Category Archives: Feature

Win Guide to June

We’re not going to mention the weather for fear of scaring it off, but June is most certainly here and Winchester has a lot to offer this month:

AirplaneHijack Cinema will be taking over North Walls Recreation ground with an exciting programme of outdoor screenings, including Airplane on 10 June.  Cinephiles are advised to bring a blanket and some warm clothes as the film starts just before 10pm.  Visit the website to book an e-ticket and for more details. And if you can’t make this date, fear not for on the 11 June The Truman Show will be showing and on 12 June there will be a screening of 500 Days of Summer.

logo_alresford-music-festivalThe 7th Arlesford Music Festival is on Sat 11 June, offering 4 stages of live music. Highlights include a festival village, arts & craft activities, food and drink including a ‘Ringwood Fine Ale’ beer tent, cider corner, cocktails and a Pimms Bar. This year there is a dedicated ‘Family Arena’ with loads of free activities and family entertainment including a silent disco, street theatre, circus skills, bungee trampolining, colossal climbing wall and inflatable assault course. There are free shuttle busses to and from both Winchester and Alton Train stations running throughout the day from mid-morning until midnight. Dub Pistols will be the festival headline act and camping opens on Friday 10 June from 4pm. For more details, visit the festival website.

Drop into the Westgate Museum on 12 June, 1-3pm for some Tudor music in homage to Shakespeare’s anniversary year, performed by Courtlye Musick. This is a free event, but donations are welcome.

Winchester Writers' FestivalThe 36th Winchester Writer’s Festival is on this month at the University of Winchester, 17 – 19 June. Speakers include top literary agents, commissioning editors or authors, and attendees can book up to four one-to-one appointments for feedback on their work and a commercial appraisal. Meg Rosoff will be giving the keynote address this year. For more details or to book a place visit the website.

HiddenThe YMCA and the Children’s Society have opened a moving portrait exhibition Hidden at Winchester Cathedral to highlight the journey of young carers. Former young carer and award winning photographer Max Alexander captures the burden of responsibility and difficult choices that children face in a care role. Standard Cathedral admission fees apply, 1 June – 17 July.

comedy-gala-nick-270x270The Theatre Royal has a lot to offer this month.  Little people will be delighted to hear that Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales are in town, 7-8 June, presented by Scamp Theatre. The Winchester Comedy Festival will be presenting a gala night on Friday 10 June, featuring Nick Helm, Rob Deering, John Kearns and Lucy Porter. Blue Apple Theatre in association with The Occasion are bringing Around the World in 80 Days, a new adaptation of Jules Verne’s epic tale, 16-18 June.  Young Theatre Royal will be lost in Anthony Nielson’s Wonderful World of Dissocia 21 and 23rd June and Integr8 will be having a Dance Off, 24 -26 June with 400 children and young people take to the stage to show off their street dance moves.

Don’t forget your polling cards for the EU Referendum on 23 June. The deadline to register to vote is 7 June, so if you haven’t received your card, here’s a guide to ensuring you are registered to have your say.

Plenty to stimulate the senses this month.  Enjoy!



Win Guide to May

In Mays gone by Machiavelli was born, the Renaissance came to an end, England and Scotland formed a union and Winston Churchill became Prime Minister.  So, let’s see what Wintonians have to look forward to in May 2016…

Democracy will have its day on Thursday 5 May so don’t forget to visit your polling stations to cast your vote in the local elections and Police and Crime commission elections.  For more details visit the Winchester City Council website.

hamlet-sattfShakespeare at the Tobacco Factory are touring a repertory season of Hamlet and All’s Well That End’s Well to the Theatre Royal,  3-7 May.  If you feel like a particularly theatrical week, you can book to see both productions for £33.50 to commemorate 400 years since the Bard’s death.

rosencrantz-and-guildenstern-are-dead-v2In fact Shakespeare has some other incarnations at the Theatre Royal this month. Gallow’s Productions will be presenting an abridged version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, 9-10 May, Tom Stoppard’s beloved tragicomedy.  Or 18-21 May, Winchester Musical and Operatic Society will be presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The fairy folk will be brought alive with original music from Peter Theobald.

Time for some loud laughter in the library, with the Barnstormers Comedy night on the 20 May, 8pm.  The night features three top acts from the London comedy circuit.  For more information or to book cheaper tickets in advance, visit the Barnstormers website here.

Aled-Jones1‘We’re Walking in the Air’ celebrated singer Aled Jones MBE will be touring to Winchester Cathedral on the 26 May, as part of his Cathedral tour.  Tickets are available to book online. Later in the month on the 31 May, Tim Daykin (BBC) will chair ‘Reimagining Europe’, a reflection on how Europe might look with or without the UK in the lead up to the referendum.  Free tickets are available to book via the Cathedral Box Office. Alternatively, you can join in the discussion on Twitter.

800px-Mercury_transit_2A reminder for the astronomically inclined, the transit of Mercury will be taking place on the 9 May. The Astrosoc at the University of Southampton are kindly extending an invitation to view the relatively rare phenomenon through their Solar telescopes from 1pm – 6pm.  For more information or to register your interest, visit the event page.

Spiritual Matters

Lauda Pic 1 BWWinGuide editor Donald Hutera speaks to Yolande Yorke-Edgell, head of Yorke Dance Project, and YDP associate director and fellow choreographer Stephen Pelton about the company’s ambitious new project Dancing Sacred, to be presented at Winchester Cathedral on May 3.

