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• Non-selective & high performing • Average class size 8 • No school uniform • Very wide range of subjects • Preparation for competitive university courses eg Medicine, Dentistry & Oxbridge •Art, Film & Media specialists





EDITORIAL: 0845 388 2243 (local rate from BT landlines) ADVERTISING: New advertiser & excellent series booking discounts available to all. All ads also appear in the online edition at FREE LISTINGS: DESIGN: A Stones Throw PRINTING: The Colour Factory Ltd, Sittingbourne, 01795 470 825, PUBLISHER: Emma Dewhurst WEBSITE: Current print circulation: 7000 copies Distribution: Medway Towns, Maidstone & Gravesend Copy/listings deadline for March issue: Wednesday 19 February 2014 ©WOW Kent magazine All rights reserved. While every effort has been made to ensure that details in this publication are correct, we cannot accept responsibility for such. Readers are advised to check information listed, to avoid disappointment. Views expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect those of the editor and publisher.

WELCOME TO WOW! Your guide to the best of What’s On Where Medway, Maidstone and the accessible beyond Happy New Year dear readers! We’re back to business with a plethora of arts-related activities and events for you to do and see. A splendid exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery and Craft Case kicks the year off in fine form (see main feature). Prizes for The Best of... Art Competition have been decided and awarded: turn to page 14 for a review of the journey. Many thanks to all who entered and congratulations to the winners. We have also selected some of the best arts-related classes around this spring for both adults and children for those who want to get out there and have a go themselves. Surprise yourself with a new skill, why don’t you? Here’s wishing you a colourful, peaceful and creative new year. Emma Dewhurst


Sam Fentiman Hall is a former journalist and editor, now running Wordsmithery, a freelance literary consultancy. She set up ME4 Writers and 17Percent, an organisation for female playwrights for which she also programmes She Writes, a showcase night. me4writers. and DETAIL OF PAINTING BY WOLF HOWARD (SEE MAIN FEATURE) PHOTOGRAPH OF THE EDITOR BY RIKARD ÖSTERLUND

Robert Flood (Music & Features) is a life-long Medway resident. He runs a Rochester based events company called Feet on the Ground which provides technical support for live events. He is a passionate music fan with a love of the Medway scene and a local history buff who is a member of the City of Rochester Society.

AMBASSADORS PLEASE! If you love the magazine please become a WOW ambassador and mention it, especially if you use any of its advertised services, or attend an event because you saw it in the magazine. Thank you.

Find us on Facebook @EmmaDewhurst7 WOW magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper

Beth James is the Chair of Kent & Medway LGBT Community Action Group, Director of ‘Square Pegs’ (drama groups for young people with learning disabilities: as well as freelancing for various Arts and Equalities related projects. Email: Nick Walker (Film) is the director of the Rochester Film Society, screening Contemporary World Cinema and classics at various venues around Medway. Nick previously wrote for the Guardian, was director of National Schools Film Week and is currently a freelance writer, teacher and film cinema/festival programmer. For more information on the Rochester Film Society visit



If you’re a freelancer, home worker or just a curious, proactive type of person, coFWD (based at 161 High Street, Rochester) will be hosting a ‘Jelly’ on 31 January and again on Friday 28 February. Jelly is a free, informal coworking event which gives you a chance to get away from your usual desk and meet some new faces. For more information, or to find out more about coworking, visit









CALL FOR STALLHOLDERS! Sat 5 & Sun 6 April Stallholders are wanted for a new outdoor market in Chatham, part of a larger launch event for Sun Pier House Music, food, art, clothes, home ware, textiles, nostalgia and more £20 per pitch, trading between 11am - 5pm each day RICHARD WATTS CHARITIES All enquiries to art competition RICHARD WATTS CHARITIES

SUPPORT THE MEDWAY QUEEN The Medway Queen Preservation Society have spent over 20 years raising funds to help restore the packet steamer, the Medway Queen, back to full operational use. The Medway Queen recently returned to Medway to be moored adjacent to Lightship LV21 at Gillingham Pier, and the Society are looking for both funds and volunteers. Volunteers skilled in any of the following are sought: electrics, mechanics, welding, carpentry, plumbing and painting, as well as extra hands able to help plan and organise their social events including catering help or support in organising/selling tickets for raffles. If you would like to volunteer and be part of this unique piece of history in the re-making, telephone 01634 575812 to request a volunteer application form. Support is equally welcome in the form of donations: there is a ‘Donate’ button on the website:




i CHATHAM Theme: ChathamINTRA Intra* and Lesser Known Chatham LAST CHANCE TO ENTER! *the area between the east end of St. Margaret’s Bank, roughly where the railway bridge crosses Rochester High Street, and the Chapel of St. Bartholomew

Richard Watts Charities Art Competition Entries will be accepted in any 2D medium, including photography All entries will be considered for purchase

For further details and application form please visit

PRIZES: Email by Richard Watts Charities. The for this art competition is Friday 28 1STclosing - £1000 date or telephone 01634 842194 for more In addition to the cash prizes RWC will be information. holding an exhibition of short-listed work at 2ND - £500The Nucleus Gallery in Chatham for 2 weeks from Intra (being the area February. theme is Chatham 3RD - £250 Closing date: Friday 28 February 2014. 4 - 17 April 2014. between the east end of St Margaret’s Bank, roughly where the railway bridge crosses Rochester High Street, and the Chapel of St Bartholomew) and Lesser Known Chatham. Artworks will be accepted in any 2D medium, including photography. Great cash prizes (£1000 first prize, £500 second prize and £250 third prize). Entry fee of £10 per entry. All entries will be considered for purchase by Richard Watts Charities and there will be an exhibition of shortlisted entries at Nucleus Arts Gallery, Chatham. For further details call Fleur Boyce on 01634 842194 or go to There is a £10 fee per entry, with a maximum of three entries per person.



Saturday 15 February 11am – 4pm

From noon on Sunday 9 February Chatham plays host to one of the biggest Chinese New Year parades outside London. There is also a free preview event in Chatham town centre on Saturday 1 February, including a Chinese market full of eastern promise, dishes and gifts plus a taster of some of the displays coming up the following weekend.


Join paper artist Jessica Palmer to create your own book cover designs, collecting inspiration from around Maidstone Museum and using creative paper cutting techniques. Cost of workshop: £35.00, £30.00 concessions. Booking essential on 01622 602838 or email

Hel p

HUGE plaudits and virtual roses to all those readers who have taken the time to complete the WOW Magazine Reader Survey. It is much appreciated and extremely useful to help the Editor shape the magazine in the future. If you have not yet taken the survey, it is still open and your opinion would be greatly valued. FInd it on the home page at

YOUR MUSEUM NEEDS YOU! The Guildhall Museum, Rochester is planning an exhibition later this year to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War. The museum’s curators are keen to give the show a highly local feel and are asking residents to share family memories and memorabilia that offer a glimpse of what life was like on the Home Front in Medway between 1914 and 1918.


Also at Maidstone Museum is this exclusive behind the scenes tour commemorating the anniversary of the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in February 1923. Visitors will explore the Museum’s Egyptology collections, hear the stories behind shabtis, amulets, mummification and ceramics, and get the chance to see historic artefacts that aren’t currently on display. Tours start at 11am, last one hour and cost £4. Places are strictly limited to 15 and must be booked in advance on 01622 602838.

