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Rochester Reflections by Jackie Hagan. Jackie graduated from UCA in 2009 with first class honours in Applied Arts. She won the 2008 ‘Your River’ photography competition, which led to her work being exhibited and sold locally in Nucleus Medway, Dickens World and The Rochester Coffee Co. You can find her jewellery made from maps for sale at The Deaf Cat on Rochester High Street.

Contributors Louise Dawson has lived in Rochester for nearly eight years and juggles a variety of careers. Ten years as an actor has given way to parenthood and freelance work in presentation graphics. Gardening and yoga feature quite strongly when there is time to spare, and she is always on the lookout for interesting arts and theatre events. Emma Dewhurst is an actress, community arts practitioner, writer and mother. She has just finished shooting a small role in ‘The Iron Lady’ starring Meryl Streep. She is delighted that the magazine’s circulation is rising and continues to be amazed at the variety of arts, entertainment and leisure activities on offer in Medway. Philip Kane is a writer, storyteller and artist who has been a central figure in Medway’s cultural life for the past thirty years. He founded Wolfshead and Vixen Morris in 1995 and is currently Wolfshead “foreman” (dance teacher). He has two books due for publication in 2011; one, Unauthorised Person, collects together all his Medway poems in a single volume.

Cover photo of Billie Rae by Tigz Rice

Nick Walker is an events director, film critic and filmmaker. His flagship Medway project, The Other Cinema, is a weekly event held every Thursday at the Chatham Odeon. He went on to set up the Screen Classics programme at the Central Theatre, Chatham. Nick also writes, directs and produces short films and is the editor of Film Essay, for cinéastes wanting to write about film culture. Nick has worked for The Guardian and the London Film Festival. Currently he is Events Director at Film Education and Director of National Schools Film Week. Find us on Facebook

WELCOME TO WOW Medway – the new arts

and entertainment magazine featuring the best of What’s On Where! Things are moving in the WOW Medway camp! We have upped our circulation by a third to 3000 print copies; our Facebook page following is growing and more and more people are reading the fun page-turning e-edition online. If you have trouble locating a print copy, by the way, you can find our list of kind stockists on the website. Email me if you would like to be added to the e-mailing list, letting you know when a new issue is out. In this issue, cover photographer Tigz Rice talks burlesque; Philip Kane describes a fascinating personal journey with Morris dance; you can win Champagne Tea for two courtesy of the Rochester Coffee Co., and of course you’ll find the usual best listings in Film, Music, Theatre and Visual Art. Please mention WOW Medway when using our advertisers – it keeps the magazine afloat! Happy Easter!

Contents News






Nick Walker


Morris Dance








Visual Art


Eating out with a difference




The Artist’s Space

19 Wow MEDWAY 3

News MARLOWE MAGIC The new Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury has released details of its launch season brochure to reveal a varied and fun programme of performances, workshops and events. After a Gala Opening on 4 October, main auditorium highlights include David Haig starring in a new production from Theatre Royal Bath of Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George III; Northern Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker and Irving Berlin’s Top Hat. True to its promise, the Marlowe Studio boasts a mixed programme of theatre, gigs and workshops and there is a Family Weekend on 8-9 October. You can download the launch season brochure at

EASTER ART FOR KIDS The Brook Theatre is hosting Bees, Bugs and Butterflies, a two-day art and craft workshop for kids (8-14 years) on Mon 18 and Tues 19 April, from 10am-3.30pm. Tutors Charlie Cook and Lizzie Hodge will lead children in making of all sorts, from giant 3D sculptures to mini-beasts to take home and keep. Artwork will be displayed inside the Visitor Centre at Riverside Country Park to mark this year’s English Festival on 23 April. £14. For a booking form call 01634 338338

IN BRIEF Playwright Paul Doust, interviewed in Issue 2 of WOW Medway, has had such an overwhelming response to his playwrighting course that Adult Education have set up an additional ten-week course on Wednesday evenings, between 7 and 9pm, running from 27 April to 13 July (no class on 1 June or 6 July). To book a place phone 01634 338400

Medway moves to… the Isle of Wight Pinhole photographer, film maker and travel writer Dave Wise, together with Billy Childish, Wolf Howard and Nhung Dang is holding a pinhole photography exhibition at Dimbola Lodge on the Isle of Wight from 1 April to late June. Dimbola was the home of the great early photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Pinhole camera images produce a timeless, eerie and often inexplicably moving impression of their subjects: to view a selection of the finest, visit

Strood Library are running a Teenage Readers’ Group led by young people, for 14-18 year olds who love to read and share their experience. Mon 4 April, 9 May, 6 June, 5-6pm. 01634 335890 RECOLLECT MUSIC FAIRS offer records, CD’s, DVD’s, and memorabilia. Find them this month at Rochester Corn Exchange on 10 April (10am-4pm) and Rainham Mark Social Club on 17 April (9.30am-3.30pm). Free admission

