Presence, Cornerstone

Karen Neville

Shows

Kate Aries

Four emerging Oxford based artists are showcasing their work in an exhibition at Didcot’s Cornerstone.

Presence is a group exhibition featuring the work of Kate Aries, Manon Franklin-Fraiture, James Lester and Jack Whitney.
Combining drawing, textile, illustration and digital artworks, the artists have created new works that question what is means to exist in the contemporary world, physically, sexually, virtually and digitally.

Visitors will be able to engage with works perceptually and/or physically, encouraging them to also contemplate these questions.
Kate Aries explores perception and illusion through experimentation with the camera, using different techniques to obscure and restrict her body. Kate’s practice focuses not only on embodied experience, but also the manipulated and processed image in our changing society.

James Lester
Jack Whitney
Manon Franklin-Fraiture

Manon Franklin-Fraiture’s quirky illustrations incorporate conversations and questions she overhears and brings them to life, shining a light on how human existence can be in our modern life.
James Lester is a portraiture artist whose work contemplates the shaping of humanity within a modern context. Throughout the duration of the exhibition James will be creating large-scale charcoal murals of an array of celebrity figures, offering visitors the chance to watch the artist in action.

Jack Whitney’s practice challenges normative notions of gender, sexuality and politics, for this exhibition Jack has used embroidery as a way of drawing humorous yet thought provoking images.

Exhibition

Presence runs from today, 6th, until 18th August and is free to attend.

Visit the Cornerstone site for more information about this or any of the other productions on.

Mum on stage

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Peter Anderson chats with Jodie Nolan, the local mum who is starring in the hyper-successful musical Mamma Mia in the West End this summer

A sunny, funny tale of a mother, daughter and three possible dads set on an idyllic Greek island, has been celebrating the music of Abba and entertaining audiences the world over since 1999. Now a mum who took time out of her West End career has joined the ensemble cast once more. For about a decade Jodie Nolan has been enjoying married life in Chipping Norton, teaching dance and musical theatre, after herself starting to learn ballet at the age of two and a half at a dance school in Byfleet.

Who are her inspirations? “Both my parents, but especially my mother. I was brought up with the philosophy if you really want something go for it, and they were very supportive. Growing up, it was Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz and ballet wise Mikhail Baryshnikov in White Knight.

How did you get your first break in the West End? “I did not go straight into a musicals after leaving the Laine Academy in Guildford, I spent time working as part of the entertainment team on one of the Royal Caribbean Cruise ships, very quickly I had to get my head around all types of shows, and I was away from home. Then, I performed in a couple of tours of Chicago, and then the international tour of Mamma Mia. When I saw that there were vacancies in the West End show and so I gave it a shot and managed to get into the cast in 2008.

Was it hard ten years ago to decide to have a break from the West End? “At the time no, it had been a challenging time for me, I had got married to a lovely husband, but I lost my mother and decided it was time to take a step back for a while. Alongside having children – we now have two lovely daughters and live in idyllic Chipping Norton. I also trained as a teacher in ballet and musical theatre and opened the Nolan Academy. I just felt the time was right now for another shot at the West End and was pleased to get back into Mamma Mia – and supervise the teachers who are covering me in the academy.

Jodie is back on stage in Mamma Mia, but are there any other musicals on her wish list? “What a question! As I walk along The Strand to get to the theatre you see so many musicals that are on. But who wouldn’t want to appear in Les Miserables?”

Want to go?

See Jodie in Mamma Mia in the Novello Theatre in London’s West End – buy your tickets

Vinyl Revival

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Watch The Vinyl Revival at Oxford’s Phoenix Playhouse

Billed as “a film about why the tables are turning again”, The Vinyl Revival is a 43-minute documentary exploring the renaissance of all things vinyl.

Released as part of Record Store Day 2019, it is now enjoying a limited cinema and festival run and you can catch it at the Phoenix Picturehouse in Walton Street, Oxford on Wednesday, 24th July.

In The Vinyl Revival you can hear from new passionate record shop owners as well as the established die-hards going strong and thriving.

The documentary also features musicians and music industry pundits, experts on culture and music history. The film discusses the importance of the record shop and vinyl as a whole. It addresses the why’s of vinyl’s revival, the human need for belonging, the love of history, and the stories of how the humble little record shop has shaped so many lives.