Residents with a story to share or objects, photographs and other artefacts that could feature in the exhibition should email or call the Museum on 01634 332900


SPOKE ‘N’ WORD Bringing an experience of the highly popular phenomenon of the poetry slam to young people across Kent and Medway this year is Spoke ‘n’ Word. This is a new, participatory performance project which aims to give participants the opportunity to work alongside some of the best spoken word artists in the country. A series of events throughout the year (including one onboard LV21 at Gillingham Pier as part of the Fuse Festival in June) will culminate in a Grand Slam Final at Canterbury’s Wise Words Festival in September. For more information or to get involved keep your eye on

Bruno’s French Bakes Rochester High Street has been quietly blessed with a new gastronomic experience. Bruno’s French Bakes, has moved into the premises formerly occupied by the Little Coffee Pot (at the bridge end of High Street). This is a coffee shop with a difference – that difference being the amiable personage of award-winning French patisserie chef, Bruno Breillet. Breillet grew up in the city of Lyon, watching his mother and grandmother in the kitchen, bringing influences of south eastern France and Burgundy to their baking, and he chose to follow in the traditions learnt at their knee: always make it fresh and add a little personal touch of your own. Breillet’s Chocolate and Salted Caramel tart was recently awarded three stars in the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards 2013. There is a loving explanation on the website about his attitude to chocolate (he always uses 70% dark baking chocolate but strives for 74% and is constantly searching for brave new taste pairings to bring out the chocolate’s flavour). Apart from this signature tart, there is a daily selection of sweet and savoury tarts and cakes on offer, all baked fresh on the premises. Apparently, private parties are also catered for. So that’s the next big birthday bash sorted, then...


has an early spring offer for Valentine’s Weekend From Friday 14 to Sunday 16 February inclusive visitors can take advantage of a ‘two for one’ deal on admission. For each paying adult, one adult or child will be admitted free of charge, to enjoy a trip round the castle, and to take in the stunning views from atop the 34 metre high (113 feet) battlements. The castle will be open between 10am and 4pm on all 3 days.

“Rochester’s Best Kept Secret”

Serving the highest quality coffees, teas, hot chocolate and French pastries made on the premises by award winning pastry chef, Bruno Breillet 12a High Street Rochester ME1 1PT Hours: Tue - Sat 9am-6pm; closed Mondays Late opening til 9pm on Thursdays T: 01634 780 506 Facebook: Twitter: @brunofrenchbake

Fantabulous FLEA MARKET! Saturday 22nd February 11am-4pm









The Gordon House Hotel & Car Park 91 High Street Rochester ME1 1LX For more info & bookings email:





WHAT THE WATER GAVE ME is the latest in a series of excellent free poetry workshops organised by Medway Libraries. The workshop will be led by award winning writer Pascale Petit, co-founding tutor of The Poetry School. ‘Are you ready to embark on a journey of discovery?’ asks the blurb...

A little further afield, Godinton House is offering a comprehensive series of gardening workshops throughout the year. Workshops run from 9.30am2.30pm, cost £55 and are run by Viv Hunt, the House’s Head Gardener and Fiona Abrahams, Lecturer at Hadlow College. You will be welcomed with coffee and refreshments, spend the morning in and around the gardens and then enjoy a light lunch before the afternoon session.


Try one of the many creative classes on offer this Spring run by fantastic professional practitioners just dying to pass on their skills

Suitable for adults of all abilities. It takes place at Strood Library on Saturday 8 March between 10.30am - 12.30pm. Places are free, but booking is essential. Email or call 01634 337799.

ART CLASSES Medway’s Adult and Community Learning Service, Rochester Centre Community Hub ME1 1EW (that’s the old Adult Education centre to you and me) is hosting a variety of sessions: LIFE AND FIGURE DRAWING & PAINTING: Monday,10am-12noon for 17 sessions; Wednesdays 7-9pm for 17 sessions and Fridays, 10am-12 noon for 17 sessions. PORTRAIT DRAWING & PAINTING: Mondays 1-3pm for 17 sessions and Fridays 1-3pm for 17 sessions. Email: Tel: 01634 333333 A new weekly ART CLASS is starting at Maidstone’s Stepping Stone on Wednesday 5 March, 7-9pm. Artist Suzie Dafforn will teach a variety of techniques, including charcoal drawing, relief printing, sculpture and collage. For more information email

Among the courses on offer are Rose Pruning on 15 February, Spring Propagation on 1 March and Spring Pruning and Garden Tasks on 15 March. Godinton House, 37 Lockholt Close, Ashford, TN23 3JR. Tel: 01233 641924

ARTS & CRAFTS This Art of Mine is a friendly studio run by mother and daughter team Gemma and Kate, situated in the heart of the Kentish countryside, just a short drive from Maidstone. A great variety of workshops and classes on offer for adults and children. RAG RUG CUSHION MAKING Tue 11 Feb, 10am-4pm. Cost £90 includes all materials. LEARN HOW TO KNIT IN A DAY (red Hedgehog) Sun 2 March 10am-5pm. Cost £90 including materials.

Many more classes on offer, including make your own upholstered pinboard, Ceramic Flower Canvases and starting soon are machine and hand sewing classes. This Art of Mine, Little Budds Farm, Coldblow Lane, Thurnham, Maidstone ME14 3LR. Tel: 01622 735312. Mob: 07792 541149. Email:

UPCYCLING Saturday 22 February at 10am - 3pmSun Pier House ‘PIMP YO CRAP!’ workshop with Laura Murphy (Like A Magpie). If you have items at home that you love but want to make them into something new and more useable, bring them along to this workshop for a new lease of life. Learn upcycling skills and have something pretty to take home. Chairs, small tables, lampshades etc all welcome. Cost: £25

FELT MAKING Classes for adults (and children – please ask) at Sun Pier House, Sun Wharf, Medway Street, Chatham, ME4 4HF Led by practising textile artist and qualified art teacher Jenni Burrows. The aim of the workshops is to introduce you to the art of felt making, and to equip you with the basic skills to allow you to branch out and be adventurous evolving your own style. All materials are provided. (Bring your own lunch for the all day courses; tea, coffee and juice will be available). TASTER DAY FOR ADULTS Sat 8 Feb and Sat 1 Mar: 10-4pm: Perfect for beginners. ADULT EVENING WORKSHOPS A six week course beginning Tue 25 February, 7-9pm experimenting with a range of techniques and materials to create a wearable piece of art. Cost: £90 for six week course. Email: Mob: 07505 899623

[STOP PRESS! Jenni Burrows is also running two sewing machine workshops for kids (5-11) on Wed 19 February 10am-12pm or 1-3pm at £2 per child at C.C.B Sewing Machines, St. Margaret’s Bank, Rochester]


Medway is currently blessed with a good number of classes, a healthy variety of approaches and helpfully varied class times. Here’s a selection:

BRIDGET READER (BWY Dip, PGDipIYT, MCThA) has a long established practice in the Medway Towns. As well as teaching yoga, she is trained in yoga therapy and reflexology and has a special interest in working with people whose health issues limit their ability to participate in a general class. Classes at Borstal Village Hall (Mon 8.00pm – 9.30pm) aimed at those with little or no experience of yoga; Sun Pier House, Chatham (Wed 7.30– 9.00pm) for those with two years or more recent experience of yoga; Strood Leisure Centre (Thu 10-11.30am) please enquire at the Leisure Centre (01634 333933). Bridget also teaches a new 6 week beginners courses starting in March (Mon 6.45-7.45pm). Mob: 07962 077597

GEM YOGA Teacher Gemma took her first yoga class 16 at The Black Lion Leisure Centre. In July 2011 she completed her Yoga Teacher Training qualification in Rishikesh, India and has been teaching ever since. Classes at Gillingham Sunlight Centre (Tues 7-8pm), Sun Pier House Chatham (Wed 12-12.45pm), White Road Community Centre (Thurs 1011am). All levels and abilities. Classes £5. Mats provided. Mob: 07746721603.

