Tag Archives: Winchester

Win Guide to March

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 huntWe’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.


Win Guide to February

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.

Seven SantasLamenting 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 WeekWinchester 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 ComedyPin 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.

Win Guide to December

winchester-christmas-marketIt’s beginning to feel a lot like December, and you can’t fail to notice the lights in the city or the selection boxes and crackers that are lining the supermarket aisles.  ‘Tis certainly the season, so let’s see what our fine city has to offer in the lead up to Christmas:

Start off the month with a ho, ho, ho! at the Pin Drop Comedy ‘Christmas Special’ standup comedy night, 1 December 8pm at the Wintonian Bar, Winchester Guildhall.  It is hosted by James Ross & Andrew Johnston.  Entry is free and you can enjoy your christmassy chuckles with some food and drink from the bar.

12-days-of-christmas-1000x500We’re getting excited about the Woolly Hat Fair Twelve Days of Christmas. Throughout December, in all sorts of surprising places, 12 free events will take place inspired by the cherished carol. Events will be free to attend and will take place at 5pm every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between 3 – 22 December. Keep an eye on the Hat Fair website for details of locations. Day 1 is A Partridge in a Pear Tree at the Winchester School of Art Gallery, with work from Live Canon, a collaboration between fashion and textiles students from Winchester School of Art and with budding poets from Winchester’s local community.

cinderellaThe Theatre Royal panto will be Cinderella this year and it’s opening 6 December until 2 January.  Oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is! There are relaxed performances, family performances and this year the Theatre Royal is offering a Touch Tour at 10am on Sunday 11 December, one hour prior to the 11am performance offering an opportunity for those who are visually impaired to experience the stage, and feel the set and costumes to enhance their enjoyment of the show. For more details and to book tickets, visit the theatre website here.

santa-runChristmas is a time for giving and there are some worthwhile charitable events taking place this month.  The annual Naomi House and Jacksplace Santa Run will be held on 3 December. Starting at the Winchester Guildhall, the 5k will run through the city from 9.30am with details available here. There’s a Charity Christmas Concert at the Discovery Centre, 9 December at 7.30pm. Winchester Fusion Choir will be singing in aid of Winchester Fusion Choir presents a concert in aid of Winchester Homestart , Winchester Youth Counselling and Winchester Friends of the Family. Tickets are available to book online here.

twilight-tower-tour-2015Winchester Cathedral will be offering their Twilight Tower Tours from 3.30pm lasting 90 minutes on various dates until 17 December.  There will be mulled wine and mince pies after the tour and it’s a fantastic way to see views across the city, Christmas market and ice-rink.  It is a climb, so the Cathedral advise sensible clothing and footwear and the event is not suitable for young children or those with walking or breathing difficulties. For dates and booking details, visit the website here. Details of the Christmas services at the Cathedral are available here including the Carol services and Midnight Eucharist.

city-museum-christmas-quizzes-robinWinchester City Museum will be hosting a festive family quiz for super sleuths.  Entry is free and there will be a tasty prize at the end (donations are welcome).  Why not follow this up with a trip to Santa’s Grotto at the Tourist Information Centre.  As this is his busy period, he’ll only be in on Saturday’s and booking is recommended. For more details, visit the website here.

Cornflowers window displayThere are some fabulous opportunities for Christmas shopping in Winchester.  The Cathedral Christmas Market cabins and ice-rink are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, a seasonal staple for a sensory trip into the spirit.  Don’t forget to stroll to Kingsgate Village for Kingsgate Books & Prints, Cornflowers Gift Shop, P&G Wells Booksellers or Kingsgate Wine and Provisions. And there are many more hidden boutiques or purveyors of luxury items so get some walking boots and knitwear on. The Square has been described by the Telegraph as “the beating heart of chic Winchester”. Cadogan & Co has certainly earned this reputation. Featured in Vogue’s 100 best shopping destinations outside London, it’s a treasure trove of couture, sumptuous service and the perfect spot for those wanting to enjoy the act of trying and buying clothes.  If you linger in the Square you could find some specialist kitchenware at Dinghams. Chococo is a must for edible gifts, and we urge you to stop off for a hot chocolate whilst there. If you want pure vintage, climb up the hill to Stardust Years for authentic ladies fashion and accessories.

Remember, Winchester is so good at Christmas it has a website dedicated to it and you can download a handy guide here. We’ll be bringing you more seasonal tips throughout the month @Win_Guide. Enjoy, city folk, and we’ll see you next month for some new year’s resolutions!

Is everybody happy?

Donald Hutera checks out The Happiness Project, a new touring work from choreographer Didy Veldman that comes to Theatre Royal, Winchester November 10

‘Are you happy?’

