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Contributors Emma Dewhurst (Editor) is a Medway-based lover of the arts. Sam Froudist is a writer, blogger, and Bunting Enthusiast. Hailing from the Colonies (Australia), she’s a fresh Medway resident and has recently co-started bunted!, a small bespoke bunting business in Rochester. Sam loves watching great theatre, getting overly passionate about things, and feeling so bourgeois that she has to throw red wine all over herself. Contact Sam at goodbyesamantha@gmail.com

Cover photograph of the Galloping Cuckoos by Gemma Williams

Sam Hall is a former journalist and editor, now working as a freelance literary consultant. She runs writers groups including ME4 Writers, whose recent work has included an open mic Alternative Royal Wedding Picnic and Low Expectations at the Dickens Festival, and 17percent, a support group for female playwrights. me4writers.wordpress.com and 17percent.wordpress.com 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.

Nucleus Medway is an eclectic not-for-profit gallery shop at 75 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX. It offers local artists at all stages of their career an opportunity to showcase and sell their latest work. Prints, paintings, cards, jewellery and more at affordable prices. Tue-Sat 10-5pm, Sun 11-5pm. WELCOME to WOW Medway! This month focuses on my first love, theatre. Our centre-pages showcase the plethora of open-air theatre playing this summer in the Garden of England; Sam Hall interviews Icon Theatre’s Artistic Director Nancy Hirst, and we take a gander at another kind of outdoor performance, by the lovely Galloping Cuckoos. An apology is due to readers of last month’s issue: the Art Hate 2011 exhibition which was the subject of our main feature was cancelled after the magazine went to print. I do hope that no inconvenience was caused. Our remarkable June cover artist, Daisy Parris, is still exhibiting at the Deaf Cat until 10 July, however, and you can also catch Sara Norling’s jewellery by her alter ego One Little Bird. Many thanks to all those who have been following my (somewhat erratic) tweets on Twitter, and great hurrahs that this month the WOW Medway Facebook page gained its hundredth follower! If you attend an event or use one of our advertisers because of WOW Medway – PLEASE MENTION US!

Find us on Facebook facebook.com/WOWMedway

@EmmaDewhurst7

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For one literally explosive night in August, something extraordinary is happening in the seaside town of Margate. Recommended by The Sunday Times as one of this summer’s alfresco arts highlights, BLINK! is a vast, collaborative project to transform the seafront into ‘the world’s biggest stage’. Stellar choreographer Wayne McGregor, open-air theatre ensemble PAN.OPTIKUM (pictured) and soundscape artist Scanner are working with the local community to stage this extravagant event. Expect pyrotechnics, flaming structures and a beach dance performance extraordinaire. Saturday 27 August, 8-11pm. Free. blinkmargate.org

S M O HE R P TT E A STL CA The last night of the Concerts is traditionally Proms night, complete with rousing classical favourites, flagwaving and guest soloists. This year on July 16 the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is to be joined by guest soloists SQUEEZE PETER ANDRE Jo Appleby and former G4 member, Jonathan Ansell – who, coincidentally, played N-DUBZ PROMS his first straight acting www.castleconcerts.co.uk 01634 338338 role in my father Keith Dewhurst’s adaptation of Lark Rise to Candleford in 2010! (Ed) WOW magazine ad_Layout 1 19/05/2011 14:44 Page 1

ROCHESTER CASTLE GARDENS

13 ~ 16 JULY

Wednesday, 13 July

Thursday, 14 July

Friday, 15 July

Saturday, 16 July

Peter Andre photograph: Can Associates Limited

DIARY DATE – BLINK!

For tickets telephone 01634 338338 castleconcerts.co.uk

HAZLITT ARTS CENTRE’S WRITERS’ GROUP PRESENTS ‘THE SHORT OF IT’

A Beginners’ Guide to Short Fiction An introductory prose workshop led by poet & author Maria. C. McCarthy SPECIAL OFFER Book your place on the workshop ..and get Maria’s latest collection ‘Strange Fruits’ FREE. To book your place or for further information contact: The Hazlitt Arts Centre Box Office on: 01622 758 611

THE WHITSTABLE OYSTER FESTIVAL runs from 23-29 July. Countless events in this wonderful coastal town. Full details at whitstableoysterfestival.com POWERHOOP is a new way to keep fit! Course at Halling Community Centre now booking for August, Thurs 8:3010pm. £55 per person for 4 weeks incl hoop. zumbakent.co.uk This month’s RECOLLECT MUSIC FAIRS take place at Rochester Corn Exchange on July 24 (10-4pm) admission free, and at Rainham Mark Social Club on July 10 (9.30am-3.30pm) admission £1


The Right Step Dance Company is celebrating its first birthday. Since its inception last year this terrific initiative launched by dancer Rebecca Ashton has brought creative dance classes to countless Medway schools and community venues. TRS is running a week-long workshop for children aged 6-11 (yrs 2-6) in the first week of the summer holidays. The course will be held at Delce Junior School, The Tideway, Rochester ME1 2NJ. Time: 10am-12.30pm. Cost: £30 per course. To book call 07850 644633 therightstepdc.co.uk

JUGGLE WITH JUGGLEZ! Why not try something completely different? Local juggling club Jugglez run a juggling and circus skills club for all ages and abilities. The club runs twice a month on Friday nights from 8-10pm at Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, ME4 0BX. Remaining 2011 club dates are: July 1 & 29; Aug 12 & 26; Sept 9 & 23; Oct 7 & 21; Nov 11 & 25 and Dec 9. Cost is just £2.50 per session. Contact Pat on 07758 800521. E: jugglezclub@googlemail.com