ROOTED IN YOGA Kate teaches open level classes where beginners are welcome with a variety of approaches. She also teaches pregnancy yoga, runs children’s yoga workshops and a power yoga practice. Classes at The Gordon Hotel Rochester (Tue 7-9pm); Meopham Village Hall (Thu 7-8pm); St Peter’s Hall, Delce Road Rochester (Fri 1-2pm Vinyasa Flow & 2.15-3.15pm Restorative Yoga). Mob: 07757 549863

VENUS YOGA Veena specialises in Hatha yoga, breathing and relaxation. Classes are gentle and creative. All levels are welcome and mats and blocks are provided. Classes at Friends Meeting House, Northgate, Rochester ((Thu 6.307.45pm). Also Yoga Flow class at Dance Junction (Sat 9.30am-10.30am). Mob: 07939 573169 If you live in MAIDSTONE, Maidstone Yoga Centre is a specialist Iyengar yoga centre offering lots of classes in its central location: 3 Broadway, ME16 8PS. First class free. Tel: 01622 685 864. 11

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Thurs: Friends Meeting House (opp. Corn Exchange, Rochester) 6.30-7.45pm Sat: YOGA FLOW at Dance Junction 9.30-10.30am ALL LEVELS WELCOME Mats & Blocks provided £6 per class Contact Veena: Tel: 01634 724222 or 07939 573169


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e som ted f o d-uprts-rela ren n u o A r e best a or child f of thkshops lf term wor this ha


at The Brook Theatre, Chatham BALLOON ART AND MAGIC TRICKS (8-14 years) Mon 17 Feb, 10am - 12noon Make amazing balloon models, learn astonishing magic tricks and master the art of general showing off. Each child will take home their very own pack of playing cards to use as they try their new tricks on family and friends. Cost: £7 ONE DIRECTION STYLE (8-16 years) Tue 18 Feb, 10am - 3.30pm Participants learn a routine to One Direction’s songs with professional dancer Jay and perform it at the end of the day. Cost: £14 CRAFTY FUN DAY: CERAMICS AND PRINTING (8-16 years) Fri 21 Feb, 10am - 3.30pm An opportunity to get messy at this one-day art workshop. Children can go at their own pace with help from artist Friday Caswell to create printed pictures using special tilecutting tools, inks and rollers and in the afternoon paint designs on mugs, plates and tiles. Cost: £14 Booking is essential for all of the above Brook Theatre workshops. For more information telephone 01634 338319 and to request a booking form (essential for all new participants) telephone 01634 338338. Brook Theatre, Old Town Hall, The Brook, Chatham ME4 4SE

Creating PUPPETRY, PRINTING AND POP UP BOOKS at Maidstone Museum

PUT ON A PUPPET SHOW Monday 17 February Make your own pop-up puppet. BECOME A BUG DAY Tuesday 18 February Learn about bugs and wing shapes, then create your own bug wings to fly home with... SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON Wednesday 19 February Design your jungle hideaway, complete with booby traps and inventions. Animal Antics – Thursday 20 February Learn about different print techniques in this fun and messy workshop. POP UP BOOKS Friday 21 February Create your own pop up book using images from the Ladybird archive. Sessions held at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2.30pm. Bookable in person on the day, maximum 15 children per session. Suitable for age 4+. £3.50 per child unless otherwise stated.

Also at Maidstone Museum:

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP Saturday 22 February 10:30am-12 noon, 12:30pm – 2pm, 2pm - 3.30pm A storytelling and writing workshop for ages 5-12 inspired by the current Ladybird book exhibition. Children will be using the Museum as an inspiration for an imaginative tale using the museum’s ipads. £8.00, £6.00 MMF, booking essential. Tel: 01622 602838


at Rochester Cathedral SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY 10am-2pm Among the free activities on offer are Arts and Crafts with Wendy Daws; make your own mitre; brass rubbing; a tour of characters from the Cathedral’s past with Eggie the Eagle and make your own coat of arms.


21 – 23 February A HALF TERM FESTIVAL OF GAMES & PLAY for adults and children. The Winter Gardens in Margate will be filled with puzzles, tournaments, consoles and lots more to make and do. Single day tickets: Adults (15+) £13, Child (5-14) £7, under 5s free. Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children): £36. Multiple day passes and concessions available.



WOW’S EDITOR, EMMA DEWHURST, REVIEWS THE JOURNEY Let’s be honest: running a competition is not for the faint-hearted. It’s the second time I have navigated these waters and let me tell you, it’s a question of having nerves of steel once you’ve had the bright idea, found the best judge in the world and got the bright idea out there... Because my experience has twice-fold now been this: for the first five months no-one enters! That seems to be the norm, anyhow. So we extended our deadline and – whoosh! All of a sudden we were inundated with a glorious flurry of magnificent entries for The Best of... Art Competition, remarkable for the variety of mediums employed and for the high degree of skilled execution, consideration of theme and raw talent exhibited right across the board. There were four categories spanning more or less all ages. Of almost one hundred entries in total, the category with the smallest offering came from the primary school age entrants. Small though Category A’s table was, though, our world renowned Head Judge, artist and illustrator Ralph Steadman, and fellow judge master photographer Rikard Ősterlund were charmed by the various artworks answering to the theme of ‘NOW’. First Prize was awarded to Tabetha Cooke’s wonderfully named, humorous sculpture ‘I’ve had a heck

of a night’ followed by Special Commendations for all five remaining young entrants. Our judges did not want to distinguish between them: “It’s like choosing between five wise men!” said Ralph.

Category B was for students in year groups 8 to 11, a large and fascinating batch of entries, on which Ralph commented: “I’m very impressed by the thought processes. They’ve actually thought of some philosophic approach to their expression.” Third prize went to Bryony Everest for her large and expressive ceramic sculpture, ‘Seashore’. In second place came Sam Lewis’ painting ‘Set the World on Fire’ (“It waved at me!” said Ralph) and First Prize went to Libby Morrell for her extraordinary drawing ‘Harpy and the Caged Man’. A note on the back of the artwork, found after the work had been judged, described how the theme had been met in capturing the moment of gaze between the harpy and the man. The judges agreed that this work was by far the most enigmatic of its category and a most poetic take on the theme. Ralph’s summary for Category C, spanning the work of 16 to 19 year olds, was that he was looking at “a table

of troubled souls.” Third prize went to Holly Roper for her architectural image of a bridge; Second prize was awarded to Connor Arnold for his photogram, ‘If the Stones Could Talk’ and First Prize went to Harvey Hall’s triptych of black and white photographs which of all the photographic entries struck the judges as the most accomplished. Category D was for the adult entries. It was gratifying to realise after the judging had taken place how many professional artists had entered the competition – and indeed two of them were awarded prizes. Jenni Burrows won Third Prize for her textile image of the boat on which she lives entitled ‘Our Life Now’, whose unfinished quality Ralph especially loved, and Nick Stewart was awarded Second Prize for his “incredibly skilled, extraordinary” drawing executed using only water, Quink ink and bleach.

winner of Category B, student Libby Morrell. Chosen by shortlist and interview with portfolio, she wins a two year full scholarship for A Levels, including Art, at Rochester Independent College. Our cheers and thanks to all who entered, to those artists who won prizes, received commendations, lent their artworks to the exhibition and found such eloquent ways to answer what was, after all, not a straightforward theme. AN EXHIBITION of the prizewinners and selected entries is on display at Rochester Independent College, 254 St Margaret’s Banks, Rochester ME1 1HY. Opening hours: 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. Please call 01634 828115 and ask for Meg. HEARTFELT THANKS TO...