Donald Hutera: What prompted the idea of staging dance – with live music, no less – in churches and cathedrals? 

Stephen Pelton: The idea for the Dancing Sacred tour grew out of Yolande’s work with Robert Cohan on his Canciones Del Alma (Songs of the Soul), a solo from 1978 which she performed in our Figure Ground tour and also at Bob’s 90th birthday performances at The Place. The texts of the songs for this piece are poems by the 16th century mystic, St John of the Cross. The feeling of Canciones is so evocative of cathedrals and sacred spaces that it seemed to call out to be performed in a church setting. Coincidentally, I was working on Lauda Adrianna, a new full-length work, set to ten of Gavin Bryars’ laude – his re-imaginings of 12th century Italian religious songs, which premiered last June in a de-consecrated church in Glasgow as part of the Cottier Chamber Project. We then started talking about how powerful it would be to perform these works together in churches and cathedrals, and before we knew it we were on our way.

As you can see, music and dance are the key elements that inspired this project. The music for Lauda will be performed live by the Gavin Bryars Ensemble. There’s also a gospel choir involved. And we asked Bob to make a new work with this tour in mind, and also to revive his 1959 narrative work Hunter of Angels, made when he was in New York dancing with Martha Graham.

DH: What kind of audience do you think Dancing Sacred will attract?

Yolande Yorke-Edgell: The performance of Dancing Sacred at Winchester Cathedral is a preview of what we hope to be doing over the next two years: presenting dance and music in cathedrals and churches as a support for Inspirit, a programme of work that we’ll tour to UK theatres from autumn 2016.

YD2It’s our hope that Dancing Sacred will attract regular church-goers who may not be accustomed to watching dance, but who’ll be drawn to see a programme at their local church. It might offer them a new experience of how art and spirituality meet. It’s our further hope that these new audiences will be so compelled by what they’ve seen that they’ll seek us out again when we perform other programmes at theatrical venues nearby.

With this in mind, we’d love to connect with a new audience at Winchester Cathedral in order for them to come and see us there when we perform at Theatre Royal Winchester next year. 

Additionally, wherever we go, we want to involve local communities in what we do. In Winchester we’re working with Totton College to create a curtain-raiser and, as Stephen mentioned, a gospel choir from Winchester University who’ll sing live. In the long term, when we tour Dancing Sacred beyond Winchester, we’ll work with local choirs who’ll learn the three songs we’re using in the performance. We can also we can create-curtain raisers with youth dance groups from the area.

DH: Are there already other performances in the offing?

SP: We performed a first draft of Dancing Sacred at our annual company Christmas event in December at the Rambert studios, but Winchester is the first go for the programme in an actual cathedral setting. Thus far it’s the only one we have scheduled, but with the right kind of funding we hope it’ll be a programme we can continue to tour in the UK and abroad for many years.

DH: Are there any special artistic or technical challenges when it comes to staging dance-based work in such a hallowed setting?

SP: We’re about to find out! Lighting options are quite limited, depending upon the space and time of day of the performance, as most churches have a lot of ambient light. And stage sizes will vary considerably.

DH: Lastly, are there for either of you any creative watchwords to keep in mind when making dance that might be deemed ‘spiritual’? 

YYE: Although none of the works in Dancing Sacred are traditionally religious they have taken inspiration from religious stories or themes which, in turn, make them spiritual.  Also, the spirituality of each dance is personal to each choreographer. With my work I’m not trying to be literal, but rather take the essence of a song or piece of music and create something an audience can connect with in a spiritual way. I hope people will be moved by what they see and hear. We want them to connect with us.

YD5SP: I’m not afraid of the word ‘spiritual,’ and would like to think that there’s always a place for matters of the spirit in my work. With Lauda Adrianna the music already dwells so specifically on religious themes and imagery that I felt I needed to be very careful not to overindulge ‘spirituality’ in the movement content. My goal was to approach the making of the piece as a way of asking questions about spirit, devotion and faith, but not necessarily answering them. Hopefully a space is created in which to contemplate these questions.

Below are factual details about each of the works in Dancing Sacred along with further information about content and tone.

Hunter of Angels (1959) by Robert Cohan (11 min, two men, music by Bruno Maderna) is a stark and dramatic work in which two male dancers representing the Biblical brothers Jacob and Esau dance around, with and on a ten foot ladder. The mood is intense as they battle each other over their birthright and claim to supremacy.

Lacrymosa (2016) by Robert Cohan (11 min, two dancers, music by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky) is a duet inspired by the relationship between Jesus and Mary.

Canciones del Alma (1978) by Robert Cohan (15min, solo, music by Geoffrey Burgon) was originally created for Canadian dancer Susan MacPherson in 1978. The music is a setting of three poems by 16th century mystic, St John of the Cross. The shape of Burgon’s songs closely follows that of the poems.

Out of Bounds ( 2016) by Yolande Yorke-Edgell (11 mins, quartet set to three gospel songs sung live by The S.O.N.G, Sounds of New Gospel). This quartet focuses on an individual whose personal quest is to break through what restricts her path in life. Taking inspiration from the possibility that “Down to the river to pray” was composed by an African-American slave, the three movements are a journey of removing the binds that can tie us emotionally and physically.

