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Viva Lewes
 

In nearby Brighton just over a decade ago a young politician made a passionate speech about identity cards. “Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards as the Tory Right demand, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local communities,” blasted Tony Blair at the 1995 Labour Party Conference. Last year, the Home Affairs Committee Blair hired to look at the rights and wrongs of ID cards advised that their implementation would be a ghastly mistake: they would be costly, ineffective and represent a gross violation of civil liberties. This august body’s misgivings were ignored. The government went ahead. On Monday the Bill was passed. But for the approval of the Peers and the signature of the Queen, this will be law by 2008. And so we will have to carry ID cards around on our streets, we will have to use them when we go to the doctor, we will be fined and imprisoned if we move house without paying for the information on them to be amended. Our details will be added onto a huge database, accessible by a frighteningly large number of public and private organizations. Another vast chunk of our traditional civil liberty will have been hacked away by this government. We wonder what Tom Paine would have made of it all. Apart from all that (Mrs Lincoln) enjoy the week.

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Viva Lewes

Cover Image (left): Mary Beaney: ‘Resting’. Above: Anthea Chapman ‘Landscape’. Both images courtesy of the Chalk Gallery
 
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Viva Lewes
16th - 22nd February 2006
 

  • Art: The Chalk Gallery (4 & 20); Rubens Talk (7)
  • Bricks and Mortar: Freemasons Hall (24)
  • Cinema: Alfie (6); West Side Story (11); Corpse Bride (17); Le Grand Voyage (18); Me and You and Everyone We Know (19)
  • Dance: Ricochet (21)
  • Folk: Ian Kearey (5)
  • Food: Pizza Express (4)
  • Football: Lewes v Dorchester (8)
  • Gigs: The Barcodes (10); Kent DuChaine (12); The Ska Toons (13)
  • Health: Embody Festival (9)
  • Kids: Paradise Park (14); Monkey Bizness (16)
  • Languages: Sanskrit Talk (15)
  • Photography: Photo of the Week (25)
  • Travel: Chichester (23)
  • Walking: Night Walk to Kingston (22)

 

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



Viva Lewes

Stop your messin’ around: The Ska Toons’ Peter ‘Mister’ Thompson, givin’ it some on the trombone

 
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Viva Kids
 
Thursday 16th February
1 of 2
 

Food and Art - Chalk and Cheese?

From Monday the Chalk Gallery artists have been exhibiting at Pizza Express. This raises the question: does art on the wall make pizza taste better? Or does a pizza in front of you make art look better? So we went along to find out. We sat near Miranda Ellis’ ‘Cocoa Asleep’, which we think was a dog on a couch, though it was too dimly lit to see clearly. The pictures on the other wall were over lit, and we didn’t feel bold enough to nose up to the little tickets underneath to find out who they were by. I was taken by one of some trees on an island.

The pizzas arrived, smaller than we expected them to be, and we asked to see a price list for the paintings. I ate a Paradiso with buffalo cheese, fresh tomatoes and various vegetables. My partner went for a Capricciosa. Mine was delicious. I don’t think the taste sensation made the paintings look any better, but I'm sure that a semi-subconscious awareness of the art somehow improved the eating experience. Which, I suppose, is the best way round. We were there to eat, after all. Billie Holliday was on in the background, too. The bill came to just over £30. The painting I liked turned out to be The Grove by Sue Barnes. It cost £850. I dropped a small tip and we left.

 
Where?
Pizza Express, 15 the High St, Lewes
When? Open 11.30am-midnight
How Much? Pizzas from £5.15-£7.95. Art from £50-£1080
Pizza Express
Pizza Express
(w) www.pizzaexpress.co.uk
Chalk Gallery
(w) www.chalkgallery.org.uk
Miranda Ellis: Window

 

 
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Viva Kids
 
Thursday 16th February
2 of 2
 

Folk - Ian Kearey

Back in 1987 NME journalist Len Brown summed up the importance of the Oyster Band rather neatly. “Once upon a time,” he wrote, “admitting to a fondness for English folk was akin to confessing a savage case of crabs. Then came the Oyster Band… a band that walked the line between trad dads and rebel rhythm kings; that dragged Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, screaming into the '80s”.

