and gin and cider tastings for the over 18s. You can even make your own Medieval encaustic tile. Remember all events are free of charge although some you will need to pre-book as numbers are limited. There are also competitions including a chance to win one of the first Monopoly Winchester Edition games. For more details, visit the website here.
Pin Drop Comedy will be hosting their monthly open mic night at the Wintonian Bar in the Guildhall, 7 September. The bar is open throughout, so come down, relax and enjoy comedy straight from the street. Entry is FREE.
Later in the month look forward to the Winchester Jazz Festival. The festival runs 21st – 24th September with acts performing at various venues throughout the city. Head along to the Guildhall on 22 September for an evening of jazz provided by a swinging band and try your hand at Lindy Hop, as instructed by dynamic duo Bic and Simone from The Lindy Club. Dance the night away or sit back and enjoy the music! Tickets are available here. For a full programme of festival events, visit the Winchester Jazz Festival website here.
The Theatre Royal has a number of treats on offer this month, including its Open Weekend, 16 – 17 September. The theatre is throwing open its doors for all the family to enjoy behind the scenes tours, theatre workshops and craft activities. The event is FREE and you can drop in between 12 – 4pm each day. Why not book tickets for ‘Austen Undone’ running throughout the open weekend, a promenade performance through the city presented by Natural Theatre Company. For full details, visit the website here.
It’s the Michaelmas Fair at the Hospital of St Cross, 23 September from 9.30am – 4pm. Medieval knights will be demonstrating their skills alongside falconry displays by Falconhigh display team and a static display of at least 12 birds of prey. There will be 20 craft stalls to be found in and around the beautiful buildings and grounds of The Hospital of St Cross. Refreshments are available and parking is free. Entrance is £3, or free for children 12 years and under.
You might visit the Chesil Theatre as part of the Winchester Heritage Open Days but if not, it’s worth looking out for Blithe Spiritby Noel Coward, 16 – 23 September, directed by Tom Williams. Charles Condomine invites medium, Madame Arcati, to hold a séance at his home. The unintended consequences lead to a merry dance of mayhem, mischief and murder. Later in the month The Railway Plays offers a collection of eight short plays: an enticing smorgasbord of style, subject and theatrical approach, performed back-to-back in under 90-minutes. The plays have been written and directed by Nicholas Joseph, a playwright/director and senior lecturer at UoW. For more details or to book tickets, visit the Chesil Theatre website here.
Don’t forget to visit the Hampshire Harvest Festival, 30 September – 1 October, a fun packed family event celebrating local produce and farming. Activities include live music, children’s have-a-go activities, vintage tractors, falconry displays, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, Hampshire Fare market, local beers and ciders and, new for this year, an afternoon tea tent offering wonderful cakes, scones, tea and even a glass of fizz. A special Evensong service celebrating harvest will take place in the Cathedral at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon, all are welcome. There is also a Scarecrow competition with full details available here.
It really is a bumper September in Winchester so there’s no time for end of the summer blues. We’ll be bringing you more updates on twitter @Win_Guide. Enjoy, one and all!
Come & celebrate culture & heritage in Winchester this September as part of the Heritage Open days national festival. Thurs 7- Sun 10 Sept 2017
Why not be a tourist in your own town for a day or even two?
Come and discover some of the many hidden places and secrets in Winchester and the surrounding villages all completely FREE! Over four days there will be more than 70 events celebrating our local heritage: everything from guided walks and labyrinths to storytelling and river dipping for families, and gin and cider tastings for the over 18s. You can even make your own Medieval encaustic tile.
Remember all events are free of charge although some you will need to pre-book as numbers are limited. There are also competitions including a chance to win one of the first Monopoly Winchester Editiongames.
Andrew Smith & Son – Antiques & Asian Arts valuation evening 17.00-20.00 (7th)
Pilgrims Hall, The Close, Winchester SO23 9LT Join us by 5:30pm to listen to Asian Art specialist James Hammond, on the changing nature of the market in Asian Art, and Andrew Smith who will give an insight into the modern auction world. Throughout evening a full team of specialist valuers will be on hand for informal valuation advice on any antiques or works of art brought in on the evening.
