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Viva Lewes
 

A few years ago in Barcelona the local council, not known for their sense of irony, put up their first public-scrutinising CCTV cameras in Plaza George Orwell. Nowadays such monitoring is not just a big-city phenomenon. In Lewes High Street there’s a poster in one of the charity shops that depicts an annoying yellow acid-house type smiley face, winking at you. ‘Smile, You’re on CCTV’ reads the caption. ‘Make Sussex Safer’. Frankly, thinking of having our every High Street moment recorded by the police does not make anyone here at Viva Lewes smile. Nor does it make us feel any safer when walking round areas where there is no CCTV: rather the opposite in fact. Muggers aren’t put off by CCTV cameras, they just move. And now the news that nobody is allowed to drink alcohol in a public space in the town centre. Like late-night drinkers won’t think of walking five minutes down the road if they want to cause mayhem! And presumably, when they put CCTV cameras in Grange Gardens, non-carnage-causing outside drinkers will be liable to arrest for supping a bottle of wine with a picnic there. Presumably They (cap intended) would rather you stay inside your safe European homes at night. We say go out, enjoy yourselves, even if Big Brother is watching you not watching Big Brother on TV. Rant over. Enjoy the week.

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Viva Lewes

Cover image (left) ‘Summer’ by Meryll Stringell. Above: Castle and car, by Lis Lawrence
 
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Viva Lewes
9th - 15th February 2006
 

  • Art: Roedean Ceramics (4); Contained Obsessions (9) Four Sussex Painters (10)
  • Bricks & Mortar: St. Anne’s (22)
  • Café: Caffe Nero (23)
  • Cinema: Match Point (7); Pride and Prejudice (12); Harry Potter (11);
  • Drinking: Alcohol ban (21)
  • Folk: Bill Caddick (5)
  • Food: Food Food (16)
  • Gig: Las Vegas Mermaids (17)
  • Horse Racing: Plumpton Valentine’s Meeting (14)
  • Music: Jamming Session (13)
  • Musical: An American in Paris (6) Copacabana (19)
  • Photography: Photo of the Week (24)
  • Travel: Rye (20)
  • Vivakids: Drusillas (8) Chinese Cultural Troupe (18)
  • Walking: Ringmer to Isfield -Valentine’s Walk (15)

Contact Viva Lewes

Editorial (alex@vivalewes.com)
Marketing (nick@vivalewes.com)
Design & Technical (dave@vivalewes.com)



Drucillas Park

Cool for Cats : Drusillas’ servals can jump ten feet vertically in the air to catch birds

 
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Viva Kids
 
Thursday 9th February
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Exhibition - Roedean Ceramics

If you’ve strolled down Friar’s Walk recently you might have noticed a rather arresting pair of ceramic sneakers in the window of Hesketh Potters’ Supplies. Size 11, or thereabouts. They weren’t made for walking, that’s for sure, though you can almost smell them. They are part of a high quality exhibition of ceramic work by the Roedean GCSE and sixth year pupils which has been up for a couple of weeks, and is sadly being taken down this weekend. Catch it if you can: other highlights include a virtually edible sushi board, a tin can with some fairly hot-looking peppers exploding out of it and a gruesome Gothic hand.

Chris Hesketh has been selling the idiosyncratic wares needed by potters for 14 years, from kilns, wheels and glazes to large rubber kidneys, Perspex callipers and sculptors’ thumbs. She runs workshops and, as a great afternoon out for the kids, very reasonable jug-painting sessions on Saturdays. On Monday a new, more traditional exhibition goes up in the window, a number of large porcelain pots by Victoria Hutchinson. We’ll miss those sneakers.

 
Where?
Hesketh Potters’ Supplies, 4, Landsdown Place, Lewes
When? Exhibition runs till Friday. Shop open: 9.15am–5pm Mon & Wed-Sat (closed Sun & Tues)
How Much? Free
Roedean Exhibition
Hesketh Potters' Supplies
(t) 01273 487150
(w) www.heskethps.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Thursday 9th February
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Folk - Bill Caddick

John Kirkpatrick has some nice things to say about fellow folk singer Bill Caddick, top of the bill at the Royal Oak tonight. ‘The man’s a wonder. Unique. Masterful. Magnificent. Enormous. Essential.’ For further adjectives consult Roget’s Thesaurus, page 221. Caddick is a singer-songwriter par excellence who has been performing since the early sixties, when he looked like he’d just turned up from the Sierra Maestra in Cuba, military hat and scruffy beard and all. He was a founder member of seminal folk-and-trumpet band The Home Service and one of the most important figures in the electric-folk crossover revolution in this country. His songs have been covered by the likes of Christy Moore and June Tabor.