Singer-songwriter Ian Kearey, a founder member of the Oyster Band, is performing tonight at the Royal Oak. Since he left them in 1989 he has worked with a number of artists of some repute. He has played with the likes of Billy Bragg, Leon Rosselson, Ivor Cutler and Ry Cooder. He has produced a Michelle Shocked album… and he is a member of the Sussex Pistols, with Vic and Tina, who together run Thursdays at the Royal Oak. His latest project is a concept album based on the poetry of James Joyce. Fooie fooie, chamermissies! Zeepyzoepy, larcenlads! Zijnzijn Zijnzijn! He is not, in short, one of your everyday singalonga folkies. Be warned… enjoy.

 
Where?
The Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk - Ian Kearey
Folk at the Oak
(w) www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic
(t) 01273 478124
 
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Viva Kids
 
Friday 17th February
1 of 1
 

Cinema - Alfie

In Alfie a young Michael Caine talks us through his modus operandi as he seduces every ‘bird’ he encounters in a 1966 London that’s just starting to swing. He oozes charm as he looks to camera with his disarming blue eyes, his blond side parting, his moddish dark suits. He woos the audience as well as his quarry with that slightly affected South London accent. “My understanding of women only goes as far as the pleasure,” he says. “I’m like other men - when it comes to the pain, I don’t wanna know.” But this was still the era of back-street abortionists, when unwanted pregnancies got girls disowned by irate dads, and shotgun weddings were commonplace. So there are consequences to his actions; there is pain. When Alfie realises this, he understands the moral bankruptcy of his devil-may-care attitude. This gives the film emotional depth and turns it into a classic.

Today we have to re-conjure the morality of the time (it was only one generation, remember, that was swinging) to understand the message of Alfie. This isn’t difficult to do, but is the key to why last year’s remake, set in 21st Century ‘Sex and the City’ New York, was such a waste of time.

 
Where?
All Saints, Friars Walk, Lewes
When? 8.00pm
How Much? £4.50
Cinema - Alfie
Lewes Cinema:
(t) 01903 523833
(w) www.lewescinema.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
1 of 7
 

Art - Rubens

In 2001 the Institute of Psychology of Rome University published the results of a survey, which revealed that 20% of Italians had had an erotic adventure in an art gallery. As a location for sexual adventure the art museum was only surpassed by trains and beaches, and was more fertile a pick-up spot than the nightclub. The high state of emotional arousal provoked by art was immediately dubbed ‘The Rubens Syndrome’* due to the Flemish Master’s penchant for painting voluptuous nudes.

At Southover Grange this afternoon the brilliant Brian Davies will betalking about the life and work of Peter Paul Rubens. It’s an interesting life – as well as being an immensely talented and influential ‘painters’ painter’, equally at home with classical or Catholic subjects (Venus or the Virgin) he was a well-travelled diplomat who was knighted by both Charles I of England and Philip IV of Spain. The talk will be accompanied by a slideshow of his work, so careful not to get carried away.

*We always thought, in this age of gym-fit body fascism, that the Rubens-style voluptuous body was a bit passé(e). Surely the ‘Rodin Syndrome’ would be more apt a term.

 
Where?
Southover Grange
When? 2pm-5pm
How Much? Free
Art - Rubens

 

 

 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
2 of 7
 

Football - Lewes v Dorchester

Lewes lie 16 points behind leaders Weymouth: the Conference South Championship and the automatic promotion that goes with it has long been out of the question. But a place in the play-offs remains a real possibility for the Rooks, who stayed on course in fifth place after a laboured 2-1 away win over lowly Weston-Super-Mare last weekend, with goals from Jamie Cade and Mo Harkin. Harkin scored a last minute penalty to seal the points. This is a real six pointer: Dorchester have recovered from a terrible start to the season and lie one place behind Lewes on equal points. The Magpies have won their last two games and will be eager to swap places.