Aspects of Winchester – an exhibition at Winchester Heritage Centre 10.00 – 16.00 (7th, 8th & 9th)
Address: Winchester Heritage Centre 32 Upper Brook Street Winchester SO23 8DG The City of Winchester Trust has invited a group of artists in Winchester, who meet regularly to paint and sketch around the city, to produce an exhibition representing their work. Limited edition prints and cards will be available for sale.
Carter Marsh & Co 11.00 – 16.00 (7th, 8th)
Address: Carter Marsh & Co 32A The Square Winchester SO23 9EX Carter Marsh & Co are renowned dealers of antique clocks and watches and will be celebrating their 70th anniversary in the city this year. Come and watch skilled craftsmen at work and delight at some of the finest examples of antiquarian horology on display in the showroom.
Cosmic Walk and Labyrinth Tours: 11.00-12.00 & 12.30-13.00 (7th, 8th)
Address: University of Winchester, West Downs Student Village Romsey Road Winchester SO22 5HT Stroll with us from the beginning of time as we discover the unfolding story of the Cosmos and reconnect with our world. The Cosmic Walk features a Labyrinth and offers visitors the opportunity to reflect upon their relationship with the Earth and the Divine.
Chesil Theatre: (9th, 10th)
Address: Chesil Theatre 4 Chesil Street Winchester SO23 0HU Discover the delightful 12th century church of St Peter’s Chesil, converted to an intimate 75 seat theatre about 40 years ago. See behind the scenes, the stage and lights along with costumes, set designs and photos which will also be on display. Members of the Winchester Dramatic Society will be available to answer your questions.
Gieves and Hawkes Archive 09.00 – 17.30 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th, times vary)
Address: Gieves & Hawkes Ltd 1-2 The Square Winchester SO23 9ES For more than two centuries Gieves and Hawkes has been the world’s foremost in bespoke tailoring and has dressed every British Sovereign since George III. Come and learn about the company’s military history and view some of their archive pieces, including Princess Diana’s original Hampshire Regiment colonel in chief uniform jacket.
HCT: Abbey House Collections Tours 1000, 1200 & 1430 (7th)
Address: Abbey House The Broadway Winchester SO239BE Take a guided tour of some of the city’s collections of paintings and furnishings rarely on display to the public. Originally built as a private house around 1700, Abbey House was bought by Winchester City Council in 1889 and restored to its original 18th century splendour following extensive refurbishment in the 1980s. It is now the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester.
Hyde 900: Medieval tile display & workshop 1000-1600 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th)
Address: Winchester Cathedral Chapter House Garden Winchester SO23 9LS A display of encaustic tiles found on the site of Hyde Abbey. Discover their history and how they were made and why not have a go at making them in the medieval manner– but be prepared to get your hands dirty! For a fee your tile can also be glazed and fired.
Kingsgate – A Walk Through Time Walk: 1500 (7th, 8th & 9th)
Address: Kingsgate Arch Kingsgate Street Winchester SO23 9PD This walking tour takes in Wolvesey Palace, site of the medieval palace of the bishops of Winchester, continues down College Street past the College and the house where Jane Austen spent her last months, and ends with Kingsgate Arch and the 13th century church of St Swithun above.
Old Hyde House, ADAM Architecture offices Tour: 1000 & 1200 (7th, 8th)
Address: Old Hyde House 75 Hyde Street Winchester SO23 7DW Built on part of the original 12th century Hyde Abbey Precinct, Old Hyde House is Grade II* listed and has served many uses over the years. Visitors will be given a guided tour of the offices, hear the building’s rich history and see remnants of the old buildings that still exist today. Unsuitable for children under 15yrs.
Oram’s Arbour: a walking tour Walk: 1800-1900 (7th)
Address: Oram’s Arbour, Winchester A guided walking tour with local architect, George Saumarez Smith, describing the district around Oram’s Arbour. The walk will explore how it has changed since medieval times and how the area to the west was developed around West End Terrace.
Peninsula Barracks: a walking tour Walk: 1000 (7th, 9th)
Address: Peninsula Barracks Romsey Road Winchester SO23 8TP Join local architect Huw Thomas on a guided tour of the Peninsula Barracks and discover the history behind this five acre site. Huw will regale you with tales of executions, ghosts, mass graves, bloody 13th century battles, and his very own battle to save the buildings from demolition in the 1980’s.