YD4Lauda Adrianna (2015/16) by Stephen Pelton (complete work 45 min, excerpts for Dancing Sacred 20 min; five dancers and five musicians; music by Gavin Bryars, performed live by the Gavin Bryars Ensemble) is a solemn and meditative work danced to re-settings of 12th century religious songs, which, in Gavin’s new versions, hover somewhere between early and contemporary music. Similarly, the dance itself hovers over the question of what it is that devotional music offers a contemporary listener, outside the context of a specific religious practice, when facing the mysteries of life, death and faith…

To book tickets for Dancing Sacred please visit:

And for more details on Yorke Dance Project, visit here:

Win Guide to April

Welcome to April, Wintonians.  Here’s our guide to what’s on this month…

Dr Who WeekendDon’t be alarmed but the Daleks are coming.  Get ready for a weekend of Dr Who-tastic fun at the Science Centre and Planetarium.  It’s going to be a total invasion, with actors scattered around the site and you may well meet a Sontaran, SIlurians, Autons, the 5th Doctor, Clockwork Droids or The Foretold Mummy. Super-fans may be interested to note that actors Jon Davey, Matthew Dale and John Levene will be taking part.   Visit the Science Centre website for more details on the Dr Who theme weekend, 9-10 April, 9.30am – 5.30pm.

For some cultural treats this month, don’t forget to read our Win Guide editor, Donald Hutera’s interview with C-12 Dance Theatre bringing Shhh! to the Theatre Royal on 5 April and Two Destination Language performing Manpower at the Discovery Centre 7 April.

Header-2016-WinchesteraDon’t forget to get researching and booking for next month’s Winchester Speakers Festival which sounds absolutely fascinating on 14 & 15 May with various talks taking place at the Discovery Centre.  Here’s a guide to the brilliant range of speakers on offer, including Dan Cruickshank, A C Grayling, Alison Weir and Robert Verkaik among others. For more information and to book tickets, visit the website here.

Winchester Fashion WeekGet ready to strike a pose for it’s the sixth edition of the Winchester Fashion week, 25 – 30 April. Expect six days of workshops, VIP fashion events and of course the finale catwalk at the Guildhall.  For more details, visit the Winchester Fashion week website.

Parentspeppa-pigs-surprise-gallery-01-133x133, grandparents, aunties and uncles – it’s a Peppa alert.  Peppa Pig will be making a live appearance at the  Theatre Royal 23 & 24 April at various times.  Peppa Pig Surprise is recommended for children up to 7 years.  Time Out hails it as “enjoyably inventive”.  For more details, visit the Theatre Royal website here.

Plenty to enjoy then as Spring finally gets into full swing.

Of Books and Men

WinGuide editor Donald Hutera interviews the makers of a brace of shows presented by Theatre Royal Winchester
shhhTheatre Royal Winchester has programmed two stimulating shows during the first week of April, both able to be seen within days of each other. Coincidentally, each performance happen to have been made by an award-winning creative organisation run by two people. 
The first, on April 5, is C-12 Dance Theatre‘s hour-long Shhh! Inspired, in part, by the romance of reading and featuring an onstage library setting, this lively, family-friendly entertainment was conceived and choreographed by Annie Lunnette Deakin-Foster and executive produced by company co-founder Adam Towndrow
On April 7 the artistic entity known as Two Destination Language – that is, Katherina Radeva and Alister Lownie – present Manpower across the road from the Theatre Royal in Winchester’s welcoming Discovery Centre. Eluding easy theatrical genre categorisation, Manpower promises to analyse and dismantle male roles and stereotypes in a manner as thought-inducing as it is engaging. 
ShhShhh! by C-12 Dance Theatre
Donald Hutera: What motivated you to make this show?
Annie Lunnette Deakin-Foster: We made Shhh! in 2013 after receiving GfA Arts Councils funding for five weeks of research and development and creation. I came up with the concept the previous year. I was inspired about making a show in a place that contains so much history, knowledge and wonder, and where virtually little or no conversation happens. What better way to explore this space than through dance? Also, libraries are magical spaces in themselves where communities can come together and have access to a fountain of inspiration.
DH: How was it put together, and with how much in-put from its original cast?
ALDF: During the r&d creation period we made a show that was split up into 12 scenes. The original cast were very much involved in the choreographic process. I set tasks for them in order to explore the narrative journey of each scene. Jamie Salisbury’s score was developed in advance of the rehearsals and edited along the way, with the music composed in response to the mood and storyboards for the dozen episodes. 
DH: What did you learn from making it, and what do you continue to discover?
ALDF: I learnt the importance of team work and establishing clear creative roles within the artistic process. It was also important to learn the long-term plan for the production, as the show we now tour is very different from the original. To allow time for development as the work begins to be presented is important. You can never underestimate how time flies in the r&d process! 
DH: How would you describe Shhh! from an all-senses perspective? In other words, what does it look, feel, sound, smell and taste like?
ALDF: The show looks like a library from the ’90s, fraying around the edges and stuck between old school traditions while wanting to move forward into the 21st century. But it also feels homely, cosy and warm, an inviting space for the community to come and be together. It sounds like a quiet, vacant and enclosed space, on the brink of disturbance through the echoes of whispers, the opening and closing of books, chairs being moved across the floor and pencils scribbling away. It smells of old musty books and newly-printed editions, and tastes like boiled sweets and candy. Childhood memories and older generation stories are being told here.
DH: Where does Shhh! ‘fit’ in the C-12 canon?
ALDF: C-12 always strives to make work that audiences can relate to. We want to take them on an emotional or narrative journey of some kind, which I believe this work does. The show is one of C-12’s first geared towards a younger audience and families, and so the narrative is clear and easy to follow. It’s one of C-12’s largest-scale works, and has helped fuel the ambition of the company to want to make bigger and more exciting dance-theatre works.
DH: What keeps you and Adam going after 11 years in the business?
ALDF: I would say it’s our ambition, positivity, enthusiasm and love of the art form. We often look to find new and exciting collaborators, and ways to challenge ourselves as art-makers. We’re also passionate about creating work that appeals to new audiences and introduces them into the dance sector.
DH: How do you and Adam divvy up duties?
ALDF: To be honest, it’s all hands on deck most of the time! Adam handles communication, marketing, production and producing duties and I handle the creative concepts, funding forms and accounts. We share the rest of the administrative tasks. But our roles still vary slightly from project to project.
DH: What’s one thing an audience member might want to know about you, the company or the show before coming to see it?
C-12 Dance Theatre is a two-time award-winning company. We received the Argus Award in 2012 for artistic excellence for Trolleys, an outdoor work choreographed by Shaun Parker in collaboration with C-12 and, in 2015, we won the Organisation Impact Award (Dance London Inspire Awards) given to  companies that have supported, inspired and made an impact on the community through dance. 
For more details, please visit the Theatre Royal website here:
ManpowerManpower by Two Destination Language
Donald Hutera: How did Manpower come about, meaning what motivated you and Katherina to make this particular work at this time?
Alister Lownie: We started out being interested in stereotypes, partly because it felt like we’d seen work about women resisting stereotypes and hadn’t seen the same for or about men. We were particularly interested in the workplace and expectations around jobs. But as we worked on it we found the idea of stereotypes felt flippant, and so we ended up with more of a nostalgic exploration of how we came to be who we are — the men who shaped us both, and the decisions we made.