The beard has turned white, but Bill hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for the cause. In fact he has never been in better form – his song ‘The Cloud Factory’ has been nominated as best new folk song in the Radio 3 Folk Songs of the Year Award, 2006.

 
Where?
The Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk - Bill Caddick
Folk at the Oak
(w) www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic
(t) 01273 478124
Bill Caddick
(w) www.billcaddick.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Friday 10th February
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An American in Paris - The Sussex Youth Orchestra

Back in the 1970’s Hovis came out with an unforgettable series of Ridley Scott directed adverts. To help big up the merits of 'wholemeal' bread, the viewer was taken back to a yesteryear in the rural north with a ‘when I were a lad’ voiceover, and an inspired choice of soundtrack. For better or worse, to a whole generation Dvorak’s ‘Largo’ passage from the New World Symphony will forever more be known as ‘The Hovis Music’, and it was even hummed by the North Stand at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Goldstone Ground when visiting teams had travelled from anywhere north of Derby.

Which is a roundabout way of introducing the VivaLewes favourite amongst the collection of American-themed pieces brought to you by the South Downs Youth Orchestra at the Town Hall tonight. Also on the bill are classics from George Gershwin’s An American in Paris (I’ve Got Rhythm is sure to get an airing); Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story (Maria, America); and Aaron Copeland’s Rodeo (listen out for the excellent Hoedown, similarly hi-jacked by the National Cattlemen’s Society in the States for beef commercials). Yee-hah.

 
Where?
Lewes Town Hall
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £5 (£3 concs) Tickets on the door from 6.45pm
An American in Paris - The Sussex Youth Orchestra
 
 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Friday 10th February
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Cinema - Match Point

Woody Allen’s autumn years have been pretty dire. Same old issues, same old characters, same old neuroses, same old part of the same old city, year in, year out. Match Point is Allen’s attempt to jump his career out of this rut by moving his operation to London, and revisiting many of the themes of his last critical success, Crimes and Misdemeanours. It’s a story about social climbing, about betrayal, about falling in and out of love. About how dangerous it is for people to shift their social status. About the strength of lust, and the power of hatred. By and large Allen’s gamble worked. Most critics in the States loved it. His best film in over a decade, they said. It was called Dostoevskian, Strindbergian, Fitzgeraldian, even. It went down a storm at the Cannes Film Festival, too. But most British critics just couldn’t see it. Wasn’t it just a bunch of old cliches wrapped up in an inaccurately portrayed setting?

So were the Yanks being naive, or were the Brits being precious? How much does our opinion of a film depend on our relationship with its setting? These questions deserve an airing, even if they are not the ones Allen wanted to ask. Go on, give him another chance.

 
Where?
All Saints, Friars Walk, Lewes
When? 8.30pm (and 8.30pm Sat)
How Much? £4.50
Cinema - Match Point
Lewes Cinema:
(t) 01903 523833
(w) www.lewescinema.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th February
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Half Term - Drusillas Park

School’s out for a week, and there are nine days of activities to deliver before it’s in again. A good place to start on a high is Drusillas Park, recently voted South East England’s number one attraction. Half zoo, half adventure playground, Drusillas mixes a curious selection of animals including penguins, meercats, prairie dogs, servals, capybara, otters and the park’s signature lemurs, with the biggest adventure playground for miles around. Today sees the opening of its brand new ‘Amazon Adventure’, a 300sq m indoor soft play area complete with slides, netted walkways and spinning poles. Wild stuff. Also new in the outdoor play area are The Bell Climber; a vertical race challenge - and the Rotor; a giant hamster wheel for kids - both designed to help burn off youthful energy.