Serle’s House Tour: 10.00 (7th, 8th 10.00 & 14.00)
Address Serles House Gar Street Winchester SO23 8GQ A rare chance to see inside this 18th century building built in the English Baroque style. Join a guided tour to see the staircase, reception rooms and period items and paintings from both the military and Hampshire County Council collections.
St Bartholomew Church 1000-1600 (7th, 8th, 9th 9:30-10:00, 10th Church closed after 9:30am morning service)
Address: St Bartholomew Church King Alfred Place Winchester SO23 7DN St Bartholomew was built by the monks of Hyde Abbey in the 12th century. Parts of the original church survive, including the Norman doorway. When the Abbey was destroyed by Henry VIII, its stones were used to build the church tower. King Alfred the Great is long rumoured to be buried in the churchyard.
St John the Baptist’s Church 1000-1700 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th)
Address: St John the Baptist’s Church St John’s Street Winchester SO23 0HF Winchester’s oldest parish church is situated on the ancient Pilgrim’s Way between Winchester and Canterbury. Built in the 12th century, later features include a spectacular south window, wall paintings and screen. Described by Sir John Betjeman as ‘a gem’, major restoration has revealed its medieval simplicity and beauty.
St Lawrence-in-the-Square 10.00-16.30 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: St Lawrence Church The Square Winchester SO23 9EX St Lawrence was a deacon martyred in Rome in AD 258. The Church stands on the site of the chapel of William the Conqueror’s Palace. It is called the Mother Church of Winchester, for it is the only surviving church of Norman foundation within the city walls. Before a new Bishop of Winchester is enthroned, he is first presented at St Lawrence.
St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate 1000-1630 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate St. Swithun Street Winchester SO23 9JP St Swithun is the only church above a gate in the UK still holding church services. It was built in the 13th century and named after a local bishop, Swithun, thought to have been the tutor of King Alfred the Great. When Swithun’s bones were moved to the Cathedral against his wishes, a terrible storm occurred, giving rise to the legend that if it rains on St Swithun’s Day (15th July), it will rain for 40 days.
The Great Hall 10.00-17.00; Special Tours 1100 & 1500 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: The Great Hall Castle Avenue Winchester SO23 8UJ Explore the history and legend of The Great Hall, join our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides with 2 tours on offer and storytelling for children. Visitors will have a rare chance to see the 18th century Former Grand Jury room and discover Charles II’s vision of a King’s House in Winchester.
Warren & Son 09.00-17.30 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: Warren & Son 85 High Street Winchester SO23 9AE Look inside the big safe which is rarely open to the public. There you will see memorabilia and several tokens from the past including some first edition books published by Warrens.
Whitchurch Silk Mill on Tour 9am – 5pm (7th, 8th, 9th times vary)
Address: Hampshire Record Office Sussex Street Winchester SO23 8TH Whitchurch Silk Mill has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to assist with the restoration of its machinery and buildings to preserve these unique gems of Hampshire’s industrial heritage. Closed from September 2017 the Mill’s Roadshow will give people a glimpse of this exciting project.
Winchester Cathedral: tours of the close Tour: 10.00 & 14.00 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th)
Address: Winchester Cathedral The Close Winchester SO23 9LS Cathedral guides will be offering tours of the Cathedral Close, including some buildings not normally open to the public. The tour itinerary will vary but may include the brand new Wessex Learning Centre and apothecary garden, the stonemasons’ and carpenters’ workshops and private gardens
Winchester College – College tours 1015, 1130, 1415 & 1530 (7th, 8th, 9th & 10th times vary)
Address: Winchester College College Street Winchester SO23 9NA Believed to be the oldest continuously running school in the country, Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham in the 14th century and has been described as one of the finest collections of historic buildings in southern England. Join a guided tour to find out more. Unsuitable for children under 11yrs.
Winchester College – War Cloister tour Tours at 14.00 and 15.00 (7th)
Address: Winchester College College Street Winchester SO23 9NA Winchester College was founded in the 14th Century and has been described as one of the finest collections of historic buildings in Southern England. Within the precincts is the beautiful and peaceful War Cloister, a memorial to Old Wykehamists who died in both World Wars and subsequent conflicts. Listen to their stories and the story of the building of this wonderful memorial. Unsuitable for young children.