DH: How would you describe your creation process? 
AL: That’s a tough one. We tend to mix up all sorts of text, images and objects to discover the show we’re making. When it works it feels like we’re sculpting something; when it isn’t coming together the feeling is more akin to pointless argument. We like to gather a possible set and costumes in the studio and try out the ideas, rather than conceptualising it all in advance.

DH: Realising that as its makers you’re both deeply ‘inside’ the show, and thus your perceptions of it are utterly unique, how would you describe its qualities? Is it funny, political, tender or…? 
AL: There are moments of all those things but its politics are gentle, a starting point for conversation rather than a heart-felt plea for things to be different in one particular way. The whole piece is suffused with nostalgia too, and an affection for things even when they weren’t quite right. It’s also very much redolent of the time in which we both grew up – the ’80s and ’90s.

DH: How long is Manpower, and what are some of the things that happen during it?
AL: It lasts 80 minutes. We tell you about our childhoods, and about growing up and becoming a man and a woman. There is music, building and dancing. It’s not what we expected, which is a strange sort of feeling, but we’re pleased with it.

DH: What are some of the things you have learnt or discovered about yourselves and/or the world through making and performing Manpower?
AL: Although it’s very much about the specifics of our own stories, it resonates with people from very different backgrounds. The uncertainty many of us share about whether we’ve made the right decisions about the important things in life – and how our choices might be traced back to seemingly minor events –  is something we’ve enjoyed exploring.

DH: What sort of feedback have you had from ‘real’ people as opposed to those in the arts industry?
AL: Our favourite is an email with the subject line “nice one”. It was very positive, and the man who sent it asked us to let him know when we’re back in his area so he can come and see more of our work. We cherish it for this line: “The music was good but you should have had some Smiths as well.”

manpower-gallery-03-133x133DH: Did you officially start working together in…2011?
AL: Gosh, yes! That sounds like ages ago, but it doesn’t feel that long. Maybe we should hold a birthday party?

DH: I was checking out the company website and wondered what is  Flint? 
AL: FLINT is our project to bring contemporary performance to places that wouldn’t otherwise get to experience it. There’s lots of work that people unfamiliar with theatre can easily enjoy without feeling they need to know anything particular about art before they come, and yet lots of that work seems risky for venues outside of big cities to programme because those potential audiences don’t know about it. So FLINT is our way of trying to help with that, finding ways to bring artists and audiences together.

DH: If there’s one thing anyone coming to see this show ought to know about it, or the two of you, what might that be?
AL: There’s some cooking on stage, but don’t come expecting cordon bleu. Also, we’d love to have a chat after the show – so do stick around!
For more details, please visit the Theatre Royal website here:

A Glimpse Inside Creative Cow

by WinGuide editor  Donald Hutera

Travels with my AuntCreative Cow is a theatre company that specialises in fresh stagings of classic  plays or literary adaptations, from  Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Brandon Thomas’s Charley’s Aunt, and Dickens’ Hard Times to Harold Pinter’s The Lover, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, Sheridan’s The Rivals and Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer.

Currently the company is touring the UK with Travels With My Aunt, a co-production with Malvern Theatres that includes performances March 28-April 2 at Theatre Royal Winchester.

The play was adapted in 1989 by Giles Havergal from Graham Greene’s 1969 novel, which had already been turned into a 1972 film starring Alec McCowen and the Oscar-nominated Maggie Smith. Greene’s unlikely hero is Henry Pulling, a retired and rather boring suburban bank manager and bachelor whose quiet, safe and risk-free life is completely turned around thanks to his eccentric Aunt Augusta.