LOWER HALSTOW DOCK is the place to be on Sunday 3 July! Not only will the artists of Old Reed Bed Studios be throwing open their studio doors but Thames barge Edith May is having a wellearned day off from its charter trips and is serving English cream teas from 10.30am3pm, when you can take a short trip on the barge to Seagull Island and back. Trip tickets £10. edithmay.com The full programme for this year’s Canterbury Festival (15-29 October) is soon to be announced. Tickets go on sale on 8 August, with a two week priority booking period for Friends of the Festival from Monday 25 July. There is still time to join the Friends: membership is available from £20 per year and directly supports the Festival. Tickets will be available online and from the Festival Box Office (01227 787787). canterburyfestival.co.uk Wow MEDWAY 5


17percent LUPEN CROOK’S fourth album

WAITING FOR THE POST-MAN REVIEWED The latest release from Lupen Crook is described as a “domestic” album. This is due, in part, to the fact that it was written, performed and produced by him at his newly established home studio in London. But it’s the album’s dark, reflective and deeply personal content that renders it so compelling. Waiting For The Post-Man (the title taken from a poem and painting by Lupen’s close friend Matthew Stephens Scott who died last year) sees a man reviewing the consequences of past hedonistic actions. Despite its often difficult themes the album is surprisingly easy to listen to. Again and again. ‘The Dirty Mile’ is utterly beautiful, ‘Chasing Dragons’ will stop you in your tracks and ‘Mantra 29’ is a favourite. There is lyrical and melodic integrity throughout. This is the domestic I’ve been waiting for.

Waiting For The Post-Man is available via mail order from lupencrook.co.uk and to download from bandcamp.com. The artist will also be creating a collection of 20 Waiting for the PostMan themed paintings (mixed media on canvas) which will be offered for sale individually via his artwork website brokenarts.co.uk You can read Lupen Crook’s review of Kids Unique debut album on p19

A new organisation to support and promote female playwrights. 17percent is an organisation to support and promote female playwrights founded by writer Sam Hall in 2010. Only 17 percent of UK produced plays are written by women. It is also represents the pay gap percentage between men and women. Drama and the stories it tells us are crucially important to the way we understand our world. If all the stories being told are being told from one perspective, generally male, then we don’t see the whole picture. 17percent is about addressing this storytelling gender inequality in UK theatre. Last year 17percent piloted a small networking group in Kent, and are looking to expand this, so if you’re a female Kent playwright, do get in touch. Some new Kent and London showcase nights are also currently being planned, so check out the updates on the 17 percent blog if you’d like to get involved. To join the 17percent mailing list send an email to 17percentcampaign@gmail.com Blog: http://17percent.wordpress.com Twitter: @17percent


T H E AT R E

ICONIC ‘I love Medway’s lack of pretension’ says Nancy Hirst at our meeting at her office in The Brook Theatre. Nancy is the founder of Icon Theatre, a company producing innovative physical and visual theatre. She is taking a new production, Release, about ex-offenders, to the Edinburgh Festival in August. Fusing a high energy performance style, mixed media and an original new score, the play explores why two thirds of UK prisoners re-offend within two years. The company have also just appointed their first staff member, an Education Officer, which ‘feels like a significant step’. Nancy first became excited by theatre at the tender age of 14, when she saw a production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party on TV. She was fascinated by how it was ‘more real than real life’, and was hooked. After that she threw herself into directing theatre, first the school play, then at Cambridge where she was studying English. Freelance directing and assisting followed university when she worked at some of London’s top venues, including The Bush, The Young Vic and Soho Theatre, and as a staff director at Opera North. She set up Icon Theatre in her mid-twenties, frustrated at the compromises you have to make when working for others, and to make shows ‘the best I could’. Initially based in Hackney, she moved the company to Medway in 2009, as ‘it seemed like a good fit. I think Medway’s really fascinating, I find it very comfortable here.’ Nancy is inspired by devised and collaborative theatre, which combines movement, puppetry, music and masks, harking back to theatre’s early history as spectacle, and this is what she creates with Icon – a very pure theatre experience.

Sam Hall interviews Nancy Hirst, founder of Chatham-based Icon Theatre

Photo by: Georgie Clarke

MAKING

‘It’s easy for people to think that because of technology, theatre is on its way out, but they’ve been saying that for quite a long time now, and I think there’s something really innate and primal in people that wants to get together and experience stuff together.’ Icon have produced a number of innovative physical and mixed media pieces, including interpretations of The Odyssey and Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. Last Christmas, in conjunction with the other companies based at The Brook, Nancy developed a show for children aged 3-6, The Mouse Who Saved Christmas ‘a magical adventure journey for very small explorers.’ Icon are currently planning another Christmas show for children, an audience they work with a lot. In fact, they are currently setting up two new youth theatres at Gillingham’s Sunlight Centre and Chatham’s All Saints Children’s Centre, which will give young people aged 7-19 an opportunity to get involved with theatre - and are looking for young people to get involved! There are also opportunities for rural communities to be involved with Icon’s heritage project ‘Time and Tides’. I asked Nancy what she would like to achieve with Icon. ‘To become a byword for excellence in physical theatre. In terms of the work we do, to keep making exciting, relevant and sustainable shows, and to really develop our community work’. With all these plans afoot, it looks like she’s well on her way to achieving those ambitions.