Winchester Embroiderers Guild 1000-1700 (7th, 8th 09.30-16.00)
Address: St Lawrence Church 18-19, The Square Winchester SO23 9EX An opportunity to meet Winchester Embroiderers Guild members demonstrating stitched textile techniques. There will also be a small display of members’ work in a range of styles. We are a diverse group of textile artists who enjoy celebrating our heritage in contemporary as well as historical embroidery. We look forward to meeting you.
Gilbert White’s House 10:30am -17:00pm (7th)
Address: High Street Selborne Alton GU34 3JH A rare chance to view items from the collections store not on display in the Museum. From personal items belonging to 18th century naturalist Gilbert White, to artefacts brought back from Africa by Victorian explorer Frank Oates, and memorabilia from the tragic Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole in 1912 led by Captain Scott.
Hinton Apmner – National Trust 10:00-17:00 (9th)
Address: Hinton Ampner Nr Alresford SO24 0NH A house lovingly rebuilt by Ralph Dutton, after a fire in 1960. Beautifully proportioned rooms house an exquisite collection of ceramics and art. Manicured lawns lead the eye down avenues of sculptured topiary, past borders full of roses, to views across the South Downs. Explore the grounds with a brand new Quiz Trail App and follow clues to discover the secrets of Hinton Ampner.
Long Barn 0900-1700 EXHIBITION ONLY (7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, paid talk available on some dates)
Address: The Old Sheep Fair Bishops Sutton Road Alresford SO24 9EJ Long Barn home & garden store loves all things lavender! Visit their free exhibition of artefacts showcasing English lavender growing.
Matterley Bowl Tour 09.00, 11.00, 13.00 (7th)
Address: off A31 alresford road Alresford SO21 1HW Discover the recent history of the Matterley Bowl and join a guided tour of this stunning natural amphitheatre within the SDNP. Learn about traditional land management and go in search of late flying butterflies. This event is not suitable for small children.
The Brickworks Museum, Bursledon 11.00 – 16.00 (7th & 10th)
Address: The Brickworks Museum Swanwick Southampton SO31 7HB
Come and be amazed at the authentic sights, sounds and smells of the last steam-driven Victorian brickworks in the UK. Make your own brick, get close to the massive brick making machines and see how the men used to run 15 miles a day in the big drying sheds.
Watercress & Gin 18.00-20.00 (7th)
Address: The Watercress Co Old Alresford Alresford SO24 9DH Explore the history of watercress in Hampshire, take a guided walk around the beds and learn more about the health-giving properties of watercress and wasabi. Afterwards visit the Winchester Distillery site for a tour and free tasting of their award-winning watercress gin. This event is not suitable for children under the age of 18yrs.
Pre-booking essential, for over 18yrs only
Other exciting events include:
Antiquarian Bookselling in Winchester over the years: Weekend Archaeology at St. Cross Hospital: Friday only Austen abridged: Saturday only Barter Memorial Chapel: Saturday only Free Vintage Bus Service: Saturday only Friends Meeting House: Weekend HCT: Behind-the-scenes at Chilcomb House: Friday only HCT: Brass rubbing at The Westgate: Sunday only HCT: Musicians at the Westgate: Saturday only HCT: The Winchester Model at City Museum: Sunday only Hampshire Record Office Open Day: Saturday only Jeremy France Jewellers: Saturday only Morally Insane, Inverted, Born This Way: Medical Treatments for Lesbianism in Britain: 1830-1950 Saturday only Pilgrim’s Hall: Friday & Sunday St Cross Meadows: Friday only Storytelling at Winchester City Mill: Sunday only The Chesil Rectory & more: Friday & Saturday The Colour Factory Studios: Sunday only The Guildhall tour: Sunday only The Hospital of St Cross: Friday only The Stable: Cider Tasting & Talk: Saturday only The Tree Line: Poetry at Pilgrims Hall: Saturday only Theatre Royal: behind the scenes tour: Saturday only Vintage Make Do & Mend: Weekend vOx Chamber Choir: Saturday only Winchester City Mill – Flour Milling Weekend: Weekend Winchester College – Archives tour: Saturday only Winchester College – Fellows’ Library tour: Friday only Winchester College – Science Collections tour: Saturday only Winchester College – Treasury: Weekend Winchester Lido: Saturday only Winchester MG Owners Club Display: Saturday only Winchester’s Historic Journey Through Paper Cut: Friday & Saturday Winchester’s Military Museums: Weekend Wolvesey Castle guided tour: Sunday only Bullington Craft Fete: Sunday only Heathcote Mausoleum: Sunday only Hockley Watermill: Sunday only Hursley House: Sunday only The Granary Creative Arts Centre: Weekend The Grange at Northington: Friday only The Vyne: Weekend Walking Tour of Winchester’s Historic Sites and Best Real Ale Pubs: Saturday only
It’s definitely summer in Winchester, despite what the weather might have us believe. Let’s see what’s on offer this month:
Cult Screens are back this summer with some “luxurious” outdoor cinema treats in Cathedral Close. Tickets are priced according to the type of al fresco seating you would like. There are food and drink options as well, including craft beers from independent breweries, superb wines, cocktails, fresh popcorn and fantastic food at most venues. You can also bring your own food. For more details, visit the website here.