The latter is an eccentric sexual adventuress and small-time swindler who harbours quite a significant secret. She persuades Henry to accompany her first to Brighton then Paris, Istanbul and beyond. Through this marvelous, madcap relative he encounters a twilight society of hippies, war criminals, CIA operatives and art smugglers and, in the process, is himself transformed.

The plotline not only mirrors Green’s real-life obsession with travelling, often to danger spots, but also takes the reader – and the theatre-goer – on a whirlwind tour of the fictional world the author had conjured in his previous writing.

Prior to the start of the tour, WinGuide editor Donald Hutera flung a few questions about both Creative Cow and the show in the direction of company co-founder Katherine Senior. Here’s what she had to say…

Donald Hutera: How and when did Creative Cow start, and where it its home?

Katherine Senior: Creative Cow was formed by two actors, Matthew Parish and me, and the director Amanda Knott. We’ve learnt to work very closely over the last nine years, so that what we hope to deliver always comes from a very organic place. We’ve been told that Creative Cow has a style which isn’t been forced upon the work we do, but grows out of our partnership. We rehearse in Exeter at the moment, but depending on the show we might rehearse in a barn on a farm in Devon where the cows live…

DH: Beyond the fact of 2016 being the 25th anniversary of Graham Greene’s death, why choose to stage and tour this source production now?

KS: We actually produced Travels With My Aunt in 2009 and have been looking to tour it again ever since. We managed to secure the rights for the most recent version of Giles Havergal’s stage adaptation, which was updated for London’s Menier Chocolate Factory a few years ago. The script has had various incarnations all over the world, some productions with four actors and others with as many as 30. We’ve opted for the four-actor version.

DH: What can audiences expect of the show?

SH: It’s a lively, skillful, inventive and highly entertaining evening that’s also true to Greene’s novel. It’s a pretty timeless piece, with many references and ideas that resonate still.

DH: What are some things you’ve learnt from working on it?

KS: It’s taught us a great deal about the true meaning of ensemble. As our director Amanda Knott – who was a professional ballet dancer in a previous life – has said, it’s like being in a ballet where you have to watch everyone else to create a true synchronicity. This is what our production has at its core. It’s hard work! But our aim has always been to present the most exciting, daring and fun night out possible.

To book tickets, please visit the Theatre Royal website.

Win Guide to Easter

king_alfred_perfectEaster greetings, “practically perfect” Wintonians.  Our secret is out, Winchester has been recognised by the Sunday Times as the number one place to live in Britain.  We are an “historic, cultured, foodie city”, with a strong sense of community, great restaurants and schools. With this extra spring in our step, here’s our Winchester guide to what’s on this Easter.

Chococo Chococo milk chocolate C181 robot eggLooking to buy THE egg?  Chococo’s C181 Chocholate Robot Egg has been featured in the BBC Good Food 2016 great taste test. Alternatively, the Milk chocolate Heavenly Honeycombe Easter Egg has been featured in Hello Magazine’s ‘Ultimate Easter Egg & chocolates gift guide’. And just to make the dilemma a little more perplexing, the Studded milk chocolate Butterfly Egg has been featured in Great British Chefs – ‘The best chocolate Easter eggs for 2016‘ and the Woman & Home’s Easter Collection 2016. 

Easter BrioThe Easter bunny hop returns over the Easter weekend.  Pick up a trail sheet from the Tourist Information Centre or from Chococo and search the city for egg-shaped clues in order to crack the bunny hop clue. Participating locations include Chococo, The Entertainer, Childhood’s Dream, Winchester Discovery Centre, The Old Fashioned Sweetie Shop and Creative Crafts.  Aside from the trail there will be Montezuma’s goody bags (while stocks last) and a Brio Play Event in The Brooks shopping centre offering children the chance to play with wooden railways 31st March – 2nd April. Watch out too for some singing Eggs on Legs and Egg Decoration on Saturday 26th March 10am – 4pm. Finish the trail at Chococo to claim an Easter treat whilst entering a draw for the chance to win a celebrated Chocolate Dinosaur egg.

National Trust Cadbury's Egg HuntWinchester’s Museums also have some Easter activities planned for some egg-ducational bunny and chick related activities.  The Westgate Museum will be holding an Easter spotter quiz throughout the easter holidays.  There will be some bunnies hiding throughout the museum and children can win a small tasty prize if they spot them all.  The museum is open 10am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday and 12pm – 5pm on Sundays. The Gurkha Museum will be offering an Easter chick hunt with a treat for explorers and normal admission fees apply. Winchester City Mill will be offering a Cadbury’s Easter egg hunt with clues hidden around the 17th-century working corn mill, part of a UK National Trust Cadbury’s egg hunt.

Marwell egg huntFor egg-splorers willing to travel that little bit further, Hinton Ampner will be inviting young Indiana Jones’s to hunt for giant eggs in the grounds with a Cadbury’s Egg head as their egg-grail.  There will be free face painting on offer over the easter weekend too. Marwell Zoo is advertising its Wild Egg Hunt for a chance to meet the Easter Bunny in his burrow and enjoy a free chocolate egg. Again, normal admission fees apply.