Finally, for a perfect synergy between theme, chosen idea and beauty of execution, Michael Turley was awarded First Prize for his ice sculpture of the word ‘Time’. The piece melted away as the judging session progressed, offering a series of beautiful alternative images before our very eyes.

Seawhite of Brighton who donated the prizes for Category C

As overall adult winner, Michael Turley also won a day at the University of Kent’s facility, The Boiler House, to work on a project of his choosing, together with the signed, original ‘Thought Sheet’ that Ralph Steadman created while he and I talked on the telephone about the competition all those months ago.

Gilbert & Clark Frame and Print who so ably framed Ralph Steadman’s Thought Sheet

University of Kent School of Music and Fine Art, who donated prizes of arts materials vouchers and the day at The Boiler House who donated artist brushes for the winners in each category

And of course, our thanks to our judges, the inimitable Ralph Steadman, his wife Anna and daughter Sadie and to his fellow judge Rikard Ősterlund

Lastly, the very first Ralph Steadman Art and Design Scholarship, which was to be awarded to an entrant showing exceptional promise who wishes ultimately to pursue a career as a professional artist, went to the 15

PRIDE AGAINST PREJUDICE BETH JAMES, CHAIR OF THE KENT & MEDWAY LGBT COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP, INTRODUCES A NEW EXHIBITION BY LGBT ARTISTS EXPLORING SEXUAL ORIENTATION & GENDER IDENTITY February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans (LGBT) History Month and this year Kent & Medway LGBT Community Action Group have teamed up with Nucleus Arts to present ‘Pride against Prejudice’ an exhibition by LGBT Artists which seeks not only to celebrate the LGBT community and the progress we have made towards equality, but to challenge perceptions and raise awareness of the discrimination and prejudice that people still face. We have recently celebrated the legalisation of same-sex marriage in this country and are protected by laws such as the Equality Act. Even in the historically homophobic arena of professional football, players are starting to come out. Things are getting better. However, you can’t legislate for social change and unfortunately LGBT people are still facing discrimination, isolation, bullying and are even being killed on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity. The recent national Youth Chances survey reveals shocking statistics about the experiences of young LGBT people - 74% of respondents have been verbally abused, over half have experienced mental health issues and 40% have considered suicide. This represents an ongoing concern and we believe this exhibition will highlight why it is so important that we continue to fight for equality and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of LGBT people. We have curated an inspiring and diverse collection of work which we hope will delight and challenge the public whilst celebrating the talent that the LGBT community has to offer. This is the first exhibition of its kind in the area and we feel it offers something for everyone, whatever your identity. I believe strongly that it is all of our responsibilities to nurture a community where difference is celebrated and where people feel safe to be themselves and express themselves freely and I hope this exhibition can play a part in achieving that.

For the artists involved the exhibition represents an opportunity to display their work to a diverse audience. Karla Hamlet (whose work 'Gaia' is pictured) is one such artist; her work celebrates the love of all things female and pushes through boundaries and taboos of same sex love. Our exhibition preview takes place on 7 February, the day of the opening ceremony for this year’s Winter Olympics in Russia. Under Putin’s regime, gay Russians are being tortured & criminalised and gay visitors are being warned to 'stay away from children.’ It is therefore an apt day for us to consider those less fortunate than the LGBT community here. In 78 countries, homosexuality is still illegal. Primarily though, this is a day to celebrate. Guests will be entertained with performance poetry and live music at the preview and a percentage of any work sold will help support future LGBT community events. It promises to be a great event and I’d like to welcome you to come along to support, enjoy and reflect. ‘Pride Against Prejudice’ Exhibition runs from 8 – 27 February at Nucleus Arts Gallery, 172 Chatham High Street. Preview (all welcome): Friday 7 February 6 – 8pm. Nucleus Arts: Youth Chances Survey: Karla Hamlet: LGBT History Month:

z An exhibition by Wolf Howard and Mick Hampshire The splendid Rochester Art Gallery, housed in the Visitor Information Centre on Rochester High Street, is home to a must-see new exhibition from two of Medway’s finest, brilliantly complemented by the work of two Medway makers in the Craft Case: ceramics by Sarah J Crouch and printed textiles and books by Xtina Lamb ROB FLOOD INTERVIEWS

Mick Hampshire and Wolf Howard are two of Medway’s best known musicians, Mick as the original Milkshake and front-man of garage legends The Masonics and Wolf as the mainstay rhythm section of Billy Childish’s numerous bands and Graham Day’s Forefathers. What is less well known is that Mick and Wolf are both accomplished artists. The Skull Grins Relentless is their second joint show (Hampshire and Howard’s Highgate Hexhibition took place last Spring). But it’s their first show to feature collaborative work. I caught up with them after the gallery installation to find out more (and laugh a lot). RF: As this is your second joint show, how do you feel your work complements each other? WH: We were surprised how well our work goes together as a lot of Mick’s are abstract and most of mine are figurative. A different style but I guess there’s a similar approach somewhere down the line. MH: Yeah I totally agree and I think the picture we did together really sums that up.

RF: So whose idea was the collaborative work? MH: Well Wolf will say he thought of that… (laughs) WH: (laughing) No how it came about was I went to see Mick because we needed to come up with a title for the show. We opened a bottle of wine and started to write down our ideas. The longer we thought about it the more useless we got. So in the end we don’t know who came up with the title. MH: It was me… (laughs) WH: So once we had the title, we thought we should do some work together. So I got a biggish canvas and did my bit really quickly. Working in oils, it needed to dry before I passed it on to Mick. MH: The idea was to have our reflections as skeletons but I took it a bit further. I think it works really well. RF: Death and mortality is clearly a big influence on both your work. MH: I’ve always thought facing death and your own mortality is really interesting and so my work often features skulls and skeletons.

WH: Death is something that really scares me. It’s something that I’d really like to be accepting of. If I was told I only had a few months left to go, I’d like to say ”Oh OK, we’ve all gotta go”. But I wouldn’t. I’d run around going AAARRGGGHH. And eat and drink myself to death. Just quicker (laughs). My son is fascinated by bones and skulls. He can’t believe that that’s what’s underneath you. As he was growing up, he’d ask things like “Do trees have bones?” Which makes sense as you can’t see them.

WH: Yeah there’s a free family painting workshop at the gallery on 1st March for [accompanied] 5-11 year olds. And then on 8th March, there’s a free painting and drawing workshop called ‘My three-year-old could do that!’ for adults and [accompanied] 11-16 year olds. The idea being that, yes, your three-year-old probably could, because children have nothing stopping them; but the question is, could you? I think you have to email or call the gallery to book.