3 August – Back to the Future, 7pm for 8.45pm start 4 August – Rogue One, 7pm for 8.45pm start 5 August – Mama Mia, 7pm for 8.45pm start.
If you venture out of the city, the Wickham Festival celebrates its 10th birthday this year, 3-6 August, with a fabulous line-up including KT Tunstall, 10CC, The Levellers, Seth Lakeman and many more. Rated one of Britain’s best boutique and family friendly festivals by the Guardian, it’s well worth a visit. Camping tickets have sold out now, but there are still day and weekend tickets available. To find out more, visit the festival website here. Elsewhere, the Boomtown Fair is back at the Matterley Bowl, 10 – 13 August. Chapter 9 acts include M.I.A, Cypress Hill, AJ Tracey, Alix Perez and more.
We’re rather intrigued by the Cheese and Chilli Festival taking place at the North Walls Recreation Ground, behind the Leisure centre, 19-20 August. Activities include; Live Music, Motorbike, Quad and Mountain Bike Stunt Shows from the amazing Jez Avery, Falconry display, Magic Shows, Punch & Judy, Inflatables, a Chilli Eating Competition, Real Ale and Real Cider Bars, Craft Tent, Sand Art, Ballon Modelling, Wine Tastings, Cooking Demonstrations, Chilli Presentations, not to mention all the amazing produce and crafts for sale at the show. For a full schedule of activities, visit the website. Children 16 and under get free entry and tickets are cheaper if you purchase them in advance.
Aside from running its theatre workships for young people this summer, the Theatre Royal will be presenting local youth theatre company RicNic’s West Side Story, 23-26 August. Watch the Jets and the Sharks battle it out in Bernstein’s much-loved musical. For more information or to book tickets, visit the website here.
There are a couple of drinks events of note this month. The Hambledon Vineyard is hosting its wine festival 6 August, 11am -4pm. Tickets are £10 and available to book here. The Whiskey Affair is taking place at the Guildhall on 26 August, with two sessions running 1-5pm and 7-11pm. There will be Scotch, Bourbon, Worldwide Whiskey and Cocktails to try out with some live entertainment, a photo-booth and food available to buy. For more details visit the website.
We’ll be bringing you a preview feature on the September Heritage Open Days later in the month. And don’t forget the Littleton and Harestock Show taking place Saturday 2 September at the Littleton Recreation ground, with gates opening at 11am. It’s a must if you are looking for a traditional village fete, a part of the village life since 1921!
Meanwhile, keep an eye on twitter @Win_Guide for more tips on what’s on in August. Have a wonderful summer, whatever the weather…
It’s summer in the city. Let’s see some of the highlights on offer this month:
It’s the Winchester Festival, 7 to 15 July. Celebrating its twentieth year, this is one of the city’s oldest festivals. Enjoy nine days of curated music, talks, drama and visual arts in a programme that includes homages to Rachmaninoff, Queen Victoria, Shakespeare and, in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of her death, Jane Austen. There will also be Winchester walks on offer. For full details, visit the website here.