HELP THE OPEN HOUSE PROJECT Quakers who attend Rochester Friends’ Meeting House in Northgate are appealing for help for a very special community project whose one year anniversary they are celebrating this April The Open House Project is a drop-in centre for those people in our community living alone or who are homeless. It is open every Saturday from 2-4pm, when other local support agencies are closed. The drop-in provides food, shelter and companionship in a peaceful and friendly environment. Like their successful Open Christmas, the project is run by local volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds: interested individuals, local churches and secular groups. It is in need of donations, including perishable goods, clothes and cash to continue the project. If you would like to offer your support to the project by volunteering, or by making a donation of clothes, money or food, please contact Amanda MacKenzie, Project Co-ordinator at, or pop in to the project any Saturday. Quaker Meeting House, Northgate, Rochester ME1 1LS.


ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET… With the new High Speed train link to Stratford International in place, the Olympic Park is no more than a hop, skip and a jump away to Medway dwellers. You can apply for tickets to the London 2012 Olympic Games any time until 26 April. Tickets are not allocated on a first-come first-served basis, so take your time to pick and choose which sessions you want to attend. There is an innovative ‘Pay Your Age’ scheme at many sessions for young people aged 16 and under and those aged 60+ will pay just £16 at these sessions. Ticket applications for the Paralympic Games will open in September and follow a similar process. To register your interest in running this year’s Medway Mile, email 2012@medway. The fun run takes place exactly one year from the start of the Olympic opening ceremony on 27 July. NEW BROCHURE! Pop into your local library to pick up a free copy of the latest events brochure or log onto libraries to download a copy.

HATTER’S GARDEN PARTY On 23 April Eastgate House and Gardens will be open all day for a Mad Hatter’s Garden Party and Craft Fair to raise funds to restore the Swiss Chalet in which Charles Dickens used to write. Attractions will include an Easter Bonnet competition, paper aeroplane race and a human fruit machine! Historic Eastgate House appears in Dickens’ Pickwick Papers and has recently won an £80,000 lottery grant to transform the Elizabethan building into an exhibition centre and community space.



TIGZ RICE HAS FOUND HERSELF THE PERFECT NICHE WOW Medway’s editor Emma Dewhurst caught up with her Tigz Rice is at the table when I arrive. She has been teaching graphic design all day at the Rochester Independent College (the day job) and, being the victim of her own sudden success, hasn’t had a day off since Christmas. She looks tired. And very, very young.

“God, how old are you?” I blurt, instead of the usual openers. She is twenty-four, which, as I tell her, is remarkable considering the maturity of her images, which have a sense of confidence and self-possession about them way beyond her years. “Well, my parents didn’t baby us,” she replies. That much is evident. In little more than a year Rice has created a name and presence for herself as a sought-after photographer within the international world of burlesque. Yet just two years ago she did not know burlesque existed. She wasn’t even taking photographs. “I was in my final year at Westminster studying illustration and they’d been going on for ages about ‘finding my style’,” Rice says. “I thought, ‘I’m sick of drawing people. I’d rather photograph them and put them into my illustrations instead’.” She produced her first book for her final major project, which was bought by her tutor at the end of the course, and has gone on to publish four more. The most recent, based on Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, has just been snapped up by Tate Liverpool. In January of last year she went with some friends to her first burlesque show. It so happened that some big name stars were performing that night, Vicky Butterfly and the gloriously named Anna Fur Laxis among them, so she saw the best. “I just thought ‘This is where I belong’”, Rice says.

who cares to taste the glamour. She plans the sessions meticulously, to ensure maximum satisfaction for all concerned. Being a ‘burlesque virgin’ (a correct term, I’m informed), I ask Rice what it is about this growing artform that has seen it recently rocket in popularity. She thinks that it ties in with our current economic climate; that it offers a form of inexpensive, glamorous illusion, like the lines painted-on with eyeliner on the backs of stockings in the Forties. Given the rate at which her career is accelerating, I ask Rice what she would like to be doing in five years time. Her answer is impressively focussed. “I want a bigger studio,” she says. “I want to be in Vogue - but I want to be in Italian Vogue, on the cover!” she laughs, and “I’d like to be the Dave LaChapelle of burlesque!” Remember, you heard it here first. To contact Tigz Rice, book a photo session or buy her work, go to

TO FIND A BURLESQUE SHOW: Dizzy O’Dare presents The Cabaret of Curiosities: next event on 20 May at the Brook Theatre Glory Pearl hosts The Glory Box in Tunbridge Wells

Twelve months later, she is about to give up the day job and go wholly freelance.

In London, try the iconic Café de Paris ( or Madame JoJo’s on the last Friday of the month for Lola LaBelle’s Burlesque Idol (

She alternates between photographing performers in her studio and live at their shows, and holding photo sessions for anyone

Tigz Rice is one of the official photographers at London Burlesque Week 2011 from 26-30 April


FILM l THE OTHER CINEMA Chatham Odeon Cinema, Maritime ME4 4LL. 0871 22 44 007 A weekly showcase of quality films from around the world, with a post-show discussion led by Nick Walker over a free glass of wine. £7.70/£5.50.

Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, drama charting a happy couple’s journey after their life is turned upside down when their young son dies in an accident. 91 mins

MARS NEEDS MOMS (PG) 2D & 3D Action-packed sci-fi comedy from the Polar Express team. Rel. 8 Apr l ODEON CHATHAM KIDS CLUB 11am screenings, all tickets £2.50. 1 adult free with every child THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER 2D (PG) 2-3 Apr GNOMEO & JULIET 2D (U) (tbc) 9-14 Apr

BRIGHTON ROCK (15) 2010 14 Apr, 7.45pm Dir: Rowan Joffe Cast: John Hurt, Helen Mirren, Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Andy Serkis Remake of the classic 1947 British crime thriller, based on Graham Greene’s novel about a young disadvantaged teenager with a religious death wish. 111 mins

THE FIGHTER (15) 2011 21 April, 7.45pm Dir: David O Russell Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams A drama based on the true story of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward’s unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by halfbrother Dicky, a boxer-turnedtrainer after a life of drugs and crime. 114 mins RABBIT HOLE (12A) 2010 28 Apr, 7.45pm Dir: John Cameron Mitchell Cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest

l SCREEN CLASSICS, The Central Theatre, 170 High Street, Chatham ME4 4AS 01634 338 301 A big-screen celebration of cinema classics introduced by programmer Nick Walker. £6/£5 (booked online). Students £3.50. See four Screen Classics and get a fifth free. theatrebookings A DAY AT THE RACES (U) 1937 12 Apr, 7.30pm Dir: Sam Wood Cast: Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones, Maureen O’Sullivan Superbly surreal Marx Brothers classic with Groucho as a vet posing as a doctor, who comes to the aid of a racehorse owner and his friends. Wise-cracking dialogue, anarchic comedy and outrageous routines. 109 mins

EASTER MOVIES FOR KIDS HOP (Cert tbc) Easter Bunny offering from the makers of Despicable Me. Rel. 1 Apr WINNIE THE POOH (Cert tbc) New big-screen animation from Disney. Rel. 15 Apr RIO (Cert tbc) 2D & 3D Family fun from Ice Age director Carlos Saldanha. Rel. 8 Apr

GULLIVER’S TRAVELS 2D (PG) 15-21 Apr BEST OF THE REST SOURCE CODE (Cert tbc) Smart thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Rel 1 Apr KILLING BONO (15) Comedy about Irish brothers trying to make it in the 80s music world. U2 loved it! Rel. 1/4 THE WAY (15) Drama. Emilio Estevez directs his father Martin Sheen. Rel 15 Apr To be shown at the following cinemas: ODEON CHATHAM, Dickens World, Chatham ME4 4LL. 0871 22 44 007. ODEON MAIDSTONE, Lockmeadow, Maidstone, ME16 8RG. 0871 22 44 007. ROCHESTER CINEWORLD MULTIPLEX Medway Valley Leisure Park, ME2 2SS. 0871 200 2000. THE ROYAL CINEMA, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7AG. 24hr info line: 01795 591211, Box Office: 01795 591211. From £4.50-£5. SHOWCASE BLUEWATER, Bluewater, Greenhithe, DA9 9SG. 0871 220 1000. bluewater

NICK WALKER DELIGHTS IN THE MARX BROTHERS’ ANARCHIC COMEDY A DAY AT THE RACES The seventh film in the Marx Brothers canon was produced and directed by the legendary Sam Wood, who worked with the boys on their second film for MGM ‘A Night at the Opera’, after they’d left behind brother Zeppo and Paramount to move to pastures new. Sadly the subsequent MGM films somewhat failed to live up to the early surreal promise of the films that arose from their Vaudeville act onto the silver screen but they do retain the family’s love of musical panache and playfulness. ‘A Day at The Races’ remains one of the Marx brothers’ truly great films, often cited by many as their most accomplished and regarded by cinéastes as the movie they will remember for its anarchic qualities, mixed with the slick Hollywood gloss of the musical comedy genre of the time. Zeppo moved on to become a theatrical agent to be replaced as the love interest by Allan Jones, all smouldering looks and crooning voice, playing alongside Maureen O’Sullivan, best known perhaps for her love triangle between Jane Parker, Tarzan and Cheetah! The (typically) strange comedic plot centres round a sanatorium, which in need of patients hires Groucho as Hugo Z Hackenbush, a veterinarian unknowingly and illegally employed as the medical director! To aid him in his madcap adventures enter Chico (Tony) and Harpo (Stuffy) who provide brilliant musical interludes along with surreal mayhem of the finest order. The “Tutsi Fruitsy Ice Cream” skit, and the wallpapering seduction scene