RF: Apart from your joint piece, is there much other new work in the show? MH: Most of mine is from the last ten years although I did include one work from the ’90’s. There’s a broad representation of my work from probably about ’99. WH: One of mine, ‘Cat and Dog Underwater’ is from ’99 and ‘Mrs Chippy’ is about 2001. And the ‘Firing Squad’: all the paintings that are not for sale really, that’s my older stuff. But everything else is fairly recent. RF: The Craft Case features some great complementary work by Sarah Crouch and Xtina Lamb. MH: Yeah, Xtina’s ‘Day of the Dead’ inspired print works are fantastic and Sarah’s chosen some really beautiful, colourful and quirky ceramics that work well with the sentiment of the show. RF: I understand there are a couple of workshops coming up based around the exhibition.

z The Skull Grins Relentless runs until 15 March at Rochester Art Gallery, Ground Floor, Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 Rochester High St ME1 1LX Workshops are free but booking is essential as spaces are limited. Email or call 01634 338319. See Visual Art listings for times. Please note that telephone or email bookings can only be accepted up to midday on the Friday before a workshop. Rochester Art Gallery is funded by Medway Council. To join the Council’s Arts mailing list for news and events, please use contact details above 19

ANNOUNCING.... TWO COURSES IN FILM Presented by Medway Council and led by Nick Walker of the Rochester Film Society When: From March 2014 Venue: Rochester Adult Education Centre

CLASSIC BRITISH CINEMA Including: Silent Cinema, Documentary Film Movement, WWII, Hitchcock, Lean, Powell and Pressburger, Ealing Studios, Boulting Brothers, British New Wave

THE GOLDEN ERA OF HOLLYWOOD Including: The coming of sound, studio system, start system, Hays Code, WII, Musicals, Film Studies, Film Noir

The courses will run once a week for 10 weeks at the Rochester Adult Education Centre and examine the careers of various filmmakers and movements. They will analyse how these visionary directors employed cinematography, editing and narrative to tell their stories, looking at how their creative signatures developed, and how their body of work took shape. They will also examine how various movements and genres co-existed, investigative their cultural and political influences and observe their lasting legacy, with supporting clips to demonstrate key moments. To register interest only at this stage please email: For more information about the Rochester Film Society please visit:




Director Paolo Sorrentino’s epic and soaring tribute to Rome is rather like a modern update of Federico Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ that’s similarly structured with vignettes, encompassing an abstract mixture of excess and internal decay.

Directed by Margarethe von Trotta, previously an actor who worked for Fassbinder and Schlondorff, the film takes a look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

It’s the story of a writer, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) in his 60s who bitterly recollects his passionate, lost youth via extravagant parties with the director’s camera moving with sophistication and elegance over his life of expensive sex and upper class socialising. So, the film invites the viewer into his decadent lifestyle – both aimless and dizzying with instant gratification.

One of von Trotta’s previous film’s, the great ‘Rosa Luxemburg’ (1986), treated us to an exhilarating and sober view of 1940s Germany under Fascism, and proved that knack for making a compelling academic and philosophical narrative from the life of a challenging historical figure. Here her biopic about political theorist Hannah Arendt (played by Barbara Sukowa) mentions briefly Arendt’s background as a German-Jew forced to flee France for America in the early ‘40s during the German military occupation, while grounding itself just prior to her work writing about the Adolf Eichmann trial for The New Yorker.

The film is not without large doses of sentimentalism of course, however the daring visuals and soaring soundtrack make ‘The Great Beauty’ something like the best of Italian cinema’s great canon from such directors as Fellini or Bertolucci. Sorrentino is interested in the effect that people have on their city and his Rome is built on networks of vaguely mournful parties and nightclubs and middle-aged hedonists that add up to one man’s vision that reflects his own inner turmoil. There’s a lovely romantic quality to ‘The Great Beauty’, expressed through its shining visuals, but also a sense of genuine emptiness, and of a man, be it Jep or Sorrentino himself, searching for some meaning in a world where wealth, power and fame are prized above true beauty. ‘The Great Beauty’ is screened on Tuesday 11 February at 7.30pm at the Rochester Picture Palace at the Corn Exchange (Princes Hall), ME1 1LX. Tickets £5 / £3 students.

To fill out her vision of contemplation, the director has skilfully woven actual footage from the Eichmann trial into the film, giving ‘Hannah Arendt’ a touch of authenticity as the viewer observes the overwhelming passions that consumed the participants. The film is to some extent like the featured trial: a political manifesto about the nature of evil and human complacency in Nazi Germany. It is a fascinating academic thriller that captures the anguish Arendt felt when confronted with the impossibility of reconciling herself to her own people while maintaining her honesty and academic integrity despite being championed by friend Mary McCarthy (Janet McTeer). A fascinating story told with wonderfully appropriate restraint. ‘Hannah Arendt’ is screened on Tuesday 25 February at 7.30pm at the Rochester Picture Palace, Corn Exchange (Princes Hall) ME1 1LX. Tickets £5 / £3 students. For more information about RFS or to book seats in advance please visit: 21


63 Layfield Road, Gillingham ME7 2QY 01634 850485

Music starts 9pm, free entry Wed 5 Feb: BARDS @ THE BARGE OPEN MIC Sat 8 Feb: LUCA AFROBEAT BAND Sat 15 Feb: DAVEY MALONE & THE LONGTAILS Wed 19 Feb: KING SIZE SLIM Fri 21 Feb: CALLUM RAFFERTY & STANLEY KNIFE Sat 22 Feb: RORY ASTEN BELL + tbc Fri 28 Feb: SPYPLANE THE BOWER HOUSE 20 Warwick Place, Maidstone ME16 8SE

Sat 1 Mar: CARTHY, HARDY, FARRELL & YOUNG Doors 7.30pm. Price tbc. BROOK THEATRE

Old Town Hall, The Brook, Chatham ME4 4SE 01634 338338

Fri 21 Feb 9pm: ATLANTIC CURRANTS Americana, Celtic and English folk. Free entry. THE HASTINGS ARMS FUNCTION ROOM Lower Rainham Road Gillingham ME7 2YD

Free parking. Thu 27 Feb 8.30pm: ROCHESTER SWING PRESERVATION SOCIETY with New York vocalist Lesley Alexander and guest pianist Robert Reid. £7.00. Raffle plus free nibbles. Free parking. Reservations: 01634 712217. Find us on facebook ‘Rochester Swing Preservation Society’. NAGS HEAD

292 High Street, Rochester ME1 1HS

Sat 15 Feb: THE KIDS ARE ALL SQUARE Book launch party. See Kevin Younger’s piece p30. Free entry

CARL PALMER Sat 15 Feb 7.30pm Consummate showman Palmer is the Emerson Lake & Palmer’s exdrummer. £23, £21.50 30 Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PS 01622 751286

Thu 6 Feb from 9pm: MAKE SOME NOISE with Indie and alternative rock from TEMPESTS, THE ONLY SON + OSKAR VILCROW. Thu 27 Feb from 9pm: NOUGHTS & CROSSES + PAPER CASTLES Two new young acts on the Maidstone scene. Free entry

Thu 13 Feb 8.30pm: DONN BARCOTT BAND + Elaine Diane on vocals. Songs from the Great American Songbook and a magician at your table! Raffle & bar. All welcome, £6 STEPPING STONE STUDIOS

2 Museum Avenue, Maidstone ME14 1QX 01622 675923

24 Railway Street Chatham ME4 4JT


Tue 11 Feb 8.30pm: ATLANTIC CURRANTS Americana, Celtic and English Folk THE FLOWERPOT


Sat 8 Feb from 9pm: FUNKE & THE 2 TONE BABY One-man-band indie/ blues phenomenon + support from funky acoustic / drum n bass fusionists TRUVELO DRIVE.