There are also separate safe play areas for toddlers, plus a popular train ride around the park. Take a picnic, or visit their food outlets to feed yourselves, once you’ve seen the Sulawesi Macaques, and Coatis scoff theirs of course. Finally, if you’ve any irrational animal fears or are just too scared to say boo to a mongoose, go on Weds 15th Feb, when their team of experts will help overcome your phobias.

 
Where?
Alfriston Road, Alfriston.
When? Open every day from 10am – last admissions 4pm
How Much? £11.50 adult, £10.50 child, see website for membership & discount schemes.
Half Term - Drusillas Park
Drusillas Park
(t) 01323 874100
(w) www.drusillas.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th February
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Exhibition - Contained Obsessions

A pitch fork in a knitted suit, a sheep’s skull in an old writing box, an armoured cow with a tree growing from its back. Three local artists, Liz Padgham, Jane Churchill and WM Hudson have created an interesting and rather dark exhibition, which suits the wonderful Crypt Gallery in Seaford.

Padgham takes domestic objects and encases them in knitting. She believes that every line in the fabric contains a memory. There’s a rather pop-arty feel to her work, in the way it makes us re-examine every day objects. Churchill’s work invites you to create narratives from jumbles of objets trouvés placed in old boxes: bottles, keys, tickets, stamps, shells, maps, angels, black and white photos. There are connections between one piece and another painting a larger narrative picture as you walk round the gallery. Hudson’s pieces are all about camouflage, though not in the military sense. His work is the most difficult to fathom, and thus the most arresting. You won’t forget his cow in a hurry.

 
Where?
Crypt Gallery, off Church St, Seaford
When? Open 10.30-5pm, Mon-Sat. Closed for lunch 1.30pm-2.15pm. Exhibition runs until March 4th.
How Much? Free
Exhibition - Contained Obsessions
Crypt Gallery
(t) 01323 891461 or 01273 484400
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th February
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Art - Four Sussex Painters

It’s interesting how similar images evoke different responses from different people and Four Sussex Painters takes a look at how the Sussex countryside inspires four local artists. Lis Lawrence’s paintings are the most representational of the four: a former print-maker, she brings out the layered nature of the Sussex countryside in vibrant shades of green. Her work usually includes little blocky buildings: in one case a tiny VW Beetle vies for attention with a looming Lewes Castle. Ann Johnson is more primitivist: based in Newhaven she likes painting fishing boats in pastel-shade seas that look both calm and threatening at the same time. In her still life compositions flowers spring alarmingly from vases. Anna de Geus’ landscapes move slightly more into abstract territory, but never entirely. One of her scenes, in wonderful red tones, evokes Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’, without the scream.

Meryl Stringell is our cover star this week. Her pieces evoke her moods as much as the countryside that inspires them. Mostly they seem to be joyous. There is a lot of yellow. They often make you smile.

 
Where?
Thebes Gallery, Church Twitten
When? 11th-26th Feb open Tues-sat 10.30am-pm5(closed 1.45-2.30) Sun 12noon-5pm
How Much? Free
Art - Four Sussex Painters

Thebes Gallery
(t) 01273 484214

 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th February
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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In the fourth film of the Harry Potter series the young wizard has to try to come to terms with a turbulent world he has no experience of, a mysterious and unfathomable place that scares the daylights of him. Harry turns 14, and he is suddenly confronted by… adolescent girls. The Potter films are getting darker, and more violent, the older he gets. And their ratings are changing accordingly. This one is the first to be classified as a 12A: no under twelves unless they’re with an adult. Next up is 15, which means no one under 15 can go, whoever they’re with. Are we only four years away from the first X- rated Harry Potter?

Life’s tough for a pubescent magician. As well as the horror of building up the courage to ask Katie Leung to the Yule Ball, Harry has to get used to the pedagogical ways of a new Professor of Defence against the Dark Arts, a mad-eyed Brendan Gleeson. Then there are his adversaries to fight, namely the slug-like Voldemort and his scary Death Eaters sidekicks, and a dastardly gang* of giant lizards. Unmissable (if you’re that way inclined).