If you’ve never been to the Dripping Pan, it’s worth a visit. The fare on offer is a million miles from the brutish posturing of the Premiership; Lewes are a good footballing side who boast the services of the league’s top scorer Jean-Michel ‘Siggy’ Sigere (who used to play with Zinedine Zidane at Bordeaux) and the licensed clubhouse churns out pints of Harveys to the vociferous Mound End faithful, which usually ensures that the usual suspects are in fine voice by the end of the second half. All this, and flint walls and the castle in the backround. Viva prediction 2-1.

 
Where?
The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Road, Lewes
When? 3pm
How Much? £9 (£6 14-16, £2 under 14)
Football - Lewes v Dorchester
Lewes FC:
(w) www.lewesfc.com
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
3 of 7
 

Health Festival - Embody

Billed as ‘a one day festival celebrating the body through complementary health’, Embody is certainly ambitious. Laura Gwynne its creator unashamedly approaches the day from a dance perspective, and we are promised: body wave, a kind of loose contact dance style; goddess dancing (it used to be belly); and Butoh (see pic right), a performing art variously described as violent, peaceful, slow, manic and profoundly transforming. Don’t say we didn’t warn you… In addition there are workshops all day covering yoga, tai chi and beyond, whilst fifteen complementary practitioners will be on hand to sate your curiosity about everything from shiatsu and reflexology to reiki and crystal healing. Kids are catered for with a story moves session, and you can even treat the youngest to a bout of baby massage. All treatments and taster workshops are included in the £6 ticket price, so we suggest that you get there early and leave late.

We also understand that even the thought of that much self discovery and exercise leaves many of you feeling drained, so can we suggest a nice herbal tea and a quick look round the photographic exhibition? Personally, I’m going to find out what really goes on inside a vortex healing circle…

 
Where?
Subud Centre, Station St, Lewes
When? 10am–8pm
How Much? £6/£5 concessions
Health - Embody Festival
Embody:
(t) 01273 474309
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
4 of 7
 

Blues - The Barcodes

Take a bit of Mose ‘William Faulkner of Jazz’ Allison’s groundbreaking fusion of Southern blues and jazz, and stir in a little of Jimmy Smith’s legendary Hammond organ style. Throw in a bit of London bar-cool and plonk the whole lot in the corner of the Pelham Arms, playing a mix of originals and knowledgeable covers. Ladies and Gentleman – The Barcodes.

These guys know their stuff. Alan Glen, on harmonica, vocals and guitar was with new wave blues band Nine Below Zero, with whom he played 12 nights at the Royal Albert Hall supporting Eric Clapton. He also tooted for the legendary Yardbirds during their nineties comeback: he appears on Birdland, the ‘birds first album since 1968. Bob Haddrell, who produces the band’s characteristic organ sound, has played half his pro life in Nashville. Dino Coccia has played drums for Grace Jones and Harmonica Fats. They are seriously talented musicians. Or, as Blue Matters has it, in reviewing their latest album Keep Your Distance “The sound of midnight shadows. Sonic light and shade; B3 and electric piano, with wizard harmonica stylings. Tough stuff, tenderly and imaginatively delivered.” Nice.

 
Where?
The Pelham Arms, High St, Lewes
When? 8.30pm
How Much? Free
Blues - The Barcodes

Pelham Arms
(t) 01273 476149

 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
5 of 7
 

Cinema - West Side Story

‘Unlike other movies…’ boasted the original trailer for 1961’s most popular musical ‘…West Side Story grows younger’. The film updated Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to 1950’s West Side Manhatten and walked away with 10 Oscars. It was a radical departure to the ‘Singing in the Rain’, ‘My Fair Lady’ ‘South Pacific’ type tear-jerker; a musical with real grit, which dealt with real, up-to-date social issues, namely the struggle between Puerto Rican and second generation European immigrants (the Sharks and the Jets) as they learnt to adapt to a changing America. The question to ask now is whether the movie’s trailer was right. Does West Side Story stand the test of time?