It’s a key question, asked of the four dancers in Didy Veldman’s new production The Happiness Project – an approximately 70-minute show that comes to Theatre Royal, Winchester on November 10.

The Dutch-born choreographer was formerly a member of Rambert Dance, among other companies. She then went on to carve out a successful career as an international dance-maker based on the Continent. Having relocated to the UK for the past two and half years, Veldman is this month launching her company Umanoove with a piece that takes as its theme Western society’s search for fleeting pleasures and deeper fulfilment.

Speaking briefly at the opening performance of the production’s current tour, which occurred last week at the Jerwood Dance House in Ipswich, Veldman said she spent about six weeks developing the piece with a top-notch cast: Dane Hurst (winner of two Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards), Hannah Kidd (a nominee for the same awards, the current roster of which has just been announced), Mathieu Geffre and Estela Merlos. Between them this quartet has worked for and/or with Richard Alston, Phoenix Dance Theatre, National Dance Company Wales, Shobana Jeyasingh, Mark Bruce, New Movement Collective, Rambert and many other choreographers and companies in the UK and abroad.

Aural alert: the show’s score, an alternately brooding and urgent mix of live and recorded music, is by the Romanian-born violinist Alexander Balansecu. The man himself slips about among the dancers as a constant presence, instrument in hand and ready to fuel moods and actions. Balanescu’s ‘sound’ is proper contemporary-classical, so don’t attend expecting to bop along to Pharrell Williams’ popular upbeat anthem…

Working with the designer Kimie Nakano, and lighting expert Ben Ormerod, the joint pursuit of Veldman’s creative team was ultimately to devise a dance-based work that, in her words, tries to shed some light on what happiness is and how it manifests itself in human beings. Or, as she put it, ‘How do we deal with it? How do we achieve it, or crave it, or sometimes buy it?’

As a long-time dance-watcher I appreciate Veldman’s ambitions with the work – a chamber-sized series of shape-shifting vignettes that can seem by turns amusing, wondrous or, occasionally, shallow.  Perhaps inevitably, given such broad and elusive subject matter, The Happiness Project may not reveal anything definitive about what happiness is or means or the lengths we go to acquire it. There are also passages that are maybe too busy and vague, or facile and trivial, while over-all it possibly lacks some of the keen and sometimes messy complexities I associate with being alive.

But there are nevertheless felicities dotted throughout. These range from the sounds that Balanescu produces (as well as his genuinely interesting stage persona as a somewhat lumpen-looking middle-aged man in a jaunty hat), to the treasure chest-like boxes used as a main prop (along with a pretty expressively free-floating, ambiguous plastic sheet), to the confident and fresh unit formed by four truly fine movers. Each dancer has his or her moment and, in some cases, more than one. I was especially taken with Hurst’s intense, honest and self-questioning delivery of text and motion when replying to the show’s key question. Merlos, meanwhile, made virtually everything she did matter to me, whether swooping through the air while being held aloft by the two men, slinking closely round Balanescu as he plays, enjoying a delicate duet with a symbolically half-empty (or is it half-full?) glass of water or simply, and temporarily, placing a plastic bag with a smiley face on it over her head. Her sensitive intelligence continually shone through – qualities that at times glimmer in the performance as a whole.

So, did The Happiness Project make me happy? In part, yes. It might do the same for you. Catch it while you can.



Being Human

Jasmin Vardimon’s Pinocchio comes to Winchester
by Donald Hutera

Pinocchio Jasmin VardimonWhat does it mean to be human?

That question is the thematic core of Jasmin Vardimon’s dance-theatre take on Pinocchio, which is about to visit Theatre Royal Winchester for three performances (Oct 13 at 7.30pm, Oct 14 at 1.30pm and 7pm) as part of a big UK tour.

Based on the iconic tale of a wooden puppet who dreams of being a real boy, this brand-new show promises to be a thoughtful, magical and ingenious staging of a familiar story. Featuring imaginative designs as well as impish and moving characterisations, the focus is likely to be on vividly expressive physicality supplemented at key points by spoken text and songs. It is also something of a departure for Vardimon, who has thus far never used a pre-existing narrative as a creative source nor fashioned a work for family audiences (recommended ages: 7 and up).

Born in Israel (where, tellingly, one of her jobs was to write psychological profiles of those who would serve in the army) but based in the UK, Vardimon established her eponymous company nearly 20 years ago. She has gradually become a real force in UK dance both for the many productions she and her collaborators have made and, more recently, because of the performance training programme she and her colleagues devised to develop the next generation of dance-based all-rounders. It might also be worth mentioning that for the past decade Vardimon has been an associate artist of Sadler’s Wells, London’s leading international dance house. It’s a top venue but, alas, still something of a ‘boy’s club’ in a country where the disparity between the opportunities being offered to female choreographers and their higher-profile male counterparts can’t be ignored. Note, however, that following its Winchester performances Pinocchio will be presented at the London venue later this month.