Featherby Road, Gillingham ME8 6AN 01634 405037


96 Sandling Rd  Maidstone, Kent ME14 2RJ 01622 757705


Wed-Sat 12pm til late (licensed til 3am) Sat 1 Feb 8pm: PLUGGED OUT: A Night of Alternative Music: MASS LINES, DEATH PEDALS, WEAK NERVES + RESIDENT £5 Entry Thu 6 Feb 4.30pm: DULL KNIFE LIVE (featuring members of The Pretty Things) Free entry Sat 8 Feb 8pm: OPEN BAND NIGHT Local Band Showcase. Submit your band to Free entry


John Street, Rochester ME1 1YL

live music and DJs til late. Sat 1 Feb: SHE CRAZY, VIVID NATION, MOTHER OF PEARL Sat 8 Feb: STACEY & THE FREELOADERS, MIZARU, SPIT GLORY More of an alternative psychedelic rock theme. Sat 15 Feb: BAD FOR LAZARUS, THE BLACKWATERSIDE, TRES CAMARADRAS Sat 22 Feb: CYPHAR, SIRENS & SHELTER

58-60 High Street, Chatham ME4 4DS


62-63 High Street, Maidstone (above Turning Tables) ME14 1SR

Rafters continues its Saturday night blend of indie, rock and DJs throughout February. All gigs £5 on the door, with doors opening at 9pm,

Sat 8 Feb from 2pm til late: KIMBOFEST 2014 in aid of Alzheimer’s Society. Entry £5. THE STYLE & WINCH

72 Union Street, Maidstone ME14 1ED 01622 752351

Fri 14 Feb 8.30pm til late.: MAKE SOME NOISE + PIP BOWERS & THE FAMILY BONES, GREEN DIESEL + TOBY STARKS from Wheeler Street. A folk and acoustic-themed gig for Valentine’s night. Free entry

YOGA CLASSES, REFLEXOLOGY Classes Mon 8-9:30pm, Wed 7:30-9pm, Thur 10-11:30am Yoga therapy, 1-2-1s, courses Yoga, aromatherapy and reflexology adapted for adults with learning disabilities



Bridget Reader 07962 077597


Tues 4 Ukulele jam Night Wed 5 Crisis Chris Taylor & Thurs 6 Wed 11 Thur 12 Tues 18 Wed 19

WOW readers Valentine’s Day exclusive! Give your loved one a Tattooed rose! In pink or white only, in a presentation bag with love hearts and little wooden sign - £19.50 Tel: 01634 843024

a g o y m e G

Thur 20 Wed 26 Thur 27

Chris Sadler Kent Duchaine Jem Turpin trio Funke & the Two-Tone Baby Quiz Night Adam Beattie & The Consultants Fire & Ice Ash Mandrake Tener Duende

Jam Night Every Sunday evening Scan the code to download FREE Kent Live Music app




Gillingham Sunlight Centre (Tues 7-8pm), Sun Pier House Chatham (Wed 12 - 12.45), White Road Community Centre (Thurs 10-11am). All classes are £5. Mats are provided. Please wear baggy comfortable clothing.


John St, Rochester

tel: 07772 214315 - 07746721603 23


Medway Valley Leisure Park, Chariot Way, Strood ME2 2SS. 0871 200 2000

Regular screenings of live opera and theatre performances from around the world arrive at the cinema via a live feed. They include interviews with the principals, behind the scenes shots and explanations. For prices please contact Cineworld. ENO: PETER GRIMES (12A) Sun 23 Feb 3pm Benjamin Britten’s iconic opera screened live from London’s Coliseum. 190 mins MET OPERA: RUSALKA (Cert tbc) Sat 8 Feb 5.55pm Esteemed opera singer Renee Fleming stars in Dvorak’s title role. NT LIVE: WAR HORSE (Cert tbc) Thu 27 Feb 7pm Live screening of the acclaimed London production based on Michael Morpurgo’s classic novel. 180 mins . MAIDSTONE FILM SOCIETY

Hazlitt Theatre, Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PL 01622 753922

A diverse range of world cinema. Fixed rate parking in Fremlin Walk after 7pm. Yearly subscription rates: Adult £24; Couples £42; Senior/ Student £19; Guest per film £3.50. THE HUNT (15) 2012 Mon 10 Feb 8pm Dir: Thomas Vinterburg Cast: Mads Mikkelsen Thomas Vinterburg highly-praised Danish drama starring Mads Mikkelsen as the teacher accused of child abuse. 115 mins BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (12A) Mon 24 Feb 8pm Dir: Benh Zeitlin Cast: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly Fantasy drama. Living offshore from New Orleans, a six-year old girl lives with her father, close to the natural world. 93 mins

ROCHESTER FILM SOCIETY Rochester Film Society screens contemporary world cinema and classics at a number of venues in Medway. The films are introduced and are followed by a post-film discussion over a glass of wine. CHATHAM ODEON CINEMA, Maritime ME4 4LL 0871 2244 007 £9.80 Conc £7.20, student £3.60. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (12A) 2013 Thu 6 Feb 7.45pm Dir: Paul Greengrass Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener. The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. 134 mins THE COUNSELLOR (18) 2013 Thu 27 Feb 7.45pm Dir: Ridley Scott Cast: Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt. A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. 117 mins ENOUGH SAID (12A) 2013 Thu 13 Feb 7.45pm Dir: Nicole Holofcener Cast: James Gandolfini, Julia LouisDreyfuss, Toni Collette American romantic comedy about love after divorce, with Gandolfini in one of his last screen roles. 93 mins PHILOMENA (12A) 98 mins Thu 20 Feb 7.45pm Dir: Stephen Frears Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Anna Maxwell Martin Much-praised drama which has picked up four Oscar nominations. 98 mins ROCHESTER PICTURE PALACE Princes Hall, Corn Exchange, Rochester ME1 1LS

£5.00, Students £3 WHAT MAISIE KNEW (15) 2012 Tue 4 Feb 7.30pm Dirs: Scott McGehee and David Siegel Cast: Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan Modern-day take on Henry James’ classic novel set in New York City. 99 mins

THE GREAT BEAUTY (15) 2013 Tue 11 Feb 7.30pm Dir: Paolo Sorrentino Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli. The story of an aging writer who bitterly recollects his passionate, lost youth – a beautiful portrait of today’s Rome. See Nick Walker’s preview. 142 mins AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS (15) 2013 Tue 18 Feb 7.45pm Dir: David Lowery Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster. The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. 96 mins HANNAH ARENDT (12A) 2012 Tue 25 Feb 7.45pm Dir: Margarethe von Trotta Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer. A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann. See Nick Walker’s preview. 113 mins SCREEN CLASSICS

Central Theatre, 170 High Street, Chatham ME4 4AS 01634 338338

A monthly celebration of classic cinema on the big screen in association with Rochester Film Society. Introduction to the film and post-film discussion over a free glass of wine hosted by programmer Nick Walker. £7, concs £5, includes free drink MOULIN ROUGE (PG) 1952 Mon, 17 Feb 7.30pm Dir: John Huston. Cast: Jose Ferrer, Peter Cushing, Zsa Zsa Gabor. A spirited young woman of the streets asks artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec for help... 119 mins CENTRAL THEATRE ‘AFTERNOON TREAT’ MOULIN ROUGE (as above) Tue 18 Feb 2.30pm Price £4, includes a hot drink and tea-cake


Old Town Hall, Chatham ME4 4SE 01634 338338

CABARET OF CURIOSITIES VALENTINE’S SPECIAL: CUPID’S STUNTS Fri 14 Feb 8pm. A special date from the show which always guarantees the unexpected. With Constance Peach, Jeanie Wishes and the world of The Other Half. Adult content: not suitable for under 16s. Tickets £11 Gillingham Dramatic Society present JACK AND THE BEANSTALK Thu 20 – Sat 22 Feb 2pm daily, 7pm Fri & Sat. Spring half term pantomime. Adults £9, Child £7, Family of four £30 Suitcase Circus presents FOLDED FEATHER Sun 23 Feb 11.30am and 2.30pm. Interactive family friendly show (3+). Adults £6, Chld £5, any four £20. CENTRAL THEATRE