The Chesil Theatre will also be celebrating Jane Austen with their sold out production of Persuasion, 15 to 22 July. Fear not, if you missed out on a ticket this time, as Chamber Opera Tours present Jane Austen’s Persuasion: A New Musical Drama at the Theatre Royal Winchester. For more details, and to book tickets, visit here. The Bank of England will be unveiling a brand new £10 note at Winchester Cathedral on 18 July, featuring Jane Austen from 2.30pm. Registration for tickets has closed now but the Cathedral will remain open as normal. For other Jane Austen events, don’t forget to visit the Jane Austen 200 website.
The Pedal, Paddle, Pace triathlon will take place on 16 July, in support of Macmillan. With a 20k cycle ride, 5k run and 2k kayak (supplied), individuals or groups can enter. PPP was established in 2004 and has raised over £100,000 since. For more details on how to participate, visit the website here.
The 2017 edition of the Winchester Science Festival will take place 28 – 30 July. There are plenty of events for all age groups, with talks and participatory exhibits. The festival takes place at the Winchester Discovery Centre. For a full schedule of events and details about how to book passes, visit the festival website here.
Welcome to May, one and all. Here’s our guide to what’s on in Winchester this month:
For photography fans, look no further than the Discovery Centre for the opportunity to view this year’s finalists for the Winchester Photographic Societies Annual Exhibition, at the City Space. The event is free and donations are welcome. The event is open until the 7 May, Monday – Sunday and times are available here.
The beautiful Ballet Black will be performing a Triple Bill at the Theatre Royal, 3 May. Now in its 16th year, Ballet Black’s company of British and international dancers of black and Asian descent has been delighting a new generation of dance fans with its “dash, daring and joie de vivre” ( The Guardian). This is a company not to miss.
Sparsholt College will be hosting their annual Countryside day, 13-14 May. The Taste of Hampshire Food Festival will run alongside the Countryside day stalls, rides, animal displays and live music. The medal winning Horticulture Team will present a mock build of their entry to the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show – an exciting opportunity to see this wonderful garden ahead of the prestigious show. Parking is available onsite, disabled access and an early bird discount. For more details and to find out about booking tickets, visit here.
Little people might be interested in visiting the Theatre Royal to see David Walliams’ ‘The First Hippo on the Moon’. The production has been adapted for the stage by acclaimed award winning theatre company Les Petits, sister company to Les Enfants Terribles so this should be a real treat for young space and theatre fans. Tickets and times are available a the Theatre’s website here and the show is running between 25 – 28 May.
For adult theatre fans, don’t forget to visit the Chesil Theatre later this month for After Electra by April de Angelis, directed by Peter Andrews. Running 20 – 27 May at 7.45pm, this is a moving black comedy that re-imagines the meaning of family. April de Angelis’ After Electra premiered at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth in April 2015 before playing at the Tricycle Theatre in London. You can book tickets from the Chesil Theatre here.
SHOCC Dances will be bringing a Ceilidh to the Winchester Guildhall, 20 May. Doors open at 19:15 for a 19:30 start and the dance finishes at 23:30. There will be a licensed bar serving real ale. Tickets are available here. Whilst you are at the Guildhall, The House of Gin Festival returns 27 May, with a brand new format in association with Winchester Distillery, Twisted Nose Gin and Fentimans / East Imperial tonic and mixers. The festival will have three Gin bars showcasing a wide range of Small Batch and Award Winning Gins. There will also be the Copperhead Gin and De Borgen Cocktail Bar. A £7.00 ticket entry includes your complimentary ‘House of Gin’ Rocking Glass for you to keep and use at the event. For more details, visit the Guildhall website here.
Gin connoisseurs may also enjoy the Spring Gin Dinner at the Running Horse. Gin cocktails to taste, spring dishes to enjoy and lots of fun to be had. The evening will start from 7.30pm where you will be welcomed with a gin tipple with three delicious courses soon to follow. £33.50 per person, Saturday 27th May and you can book here.
Enjoy the spring offerings and we’ll be bringing you more tweets and tips @Win_Guide throughout the month.
April is going to be a great month in Winchester. Easter is upon us, and the city is gloriously decorated with vibrant spring flowers. Here’s our Win Guide to some of the events to enjoy this month:
William the Conquerer is coming to the Railway Inn, 8 April. This isn’t a lazarus moment for the Norman King, but the Americana band whose album Proud Disturber of the Peace and will be out on 4th August. There’s plenty to look forward to at Winchester’s music venue, including the longest running Open mic night, Roots every Monday at 8.30pm and a Poetry Platform, 4 April at 8.30pm. For full listings and details, visit the Railway website here.