It follows on from the acclaimed Last Shop Standing and is again directed and produced by Pip Piper.

Contributors include Philip Selway (Radiohead), Jen Otter Bikerdike (Rock and Roll Historian), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and Ade Utley (Portishead).

After the documentary there will be a Q&A with Pip and Philip Selway of Oxford-band Radiohead. The event starts at 8.30pm.

True lovers of vinyl will be interested in the album, The Vinyl Revival, a gatefold compilation album released for Record Store Day 2019 and the book, The Vinyl Revival and the Shops that Made it Happen by Graham Jones, which inspired the film. Jones is famous for being the man who has visited more record shops than anyone ever.

Nick Mason, of Pink Floyd summed up vinyl saying:
“The vinyl record is the equivalent of whether you have the tea bag or the Japanese tea ceremony, the tea ceremony is the right way to approach music”.

To book tickets and for more information

 

Wallingford Car Rally

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Rev up for rally: Hundreds of vintage and classic cars are set to take to the streets for this year’s Wallingford Car Rally

Petrol heads and fans of vintage vehicles will be lining the streets to get a look at the hundreds of cars set to roll through town as part of this year’s Wallingford Car Rally.

Thousands watched last year as the colourful, classic and quirky drove through the town before parking up at The Kinecroft for a fun-packed day celebrating all things motor-related.

Wallingford’s hugely popular classic car rally and parade is rolling back in to town on 12th May and is set to feature hundreds of amazing cars and motorbikes.

Last year almost £18,000 was given to local good causes – Wallingford Scouts, The Corn Exchange, Riding for the Disabled, SeeSaw, MacMillan and Wallingford Fire Service among others and brought the total raised overall since the event started to almost £120,000.

Entries for the parade, which starts at 10.30am, are now full – they sold out in an impressive 23 minutes – but everyone is welcome to come along on the day and watch the parade drive into the Kinecroft before enjoying the day’s events there which run until around 5pm.

In addition to the cars, visitors will be able to enjoy a great selection of fun activities for the whole family including a climbing wall, penny arcade and many food traders.

Admission is free but buckets are on site for donations directly to local causes.

Visitors on the day can also enjoy rides in a classic or supercar courtesy of The Sporting Bears Motor Club which offer rides in the cars in exchange for a donation.

For more information visit the Wallingford Car Rally site

Abingdon Jazz Festival

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Jumping for joy at Abingdon Jazz Festival

Jazz is alive and well in Abingdon this month when the town plays host to the Abingdon Jazz Festival courtesy of the Friends of Abingdon and Music at the Unicorn.

The festival will take place throughout the town centre including the ancient Long Gallery of the old Abingdon Abbey Buildings from 10th to 12th May. The festival will include at least eight main concerts in the centre of town.

This year’s artists will include Art Themen, Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble, Fleur Stevenson Trio, Funk Bake, New Jazz Sextet and many many more.

Themen will be well known to many music fans of all genres, over his long career he has played with Rod Stewart, Alexis Korner, Joe Cocker and Long John Baldry among others.

Gilad’s music is more of a cultural hybrid, he merges the music of the Middle East and Eastern Europe with jazz and contemporary music.

Exciting modern jazz ensemble Thixoitropy will play new compositions as well as some of the standards; the Fleur Stevenson Trio features one of the new breed of jazz singers and with the Alvin Roy Quartet, The Heavy Dexters, Funk Bake and the New Jazz Sextet there really something to suit every jazz buff.

Chairman of Friends of Abingdon, Brian Brown said they are delighted to be preseting the festival. He added: “The festival will be centred in the Friends’ medieval and atmospheric Abbey Buildings plus other buildings throughout the town. Great musicians, wonderful acoustics ad lots of fun.”

Michael Ward, chairman of Music at the Unicorn called it a “celebration of brilliant live music with something for everyone”. He said: “A third of the events are free so if you’ve never experienced live jazz before this is the event for you.”