*Wikipedia would have us believe it’s a lounge of lizards

 
Where?
All Saints Centre, Friars Walk
When? Sat 11th at 3pm; Sun 12th at 1pm
How Much? £4.50
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Lewes Cinema:
(t) 01903 523833
(w) www.lewescinema.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 12th February
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Film - Pride & Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a production company in need of a good fortune must do an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It all started with the 1940 original, starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, so good nobody tried to emulate it for nearly half a century. Since 1986 we’ve seen six versions; there was even a Bollywood musical, last year’s likable Bride and Prejudice. So it’s difficult to judge this movie without comparing it with the others that came before it. And critics have been divided. Those who rate a good P&P on its Mr Darcy (generally female in gender) give it the thumbs down, Colin Firth still fresh in their fantasies from 1995. Elizabeth Bennett fans, however, are generally pleased with Kiera Knightley’s feisty flared-nostril performance as the woman who won’t say yes to a question.

There’s actually a lot that saves this Joe Wright-directed version from being just another period pain: sumptuous costumes; seamless choreography; fine cinematography; wonderful countryside settings; top performances from Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn as Mr and Mrs Bennett. Oh and a pretty good storyline, too.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre;
When? 5pm
How Much? £5/£4 concessions
Film - Pride & Prejudice
Gardner Arts Centre
(t) 01273 685861
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 12th February
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Music - Jam Night at the Lansdown

“Ain’t no rules, ain’t no vow, we can do it anyhow’ wrote Bob Marley in his overplayed classic ‘Jammin’ and the Lansdown Arms have taken that spirit on board by organising a weekly Sunday night jamming session, which was a big success first time out last weekend. “Anyone can turn up, and play anything they want,” says landlord Ben English. “It’s not so formal or daunting as an open mic night, because everybody’s playing at the same time. Last time there was a funky feel to it, and then a bluesy feel, but the joy is you don’t know which way it will go.” The highlight of a memorable night was a 15-minute version of Rapper’s Delight.

Musical participation isn’t necessary to enjoy the night, and there was plenty of dancing last Sunday, especially from the legendary regular nicknamed IDM. Paul, when he doesn’t approve of the music, is a mild-mannered white-wine-sipping crossword solver. When it hits the right note, however, he becomes The Incredible Dancing Man, twisting, jiving, dominating the dance floor, as only he knows how. Er… cool.

 
Where?
The Lansdown Arms, Station St, Lewes
When? From 8pm
How Much? Free
Music - Jam Night at the Lansdown
Lansdown Arms:
(t) 01273 480623
(w) www.thelansdownarms.com
 
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Viva Kids
 
Monday 13th February
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Horse Racing - Plumpton Races

“Emily, I have a confession to make. I really am a horse doctor. But marry me and I’ll never look at another horse.”
Groucho Marx

You can enjoy your own day at the races this week by heading to Plumpton Racecourse for the annual Totesport Valentine’s Meeting. You’ll presumably be thinking of having a bet: bear in mind according to coral.co.uk that 95% of all bets placed lose. So, while these odds are still substantially better than those offered on the Lotto, decide on a budget you’re willing to wave goodbye to. There’s plenty to bet on. There are seven races on the card, and there’s over £50k in prize money on offer, so expect to see a champion jockey contender or two (including ten-times winner Tony McCoy). You want tips? We’ve got one that might have come from Groucho. Why not stick a few quid on the horse that had to travel the furthest to get to the course – surely it didn’t travel all that way for nothing? Strangely, it’s worked for us more than once.

Trains go to Plumpton hourly from Lewes. If you want to get there good and early, get the 12.20; the 1.20 will still allow you time to catch the first race.

 
Where?
Plumpton Racecourse, Plumpton
When? Gates open 11.30; racing 2-5pm
How Much? £7-£15 in advance £8-£17 at the gate, Accompanied under 16’s free
Horse Racing - Plumpton Races
Plumpton Racecourse
(w) www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk
(t) 01273 890383
 
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Viva Kids
 
Tuesday 14th February
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Walking - Valentine’s Day Ringmer-Isfield Hike

Deep within the thick hide of the East Sussex County Council there beats a fluttering heart. Somewhere inside the biggest and ugliest building in Lewes sits a mischievous Cupid. It’s Valentine's Day, and the Council have arranged a special walk for lonely-hearts. Entitled ‘Halfway to a Kiss’ the ten-mile guided walk invites anyone interested to meet outside the Anchor Inn pub in Ringmer this morning at 10.15 prepared for a ten-mile hike… and the possibility of romance on the banks of the River Ouse. They’ve even planned a romantic drink at the halfway point. As their literature puts it: ‘A Valentine's Day Walk to the Halfway House in Isfield to enjoy a pint of Harvey’s Kiss Ale with lunch before returning to Ringmer.’