remain two of the Brothers’ most memorable moments. The steeplechase finale is nothing short of exhilarating and of course not complete without a few mistaken identities, spills, twists and turns to keep you on your toes. The screenplay itself went through various treatments and drafts before settling on its final version. The songs are incredibly memorable and moving in places: the lindy hop dance sequence set to the tune of “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm”, featuring the Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers being the standout number. Of course no mention of the Marx Brothers would be complete without mentioning Margaret Dumont as Emily Upjohn. She will always mostly be known as the comic foil to Groucho Marx in seven of the Marx Brothers films; so popular was she Groucho called her ‘practically the fifth Marx brother.’ Dumont played wealthy high-society, poshvoiced widows whom Groucho alternately insulted and romanced for their money. Her long-suffering look to camera told a thousand pains, all of which we laughed and cried at… The film was a huge hit at the time and has endured fashion and fad to become one of the finest comedies Hollywood has ever produced. Nick Walker introduces A DAY AT THE RACES on 12 April at 7.30pm for Screen Classics at the Central Theatre Wow MEDWAY 9


Philip Kane’s journey to the dark side

I didn’t set out to be a Morris dancer. For a start, when I was growing up, men never danced unless at weddings, and then badly. Traditions in this country, too, were meant to be all pomp and circumstance, the Queen and the Last Night of the Proms, that kind of thing. Certainly not a bunch of middle-aged blokes, bearded and beer-bellied, prancing around with hankies and dainty jingling bells. Morris dancing was both obscure and ridiculous, and definitely, absolutely, not something I would ever do. At least, that was the case until I met them. “Them” being Long Barrow and the Lost Women, a group of Morris dancers swathed in black, wielding big sticks instead of hankies and dancing with a primeval energy that could send a shiver up the spine. From the first day I saw them dance, I knew I was going to be one of them.

As fate would have it, I was a member of Long Barrow Morris for little more than a year, and then we broke up. Long story, and a matter of external pressures rather than any rift in the group, but brief as the experience was it served as a crucial apprenticeship in the mysteries of the Morris. I spent the next year or so researching, studying, imagining. Where had the Morris come from? Where could it go next? What could be added, subtracted, transformed? Long Barrow had introduced me to a style of traditional dance known as Border Morris. Different forms of Morris dancing are derived from, and known by, their regional roots. The stereotypical hankies-and-bells dances come from the Cotswolds.

Independent on Sunday (which described us as “extraordinary”); we have simultaneously wowed and scared audiences from major festivals to a fashionable London book launch. We are proud of what we are and of where we come from. I didn’t set out to be a Morris dancer. But I’m glad that I have grown into being one.

JOINING WOLFSHEAD AND VIXEN MORRIS Wolfshead and Vixen practise all year round at the Good Intent pub, John Street, Rochester. Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm for Vixen (women) and from 9pm for Wolfshead (men); informal practises most Sundays from 1pm-ish at the same venue. Vixen are currently closed to new dancers, though there is a waiting list for potential new members. Wolfshead are recruiting. Musicians are always welcome. Email our secretary at

There is North West Clog. The Border Morris originates from counties strung along the border between England and Wales. I felt that the future of Morris dancing, its dynamism, lay with the pounding and percussive Border style. I looked in some depth at dance as a form of ritual, as an art with a shamanic element. I explored traditions of masking (or “guising”). I took the Long Barrow dances apart until I understood them as a process of ritual pattern making. I felt that there was a need to break from staid old standards in the repertoire of the Morris and draw on other sources of inspiration as well. The consequence of all that was, in 1995, the launch of Wolfshead Morris. Vixen, our women’s side, came into being very shortly after. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that Wolfshead and Vixen Morris ranks as one of the most important cultural artefacts to emerge from Medway during the past couple of decades. We’ve performed all over the country, been featured in the

FINDING WOLFSHEAD AND VIXEN MORRIS The Morris dancing season generally runs from May to October, though we sometimes perform ‘out of season’. We will be at many events in Medway, Kent and further afield in 2011, including the Rochester Sweeps’ Festival, Whitstable Oyster Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week, and the Faversham Hop Festival.

ROCHESTER SWEEPS’ FESTIVAL One of the country’s largest festivals of traditional dance and music, this year’s Festival runs from 30th April to 2nd May. On Sunday 1st May, Morris sides including Wolfshead and Vixen will welcome the dawn with dancing and the waking of the Jack in the Green, at the Bluebell Hill picnic area at the ungodly hour of 5.32am! In spite of the early start, this draws a large crowd of spectators every year.