EXCHANGE STUDIO: Blind Summit’s THE TABLE Fri 14 Feb 8pm Prizewinning show featuring a cantankerous, 2 ft high puppet. “Beckett meets Tommy Cooper” (Time Out). £12, concs available parkwood hazlittartscentre (£2 online booking fee) MARLOWE THEATRE

The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS 01227 787787

RICHARD ALSTON DANCE COMPANY Wed 12 & Thu 13 Feb 7.30pm Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ accompanied by Canterbury Cathedral Choir. £18.50, £16, £14, £11 concs available THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Fri 14 Feb 11.30am & 7pm. RSC production for 8-13 yr olds. Perfect first introduction to Shakespeare, with an intro, 75 minute production and meet the cast afterwards. £10, Child £5

170 High Street, Chatham ME4 4AS 01634 338338

CHRIS PACKHAM: WILD NIGHTS OUT Fri 7 Feb 7.30pm Packham chats about some of nature’s most loved and interesting species. £16, £15 THE WONDERFUL CHINA SHOW Sun 9 Feb 2.30pm Popular part of Chatham’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations. Lion and dragon dances and colourful displays. £8.50 SID’S SHOW Fri 21 Feb 2pm Sid from CBeebies live on tour. Interactive, with games, songs, poems and magic. £12, £10, Child concs available, Family £40. HAZLITT THEATRE

Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PL 01622 758611

TOMTEN Sun 16 Feb 2pm & 5pm Viktor Rydbert’s poem brought to beautiful life in puppetry. (3+) £8.50, £6.50 Riverbank Productions present THE JUNGLE BOOK Thu 20 Feb 2.30pm Four person, musical staging of Kipling’s story. £9, £7

TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN Wed 19-Sat 22 Feb Wed & Sat 7pm, Thu 10.30am & 2pm, Sat mat 2pm Magical production of the classic children’s book. £15, child £3 off

times: see website Featuring 3D Bogglevision! £15-£18, Chidren £3 off Tue-Fri Children’s Menu available for £5.95. Booking fee applies. SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS Tue 18-Sat 22 Feb7.30pm, Thu & Sat Mat 2.30pm Sam Attwater stars in this classic musical. £18-£32, concs available. Booking fee applies.


Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PL 01622 758611

COMEDY NIGHT (EXCHANGE STUDIO) ANDREA VINCENT, IAN COGNITO + MATT REES Wed 5 Feb 8pm. £10 GYLES BRANDRETH: Looking for Happiness Sat 15 Feb 8pm Award-winning raconteur. £17 STEPHEN K AMOS: The Spokesman Sat 22 Feb 8pm On his feelgood comedy tour. £16 MILES JUPP Thu 27 Feb 7.30pm Actor, comedian & writer’s one-man show. £16, £14 parkwood hazlittartscentre (£2 online booking fee) JOKING WITH INTENT

STUDIO: BLINK Fri 7 & Sat 8 Feb 8pm Darkly funny love story by Phil Porter. £12, concs £11 STUDIO: AMATEUR GIRL Wed 26 & Thu 27 Feb 8pm Amanda Whittington’s play about the reality behind the fantasy business. £12, concs £11 (booking charges applies via internet) ORCHARD THEATRE

Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED 01322 220000

The Good Intent, 3 John Street, Rochester ME1 1YL

OPEN MIC COMEDY CLUB First Thursday of the month. Thu 6 Feb, 8-10pm. Line-up tbc. £2 admission. Find Joking with Intent on Facebook MARLOWE THEATRE

The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS 01227 787787

SARAH MILLICAN: Home Bird Sun 9 Feb 8pm British Comedy Awards queen of comedy returns. £25 (booking charges applies via internet)




The anthology was edited by Hall and also features an innovative index-style theme with illustrations by Victoria Wainwright. Here she invites you to dip in and out of this most varied collection. ‘City Without A Head’ is a collection short stories, poems and other ephemera inspired by life in cities written by regular members of Medway writing group ME4Writers, Barry Fentiman, Sam Hall, Roy Smith, Anne-Marie Jordan, SM Jenkin, Sarah March and Tara Moyle. It grew from a project which the group was invited to be part of in 2010. Inspired by the idea of creating an oblique encyclopaedia loosely in the style of Georges Bataille’s Encyclopaedia Acephalica, we decided to make a collaborative, alternative index putting cities under the microscope. Cities were chosen because at the time Medway’s potential (but thus far, not achieved) new city status was a hot topic. We drew up a list of words to define, and rules to help make the collection cohesive (see appendix). We then dismissed these rules or wrote adhering to them depending on how we felt. We decided what we had started was a good idea and that we would develop it, this time with looser observance to

the rules and inviting contributions from guest writers. The resulting words were issued in eight limited edition fanzines between 2010 and 2012. The project continued to grow; we also perform extracts at live events and there are two possible forthcoming books, inspired by the ideas planted. The collection grew organically, like the cities it aims to look sideways at. ‘City Without A Head’ is more than a collection of poems, prose, short stories, fragments, news stories and found writing; it’s a collection of memories and thoughts, evoking some of the things we feel (or felt) about life in the city. ‘City Without a Head’ is initially published as a numbered limited edition run of 200. Priced at £12 and published by Wordsmithery Books, to obtain your copy please go to



URBAN (1) Our neighbours keep an old newspaper (2005? 2004?) on the ledge by their door. The paper’s morphed through various stages of mildew, bleaching, and freezing, but hasn’t moved an inch the whole time I’ve lived here. “It was there in 2006,” my husband says, “When I bought the house.” Mildew patterns the chipped white paint of the neighbour’s brick like a fragile tapestry. One could easily begin to see things happening in the pattern. I remember the story of the woman on the ‘bed rest cure’ who loses it, starts to see small people, animals (and was it mythical creatures?) escaping from the wallpaper. “The mind supplies greenery,” I decide, while walking down the block towards Barnsole Road, skirting piles of trash and discarded chairs. Welcome, ginger beer can bird. Sofa sopping with rain: you be a boxwood. Fox-visited rubbish: why not — a dogwood tree. How about you be in bloom. Tara Moyle

DESOLATION It’ll be the early evening about Tuesdayish when it hits you. Probably just after the clocks go back. Shuffling along some chicken shop drag in the drizzle. This must be what invisibility feels like. Uncomprehending faces stare glassily at a place three feet behind your head. The only light seems to come from gaily illuminated plastic spattered with rain and road shit. And you just implode. Not with massive import like a star collapsing, or lethally like a cathode ray tube giving up its ghost. It’s the barely perceptible note made by the snapping of spider silk. The sun stolen from your heart by a thief in the twilight. Barry Fentiman

OVER-CROWDED (2) There is a sensuality in being broken down, the waters retreat, return, swallow up, disgorge their gifts; laid down long ago and forgotten; mercury, methanol, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, uranium, lead, radium. They bring a glow, down to the roots, 10,000 feet beneath the ancestors. I’m sorry, did you forget something? There’s enough to go around, of course; no-one goes without. Frack me 18 times and move on. Oh methane, this is not going to end well — you take my breath away, disturb my mind, I lose my touch. We simply do not mix, and the dregs of our love burn me away. There isn’t enough room for us; one of us must go. SM Jenkin 27


Gilbert & Clark Frame and Print 65 High Street, Maidstone ME14 1SR 01622 685146 Free entry

Open 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Sat TOM PHILLIPS: THE BIGGER PICTURE Sat 1 Feb-Fri 28 Feb Photographic work and more from well travelled Maidstone photographer. See The Artist’s Space. Visit tomphillipsphotos. & thegreatdolomiteroad. DEAF CAT COFFEE BAR & GALLERY