There’s a treat at the Chesil Theatre this month in the form of the classic Victorian thriller ‘Gaslight’ by Patrick Hamilton, running 1 – 8 April. Tickets are available to book here and this is the trailer:
The Corner House have set up a Jazz night in collaboration with the Winchester Jazz Festival team. There will be live music on a Thursday evening from 7.30pm. The Richard Abrahams Duo will be playing on 13 April. For more details, visit here.
The fabulous John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield present The Empty Nesters’ Club at the Theatre Royal, 6-8 April. If your children have left home and the nest is empty, this is the group for you! There’s lots of Young Theatre Royal projects to enjoy this month too. Keep an eye out for Sasha Regan’s all male ‘The Mikado‘ by W.S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, 24 – 29 April. It’s a timely chance to have a giggle at British Institutions with the G&S brand of musical wit.
Dulwich Opera Company will be visiting St Paul’s Church on 29 April for ‘A Night at the Opera’, evening of operatic arias, duets, and trios, including music by Mozart, Bizet, and Rossini. Visit here to book tickets online and the evening starts at 7.30pm. The company brings professional artists to smaller venues in an annual season of touring work, and it sounds like a rare opportunity to experience opera in an intimate space, close to home.
So, there are some egg-celent events to look forward to this month. But we must not forget the Easter festivities. There will be several egg hunts taking place throughout the city and at nearby attractions. The National Trust will be continuing its annual Cadbury’s easter egg trail at local venues including the Winchester City Mill, 14 – 17 April. The Easter bunny hop will be taking place throughout the city, 8 – 23 April. This is an annual event where families can crack a code by exploring local participating venues to win a treat. Pick up your form from the Winchester Tourist information centre. The Westgate Museum will be running its annual egg hunt, with clues hidden among the museum displays. It’s a free hunt with a treat for egg-splorers.
Finally, don’t miss Sparsholt College’s Easter Bunny weekend, 14 – 17 April. Find Humpty Dumpty on an Easter Trail, meet the Easter Bunny and Animal Characters from Nursery Rhymes. Enjoy lots of craft activities including Easter baskets and make your own pea-green boat. There will also be plants for sale grown by the Horticulture department, refreshments, face painting and pony rides. For more details and to buy tickets, visit here.
We’ll be bringing you more tweets and tips @Win_Guide throughout the month. Enjoy the sunshine one and all.
Spring is springing! March is here and hopefully the sun will start to make an appearance to warm up the flowers that have started to bloom.
Let’s see how Winchester will be entertaining and amusing this month:
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is playing at the Theatre Royal if you’d like to provide some storytelling adventure for little people. Running from 2 to 5 March, this adaptation of Michael Rosen’s hit book has just finished its West End run and has commenced an international tour. One to watch and please visit the Theatre Royal website for more details. Alternatively, keep an eye out for David Almond’s ‘Heaven Eyes‘, by Théâtre Sans Frontières, 6 March. The production was recommended by the British Theatre Guide as one of the Best Family Shows in the North East of 2014. If you miss these productions, fear not, for there will be a chance to see another West End hit adaptation, this time of The Tiger Who Came To Tea, 22 – 23 March. The production is a musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the celebrated book by Judith Kerr. For more details, visit the Theatre Royal website.
Pin Drop Comedy will be hosting their monthly free open mic night on 2 March. Doors open at 7.30pm and the bar is open throughout. Some lucky Wintonians will be shimmying on down to the Guildhall on 4 March to enjoy the Magic of Motown. The event has sold out and will feature classic covers of the Supremes, Temptations, Jackson 5, Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie and more. Whist we are at the Guildhall, there are still some tickets left for the Real Ale and Cider Festival, 17 – 18 March. This event usually sells out so get booking here if you are keen.
For some fresh and live music, call into the Railway Tavern this month. Fighting Caravans, the alternative rock sextet from Leeds will be on stage 10 March. Big Boy Bloater and The Limits will be bringing their “raucous” R&B to the city on 17 March, and there are many more exciting acts across different genres booked in throughout the month. For full listings and details visit the Railway website here.