Release plays for one night only at the Brook Theatre on Saturday 30 July at 7.45pm and at Pleasance Dome in Edinburgh from 3-29 August icontheatre.org.uk Wow MEDWAY 7


FILM 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. medway.gov.uk/ theatrebookings

North By Northwest (Pg) 1959 Mon 8 August, 7.30pm Dir: Alfred Hitchcock Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Caroll, Martin Landau No Screen Classics for July but put this date in your diary for the screening of a Hitchcock classic. Cary Grant excels as the hapless New York advertising executive mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies. 131 mins 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. £8.25/£6.25. theothercinema.info. The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc Sec (12A) 2010 Thu 7 July, 7.45pm Dir: Luc Besson Cast: Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric, Giles Lellouche An adventure set in the early part of the 20th century about a popular novelist and her dealings with would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other distractions. 107 mins You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger (12A) 2010 Thu 14 July, 7.45pm Dir: Woody Allen Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Antonio Banderas

The film examines the ambitions and anxieties of two married couples. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw writes that this is not Woody Allen’s ‘longed-for comeback masterpiece… Yet it is also inventive, persistently diverting, speckled with ideas’. 98 mins Outside The Law (15) 2010 Thu 21 July, 7.45pm Dir: Rachid Bouchareb Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Sami Bouajila and Roschdy Zem Follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Days of Glory’, this is an insightful drama about the Algerian struggle for independence from France after WWII. The film focuses on the three Souni brothers, played by the same actors who were joint recipients of the best actor award at Cannes for ‘Days of Glory’. 138 mins Screen South Community Film Network For Kent & Medway HORROR & JOY: Free Film Networking Screening Event The Conference Room, The Brook Theatre, Old Town Hall, Chatham ME4 4SE Frid 1 July 6.30-8.30pm An informal opportunity to network with other film enthusiasts and filmmakers and to view and discuss previously produced locally made short films. Everybody welcome. Any filmmakers attending on the night who are especially keen to have their film screened should email info@beepinghbush. co.uk to ensure that it can be shown. Preferences will be given to filmmakers attending on the night, no matter where they are based. Also, feel free to bring along a DVD of your own unconnected short films or feature extracts if you would like to test the audience’s reaction and gain critical comment.

BEST OF JULY RELEASES NEW FOR THE FIRST TIME Watch Wimbledon Finals in 3D! Women’s Final 2 July Men’s Final 3 July Odeon Chatham, Cineworld Rochester LARRY CROWNE (12A) Director Tom Hanks stars with Julia Roberts in grown-up romcom. Rel 1 July THE CONSPIRATOR (12A) Robert Redford directs this true story about the only woman accused of conspiring to kill President Lincoln. Rel 1 July 3D HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (12A) The amazing adventure concludes. Rel 15 July TRUST (15) David Scwimmer (Friends) directs Clive Owen. Rel 22 July HORRIBLE BOSSES (Cert tbc) Comedy starring Jennifer Anniston. Rel 22 July ZOOKEEPER (Cert tbc) Family comedy: animals help keeper’s love-life. Rel 29 July To be shown at the following cinemas: ODEON CHATHAM, Dickens World, Chatham ME4 4LL. 0871 22 44 007. odeon.co.uk ODEON MAIDSTONE, Lockmeadow, Maidstone, ME16 8RG. 0871 22 44 007. odeon.co.uk ROCHESTER CINEWORLD MULTIPLEX Medway Valley Leisure Park, ME2 2SS. 0871 200 2000. cineworld.co.uk THE ROYAL CINEMA, Faversham, Kent, ME13 7AG. 24hr info line: 01795 591211, Box Office: 01795 591211. From £4.50-£5. royalcinema.co.uk SHOWCASE BLUEWATER, Bluewater, Greenhithe, DA9 9SG. 0871 220 1000. showcasecinemas.co.uk/ bluewater


ROCHESTER FILM CAFÉ SOCIETY

NICK WALKER chronicles the growing trend for ‘POP-UP’ CINEMA among audiences who want something more than their local multiplex offerings

This experience is evidently good for a certain demographic, who often make their film choices on site and enjoy the modern ‘film factory’ style surroundings; but not so for the more discerning cineaste who clearly wants something more for their money. So, with many people disillusioned, the fate of Independent cinema going was always going to be held with the people themselves, taking the programming and design of the events into their own hands. The Other Cinema film events aim to give Medway film fans an opportunity to see the very best of Independent cinema from around the world. With each film introduced, the films are hopefully less alien to audiences often unused to seeing such films. The post-film discussion, over a free glass of wine, is a genial affair with attendees encouraged to air their thoughts on the film – the genre, actors, cinematography, direction or simply how it made them feel. This event has certainly proved popular with audiences, who have regularly remarked of their relief at not having to travel to Canterbury or London to see the latest quality films.

Illus: Paul Baker

The formation of the Film Café Society in Rochester was due to the demand of local people for something different and something more satisfying than the typical cinema experience, which is to be seen at the UK multiplex, with its elevated importance on pick n’ mix, popcorn and cola, staffed by mostly (understandably) uninvolved and disinterested young people.