Star-struck hikers are advised to wear a sturdy pair of boots for the five-and-a-half hour walk, one of 149 winter events devised and led by the council. Information about this excellent, imaginative and in this case tenderhearted countywide programme can be found buried within the Council’s website.

 
Where?
Outside the Anchor Inn, Ringmer
When? 10.15am
How Much? Free (though bring money for food and drink, and donations gratefully received)
Walking - Valentine’s Day Ringmer-Isfield Hike
(t) 01273 481654
(w) click here (.pdf)
 
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Viva Kids
 
Tuesday 14th February
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Food - Food Food

‘Each day is Valentine's day’ sang Frank Sinatra (and Etta James, Elvis Costello and a host of others) in My Funny Valentine, the point being that if you really love someone you don’t need to take them out for an expensive meal on February 14th: you should show them you love them every single day. If, however, you do want to make a grand gesture to a loved one, we suggest that you avoid the queues at the overbooked high street restaurants and do it yourself: google up a couple of fancy recipes, including a chocolate based dessert; buy some candles; get in a nice bottle of wine. Or two, even.

If you have neither the time, nor the talent to deliver this, there is an alternative. Food Food on Station St is a place where you can get well-prepared additive-free meals, cooked on the premises by owner Sophie Orloff, using local seasonal vegetables, some of which are grown in her neighbour's garden. The menu changes week to week: on Valentine Day she suggests the heart-red borscht. You can order your own recipes days ahead, if need be. Food Food, so good they named it twice, as Frankie would have said.

 
Where?
15, Station St, Lewes
When? Open 11am-7.30pm Tues-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat
How Much? Borscht £1.50, main meal inc. side dishes £5, pudding £1.50
Food - Food Food
Food Food
(t) 01273 470070
 
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Viva Kids
 
Tuesday 14th February
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Gig - The Las Vegas Mermaids

“The Las Vegas Mermaids consume the place with their quirkiness…” says Ben, the Lansdown landlord, who put the band on last Boxing Night and is nevertheless having them back for his ‘Valentine Rebellion’ celebrations. “…and I’m left in the morning scraping the mess off the floor and finding irreverent props under the table”. Anyone who caught the Mermaids show last year or has seen them play in their native Brighton will be able to guess that tonight’s do isn’t exactly traditional Valentine fare.

The Mermaids are an offbeat, cross-dressing, false-beard-wearing threesome who play theatrical synth-heavy rock-opera style pub music, and invite the audience to participate in their act in a manner which is facilitated by the prior consumption of several house doubles. To add to the anarchic fun, a surreal version of the Mr and Mrs show is also promised and event sponsors Taboo (Brighton’s fetish sex shop) will be giving out sex toys as prizes. Who said romance was dead?

 
Where?
The Lansdown Arms, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? Free
Gig - The Las Vegas Mermaids
Lansdown Arms
(w)www.thelansdownarms.com
 
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Viva Kids
 
Wednesday 15th February
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Viva Kids - Chinese Lion Dance Troupe

Where we have the pantomime horse, the Chinese have the Lion Dance, a completely different and rather more glamorous animal, and one you can see at the Town Hall tonight. In China, between the fourth and the fourteenth day of their New Year (The Year of the Dog started on our January 29th) Lion Dance troupes tour from village to village demonstrating the spectacular and highly athletic art of bringing this colourful animal to life. This professional troupe has travelled from China to tour from city to city in the UK in the equivalent period. Manchester, Liverpool, London… Lewes. The hills are alive, to the sound of gong, drum and cymbal.