MUSIC THE CENTRAL THEATRE 170 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4AS 01634 338338

WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT THE SINGING LOINS? Circus freaks, topless twins, psycho hippies and a deranged Victorian silhouette artist. Just a handful of the colourful characters that inhabit the world of Folk/ Punk band The Singing Loins. The band - Chris Broderick, Rob Shepherd, Chris "Arfur" Allen and John Forrester - return to The Brook Theatre, Chatham on 21 April to promote their new album ‘Stuff’ and entertain in their own inimitable style. Only the Loins could make self sufficiency sound like a right old laugh (‘House In The Woods’) and an amble from Luton Arches to the hose clip factory in Gillingham (‘Ascending Chatham Hill’) seem positively glorious. The last time the Loins played in Medway it was a sell-out and around 50 people were turned away. Don't miss them. You'll come away feeling uplifted. Be merry, my friends, be merry! Folk at The Brook presents The Singing Loins on Thur 21 April at 8pm. 01634 338338. Tickets £10, folk mailing list members £9 Stuff, released on Damaged Goods (DAMGOOD365CD) GP l CLASSICAL THE CENTRAL THEATRE 170 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4AS 01634 338338

Sun 17 Apr, 7.30pm City of London Sinfonia Haydn, Saint-Saens and Beethoven. £17, £19, £21 (concs available) Pre-concert talk at 6.45pm

Tue 5 Apr, 8pm Allan Taylor with support from Skinner Rats Folk singer-songwriter. £9 Thu, 7 Apr, 7.30pm Joe Brown in Concert Legendary rock ‘n’ roller. £19.50, £22 Sat 30 Apr, 7.30pm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Russian Spectacular A feast of Russian masterworks, including Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto. £19.50, £22.50, £25 (concs available) THE ORCHARD

Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED 01322 220000

Frid 1 Apr, 7.30pm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – An English Rhapsody Programme includes Vaughan Williams and Handel. £20-£32, premium seats £36 (concs available) ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL, ME1 1SX. 01634 810061

Sat 9 April, 7pm Rochester Choral Society concert Bach Mass in B Minor with the Rochester Sinfonietta. £7-15, children and students £3. 01634 401049 e:tickets@ Sun 10 Apr, 4.30pm Organ Concert l GIGS THE BROOK THEATRE

Old Town Hall, 5 The Brook, Chatham ME4 4SE 01634 338338

Tue 5 Apr, 8pm King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys Great swing band. £12. Sun 24 Apr, 7.45pm Feast of Fiddles Sponsored by the Man of Kent Alehouse. Six of the UK’s finest fiddle players in a band of eleven. £16

144 CLUB AT THE ROFFEN 41 New Rd Rochester ME1 1DX Box Office 01634 365453

Wed 6 April, doors 7.15pm for Bar, Reception Music and Meals; Main Performance 8.15pm Anton Browne (male vocals) with Roan KearseyLawson and guests Tickets £12 THE BARGE 63 Layfield Road, Gillingham ME7 2QY 01634 850485

Doors open 7pm, music starts from 8.30pm. Most gigs are free. Sat 2 Apr – Clea Rose Trio Mon 4 Apr - Taildraggers Wed 6 Apr - Bards @ The Barge Open Mic Sat 9 Apr – Theatre Royal Mon 11 Apr - Toby, Soph, Callum plus Bass (Wheeler Street) Sat 16 Apr Medway Eyes Presents... Mon 18 Apr - Biggin Hillbillies Sat 23 Apr – The Blissful Mop Mon 25 Apr – Border Crossing Frid 29 Apr – Tyrannosaurus Alan THE SWEEPS FESTIVAL Headline acts, The Marquee, Castle Gardens, Rochester ME1 1SX

Sat 30 Apr, 7.30pm – Eliza Carthy Band Twice Mercury award nominee twice over. Appears with her father, the legendary Martin Carthy Sun 1 May, 7.30pm – Show of Hands Won Best Duo at last year’s Folk Awards. Each concert £18

The Man of Kent Ale-House 6-8 John St. ROCHESTER. ME1 1YN. 07772 214315 April & Sweeps 2011 Sunday 3rd: Jam Night Wednesday 6th: Chimney Boys Thursday 7th: Full Circle Swing Sunday 10th: Jam Night Wednesday 13th: Greg MacDonald Thursday 14th: Green Diesel Sunday 17th: Keith James & Pierre Vincent Tuesday 19th: Ukulele Jam Night (Hawaiian shirt optional) Wednesday 20th: Jinski Thursday 21st: Migden & Gibson Sunday 24th: Jam Night Wednesday 27th: Ron Truman Border & The Strangers Thursday 28th: Pass The Cat Friday 29th: Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society Saturday 30th April 2pm Pierre Vincent 8.30pm Sur Les Docks Sunday 1st May 2pm Galley Beggar 8.30pm Truckstop Honeymoon Monday 2nd May 12.15pm Toby, Soph & Callum plus bass (Wheeler St.) 8.30pm Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs


THEATRE l THE CENTRAL THEATRE 170 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4AS. 01634 338338

EUROPEAN ARTS COMPANY PRESENT CHEKHOV’S SHORTS Tue 3 May, 7.45pm Hugely entertaining collection of oneact farces by Anton Chekhov. Combines the tragi-comic beauty of the longer plays with the silliness of a sketch show. Starring Rochester’s very own John O’Connor. Go to for all tour dates l MEDWAY LITTLE THEATRE