The trend for cineastes UK-wide, disillusioned with cinemas not screening more art house or classic films in a relaxed environment, is to seek out societies, clubs or more bespoke cinema venues to sample the world of great directors, or alternatively to create the experience in their own homes. New ‘Pop Up’ Cinemas are establishing themselves in bars, car parks, garages or even church halls, where classic films, art house films or artists’ film and video works are screened. Often supplemented by discussion to give a greater context to the films and by refreshments to make the evening a relaxed and attractive affair, they are taking the concept of cinema to another level. One such ‘Pop Up’ event is the Film Cafe Society, which I hold in my flat! On the last Sunday of each month (carefully) invited guests are asked to bring some refreshments – tea, cake and/or wine – and watch a film, followed by a discussion on what they’ve seen. The inaugural programme has included: ‘Breathless’, ‘The Lodger’, ‘The Exterminating Angel’, ‘Wild Strawberries, ‘October’ and ‘Les Diaboliques’. It’s comfortable, free and is empowering for its audience who all get a say in what is screened. They are fully engaging with the process and the event and most importantly are free to explore the films in a safe and encouraging environment… For more information on all the Other Cinema events please go to: www.theothercinema.info Wow MEDWAY 9


e r t hT eIaN THE Open air sun cream, ts, sun ts and rain a h n u a ‘S , rain h e glasses s should all b ’ coat … d re conside

The Garden of England is blessed with myriad opportunities to watch performances by the very best open-air theatre companies in the country, in some heavenly settings.

There is something delightfully trepidatory about choosing to attend an open-air theatre performance. There are so many variables, of which top of the list, of course, is the weather. Frequently not even the players will know whether or not a performance will go ahead until the very last minute and then of course there’s the frisson of anticipation which rustles through an audience the moment a few spots of rain are felt: will the players continue? Will the play go on? Thunderstorms excepted, almost always it does. Audience and players emerge from the experience in celebratory mood – a magic has been shared, the elements have been braved and contributed either to the evening’s drama or to its beauty, due to the breathtaking settings in which these productions are often staged. National Trust and Heritage properties have discovered that partnering up with the many excellent travelling companies which tour the country during the summer months is an excellent way to boost visitor numbers and, especially when the plays staged are part of the classic canon, lend settings which would be impossible to replicate indoors. Many of the venues are worthy of making it a day trip, with the evening’s show the cherry.

This summer you can savour Shakespeare at no less than four Kent castles; glory in some exceptional gardens and take tea on many a fine lawn. Alternatively, you can always bring your own picnic. At some venues you’ll be sitting on plastic chairs, one or two have specially built seating and many expect you just to bring your own rug. Gates usually open a good hour before the show begins - check with individual venues.

THE PLAYS THE THING Small wonder that the work of our king of playwrights is performed in the open-air more than any other’s. Indeed these productions are often closer to how Shakespeare intended them than many indoor productions. Together with The Globe on Tour (see Giveaway), The Lord Chamberlain’s Men represent the cream of outdoor touring companies producing innovative, high quality Shakespeare with acting of the highest order. ‘The unique mixture of location, climate and performance makes the relationship between the actors, the text and the audience a truly thrilling event.’ The Lord Chamberlain’s Men TLCM are an all-male ensemble named for Shakespeare’s original troupe players who pride themselves on their ‘clear, bold, dynamic storytelling’. Their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to Leeds Castle 28-30 July, 7pm. Tickets £15 and £12 (child). Box office: 01622 880008 tlcm.co.uk


Illyria Theatre celebrate their twentieth year with Twelfth Night at Tonbridge Castle on Thur 11 August at 7.30pm. Tickets £11 and £7 (children 5-16 years). Tel. 01732 770929 illyria.uk.com Twelfth Night is also being staged by Quantum Theatre Company at Shorne Woods Country Park on 2 July at 6pm. Tickets £12.50 and £7 (children 3-12 years). Family tickets also available. Booking required on 08458 247 600 Comedy of Errors is this year’s offering from muchloved Kent-based touring Shakespeare company The Changeling. Directed by Rob Forknall, productions are renowned for being funny, witty and energetic. Visit hazlittartscentre.co.uk for full tour dates. changeling-theatre.com

KIDS GO TOO! Outdoor performances are a great way to introduce children to theatre: the set-up is less formal and children are freer to move around. Among the best this summer is Fantastic Mr Fox, Illyria Theatre’s staging of Roald Dahl’s classic. You can catch it at Ightham Mote on 20 August at 7.30pm (0844 249 1895); Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest on 30 August at 2.30pm (030 0068 0400); and Charlton Park Foundation on August 31 at 7.30pm (01227 831355). Young, lively theatre company The Pantaloons The Canterbury Tales come to Godinton House on 23 July; Scotney Castle on 29 July and Mount Ephraim Gardens on 28-29 August. Promises pre-show ‘Medieval Marketplace’ and a talking chicken. thepantaloons.co.uk Leeds Castle hosts two kids’shows: Snow White (12-14 August) and Wind in the Willows (27-28 August). leeds-castle.com Finally, at fully accessible Strode Park you can catch Pinocchio on 18 August at 5.30pm. Box office: 01227 373292 strodepark.org.uk

GIVEAWAY The Globe on Tour come to The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle between 10-13 August, with their exciting production of As You Like It. A small troupe of travelling players breathe new life into this firm favourite among Shakespeare’s comedies. As You Like It runs the glorious gamut of pastoral romance; cross-dressing and love notes; poetry and brilliant conversation; gentle satire, slapstick and passion. The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle has kindly given WOW Medway 2 tickets for this fantastic show to be used for any performance excluding Saturday night. Show starts at 8pm; matinee on 11 August at 2.30pm. To enter the draw, simply email the Editor at editor@wowmedway.co.uk or telephone 0845 388 2243, leaving your name, address, contact number and preferred performance date by 1 August. Also at Hever this season is Noel Coward’s classic comedy, Blithe Spirit (16-23 July, no perf Mon or Tues). Box Office: 01732 866114. heverfestival.co.uk Wow MEDWAY 11