The answer, largely, is yes. The plot was 400 years old anyway, and will always be relevant. The choreography, by Jerome Robbins, is as full of menace as ever, and as spectacular. Leonard Bernstein’s score sounds quaint, but hasn’t grown corny. And Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, while appearing a little coy today (whoever heard of gang members who didn’t swear?), still pack a punch. “Life is alright in America… if you’re all white in America.” You’ll be clicking your fingers for days.

 
Where?
Barn Theatre, Seaford
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £3.50 members, £5.50 non-members
Cinema - West Side Story
(t) 01273 898853
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
6 of 7
 

Blues - Kent DuChaine

Robert Johnson has been called ‘the father of rock and roll’, an influence on everybody from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, THE blues guitarist, who only recorded 11 tracks on 78 before dying in 1938, but left a legacy as wide as the Mississippi. In the 30’s a young guitarist called Johnny Shines tagged behind Johnson, learnt everything he could from him, became a legend in his own right. Between 1989 and 1992, Shines toured with a young white American who played a 1934 National Steel guitar, who reminded him of Johnson. The guitar is called Leadbessie, the guitarist is called Kent DuChaine, and he is playing at the Lansdown tonight.

DuChaine is a class act and he does a great show, peppering his track list (Johnson, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, some of his own songs) with anecdotes about the story of his life, playing Leadbessie like you will never have seen a guitar played before. This is real Delta Blues from one of its best living practitioners. It might only be the corner of Lansdown Place and Station Street, but expect a big dose of Crossroad Blues.

 
Where?
Lansdown Arms
When? 8.30pm
How Much? Free
Blues - Kent DuChaine
Lansdown Arms:
(t) 01273 480623
(w) www.thelansdownarms.com
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 18th February
7 of 7
 

Gig - The Ska Toons

Best summed up in their own words: “Yo Bro, iss dat SkaToon band gigging again n' wanning u 2 cum n dance, trance n not go to France. Lissen 2 the best evs cold cuts, raw meats, mint sauce an loads ov uvver treats. Ver band will be doing their best fonky hi-contrast brassy freestyle downbeat uptown lo-down ass-kickin 'lectro techno- munday, mixed-up old-skool heavy-dub white-hot rare-groove licks, strokes, pick n mix, hits n highs. Sweat the dancefloor, kick up a storm, pass the salt, dig deep, dance your booty off until u hurt yourself. Lissen to the very nice new-jazz, southeasterly dj, dirty lewesian kool-aid acid-testing master of rubbed-up oh-so-clever-clever bathtub n bass, pitch fork and triangle, dancette and B&O mini-dek chill out fish fingers. All the old faves, wonders from the grave, beyond our ken, go back there again and don't come back until you've done all the washing up. Yup, its a boogie wunderland extravaganza camped up to the max factor of much-missed, drop-stitch, deep house, futurismo kick-start, lip-lop, bossa jungglism, underground hymn-stylie. This hotspot will rock like white hot trash rnb bootleg electronica crossed with the worst of songs of praise until the wee small hours. Take no prisoners. Anthems r us. Scary. U know u want to. Unique dancefloor democracy shennanigans: get your dose. Culty.” So there you go.

 
Where?
The Rainbow, High St, Lewes
When? 8.30pm
How Much? Free
Gig - The Ska Toons
The Ska Toons
(w) www.munday.mistral.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 19th February
1 of 6
 

Half Term - Paradise Park

OK, it may be stretching it to claim that paradise exists in Newhaven, but you can enjoyably while away a fair few hours of the holiday with a trip to the various exhibitions and games areas at the Park. The Museum of Life boldly takes you from the beginning of time through to the moon landings, via animatronic dinosaurs, 12th century knights, Neanderthal man and the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. You next enter the extremely impressive Botanical Plant houses – before meandering snake like through the well thought out gardens of the Heritage Trail, which is liberally sprinkled with models of Sussex landmarks. You will also pass by the water gardens, which are teeming with fish, and a pair of slightly manic black swans, before hitting the outside dinosaur park. There are also indoor and outside play zones, crazy golf and a separate maritime museum – before you get to the ride-on model railway, situated conveniently near the café.