PEPPA PIG’S PARTY Original show with songs based on children’s TV programme Wed 27 Apr at 1pm and 4pm, Thu 28 Apr at 10am and 1pm £12.50, £14.50. Family of four £50 l GULBENKIAN THEATRE, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NB 01227 769075

256 High Street Rochester ME1 1HY. 01634 400322

MY BOY JACK by David Haig, 7-16 Apr, 7.30pm. Directed by John Munson. The story of Rudyard Kipling’s extraordinary sacrifice of his son John. Contains strong language. £7, concs available. Monday all seats £4.50 l THE ORCHARD

Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED 01322 220000

MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT Infectiously funny musical. Winner of the Best Musical Tony Award. Mon 4-Sat 9 April, 7.30pm. Wed & Sat Matinee 2.30pm £24.50-£32.50 l SLIP 3 OF CHATHAM’S


ELEMENT – BEYOND THE IMMUTABLE WEIGHT OF GRAVITY A new Community Opera Production presented by Curious Planet Sat 2 Apr, 7.30pm The work is based on Italo Calvino’s architectural prose “Invisible Cities” and is a response to the immutable weight of gravity on our lives. Workshops have been taking place since January and the piece has been informed by a partnership with the athletes of Jumpers Rebound Centre in Gillingham, members of Kent Association for the Blind and MCCH learning disabled groups Tickets £6 from info@ or 07592 340386. Wheelchair access l WOODVILLE HALLS THEATRE Woodville Place,

Gravesend DA12 1DD 01474 337774

LOUIS PEARL: THE AMAZING BUBBLE SHOW for children 3+ All about bubbles! Sat 16 Apr, 2pm £8, family & friends ticket £35 for five people

GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM Chichester Festival Theatre production of Michelle Magorian’s heartwarming story in a brand new stage adaptation by David Wood. Stars Oliver Ford-Davies Tue 19-Sat 23 April, 7pm, Wed 10am & 7pm, Thu 1pm & 7pm, Frid 7pm, Sat 2.30pm & 7pm £10-£24.50, concs £1.50 off Photo: by permission of the Imperial War Museum

ONE MAN STAR WARS TRILOGY starring Canadian actor Charles Ross Thu 28 Apr, 7.30pm. £14

LIFESTYLE LOUISE DAWSON HAS A GO AT GYMNASTICS FOR ADULTS A while ago a colleague of mine suddenly got up and started practising his cartwheels in the lift lobby! Must have been sitting down too long, and luckily it was late evening so there was no-one there… He had started an adult gymnastics class, fulfilling a long-held ambition to try gymnastics out, and was loving it. There are so many opportunities for adults to do salsa, line dancing, aerobics, yoga, pilates… the list goes on… but gymnastics never went through that conversion to trendiness and can be hard to find if you are no longer school age. Gymnastics is a strict discipline and will help you to build up strength, stamina and flexibility. Strong core muscles in the abdomen and lower back will trim your figure and improve your posture, and are vital for turning yourself upside-down in a variety of ways. (Headstands are a particular favourite of mine.) You can also have fun at a class on all that lovely equipment such as the beam or the bars.

EXPECTATIONS Friday 29th April Karaoke with Charlie Driver Saturday 30th April Open Harp Surgery 12.30-2.30PM Roy Golding 3.00-5.30PM Bounty Hounds 6.00-8.00PM Karaoke with Michael 8.30-Midnight

Sunday 1st May Green Diesel 12.30-2.30PM Roy Golding 3.00-7.00PM Phoenix 8.45-11.00PM Monday 2nd May Skinners Rats 12.30-2.30PM Roy Golding 3.00-7.00PM

15 HIGH STREET, ROCHESTER ME1 1PY Tel: 01634 848182

Soon there will be a fully equipped gymnastics centre at Medway Park (formerly The Black Lion Centre) which will be linked to the Jumpers Rebound Centre, the only purpose-built trampolining centre in the UK. Have fun, and remember, if it’s just too acrobatic for you, you can always go back to yoga! Locally there are classes for adults at Gillingham Gymnastics Club in Luton Tel: 01634 843431 or go to Medway Park, Mill Road, Gillingham ME7 1HF (01634 336655) Jumpers Rebound Centre, 1 Mill Road, Gillingham ME7 1HN (01634 855507)


Medway & Maidstone Disability Athletics Club at Medway Park Saturday mornings, 11.45am1.15pm Adults and children welcome. 10 years +. Sessions open to athletes with all disabilities. Coaching in a variety of Paralympic athletics disciplines. Sports wheelchairs are provided. Call 01634 338763 or email for more information


SingleScene Dating holds quality singles events in the South East for people of all ages, including Speed Dating, Country Walks, Dinner Parties, Mix & Mingle evenings and much more! We hold social events for people wanting to make new friends and dating events for people who would like to meet someone special. We also offer online dating as an alternative. Wow MEDWAY 15