MUSIC

l JAZZ AT THE BROOK Old Town Hall, 5 The Brook, Chatham ME4 4SE 01634 338338 JAVAJAM Tue 5 July, 8pm Cabaret entertainment with the Hassell Sisters £11 l FOLK AT THE BROOK THE TRAVELLING TALESMEN Thu 14 July, 8pm Two of the West Country’s finest singer-songwriters £10 l THE EAGLE 124 High Street Rochester, ME1 1JT 01634 409040 UK and international finest Live Music From rock ‘n’ roll to indie, soul and more. Thu 7 BEER PRESSURE; Thu 14 BILLY WHIZZ; Thu 21 BILLY WEARS DRESSES; Thu 28 BITTEN BY MONKEYS CLUB NIGHT Fri and Saturdays to 12am LIVE JAZZ Sunday lunchtime from 12 noon SKA, REGGAE & NORTHERN SOUL DJS, last Sunday of every month 7-10pm No entry fee theeagletavern.org.uk l THE GOOD INTENT John Street, Rochester ME1 1YL 01634 843118 ROCHESTER ACOUSTIC MUSIC DAY Sat 9 July 1-11pm Folk, blues, country, good-time and more. Real ale and bar food available all day mooreorlessfolkclub.co.uk l MARGATE JAZZ FESTIVAL OF VOICE Margate Old Town Hall CT9 1EU

LISTEN, LEARN AND PERFORM WITH FAMOUS JAZZ MUSICIANS The Maritime Jazz Festival, in association with UK Jazz TV and the Kent Air Ambulance, is offering a rare opportunity this September for developing music students and musicians to learn from the best in the UK Jazz scene. The Festival will be holding Jazz Workshops for all ages and abilities at Dickens World, Chatham Maritime. Successful applicants can choose to visit Dickens World in the morning, have lunch, participate in the afternoon Workshop and perform live in the Britannia Theatre alongside famous artists during the evening! Course tutors include BBC presenter and Australian born vocalist Trudy Kerr; Jamie Cullum’s former musical director, Geoff Gascoyne; University of London lecturer and saxophonist with the late Ray Charles, Dave O’Higgins; ABRSM published composer and London’s Guildhall Jazz Summer School lecturer, guitarist & pianist John Myhill and Festival Director, top UK percussionist and author Roan KearseyLawson. Further tutors will be added subject to instrument category take up. Anyone can apply, and a portion of each workshop ticket sale will go to the Kent Air Ambulance. For more information or to receive an application pack visit maritimejazzfestival. co.uk or telephone 01634 365453

1-31 July VARIOUS EVENTS THROUGHOUT MONTH margatejazzscene.co.uk l THE MUSIC ROOM, PIZZA EXPRESS MAIDSTONE, 32 Earl Street, ME14 1PF 01622 683548 CHRIS CORCORAN’S SUMMER BLUES FESTIVAL Fri 1 July, 8pm One night only line-up of 5 of the best acts around, including Chris Corcoran Trio and Tracy Ray. Tickets £18, call 0845 6027017. £9.00 ROGER LEWIN THE ACCOMPANIST Featuring Ryan Sanders, Sue Smith, Gavin Alexander and ‘Simply Italian’ favourite Rhian Grundy Fri 22 July, doors 7pm, show 8pm Tickets £9 pizzaexpresslive.co.uk l ORCHARD THEATRE Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED 01322 22000 RICHARD THOMSON Wed 20 July, 8pm. Veteran songwriter-guitarist. £23.50 orchardtheatre.co.uk l ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL ME1 1SX 01634 810061 17 July, 4.30pm ORGAN CONCERT rochestercathedral.org l THE TWO BREWERS 113 High Street Rochester, ME1 1JS 01634 812448 Thu 7 July, 9pm - BLUES NIGHT WITH BLUES BUSINESS Sun 10 July, 4pm – WHERE’S MY THING? Sun 17 July, 4pm – THE VARLIES Sun 24 July, 4pm FIREWATER Sun 31 July, 4pm – DEL MANDELL & ALAN WARNER twobrewersrochester.com


July 2011

Sunday 3rd: Jam Night Tuesday 5th: Bishops Gundulph Morris Wednesday 6th: TwoManTing Thursday 7th: Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society Sunday 10th: Jam Night Tuesday 12th: Ukulele Jam hosted by Scarey Dave Wednesday 13th: Ty & Ayesha Watling Thursday 14th: The Mercurials Sunday 17th: Jam Night Wednesday 20th: Band of Two Thursday 21st: Kris Dollimore Sunday 24th: Pierre Vincent (The Dealers) Wednesday 27th: Gren Bartley Thursday 28th: Galley Beggar Sunday 31st: Brian McNeill (Battlefield Band & Feast of Fiddles)

The Man of Kent Ale-House 6-8 John Street. Rochester. ME1 1YN www.themanofkent.com 07772 214315

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THEATRE for this production and sung by Rochester musician Didi Bergman. Also for the first time Rochester’s UCA has provided designer Jennie Douglas and the show has the largest MLT cast for many years. £7, concs available. Monday all seats £4.50