But leaving the politics of art aside, it’s plain that Vardimon and company’s energies are all aimed at the new show. Rather than replicating the charming but somewhat sanitized Disney cartoon classic, Vardimon’s version is more closely aligned to Carlo Collodi’s original Italian novel published in 1883 as The Adventures of Pinocchio.

‘It was written at a time when Italian society was engaged morally and philosophically in a very important question about education’, explained Vardimon during a recent interview of the BBC arts programme Front Row. ‘Can peasants be educated? Can their children go to school and become real boys, or are they destined to be merely work-force donkeys?’ As she aptly remarked, the underlying issue of equality in Collodi’s novel is relevant today.

It is perhaps revealing that Vardimon chose to cast a female dancer in the lead role of her production. This was, she says, ‘a very conscious decision’ especially as it relates to being human and the differences between people in terms of their race, gender and so on.

Now if all of this makes this Pinocchio sound like some earnest sociological exercise, as a long-time professional watcher of Vardimon’s work I can pretty much guarantee this will not be the case. Set to an evocative and eclectic soundtrack, the production is a piece of living marionette theatre with changeable settings and even the characters themselves sometimes suspended on ropes. Vardimon knows her stuff as a theatre-maker, meaning the show is bound to be layered with images, sounds and movement that stimulate the senses, activate the brain and help release the kinds of deep feelings that human beings of all ages can ponder and savour. Pinocchio should, in short, be a real treat.

Donald Hutera writes about dance, theatre and live performance for The Times and many other publications and websites in the UK and abroad.


Theatre Royal Winchester

Box office: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sat)
T: 01962 840440
E: boxoffice@theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

Performances: Thurs 13 – Fri 14 October
Thurs 7.30pm
Fri 1.30pm, 7pm

Culinary Cocktails in Winchester

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10039Following the success of the first Kitchen Cabinet event in July, Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be opening its doors after-hours again for two further events designed for gastronomes and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Cabinet Rooms and Forte Kitchen are working together to offer a menu of sharing plates and complementary cocktails influenced by the new seasons’ flavours.

Co-founder of Cabinet Rooms, Gary Whiter, said, “We are very much looking forward to opening up the Kitchen Cabinet again and offering new drinks menus that pair with Forte Kitchen’s delicious, seasonal dishes.”

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10209Olly Biggs, Co-Founder and Head Chef at Forte Kitchen, explained, “We are entering one of our favourite times of year with some incredible fruits and vegetables coming into season. With apples, pears, blackcurrants and figs, to name but a few, we have real scope to offer some great autumnal and wintry flavours at our upcoming events.”

At the Kitchen Cabinet, as well as a range of Forte Kitchen’s small plates and sharing platters, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy some of Cabinet Rooms’ signature cocktails – such as the Twisted Vesper, using local Twisted Nose Gin and Pear Vodka – as well as new drinks inspired by Forte Kitchen’s menu.

“At July’s Kitchen Cabinet,” explained Gary, “the Pancake Martini, our homage to Olly’s superb breakfasts and made with our homemade bacon vodka, was a real hit with our guests. We have a few more ideas up our sleeve for this autumn and can’t wait to bring some new, delectable drinks to the table for the discerning people of Winchester.”

ginchester-forte-2016-adrienne-photography-10288The Kitchen Cabinet will be open from 7pm to 11pm on Friday 30 September and Friday 25 November. Entrance is free. Table service only. A small number of tables can be booked for two-hour slots by calling Forte Kitchen on 01962 856 840.

For the latest news follow Cabinet Rooms and Forte Kitchen on Twitter (@CabinetRooms and @ForteKitchen) and on Facebook (/CabinetRoomsWinchester and /Forte-Kitchen).

Hampshire Open Studios

Win Guide to Hampshire Open Studios

Saturday 20 – Monday 29 August 2016

An annual art trail which gives a unique view on the world of local artists, their studios and galleries.  Over 500 local artists will be giving talks, exhibiting their work and providing demonstrations.

Events are taking place across Winchester and the county.

Here’s a few of the Winchester landmarks on the trail:

yard_e68d7e75beb69fb5c11964992f1b00c1The Yard Studio
The Yard Studios, Matleys Yard, Wharf Hill, Winchester, SO23 9NQ

“A diverse group of over 20 artists working in everything from paint and photography to sculpture and silver jewellery”.