83 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX

Open all week 9.30am-5pm ROLLING EXHIBITION Contemporary works by local artists. See website for submission guidelines. FRANCIS ILES GALLERIES

103 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 01634 843081

Opens Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm Contemporary paintings, ceramics, glass and jewellery. GUILDHALL MUSEUM

High Street, Rochester ME1 1PY 01634 848717

Open 10am-4.30pm Tue-Sun. Free entry GADGETS & GIZMOS To Fri 28 Feb Amazing collection of eccentric inventions from the past. MAIDSTONE MUSEUM & BENTLIF ART GALLERY St Faith’s St, Maidstone ME14 1LH 01622 602838

Opens Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, closed Sun A LADYBIRD CHILDHOOD To Sun 11 May. Exhibition celebrating the iconic, mini hardbacks. Admission charges apply

CHATHAM DOCKYARD IN THE NEWS: 1859-2014 Mon 3 Feb -Tue 15 Apr. Exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Dockyard. TALK by Richard Holdsworth: The Historic Dockyard Chatham - History, Legacy and Future. Tue 4 Mar, 7.30pm, Chatham Library. ARTIST TALK BY TESSA FARMER Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery and Making Art Work co-host a talk by London based artist Tessa Farmer on Saturday 8 February, 2pm- 4pm, followed by a Q & A. Farmer’s tiny sculptures from insect remains and found natural materials combine art and entomology to create narratives depicting a darker side to the imaginary fairy worlds she constructs. Tickets £10.00; £7.00 concs; £5.00 Making Art Work members & Maidstone Museums’ Foundation Friends. Booking advised on 01622 602838. Email: Refreshments provided. NUCLEUS ARTS

272 High Street, Chatham ME4 4BP 01634 812108 Gallery winter opening:

Mon-Sat 10am-4.30pm, closed Sun. Café closed Sun & Mon. Free entry BLING! BLING! Jewellery showcase – various Kent artists. To Fri 6 Feb. PRIDE AGAINST PREJUDICE Fri 7 Feb-Thu 28 Feb Nucleus Arts sponsors this exhibition presented by Kent & Medway LGBT Community Action Group. See Beth James’ article p… Preview: Fri 7 Feb, 6-8pm: all welcome. CHATHAM & THE BRITISH EMPIRE Fri 28 Feb to 13 Mar. Various artists. Preview: 6-8pm: all welcome.



Clock Tower Building, Strood ME2 2AD 01634 332714

75 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat; Sun 11-5pm 01634 812108

Opens: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (closed Wed & Sun) Sat: 9am-4pm

Gallery shop showcasing the work of local artists.

NUCLEUS ARTS, MAIDSTONE 2-4 Granada House, Gabriel’s Hill, Maidstone ME15 6JR

Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat; closed Sundays 01634 812108 Contemporary gallery space and shop. ROCHESTER ART GALLERY

Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX

01634 338319 Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10.30am-5pm Free entry WOLF HOWARD & MICK HAMPSHIRE: The Skull Grins Relentless To 15 Mar. See Main Feature p 16. CRAFT CASE: Xtina Lamb and Sarah Crouch. TWO FREE WORKSHOPS LED BY WOLF HOWARD: FAMILY PAINTING WORKSHOP Sat 1 March 10.30am-12.30pm or 1.303.30pm. Fun workshop inspired by the work on display. Suitable for accompanied children aged 5 - 11. MY THREE YEAR OLD COULD DO THAT! Painting and Drawing workshops for adults and accompanied young people (1116) Sat 8 Mar: Drawing 1030am12.30pm &/or Painting 1.30pm3.30pm. Booking essential. Contact the Arts team at or on 01634 338319. ROYAL ENGINEERS MUSEUM, LIBRARY & ARCHIVE Prince Arthur Road, Gillingham ME4 4UG Tel: 01634 822839

Open Tue-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat & Sun & Bank Holidays: 11.30am-5pm. Closed Mondays. Pay once for unlimited access for 12 months: Adult £8, Conc £5.50, Family £21.50. Students, children and serving Royal Engineers: free. ENCOUNTERS: Photograph Albums & Their Stories To 30 May. Explores the narratives behind photographs from some 600 albums and scrapbooks. RECONSTRUCTING ROCHESTER BRIDGE To Fri 28 Mar. Exhibition marking the Centenary of the reconstruction of the Old Bridge.

WOW Magazine 68mm (w) x 98mm (h):Layout 3

A Ladybird Childhood

FREE Admission

11 January to 11 May 2014


at Maidstone Museum! Look out for our half term cra workshops, storytelling events for families and linked workshops for all ages.

See our website for more details Images from the Archives of Ladybird Books Ltd. © Ladybird Books Ltd MMXIII

Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery

St Faith’s Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LH

Tel: 01622 602838 OPEN Monday to Saturday 10.00 - 17.00 Sunday & Bank Holidays Closed , open from 6 April @MaidstoneMuseum




by Bob Collins and Ian Snowball

Joining Merseybeat and Madchester in the atlas of regional British musical genres, the ‘Medway’ tag is now instantly recognised by rock pundits in record shops and gig venues from Stockholm to Seattle. What began as our local punkedup, bare-bones variety of ‘50s R&B and ‘60s rock proved to be a big influence around the world. In fact, the very first pre-sale for the book was to someone in New York City, within a minute of it going live! As this much-anticipated history of Medway legends like The Milkshakes, The Prisoners, The Dentists and The Daggermen hits bookshops, I spoke to co-author and ex-Dentists guitarist Bob Collins to get a few insights as to how the project came together. It was obvious that local demiurge Billy Childish would be a pivotal figure in the story, and his early punk band The Pop Rivets marks the starting point for the book, but how did Collins come to the decision to end the book at 1985? “We weren’t really sure where it would end,” he says, “but after it started coming together that just seemed like a kind of natural break point, when all the main bands were well established, or even breaking up, and the newer bands from that time were more varied and not doing the classic ‘Medway’ sound. Having said that, we had to get The Claim in there.” Known locally for his uncanny memory for detail and encyclopedic knowledge of local music history, I wondered if Collins had discovered anything from the contributors that was a bit of a revelation. “Oh yes, definitely,” he says. “I only arrived on the local scene in ‘82 so there was a lot of stuff before then that I didn’t know, especially all the Pop Rivets stuff and how it all began.” ‘The Kids Are All Square’ is published by Countdown Books on Feb 15, 2014. Pre-order available at

The Pressure at Medway Indian Club

The launch party for the book will be at the Nag’s Head in Rochester on the same night, with DJs Bob Collins and Ian ‘Snowy’ Snowball spinning the Medway platters that matter.



I’m a Maidstone based photographer and artist, probably best known for the photography I do with older athletes, though my roots are in landscape, and most particularly mountain photography. It doesn’t end there, though. This year will be my tenth photographing the Rochester Sweeps Festival, and I shoot stuff like classic motor-sport and the Tour de France too. I’ve also been experimenting in the last couple of years with watercolour and some other more ‘painterly” techniques, like this image of Mont Blanc at dawn. The show’s called ‘The Bigger Picture’. That’s partly because some of the images in it are quite large, but it’s also a very varied collection that, as it were, shows “the bigger picture” of what I do.

‘The Bigger Picture’ runs from 1 – 28 Feb (free entry) Below 65 Gallery, Gilbert & Clark Frame and Print, 65 High Street, Maidstone ME14 1SR Tel: 01622 685146. Opening times: 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Sat




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WOW Feb 2014  

Welcome to the first issue of the year with the best of What's On Where for Medway, Maidstone and beyond! Visual art takes the lead this mo...

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