Cathedral Easter Buscuits
Cathedral Easter Buscuits

For a guide to Easter holy week at Winchester Cathedral, please visit here. Aside from the services on offer, the Cathedral have also hidden ten giant eggs for ‘eggspert’ egg hunters to find, with a chocolate prize to collect from the gift shop at the end.  The trail is available during normal visitor opening hours, Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5pm and on Sunday 12.30pm – 3pm. Cathedral entry fees apply. Free for annual pass holders (£7.50 adult annual pass, free entry for children under 16 visiting with family). The Cathedral refectory will be offering a ‘drop-in’ easter biscuit decorating session, Sat 26, Sun 27, Mon 28 and Sat 2 and Sun 3 Apr. There is no need to book in advance with a suggested donation of £1 offering exploring adults the chance to sit down with a cup of something whilst the sugar-seekers get creative.

Henry-VFor some theatrical tonic to relieve the easter overload, and while you are visiting the Cathedral, don’t forget to book your tickets to see Antic Disposition’s Henry V by William Shakespeare on 18 April at 7.30pm.  The play marks both the centenary of the First World War and the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Travels with my AuntFor another evening of entertainment, book tickets to see Creative Cow’s Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene, adapted by Giles Haverga at the Theatre Royal.  The production, directed by Amanda Knott, takes us on a journey with Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager with a penchant for dahlias, in a madcap dash around the world. Our Win Guide editor will be bringing you some more details soon on the production, running 28 March – 2nd April.

Enjoy the bountiful easter experiences our number one city has to offer, city folk, and stock up on toothpaste.

Win Guide to March

March is here signalling the welcome departure of winter and the eagerly anticipated arrival of spring. Expect festivities aplenty in the lead up to Easter in Winchester this month:

Women GOLiveDonald Hutera has curated Women GOlive at the Discovery Centre as part of the Theatre Royal Winchester’s programme on Thursday 10 March at 7.45pm, with an exciting roster of artists including Avatara AyusoSusan KempsterSarah KentAlice LabantGloria Sanvicente Amor and Lorna V. Tickets are available to book online here.

Tiff Stevenson
Tiff Stevenson – Madman

Why not go for the double on the 11 March and head back to the Discovery Centre for comedian Tiffany Stevenson’s Madman Tour.  The show was one of the best reviewed at the Edinburgh Festival 2015 receiving ten 4* and 5* reviews. Stevenson has appeared on Mock the Week, Drunk History, The Apprentice: You’re Fired and People Just Do Nothing or heard on Radio 4 Extra, 7 Day Saturday, Woman’s Hour and BBC Radio Scotland. Tickets are available here and the show starts at 8pm.

Round and round the gardenFor a thoroughly entertaining week, don’t forget to book tickets to Talking Scarlet’s production of Round and Round the Garden by Alan Ayckbourn, the master of comic relationship drama.  Norman is intent on making all the women in his life happy. Without considering the repercussions, he simultaneously attempts to seduce his sister-in-law Annie, charm his brother’s wife Sarah and still keep his own wife Ruth happy.  Starring Natasha Gray and Kevin Pallister from Emmerdale and showing at the Theatre Royal 7-12 March at 7.30pm.  Tickets are available here.

Juno and PaycockSean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock opens at the Chesil Theatre on 12 March running until 19 March, directed by Cecily O’Neil.  The Boyle family is struggling for survival in a Dublin tenement room during the Irish Civil War. “Captain” Jack Boyle – the “peacock” of the title – spends his time avoiding work and drinking with his sidekick, Joxer, while his wife, Juno, tries to keep her family together. For more information and booking details, visit the Chesil Theatre website.

Winchester Cathedral Modern Art Tours
Winchester Cathedral Modern Art Tours

Winchester Cathedral has introduced its inaugural Modern Art tour on Saturday 12 March, to guide visitors through the building’s rich art objects, including works by internationally acclaimed artists Peter Eugene Ball, Cecil Collins, Eric Gill, Antony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth and Justin Knowles, as well as renowned local artists Sophie Hacker, Tim Harrisson, Alice Kettle, Tracey Sheppard and many more.  Tickets are available from the Cathedral Box Office, priced at £12.50.

Vintage ParadeIt’s the Easter Vintage & Makers Fayre on Sunday 13 March at the Guildhall, Winchester’s biggest indoor celebration of the charm of 1930s-1980s vintage fashions and paraphernalia. Visitors can expect an incredible team of vintage traders offering fashion, accessories, collectibles, textiles and housewares – a good place to visit for an alternative to chocolate easter gifts.  Entrance is £2 and children under 12 are free. For more details visit the website here.

Simon CallowThe great Simon Callow will be presenting the magnificently interesting Orson Welles at the Theatre Royal on Thursday 17 March.  This is part of Callow’s tour of his book, Orson Welles: One-Man Band.  Callow describes Welles as “one of the most completely, improbably, extravagant human beings who ever lived.” He attempts to “make the reader feel as if they’d met him”. To book tickets for a deliciously intimate evening, visit here.