ALSO SEE CENTRE PAGES FOR OPEN-AIR THEATRE SPECIAL

l THE BROOK THEATRE

Old Town Hall, Chatham ME4 4SE 01634 338338

Alternate Shadows Theatre present AN EVENING OF TWO

ORIGINAL ONE ACT PLAYS: PASSION AND COMMITMENT – a Life of Harriet Taylor Mill and Bring on The Lions – entertainment on a Roman theme by Bob Cooke Winning writer of the ’08 & ’08 Duncan Rand One Act Play Festival. Wed 6 July, 8pm £6, concs available.

l HAZLITT THEATRE

The Brook Theatre and Dizzy O’Dare presents CABARET OF CURIOSITIES Fri 8 July, 8pm Cheeky burlesque, spectacular dance, circus and more. Adult content – over 16s only. £10

7.30pm (Wed Mat 1.00pm) The students from this Specialist Arts College are renowned for the extraordinarily high quality of their summer shows under the artistic directorship of Giles Gleadall. Adults £8.50-£10, Children £4-£6, concs available

Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PL. 01622 758611 or from VPS on 07805 178664

VALLEY PARK SCHOOL PRESENTS LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Mon 18-Fri 22 July,

THE DUNCAN RAND ONE ACT PLAY FESTIVAL 25 July – 6 August mlt.org.uk

THEATRE ROYAL MARGATE, Addington Street, Margate CT9 1PW Box Office 0845 130 1786, Ticket Agent 01227 787787

COMEDY OF ERRORS TOUR PICK OF THE MONTH: RELEASE UK Premiere Resident company Icon Theatre preview this new piece of highly physical theatre before a run at the Edinburgh Festival.

To 7 Aug This year’s touring open-air Shakespeare offering from The Changeling company, directed by Rob Forknall. For full list of dates and venues go to hazlittartscentre.co.uk

Features an original score, film projection and leading performers from Complicite and Frantic Assembly. See this month’s Profile Sat 30 July, 8pm £10, concs available medway.gov.uk/theatrebookings

l THE FESTIVAL THEATRE AT HEVER CASTLE,

24HR SHAKESPEARE

l MEDWAY LITTLE THEATRE

Hever Lakeside Theatre,  Hever Castle, Edenbridge TN8 7NG 01732 866114

256 High Street Rochester ME1 1HY 01634 400322

BLITHE SPIRIT Sat 16-23 July,

Shakespeare, directed by Michael Bath 30 June to 9 July, 7.30pm

8pm (Mat 21 July, no perf Mon/ Tues) Noël Coward classic. £16.50

THE MIKADO 27-31 July, 8pm

Gilbert and Sullivan from Opera Options £15.90-£21.90 heverfestival.co.uk

AS YOU LIKE IT by William

Part of the RSC’s Open Stages scheme. MLT promises a ‘vigorous approach’ to this lovely pastoral comedy, with live music, much of it specially composed

Directed by Will Wollen, Sat 24 July 7.30pm (Show) This has to be a great event: players of all ages and abilities sign up to create a Shakespeare production from scratch. Participants - with wildly different levels of experience! - arrive at 6.30pm the night before to find out which Shakespeare play they’ll be taking part in. Rehearsals begin with a professional creative team (and plenty of coffee!) an hour later...WOW Medway’s editor is on the waiting list… theatreroyalmargate.com


THE GALLOPING CUCKOOS If you were out and about during last month’s FUSE Festival, you might have been lucky enough to catch sight of a flock of yellow bird-girls in a life-size metal birdcage singing and strutting, making people laugh and generally spreading a little happiness among the gathered crowds. They were in fact The Galloping Cuckoos, an inter-disciplinary performance ensemble based in Canterbury and London who are currently touring Kent and Sussex as part of Applause Rural Touring, supported by PANeK (Performance Arts Network Kent). The performance is an extremely visual, generous piece which for all its whimsicality has serious aims. The company creates work that encourages human beings to interact with each other, noticing who they are and celebrating what it is to be human. In “HUG”e Nest the love birds move through the space seeking the perfect nesting spot, exploring the concepts of ‘place’, ‘home’ and ‘being’ as they connect with those around them, and responding to the people they meet as they set up home. The encounters which take place between the birds and the audience are both humorous and touching and include moments of song, physical theatre and improvisation.

“HUG”e NEST ON TOUR: Sat 2 July 11:30am St Barnabas School, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2EY Sat 9 July 11:30am Tunbridge Wells Mela, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2SL Sun 17 July 12:00pm Kings Hill Summer Fete, Tonbridge & Malling, ME19 4LG Sat 23 July 10:00am Whitstable Oyster Festival, Canterbury, CT5 Sun 24 July 10:00am Icklesham Summer Fete and Flower Show, Rother, TN36 4BH Sat 6 August 1:00pm A Summer Squall, Ramsgate, Thanet, CT11 8LP Sat 27 August 11:00am Performers: Danielle Meehan (Artistic Director), Gemma Williams, Maryjane Stevens, Laura Manning and Simone Watson thegallopingcuckoos.com

The Galloping Cuckoos have performed their unique brand of family-oriented entertainment in places as diverse as Whitstable Oyster Festival and the Brick Box in Brixton. High streets, festival fields, indoor markets, harbours and promenades have all had the pleasure to witness the love birds, with audiences of half a dozen to large crowds, from toddlers to the elderly. Recently the company performed at The Point, Eastleigh as part of their scratch night, which was held in the form of an artists salon in the tradition of the salons of Paris’ Left Bank in the 1920s and 30s. The performance went down a storm! Emma Dewhurst