The 12-strong troupe will also perform rug spinning, the Diablo and the ancient and totally mesmerising art of face changing. An hour before the performance begins there will be an exhibition of paper folding and massage techniques, with free Chinese food and drink on offer.

 
Where?
Lewes Town Hall
When? Exhibition 5.30pm, Performance 6.30pm
How Much? £6/£3 children
Viva Kids - Chinese Lion Dance Troupe
Chinese Lion Dance Troupe
(t) 01273 471469
 
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Viva Kids
 
Wednesday 15th February
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Musical - Copacabana

“Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there”. It was 1978, it was the punk era, and anyone with any street credibility put their fingers in their throat at the very mention of Barry Manilow, especially when Copacabana became his fourth single in the same top 40. Now, nearly thirty years on, the song sounds just as bad (as I write this it’s just been banned from being played again in the Viva Lewes office). Yet, because of the ironic post-modern vogue for anything kitsch and seventies, the idea of watching a two-act musical based on the song lyrics seems… well, quite a scream, really.

The show, which ran for two years in the West End and then on Broadway, is being performed by the SMuTS uni drama group, who, by the sound of it, have been having a ball producing it. The plot hinges on the rivalry between Lola’s barman boyfriend Tony and Rico (he of the diamond in his ear). Things come to a head in the Tropicana in Havana when ‘Tony went too far, Rico sailed across the bar.’ Expect blood, expect tears, expect ostrich feathers and leggy dancers.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre
When? 7.30pm, runs till Sat 18th Feb
How Much? £8 (£7 concs)
Musical - Copacabana
Gardner Art Centre
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk
(t) 01273 685861
 
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Take a train… to Rye

‘See you the windy levels spread, About the gates of Rye?
O that was where the Northmen Fled, When Alfred's ships came by.’
(Rudyard Kipling)

21st century Rye rises out of the Rother levels – abandoned as the sea gradually retreated, leaving a silted up estuary and miles of swampy reed beds. Today the Lewes to Ashford train will leave you just a few minutes’ walk from the fortified centre of this historic Sussex town. If you think Lewes has a wide range of second-hand bookshops and teashops - Rye can trump it. Their cobbles are of a slightly different hue and they lead up to the top of the town-centre church tower, which offers an excellent view of the surrounding sheep-filled marsh as it stretches away to Camber Sands.

The Rye townspeople are up in arms about a development that is threatening to mar the picture-postcard beauty of the area. Twenty-six wind turbines 370 feet high are being built at Little Chene Court in nearby Walland and will be visible from every corner of the Romney Marsh. They will be even more intrusive than the old nuclear power station at Dungeness and will dominate the view from the ramparts of Rye and Camber Castle and the slopes of the Sussex Weald.

 
Where?
1 hour 6 mins by train
When? Whenever you fancy a day trip
How Much? £11.70 cheap day return
Take a train… to Rye
The Trainline
(w) www.thetrainline.com
 
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Drinking restrictions

Lewes District Council have announced that from February 6th it is prohibited to consume intoxicating liquor in certain designated areas in Lewes, Newhaven and Peacehaven. In Lewes the area incorporates the whole of the town centre, as well as the South Malling Rec, the Paddock and Grange Gardens. ‘The police may require any person who is consuming intoxicating liquor in a designated public place to cease drinking and to surrender up… such liquor,’ reads the statement, published in the Sussex Express on Friday.

Some will hope that the ruling will put an end to the weekends regular late-night drink fuelled carnage centred around the Charcoal Grill on Lewes High Street. Others will see it as a further infringement of their civil liberties, and point out that drinkers will simply move to the areas immediately outside the exclusion zone. Bizarrely, it now appears illegal to drink directly outside the Lewes Arms or The John Harvey Tavern, but acceptable in the quiet residential streets around the Pells and immediately south of Cliffe High Street.

 
Where?
Ban covers most of town centre;
When? It applies 24/7
How much? Not a drop outside OK?
Drinking restrictions
Lewes District Council
(t) www.lewes.gov.uk
 
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Bricks and Mortar - St. Anne’s Church

The witch-hat spire of St Anne’s Church is one of the characteristic landmarks of Lewes’ impressive townscape, but is threatening the structure of the town’s oldest remaining church. The church tower, built by the Normans nearly 1,000 years ago, is buckling under the weight of the spire: the church needs to raise £250,000 to make the adequate repairs. The Great South Roof also needs substantial renovation.