Welcome to Ginchester
Welcome to Ginchester

The Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival at the Guildhall has completely sold out 18-19 March.  If you managed to book a ticket, have a wonderful time and enjoy the beer.  If you missed out this year, why not try Welcome to Ginchester at the Green Man Pub on 18 March 7-9pm. Organisers the Cabinet Rooms have teamed up with Winchester Distillery’s Paul Bowler for an expert introduction to the world of gin.  Do book in advance to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

Plenty to amuse Wintonians so far we think and we’ll be bringing you an egg-citing Win Guide to Easter later this month…

Discover Women GOlive in Winchester

Women GOLiveby WinGuide editor Donald Hutera
They’re fabulous but flawed, fertile…or is it febrile? Maybe a little freaky or finicky, and sometimes fraught or fragile, too, but frankly funny and fantastic. 
And they’re all female.
Under the auspices of Theatre Royal Winchester, veteran dance writer, theatre-goer and arts-loving journalist Donald (The Times) Hutera hosts an evening of performances on March 10, 2016 in celebration of International Women’s Day. Featuring a handful of artists, a selection of small but stimulating performances will occur just across the road in the cosy auditorium of the Discovery Centre from 7.45pm
GOlive was born in Kentish Town in 2013 as a month-long, dance-based performance festival,  As it has evolved it has become a creative arts laboratory for a wide range of women and men who are interested in taking risks, making discoveries and generating fresh thoughts and serious fun. GOlive landed in Winchester on two previous occasions: in 2014 by special invitation to the University of Winchester and, the following year, to the venerable and welcoming Chesil Theatre. It has since visited Oxford where, having been hosted for four nights by Oxford Playhouse in the Burton Taylor Studio last summer, it will return this coming July 13-16 at The Old Fire station. There are also plans to venture further afield in the UK and abroad. 
Specialising in short, sharp and surprising works in an intimate setting, Women GOlive – as I’ve dubbed these specifically all-female evenings – offers up an assortment of global flavours from a uniquely female perspective. This one-night mini-festival at the Discovery Centre is a chance to spend time in the company of a handful of inventive, enquiring and highly entertaining women who span several generations. 
I didn’t plan on becoming the curatorial version of a feminist brother or, as I now call myself with tongue only partly in cheek, a ‘fembro.’ It came about quite organically when I first started selecting and presenting live work at the invitation of GOlive co-founder and producer George Sallis. Most of the submissions we received were from female choreographers, performers and makers. As GOlive has developed it’s become increasingly obvious that many of the plum opportunities elsewhere in the dance sector continue to be offered to men. Meanwhile there are boatloads of women who, for numerous and rather complicated reasons, are being overlooked or given short shrift. I don’t claim that Women GOlive will solve all or, indeed, any of the bigger socio-economic issues. But what it can do is shine a light on some truly gifted people and, in its own modest yet vital way, maybe help redress the balance. 
The roster of artists taking part in the show at the Discovery Centre on March 10 features many GOlive mainstays. They include, in alphabetical order:
*Avatara Ayuso, originally from Spain, is currently a key member of Shobana Jeyasingh’s eponymous dance company. She’s also an authentic force in dance in her own right. Avatara is creating a new work abroad this month, but in Winchester she’ll be represented by a deliciously tasty film called ‘Dance, Pumpkin, Dance!’
*Susan Kempster hails from Australia but spent decades based in Madrid before settling in the UK. Often a figure of tragicomic daring, in Winchester she’s presenting a beautifully low-key solo called My Own Private Movie which involves gentle and revealing audience participation.  
*Sarah Kent, formerly Time Out’s visual arts editor, has since she left that magazine to become a defiantly funny improviser. This brainy, lithe and witty septuagenarian is keen to share a scintillating slant on the world and her place in it. 
*Alice Labant is petite but her onstage presence carries a potentially titanic impact. Not yet a household name, this young French woman’s solo Je m’appelle Reviens is set to a whirring machine soundtrack that we plan to experimentally extend with the help of a small ‘orchestra’ of household appliances. 
*Gloria Sanvicente Amor, also from Spain, is a multi-disciplinary performer who exudes an aura of sensual, possibly dangerous mystery and yet she can be a clown, too. 
*Lorna V, of Greek-Cypriot heritage and another Time Out alumnus, is a self-scripted performer with a blazing personality. We’re proud that GOlive has kick-started this savvy writer’s acting career. In Winchester she’ll introduces audience to Aliki, the incomparable Greco-Argentine dance diva to the stars.
Altogether I’m hugely pleased that GOlive has attracted a group of women so varied in terms of their backgrounds, skills and temperaments, and so engaging. It’s going to be a fun night.