Wow MEDWAY 15


VISUAL ART l THE ART ROOM, 16 North Street, Ashford TN24 8JR 01233 665845

movie. Adults £15.50, Children £10.50, Conc £13.00, Family £42.50

TREE EXHIBITION To 9 July. Ticket gives unlimited returns Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10.30am- to No.1 Smithery: The Gallery 5.00pm, Sat 10.00am-4.00pm and all other Historic Dockyard attractions for one year. A fantastic range of work thedockyard.co.uk including paintings, textiles and jewellery based on the theme of l NUCLEUS GALLERY trees. Free 272 High Street, Chatham l THE DEAF CAT COFFEE BAR & GALLERY 83 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX Open all week, 9.30am-5pm. To 3 July GAZ BRAY – LIGHT AND DARK PHOTOGRAPHIC EXCELLENCE To 10 July DAISY PARRIS Last month’s cover artist exhibits alongside ONE LITTLE BIRD’S JEWELLERY 4-17 July PHIL ABSOLON See The Artist’s Space 18-31 July CATHY MCTURK recent works Free thedeafcat.com l FRANCIS ILES GALLERIES Rutland House, 103 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 01634 843081

ME4 4BP 01634 812108 Gallery opening hours 10-5pm Free

QUIZ NIGHT IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM Sat 9 July, 7 for 7.30pm start. £10 per team of six. Prize for winning team.To book a table email nucleusarts@gmail.com To 7 July RM1 – SILVERBANK PARK SCHOOL Mixed media exhibition by children who attend one of Medway’s alternative education provisions. 15-21 July HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES – Ann Palmer Paintings and drawings of historical buildings and their environment. 22 July -4 August KENT AUTISTIC TRUST nucleus-arts.com

GOLDEN EXHIBITION to celebrate their 50th year. Free frances-iles.com l MAIDSTONE VISUAL ARTISTS NETWORK (MVAN) ART TRAIL To Sat 2 July. Find artworks in shop windows throughout the town. Download the trail at www.mvan.info Free l NO.1 SMITHERY: The Gallery, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, l NUCLEUS MEDWAY ME4 4TZ 01634 823800 75 High Street, Rochester TITANIC HONOUR AND GLORY ME1 1LX 01634 780932 The story of the tragic liner Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun and her sister ships. 1 July-30 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays September . Major exhibition Art, cards and jewellery by combining original artefacts with memorabilia from the 1997 local artists.

l ROCHESTER ART GALLERY & CRAFT CASE Medway Visitor Information Centre, 95 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX 01634 338319 Mon-Sat 10am5pm, Sun 10.30am-5pm Free SEAFLOWERS To 19 August Exhibition of contemporary paintings and textile installations by Kent-based artist Wendy Smith, conceived as a celebration of colour and ritual. The work is informed by a recent self-initiated residency on the coast in Karnataka, South India earlier this year. It’s rich, colourful and moving. IN THE CRAFT CASE Beautiful, high quality works by students from UCA Rochester’s Applied Arts and Contemporary Jewellery courses. Includes work by Cristina Vezzini, Laura Bell, Cassie Pittaway, Sophie Monger, Rhiannon Higgins and Robyn Duplock. The students’ work can also be seen at The Deaf Cat popup shop at 10 High Street, Rochester until 10 July. l ROSE YARD WINDOW GALLERY, Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PL THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Window displaying work by local artists, changing monthly. MVAN artists Chris Cantrelle, Sheilagh Dyson and Karen Gavin exhibit in July. Free l TURNER CONTEMPORARY Rendezvous, Margate CT9 1HG 01843 233000 REVEALED: TURNER CONTEMPORARY OPENS To Sept. Tues-Sun 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-10pm. Closed Mon (except Bank Holidays 10am7pm) Inaugural exhibition in iconic new building. Free turnercontemporary.org


EATING OUT

Sam Froudist takes a moment in Mamma Mia Tucked away in a blink-and-you’ll miss it spot at the end of Rochester High Street, Mamma Mia is a restaurant that encompasses two of my all time favourite things – food, and Italian food. Outrageous it may not be, but damn good it most certainly is. If you are looking for a place to eat where everyone in your party will find something they like on the menu, then there aren’t many other places in Rochester that I would recommend more highly than Mamma Mia. I went for the Monte Bianco pizza– a so-goodit-hurts combination of mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, Parma ham, rocket, pesto and Parmesan. Oof.

FAMILY WORKSHOP Sat 23 July, 12.30-3.30pm Create your own painted canvas and printed textiles with Wendy Smith, taking inspiration from the exhibition. Aged six +. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. All materials provided. Book your place by phoning 01634 338319 or email arts@medway.gov.uk

As I discovered that it was everything I never knew I wanted, I looked over to see my partner having what could only be described as a spiritual moment with his pizza, eyes closed, leaning back in his chair and sighing deeply. The sun streamed in from the gloriously large windows and all was well with the world. Ahem. I may have gotten somewhat carried away there, but it really was a divine and effort-free moment in a stressful week. Mamma Mia represents the thing I love most about dining out, which sadly is sometimes overlooked in the competitive world of food. I love going somewhere where I know the staff are friendly, the atmosphere is good and I can have a decent conversation - between mouthfuls, of course. You see, it’s not just about the food; the experience counts too. Luckily for us, Mamma Mia ticks both boxes. Mamma Mia Restaurant, 4 High Street Rochester ME1 1PT Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm 01634 827027