We took three kids aged 6, 9 and 12 and rather unusually, we all enjoyed it. But hey, even if you don’t, you can get your own back by dragging them around the industrial-sized garden centre afterwards…



 
Where?
Avis Road, Newhaven
When? 9am-6pm daily
How Much? £7.99 adult, £5.99 child, £19.99 family pass
Half Term - Paradise Park

Paradise Park
(w) www.paradisepark.co.uk
(t) 01273 512123

 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 20th February
2 of 6
 

Talk - Sanskrit

When the British ruled India, British and American scholars consciously set out to hide how much the Indians taught the ancient Greeks. Today a good party trick at meetings of the Sussex School of Practical Philosophy is to read passages of the Upanishads mixed with those of the pre-Socratic philosophers. No one can tell the difference. Sanskrit is a great language for people who like grammar. It's so regular and well structured that it has been likened to a computer programming language. But it's also wacky. It has three first person numbers instead of two (singular, plural and dual) and a complete set of hand and body movements to accompany the words.

Warwick Jessup is one of Sanskrit's most vocal defenders and the School
has invited him to speak at Southover Grange. Wear loose clothing as you will be doing the moves after he performs a chunk of the Mahabharata (the world's longest religious epic, 12 times longer than the bible) in 45 minutes. Worth catching before it ends up at Edinburgh.

 
Where?
Southover Grange
When? 10am - 1pm
How Much? £3
Talk - Sanskrit
(t) 01273 554 926
(w) www.sussexphilosophyschool.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 20th February
3 of 6
 

Half Term - Monkey Bizness

It appears that large indoor play areas for kids are like buses – you wait and wait and then three come along at once. As well as the revamped Drusillas and Paradise Park play zones; Monkey Bizness has opened up this week in the somewhat unlikely surroundings of Cliffe Industrial Estate. Once inside, however, you get a warm welcome and it was encouragingly busy for only its second day in business. The layout provides three separate play zones for 0-2, 2-5 and 5-12, giving the toddlers a chance to live long enough to grow into the main zone. There is also a large cafe, serving a range of freshly prepared homemade, additive free food – probably a wise move in our organic and free trade town.

For adults, there is a wide screen TV to distract you from the general mayhem; and on this occasion specific stress caused by a rogue fifty pence jamming the Bob the Builder ride. Luckily for all concerned Monkey Bizness’ manager Hannah was on hand to fix it – and as she has also served as a police officer and manager of a multiplex cinema, we don’t think she’ll be fazed by any future queues or crises either.

 
Where?
Unit 27, Cliffe Industrial Estate, Lewes
When? 9.30am – 6pm daily
How Much? Kids 1-4 £3.95; 5-12 £4.50 Adults £1; babies free
Half Term - Monkey Bizness
Monkey Bizness
(t) 01273 488898
(w) www.monkey-bizness.co.uk
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 20th February
4 of 6
 

Cinema - Corpse Bride

The catacombs in Paris are a great place to take kids. You think it’s going to be scary, but after walking through enough long dark passageways surrounded by human bones, you get used to it. The only creepy things are the famous quotes about death they've put up in different languages, things like "As you are, I once was. As I am, you will become."

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is similar, a spooky movie that isn't scary, but then gets uncomfortable because it teases us with something we usually
avoid - not that cemeteries are full of dead people, but that all of them
used to be alive. The love triangle between Victor (Johnny Depp), his
fiancée Victoria (Emily Watson) and the dead woman he accidentally marries (Helena Bonham-Carter) makes for a great film for children and adults, and not because it keeps mum and dad titillated with references to "adult" themes or baby boom TV shows. It's great because the story is well paced, the jokes are funny and Tim Burton has something to say, and both children and adults can't wait to talk about it afterwards.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 2pm
How Much? £5 (£4 cons)
Cinema - Corpse Bride
Gardner Arts Centre
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk
(t) 01273 685861
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 20th February
5 of 6
 