Peta Lily: The transformative power of Imperfection

Interview by Winchester Guide editor Donald Hutera
Peta LilyPeta Lily is one of my favourite performers, but also one whom I’ve known personally as both colleague and friend for thirty years. I’ve happily presented several of her self-written solo shows, including Invocation and her Macbeth-inspired The Porter’s Daughter, as part of the various GOlive Dance & Performance Festival programmes I’ve been curating since 2013. Her work is funny, serious and wise, and it has a smart physical edge. 
Peta is not just a fine writer and actor but also an experienced teacher, mentor and director. Her good-natured directness and honesty as a performer and a person have always appealed to me. Much to Peta’s credit, she’d probably be the first to admit that she’s full of Imperfection.
Yup, I’ve used that last word in the singular, and with good reason. It happens to be the title of a book of Peta’s poetry which, in turn, is also the major source material for her solo show of the same name. 
ImperfectionAudiences in the Winchester area can drink in Peta Lily’s Imperfection in all its intimate glory at the Discovery Centre, where it’s being presented under the auspices of the Theatre Royal Winchester on February 11 at 7.45pm. 
I threw a few questions in Peta’s direction, via email, about herself and the show. With any luck her answers will whet your appetite enough to go see the woman in action.  
An image-inspired writer…
Donald: Did writing the poems come first and then the idea to perform them, or…?
Peta: A couple of things happened but I’m not sure in which order. 
I’ve been capturing images of ‘lost corners’ using my iPhone – images of damaged or drear (or bright) things that have a strange, compelling vibrancy and an almost totemic quality, or so I felt. And the people I’ve shared them with seemed to find them interesting too.
I’m a big believer in the accidental. If I look back on my career path, there were pivotal points that were completely random but had huge repercussions and yielded large gains. So ‘following the accidents’ intuitively became the backbone of my photography practice. A friend suggested I write about it, and from that came the titular poem Imperfection, which begins: ‘the broken, the chipped, the darkly lit…’
Also I love my local library. I go there sometimes in search of particular things and sometimes just walk to the shelves and see what jumps out at me. I picked up a copy of CharlesBukowski’s New Poems Book 4 that way. I just loved his honest, muscular voice and relentless recording of whatever was to hand. Waiting, uncertainty, resentment…he even makes depression looks like a thing of spiritual beauty. Plus he was writing poems about the process of writing poems himself, and the process of calibrating one’s own success. (Actually that’s not true, because he always has his own unquenchable value of his work and his practice.) 
I also went to my library to read about Stevie Smith. After a youth where I wanted to taste a wider life as lived by the Bloomsbury Group, or Anais Nin, I now live a quiet life. Happily so. At moments lonely, but the Saturday and Sunday supplements tell me that loneliness is endemic now so at least I’m not alone…in feeling alone. 
I’d been writing a poem a week on various fractured corners of life for a while, and collected a bunch together to offer my director/dramaturg Di Sherlock (who directed Linda Marlowe in Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife). Di edited them, putting put in poems I wouldn’t have included and dropping others. ‘This is the art, death and alcohol show,’ she said. I’m no Bukowski, but I enjoy a glass of wine and at a certain point the Dionysus poem (‘Each night I meet with Dionysus/but I don’t meet him as I should…’) turned up – a nice follow-on from previous show Chastity Belt where I explored Diana/Artemis. There was a scratch showing at the Lost Theatre in Vauxhall, London of what was to become Imperfection, and an exhibition of the photographic images I’d been producing. People said they thought the images should be included in the show, and I made a short film of the images which now happens inside the show.
Opening up to risk… 
Donald: How is it for you to take an audience on this trip into your sensibility – what are the challenges and rewards?
Peta: I trust Di, having worked with her a number of times over the years. Also, since making my first autobiographic show Topless in 1999 I realised that risk can pay off. That if I open up and speak about awkward or strange things I’ve noticed, done or felt (things I may not say socially), then other people step forward after the show and tell me, or tell otheraudience members about things that have happened to them. 
It’s important when working with personal material to make sure you’ve ramped it to a universal perspective by going to the essence of the thing. By going to the most honest place, you can get the ludicrousness of something. By putting your hand up to your own faults there can be a strange pathos released (or so they tell me). One of the poems in this show is still quite a risk for me to perform – I didn’t really want it to go in. I was uneasy how people would ‘read’ it. But others have endorsed it. It seems they resonate with the sentiments, the predicaments. We are all imperfect. People get it.
Biographical obsessions…
Donald: Tell me about you…
Peta: Actress turned physical theatre performer. Occasional playwright. Mime-trained (in good company with the late Mr. David Bowie). Physical theatre and clown teacher, director, creative mentor and, um, poet? Photographer? A friend once used the word polymath – very nice of them. Someone quite close to me once called me a dilettante. Hey, I’m a suburban Aussie-born girl actually living in London – and making stuff!! Creativity! There’s a YouTube interview where the late Mr. Alan Rickman says ‘Theatre is (sort of) my religion’. Yeah. And then there’s magic, the way that Grayson Perry talks about it. You have to have your own magic, talismans, obsessions.
Not perfect…
Donald: Have you been writing all your life, essentially, and why do you do it? Is there a need involved, or…?
Peta: As a small girl I wanted to and tried to and did write. But felt a failure. There was no model for me apart from fairy stories – it wasn’t a literary household. Later a high school teacher included creative writing in the syllabus. And he made us read, too. When I first discovered Nin’s autobiographical writing I was really impacted by her showing what was under the skin – the actual stuff, not the presented self of formal memoirs by heroic men and women. Nin had secrets, flaws, obsessions, shortfalls. Not perfect.
Coda: a (mysterious) compulsion…
Donald: What about the images you capture – how’d you characterise that work in a nutshell?
Peta: I have a website for my photography, thank you for asking ( People can follow me on Facebook too  ( as Peta Lily) where I post images that strike me as a record of the day, or as a kind of communication or gift to others (if that doesn’t sound too grandiose). On Instagram I am petalily and my by-line is ‘to the mysterious’. Ultimately everything is mysterious, even the banal – don’t you think? I’ve been trying to write about what my compulsion to photograph is about recently, and found myself writing about how in my solitary childhood, often in boring or unsatisfactory surroundings, I would go off into a kind of blank trance trying to find some meaning in what my surroundings were presenting me with… There may be no meaning, but if there was one wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was magical somehow? What is a compulsion anyway – when something grabs you, gets your attention, is ‘talking’ to you? It’s rude not to pay attention, no? 
I had a French boyfriend when I was seventeen and he got me to read Jean Genet. You couldn’t get much less suburban Australian than that, could you? Genet’s philosophy was to take things that were vilified (including himself) and elevate them. Something there, perhaps, in my wanting to honour the humble and transform the mundane.