Wow MEDWAY 17


‘In 1977 at The Kent Institute of Art & Design on Foundation Art, I first met Billy Childish. Bill Lewis, Charles Thomson, Becky, Fern & Nicola and Jane have all helped me in different ways, as have Gary Bassett and Nettie. Since then I have been doing Art only as a hobby.’ Philip Absolon To find out more about the artist visit www.absolon.org.uk His exhibition at The Deaf Cat runs from 4-17 July

DESIGN: A Stone’s Throw www.astonesthrowdesign.co.uk

Contact us EDITORIAL: editor@wowmedway.co.uk FREE LISTINGS: listings@wowmedway.co.uk ADVERTISING: sales@wowmedway.co.uk 0845 388 2243 (local rate from BT landlines)

WEBSITE: Sue Davis Web Design & Consultancy, www.sue-davis.net PRINTING: PB Group Sittingbourne, 01795 413880, www.pbgroup.co.uk PUBLISHER: Emma Dewhurst Distributed locally to Medway households and public pick-up

points throughout the Medway towns. Current print circulation: 3000 copies. 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. co.uk Copy/listings deadline for August issue: 18 July ©WOW Medway magazine. All rights reserved. Whilst

The ARTIST’S Space 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


I can think of many words to describe us good folk of Medway - forever the chaotic melting pot of twisted ne’er do wells, dangerous fools, dreamers and fully formed feral children - but an ‘assortment’ of characters is probably one of the more concise. Medway born and bred, Kids Unique are a hip hop quartet that have just released their debut album, Assortments, on The Preservation Society Presents label.

The rough edge of Medway’s infamous and illreputed delinquency has been well represented (Diggin’ A Hole), and about time too. However, beneath the home truths, Kids Unique reveal a softer side, an emotional awareness and sensitivity not usually associated with this genre. Perhaps, after all, amongst the dank and dire directories of all that we stand to be - street creeps, fiends, thieves and lost souls - there is more than just an impossible dream here, perhaps genuine hope and promise?     

Lazy journalists might compare Kids Unique to the Mike Skinners of this world. I’m not a journalist for starters, so I won’t.  

SINGER-SONGWRITER AND VISUAL ARTIST LUPEN CROOK REVIEWS THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM KIDS UNIQUE Across their debut, Kids Unique playfully employ characteristics of the ‘old skool’ through to the ‘nu’ class of urban inspired hip hop acts. Even the genre’s tradition of thievery - sorry, ‘sampling’ - has been mockingly employed: a shameless steal of The Cure’s ‘Love Cats’  bass-line, sure to infuriate indie purists (though somehow I think that’s the point).  However, this never comes across as imitation, more like respectful hat-tipping to those who’ve spear-headed this genre in times past.   Musically this album balances slick and sticky production alongside charming lo-fi aesthetics. The arrangements are subtle, melodies often understated, never overwhelming, and always rightfully allow the vocals to take pride of place. It quickly becomes clear that there is far more to Kids Unique than might initially meet the beady eye of us Medway grot-bags. Equal helpings of dark humour, public humiliation and heavyhearted sentiment have been cleverly woven throughout this fine debut, all set to a back-drop of effortless and very eloquent melodies and beats. Yet beneath all this, there is delicate texturing and clever musical shifts that provide vocalist/lyricist Paper Boi the perfect opportunity to wax lyrical his words of wisdom and wayward explorations.  

From its pop driven, melodic sci-fi opener (Is This It?), Assortments builds steadily over ten tracks, moving between moods and minds-sets, never falling flat, all the way to its heart-felt finale (Cycle To Die). And though at times you may yearn for it all to descend into full-blown Medway-style ultra violence, Kids Unique hold their cool for the duration, choosing to teeter on the edge of the chaos, observing from the sidelines, taking notes and delivering a debut of real class.   All in all, this record puts a glowing smile on my face. If I still owned my battered Citroen Ax, in all its Gold Playboy Bunny Alloy glory, I’d be driving about these towns enjoying Assortments at maximum volume, busting out ‘Seymour Evil’ from my crackling stereo speakers all summer long. 

Assortments is available to download from iTunes & Amazon. To order CD email tpsp1@live.co.uk www.kidsunique.co.uk

It’s as if real-life Medway situations have gotten mutated inside the vocalist’s mind, only to be regurgitated in the form of surreal tales like Mike The Sniper.  Amusing quips and sharp lyrical skills litter this album like drunk twits on Rochester High Street of a Friday Night. His lyrics slip and slide, are sometimes ‘spat’, other times ‘spoken’, and occasionally even ‘sung’. A keen street-level wit is present in this fresh face from Medway. Wow MEDWAY 19


2011 EUROPEAN ECMP

MODERN PENTATHLON

CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDWAY

qu O al ly ify m in pi g c ev en t

28 July - 1 August 2011 MEDWAY PARK, GILLINGHAM See Europe’s finest multi-event athletes compete for a place in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Tickets on sale now www.europentathlon2011.org

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WOW Medway July 2011  

This month is a Theatre Special! There's an interview with Icon Theatre's Artistic Director, Nancy Hirst; a double-page spread about Open A...

WOW Medway July 2011  

This month is a Theatre Special! There's an interview with Icon Theatre's Artistic Director, Nancy Hirst; a double-page spread about Open A...

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