St. Anne’s witnessed a significant event in Norman-English history. In 1264 the central division of Henry III’s army was drawn up in front of the west of the church to face the attack of Simon De Montfort’s soldiers charging down from the hills during the Battle of Lewes. A female recluse holed up in an anchorite’s cell at the time (uncovered during restoration work in 1927) no doubt watched the action through her tiny window to the world. She also had a window looking into the church, and would have seen christenings at the basket-weave-decorated font, which is still in use today. The recluse was buried within the church: outside there is a graveyard containing some fascinating headstones, including one from 1747 intriguingly dedicated to ‘Litle (sic) Benjamin the Ruler’.

 
Where?
Top of the High St
When? Built in the 12th century
How Much? £250,000 needed for the roof
Bricks and Mortar - St. Anne’s Church
Lewes District Council
(t) www.lewes.gov.uk
 
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Caffé Nero

“I would never have a Nectar card,” says Mandy, a woman in her thirties “I’m totally against the idea of doing someone else’s market research for them”. Mandy has four stamps left before she gets her next free hot drink. Of all the marketing schemes in all the world, how did Caffé Nero do it? How did ornery, free trade Lewesians become a bunch of card-carrying free cappuccino whores? And why can’t you get a stamp for buying a mango juice? Nigel, answering emails nearby, has held out. “My parents all through my childhood were obsessed with collecting Green Shield stamps, but I never remember them getting anything of value from them.” He would rather drink at a place where people knew him by name and occasionally threw him a free coffee. Except he’s here. Mandy says she has come for just the opposite. “The nice thing about Lewes is that you can be a bit anonymous.”

Anonymous, in Lewes? At least we can pretend, while fishing in our wallet for the official ID card of our big, impersonal city.

 
Where?
The High Street, Lewes
When? 7am - 7pm
How Much? Free (after spending £18 on your other 9 coffees)
Caffé Nero
Caffe Nero:
(W) www.caffenero.com
 
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Viva Lewes
 
Extras
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Photo of the Week

We’ve hardly been overwhelmed with incoming pictures for this slot from our growing legion of subscribers this week (that’s you lot). So we’ve nicked another one from Lewes resident Simon Dale’s excellent website page ‘Quotidian’ where he posts a groovy new snap, usually taken in or around Lewes, every day. This one, in case you couldn’t tell, is the top of a fence post on the Downs. We like the angle, we like the count-its-age rings, we like the cracks: hell, we even like the mould.

We’d like to use this space to let you know we’d welcome any photos, ideas, listings, events, feedback, contributions or rants from anyone out there who wants to get involved. Post any of these, or anything else you’d like to get off your chest, to info@vivalewes.com. Cheers.

Photo of the Week

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Viva Lewes
 

That’s another issue done, dusted and sent into cyberspace. Hope y’all enjoyed it. We couldn’t have put it out without the invaluable help of (in no particular order) Meryl Stringell, Ann Johnson, Anna de Geus, Lis Lawrence, Jane Churchill, Chris Hesketh, Sophie Orloff, Claire Peters, Ben English, Lynn Gayford, Darren Baggs, Patrick Davis, Angie Osborne, Graeme Souness and Hannah Weller.

Contributors this week are Christian Thompson, David Burke, Simon Dale, Dave Wilson, Nick Williams, Alex Leith, Antonia Gabassi, Dexter Lee and Jonas Darlinstein.

Next week’s highlights include:
Friday: The original Alfie at the All Saints
Friday: West Side Story in Seaford
Saturday: George Galloway at the Town Hall
Saturday: US Blues guitarist Kent Duchaine at the Lansdown
Monday: New resident artist exhibition at the Chalk Gallery

Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our entries. Viva Lewes cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations. Please let us know if you want any event or opening to be considered for publication at info@vivalewes.com or on 01273 488882

To view back issues of Viva Lewes click here

To receive a free weekly edition of Viva Lewes in your inbox every week, please click here.

 

Big Brother was watching him… and next week George Galloway will be in Lewes to face the music
 
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