Art Themen

a celebration of brilliant live music with something for everyone

For more information and to book tickets visit www.abingdonjazzfestival.org.uk 

Easter Passion Play

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Join the community event in the Abbey Grounds and witness the Passion Play

The Big Easter Event in Abingdon on Saturday, 6th April, is set to be great fun for the whole community with the highlight being the Passion Play.

It tells of the dramatic final days of Jesus’s life. The rollercoaster from adoration by the crowds through plotting, cynical power politics, suffering and betrayal to the end…but what end?

The aim of putting on the Passion Play is not to project any particular interpretation of the events of those days, but to encourage people to think about the events in their own way…what do they mean? Should they mean something? So what happened and why did it happen?

This will be the third time that the Passion Play attempts to answer these questions, after 2013 and 2016, but this time with a difference. The 2019 staging will be a completely new production featuring a small team of professional actors from LAMPS  Collective, an Abingdon based theatre company. These will be supported by a large ensemble of amateur actors and singers who will have the exciting opportunity of performing alongside them – many local people who been attending auditions and rehearsals over the past few weeks. It builds on the experience of the successful creative team which staged previous productions and will once again be directed by Sam Pullen-Campbell.

The Passion Play will be re-inacted from 2pm to 3pm in the Abbey Grounds, where beforehand the Big Easter Event which starts at 12.30pm will entertain with live music from local choirs and musicians, food including lots of chocolate, spring crafts and games and stalls.

For more to do at Easter, check out our Easter egg-stravaganza

ATOM Festival

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Science is for all at the ATOM Festival of Science & Technology

The ATOM Festival wants to show you science is for you and that it affects every part of your life.

From today, 16th to 27th March, ATOM will be taking place at venues across Abingdon with a variety of activities, talks, family shows, science comedy and film screenings.

One of the highlights of the festival will involve five leading scientists, engineers and educators taking up the Three Million Dollar Challenge – how to get more people into science and technology.

Among other speakers will be BBC science presenter and mathematician Dr Hannah Fry who will talk on How to be Human in the Age of the Machine by taking us on a tour of the good, bad and ugly of algorithms. Her talk takes place on Friday, 22nd March at Amey Theatre, Abingdon School, doors 7pm for 7.30pm start, tickets £12 adults, £6 under 16s.

Back by popular demand is the Science Discovery Dome, an interactive experience offering people the chance to travel to distant planets and galaxies and explore subjects such as geology, geography and astronomy in a fun way. This event today (16th) in Abingdon Market Place from 10am to 4pm is free, but donations welcome.

Fifty years after the Apollo moon landing, a discussion panel will ask how does science fiction imagine our future in space? Join the panel at Our Ladys Abingdon on Tuesday, 19th March (6.30pm for 7pm start), tickets £5 adult, £2.50 under 16s.

Among other events are the ATOM Festival science market, a family science fair and talks on being your child’s first science teacher, stand-up science comedy and a talk entitled Remarkable fossils: From egg yolk to dinosaur dung – so truly an event to cover all science offering something for everyone!

For more details and to book tickets visit atomfestival.org.uk 

Concert: Violin virtuoso

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Former Young Musician of the Year Jennifer Pike will be playing the piece that won her the title when she appears at Marlborough College.

At the age of just 12, Jennifer Pike became the youngest ever winner of the Young Musician of the Year in 2002.

Three years later she performed at the Proms and has gone on to build an international career which has included many more accolades, not least being the only classical artist to win the South Bank Show/Times Breakthrough Award.

Jennifer is passionate about helping other young people enhance their lives through music and is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust.

You can enjoy her music on Sunday, 20th January when she takes to the stage in the Memorial Hall at the college, as part of the World Class Musicians in Marlborough series when she will perform Vaughan William’s The Lark Ascending alongside pieces by Bach and Wieniawski.

Following the redevelopment of the Memorial Hall (which Marlborough College provides as sponsors of the concert series) the town now has a state-of-the-art concert hall.

The £6.5million project retains the charm of the original design while adding contemporary touches to create a state-of-the-art facility. The acoustics received accolades after a BBC National Orchestra of Wales concert recently and with improved front of house facilities, a concert at Marlborough College will be a true treat for the senses.

  Tickets available at marlboroughconcertseries.org. Enquiries: 01672 892566 or [email protected]