VISUAL ART l THE DEAF CAT 83 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX Open all week, 9.30am-5pm 86,062 – THE PAINKILLER PRINTS ZARA CARPENTER AND RIKARD ŐSTERLUND 29 Mar-4 April A collaborative exhibition showing prints produced using prescribed painkillers. See The Artist’s Space p.19 THE CEASELESS FIGHT AGAINST GOOD TASTE AND DECENCY - Ella Guru, Sexton Ming & Leslie Henkel 25 Apr-8 May. l FRANCIS ILES GALLERIES Rutland House, 103 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 01634 843081 SPRING EXHIBITION To celebrate the Galleries’ 50th anniversary, this exhibition features paintings in acrylics and watercolours by Alison Griffin VPRMS, and oils by Graham Pook. Free l LV21 Gillingham Pier, Pier Approach Road, Gillingham ME7 1RX FIGUREGROUND ARTIST RESIDENCY PUBLIC OPEN DAY 20 April, 12 noon – 5pm. Artists’ network Figure Ground selected 20 artists to take part in a miniresidency on board floating lightship LV21, for artists to create work in response to this unique space. Includes work by Matt Bray, Ann Rapstoff and Caren Hartley. Wear suitable non-slip shoes. Free

April’s featured artists are Veronica Tonge and Coby Gardiner. l NO.1 SMITHERY: THE GALLERY The Historic Dockyard Chatham, ME4 4TZ 01634 823800 ROBOT – A collection of Robots, Cyborgs and Androids. From 4 April. Adults £15.50, Children £10.50, Conc £13.00, Family £42.50 Ticket gives unlimited returns to No.1 Smithery: The Gallery and all the other Historic Dockyard attractions for one year. l NUCLEUS GALLERY 272 High Street, Chatham ME4 4BP 01634 812108 Gallery opening hours 10-5pm THE ART OF MARK 9-21 April Mark Richmond with Anthony Rowell Fantasy wood and stone sculpture with mixed media paintings by artist Mark Richmond who works under the name ‘Taom’. Plus Anthony Rowell’s paintings. Free l NUCLEUS MEDWAY 75 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 07735 598533 Wed, Thur, Frid, Sat 10am5pm, Sun 11am-5pm Art, cards and jewellery by Medway and Maidstone artists at affordable prices.

l ROEBUCK HOUSE l MAIDSTONE VISUAL ARTISTS’ 47 St Margaret’s Street, NETWORK (MVAN) Rochester ME1 1UF 01634 817874 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS A window in Rose Yard, IN CLEOPATRA’S EYE 13-16 Apr MAIDSTONE: AN EXHIBITION Wed-Fri 3-7pm, Sat 10am-5pm OF WORK BY MVAN ARTISTS, Exhibition of oils, watercolours changing monthly.  and drawings by Wynford

Vaughan Thomas, based on Cleopatra’s Egypt. Free l ROCHESTER ART GALLERY & CRAFT CASE Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 01634 338319 VESSEL: STILL POINTS / TURNING WORLDS 1 April-3 June Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10.30am-5pm Features work by Annie Turner, Sara Radstone, Dan Kelly, Kate Wickham, Ruth Franklin and Robert Cooper, ceramicists and Ceramic Tutors at The City Lit in London. The focal point for this group exhibition is the vessel as an object and abstract concept. Free l TURNER CONTEMPORARY RENDEZVOUS Margate CT9 1HG 01843 233000 REVEALED: TURNER CONTEMPORARY OPENS From 16 Apr. Opening celebrations weekend of 16 & 17 April, see website for details. Tues-Sun 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-10pm. Closed Mon (except Bank Holidays 10am-7pm) This inaugural exhibition, centred on an extraordinary, little-known painting by Turner depicting a dramatic volcanic eruption that Turner himself never witnessed, fittingly explores the themes of imagination, discovery, wonder and the creative spirit. There are new commissions by Daniel Buren, Russell Crotty, Ellen Harvey and Conrad Shawcross, alongside selected works by Teresita Fernandez and Douglas Gordon. Make a day trip of it and be one of the first to experience this iconic new gallery. Free


THE THAMES BARGE ‘EDITH MAY’ On the first clear-skied Saturday morning of spring I took myself down to Lower Halstow Dock to visit what must be one of Medway’s least-known delights, the Thames sailing barge, ‘Edith May’. Situated on the Saxon Shore Way beside Glass Bottle Beach, it’s the perfect spot to make a round trip walk or cycle ride and reward yourself with a visit to the Edith May Tea Room. Built in 1906 to carry cereals between Great Yarmouth and London, the barge was bought as a wreck eleven years ago by Geoff Gransden and three generations of the Gransden family set about restoring it. The Tea Room opened in 2009, following two immensely successful open days for locals to see how the project was coming along: on one day alone almost 400 people filed through.