Kate ArnoldArt Cafe Winchester
De Lunn Buildings, Jewry St, Winchester SO23 8SA

Kate Arnold

“Kates drawings and prints are full of movement and character. The confident fluid line that creates the image works in both her prints and drawings”.

Links GalleryThe Link Gallery
West Downs Centre, Romsey Road, Winchester SO22 5HT

Encounters – 2D3D South

“Different styles and individual approaches, from painting and drawing to printmaking and sculpture”.

Keith BennettKeith Bennett
106 Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9LH

“Figurative paintings and drawings in pastel, oil and watercolour. Portraits and musician studies as well as landscapes and still lifes”.

Clare GoodmanClare Goodman
West End Studio, 5 West End Close, Winchester, SO22 5EW

“The spirit of the countryside evokes an emotional response in Clare’s work, which is inspired by the effect of light over landscape”.

Cards available. Coffee and cake in support of Hants IOW Air Ambulance. Private View 6.00-8.00pm Saturday 20th.

Hampshire Open Studios Jill NorthJill North, Pauline Cherrett, Debbie Forsdyke & friends
3 Byron Avenue, Fulflood, Winchester, SO22 5AT

“Photography, paintings, books, cards, kumihimo jewellery, stained glass, basketry, and more. Tea and cake”.

Rhian JohnRhian John
Tegg Lea, Lanham Lane, Winchester, SO22 5JS

“Energetic and vibrant landscapes, floral and animal paintings packed with colour, which people tell me make them smile! If you like colour as much as me, this is for you. Kettles on!”

For a full programme of events in Winchester and the rest of the county, visit the Hampshire Open Studios website here.

Win Guide to July

July is here and Winchester will not fail to deliver its share of weird and wonderful events to brighten what has been a temperamental summer thus far:

Stonemasons-Festival-Have you ever experienced live stone masonry?  Winchester Cathedral will be hosting a Festival taking place in the Inner Close, 8-10 July, where stone masons from across the UK will be showing their carving prowess, culminating in a public auction of works on Sunday 10 July and a chance to meet the masons. The event is free.

hampshire-fare-Foodies will be pleased to hear that July is also the Hampshire Food Festival, with various events taking place across the county all month.  On Friday 15 July 2016, Winchester’s Forte Kitchen will be opening its doors afterhours for a unique evening of food and drink. “Kitchen Cabinet” is a collaboration between Forte Kitchen and Cabinet Rooms. For a comprehensive list of all the events on offer, visit the online programme here.

Winchester Festival of the ArtsThe Winchester Festival of the Arts runs until Saturday 9 July, a series of music, talks and drama throughout the city. Speakers include Michael Morpurgo, Robert Hardy and Sandi Toksvig. There is a lunch time recital programme at St Lawrence’s Church, a selection of visual arts exhibitions and some interesting city walks. We like the sound of Alfred’s Kingdom (a dramatised walk) described as a journey ‘back through time’ to Anglo-Saxon Winchester with a dramatic twist! Booking is recommended. For a full programme visit the Festival website here.

Wessex Dance Academy will be presenting an exciting evening of choreography and film at the Theatre Royal, 14 July at 7pm.  A new company of dancers will share their 12 week journey with  three new pieces of dance. The event is free although donations are welcome.

logoThe Winchester Science Festival takes place  22-24 July. A fantastically curated programme of speakers will take over the Discover Centre for a weekend of stimulating talks on space, nature, the future and of course, powerful lasers. Various exhibitions and other events will be taking place throughout the month, and a full programme is available on the Winchester Science Festival website.

Plenty of food and thought this month – enjoy!

Hat Fair 2016

Hat Fair - Of Rider and running horses
Hat Fair – Of Rider and running horses

Hat Fair is the UK’s longest running festival of outdoor arts.
The festival takes place every year during the first weekend of July across the historic city of Winchester.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at each year’s festival, and best of all, it’s absolutely FREE!

manoAmano Hat Fair
manoAmano Hat Fair

With 234 performances planned for 2016 over 23 locations and 3 days, and with everything from space-walking astronauts to roof-top dancing and from mobile bath-tubs to peaceful sky-gazing, we hope you’ll find something that’s right up your street!

Hat Fair 2016 (1 – 3 July)

Friday & Saturday
– Two jam-packed dates of arts and culture at more than 20 locations all around Winchester city centre.

– All-day family picnic at Oram’s Arbour, with some of the world’s most spectacular street performers.

“The wonderful Winchester Hat Fair, a joyous weekend of street theatre and outdoor performance” The Guardian, 2015

For more information please visit www.hatfair.co.uk

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.