Swansea City Opera are in town at the Theatre Royal on 15 March, performing Lakmé by Léo Delibes in English. This opera is best known for the ‘flower duet’, so this is a great chance to restore the oft used music to its original context. Tickets, dates and times are available here.
The critically acclaimed Bristol Old Vic production of Owen Shears’ Pink Mist will be staged at the Theatre Royal, 20 – 21 March. Pink Mist tells the story of three young men deployed to Afghanistan. As the physical and psychological aftershocks of war take their toll on the loved ones they left behind, Arthur, Hads and Taff find their journey home is their greatest battle. Pink Mist was inspired by 30 interviews with returned servicemen and first staged in 2015. Watch the production trailer here and visit the website for more details.
Why not treat mum to an early mother’s day treat with a Ukulele Introductory Workshop at the Theatre Royal on Saturday 25 March. No prior experience required just pick up the instrument which should be accessible and easy to learn. Mother’s day is on Sunday 26 March so don’t forget flowers, chocolates, lunches and gifts for all those super mums in the city.
We’ll be bringing you more tips @Win_Guide throughout the month. Have a great month, one and all.
February is here and whilst it may be grey, spring is not so far away now. It’s a short month this one, so let’s make it count.
Lamenting the loss of Christmas? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well fear not, for Gallows Theatre will be treating us to Seven Santas by Jeff Goode at the Discovery Centre, 3 – 4 February at 7.30pm. It’s the follow-up to The Eight Reindeer Monologues. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when the most powerful man on Earth is sentenced to rehab for a minor traffic violation. But when he finds himself in a detox program run by the estranged Mrs. Claus, Santa’s desperate struggle to conceal the truth about his arrest, uncovers yet another sordid secret that could mean the end of Christmas-as-we-know-it. To book tickets, visit here.
Winchester Cocktail Week is upon us, 6-12 February. Scattered across the city, participating venues will be hosting masterclasses, and discounted signature cocktails. The perfect way to celebrate a dry January, or to simply celebrate. The event is organised by the Cabinet Rooms. We’ll also be toasting Gary and Marcus, founders of the Cabinet Rooms as they have recently announced that they will be taking over the Art Cafe in Jewry Street. Producers of delectable events involving fine food and drink experiences, we’ re sure there will be some exciting plans afoot! For details about the Winchester Cocktail Week or to buy your tickets, visit the website here.
Pin Drop Comedy will be back at the Guildhall on the 9 February at 7.30pm for their monthly open mic night. It’s free entry, and the bar and kitchen will be open throughout. The Guildhall is participating in Winchester Cocktail Week, so wristband wearers will benefit from promotional prices. Enjoy the cocktails and chuckles.
The Yorke Dance Project will be back at the Theatre Royal Winchester, 15 February presenting Rewind Forward, an evening of contemporary ballet. It looks like a really exciting programme, including Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Sea of Troubles, two world premiere’s from Charlotte Edmonds, the Royal Ballet Young Choreographer and Yolanda Yorke-Edgell, as well as work by Robert Cohan. For more details and to book tickets, visit the website here.
Did you know it is the year of the Rooster? Winchester Theatre Royal will be hosting a Chinese New Year Extravaganza, 17 February at 7.30pm. Chinese acrobatics, elegant Chinese dance, energetic kung fu, and a highly skilled puppeteer that can perform the ancient magic of Face Changing, it’s going to be a night to remember. For tickets, visit the theatre website here.
The Chesil Theatre will be presenting Titter Ye Not on the 25 February, a portrait of Frankie Howard both on and off-stage. An affectionate look at the man, his life and his work, and the highs and lows of his career with glimpses into his, sometimes traumatic, personal life. Written and performed by Paul Harris, tickets are available online here.
The Winchester 10k Road Race will take place on Sunday 26th February. The event starts outside the Guildhall, with the route heading up the High Street, and through the city to the village of Kingsworthy and back for the finishing line at the Winchester City Football Club ground. There’s still time to enter, and for more details visit the website here.
Have a great month, one and all. Don’t forget to keep an eye @Win_Guide for more tips throughout February.
The arts & culture guide for the city of Winchester in Hampshire.