“The Medway is such an underestimated river,” says Ed Gransden. “Naval and industrial heritage, tranquil salt marsh and wild bird life, all are here.” The Edith May Tea Room is open to April 17, Fri-Sun, 10.30am-4.00pm. Thereafter you can enjoy a charter sail. Lower Halstow Dock is at the end of Lapwing Drive, ME9 7DZ. Call 01634 365343 for more information. St Margaret’s Church Craft Fair (next to the Edith May) Sat 9 April, 10am-3pm

The Tea Room serves hot drinks, light lunches (Ploughman’s and toasted sandwiches); cream teas and delicious homemade cakes. On blustery days you can stay ‘down below’ and cosy by the solid fuel stove or read the newspapers in the Master’s woodpanelled cabin; on finer days you can take your mug on deck and enjoy the lovely river view. Go soon, however: the Edith May Tea Room is how the barge spends its winters. After 17 April the Edith May follows its real vocation, taking charter parties sailing from Chatham, Queenborough and Lower Halstow in three very different river trip experiences. Up to 12 people can sail on the barge, taking a 3 hour ‘taster’ trip including lunch or cream tea, or experience the all-day treatment with homemade cooked breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. During your time on board you can just enjoy the river, or participate in the sailing of the barge. There is magic about a project of this kind: the restoration of something all but lost; local support; a family surprised by its own success. I’ve been wanting to return ever since I left. Emma Dewhurst Wow MEDWAY 17

WIN A CHAMPAGNE TEA WITH THE APRIL GIVEAWAY! A certain Royal Wedding is almost upon us - whatever your leanings, it’s a good excuse for a party! Rochester Coffee Co. is throwing itself into the swing of things – it already sports life-size cut-outs of Prince William and Kate Middleton in its window and on the day itself you can catch the Wedding on the newly-fitted plasma wall screens while enjoying a Champagne Tea, which will be served all day. If you don’t fancy champagne, there are no less than three Continental draught beers available, all brewed in their countries of origin: Peroni on tap from Italy and beers from the Czech Republic and The Netherlands. Or try one of the wines from Chateau Campuget, ranging from £13-£30 a bottle. WOW Medway has three vouchers to giveaway, each worth £20, allowing the winners Champagne Tea for two on the house. Simply email your name and address to, or use the contact form at by 22 April. Vouchers are valid for one year. DESIGN: A Stone’s Throw

Contact us EDITORIAL: FREE LISTINGS: ADVERTISING: 0845 388 2243 (local rate from BT landlines)

WEBSITE: Sue Davis Web Design & Consultancy, PRINTING: PB Group Sittingbourne, 01795 413880, PUBLISHER: Emma Dewhurst Distributed locally to Medway households and public pick-up

Keep your eye on Friday nights at the Rochester Coffee Co. The place transforms from coffee shop to stylish evening venue with the following themes: 1st Friday of the month: Arrival Acoustic Night 2nd Friday: Motown 3rd Friday: Sipping Sessions by Moogie Wonderland. This is a relaxed, chilled affair with arty bits on the side should you wish to partake 4th Friday: Departure with resident DJ Nathan Martin (of Banks Bar, Maidstone). Expect to dance! points throughout the Medway towns. Launch circulation of 2000, rising monthly. Great introductory ad rates available to all first time advertisers. All advertisers also featured in e-edition of the magazine and in our online Directory at www.wowmedway. Copy/listings deadline for May issue: 14 April ©WOW Medway magazine. All rights reserved. Whilst

every effort has been made to ensure that details in this publication are accurate, we cannot accept responsibility for such. Readers are advised to check listings information to avoid disappointment. Views expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect those of the editor and publisher.

WOW Medway is printed on 100% recycled paper

The ARTIST’S Space

My name is Zara Carpenter, I make hats and sometimes write poetry. I have had no formal training, just the odd short course, usually I experiment until I find what works and is beautiful.

We will be launching a book featuring an extended edit of the prints available to buy from: detail/2033367

I have been working on a personal project for some time now and will finally be exhibiting it this March/ April in The Deaf Cat Coffee Bar. It is a collaborative project by Rikard Ősterlund and I which shows prints produced using prescribed painkillers. This on-going project explores how chronic pain and the long term use of prescribed medication has impacted my life and the lives of others around me. The title “86,062” refers to the minimum amount of medication I have taken for a chronic illness over the past 22 years.

86,062 - The Painkiller Prints 28 Mar – 4 April at The Deaf Cat, 83 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX. Mon-Sun, 10am-5pm





31 12 2008 night


The English Festival

Saturday, 23 April 11am - 5pm Riverside Country Park

Lower Rainham Road, Gillingham Parking on site: ÂŁ3 per car - limited spaces

Come along to enjoy and celebrate all things English. Share in some family fun with culture, history and tradition.

Use our FREE vintage bus park and ride service from 10.30am until 5.30pm. First bus leaves Dockside Outlet Centre, Chatham Maritime at 10.30am, with last bus returning from Riverside Country Park at 5.30pm.

For more information: Visit: Phone: 01634 843666 Email:


Visit our six themed zones h Medieval h Pirates h The Seaside h The Village Green h Swinging Sixties h The High Street

WOW Medway April 2011  

Listings guide to the best of what's on where in Medway and the accessible beyond

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