Cinema - le Grand Voyage

A Muslim father living in France decides that he wants to do the Hadj to Mecca. He decides he wants to go by car, because it is implausible to travel 3,000 miles on foot, or even on a mule. So he tells his son, a secular sort who has a girlfriend and is busy preparing for his exams, that he must drive him. “Why don’t you fly to Mecca? It’s a lot simpler!” exclaims the son, exasperated. “When the waters of the ocean rise to the heavens, they lose their bitterness to become pure again…” replies the father, enigmatically, and puts his foot down. And so they set off. In an old blue Citroen banger. Of course there is conflict - an enormous amount of conflict. But after the conflict comes respect, and after the respect, the beginning of understanding: the son of his father, the father of his son.

In many ways this film approaches some of the big clashes of our time: hostage/captor; old/young; East/West; religious/secular. It is gentle, it is slow, it is moving, it is thought- provoking. And its finale, depicting the Hadj in Mecca, is quite spectacular.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 5pm
How Much? £5/£4 concs
Cinema - le Grand Voyage
Gardner Arts Centre
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk
(t) 01273 685861
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 20th February
6 of 6
 

Cinema - Me and You and Everyone We Know

Of course actress-director Miranda July's Me, You and Everyone We Know is controversial. It includes child sexuality and the Internet. But maybe this film is more than controversial; maybe it takes a humane and original look at our need for intimacy. July herself stars in the film as Christine, an unsuccessful performance artist who falls in love with catastrophically divorced shoe salesman Richard (John Hawkes). There isn't much on-screen sex in this film, but it's repeatedly talked about and alluded to and confronted, finally proving that we all want the same warm, wet thing, and that only our lonely suburban existence has kept us from giving and taking it from each other forever.

For some viewers, this will come as a wonderful, life-affirming message. Others will find it cute and cuddly to the point of being sinister. Me, You and Everyone We Know may in fact be seen as one long tirade that sex should be abolished, and replaced by chaste cuddles with added bodily fluids.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 8pm
How Much? £5 (£4 concs)
Cinema - Me and You and Everyone We Know
Gardner Arts Centre
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk
(t) 01273 685861
 
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Viva Kids
 
Monday 21st February
1 of 1
 

Art - Rita Herbert

Rita Herbert, who today becomes this month’s featured artist in the Chalk Gallery, has an interesting and (to our knowledge) unique modus operandi. She transfers photographic film onto various materials, sometimes paper, sometimes acrylic, and works on these images with oils and other media. There is a Shroud-of-Turin-ish feel to much of her work. Her subjects are generally icons of transitions and passages, ‘of leaving and being left’. She likes doors, and particularly cemetery sculpture. The results are sometimes beautiful, always arresting.

The Chalk Gallery is well worth a visit. Opened in June 2005, it is a well-run little place, which showcases the work of 21 resident artists, one of whom is always on duty at the desk. Not all of them will be to your taste, but, hell, that’s what art is for. Every three weeks they display the work of one featured artist, every six weeks all the artists hang new work. In the corner of the room is a little Victorian ticket booth, they call ‘The Tardis’. You’ll love the place. We do.

 
Where?
The Chalk Gallery, 4, North Street, Lewes
When? Open daily, 10am-5pm
How Much? Prices vary from £50 to £1000
Take a train… to Rye
The Chalk Gallery
(w) www.chalkgallery.org.uk
(t) 01273 474477
 
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Viva Kids
 
Tuesday 22nd February
1 of 1
 

Dance - Man & Woman

‘Four people inhabit an island. The tension is palpable. The ground shifts, splits and opens up. What comes rising to the surface? What remains hidden in the depths?’ Ricochet Dance Productions’ blurb about their latest piece sets an intriguing scene: it’s a good bit of writing. And reviews of the work, which has been touring for nearly a year, compliment many of its elements. John Napier, of Cats fame, designs the set: the artists perform on three movable platforms, which fit together to make a semi dome on the black stage. This it seems adds to the dynamic possibilities of the piece. Ben Park’s ‘subtly melancholic’ percussive jazz is said to evoke the right atmosphere; as is Chahine Yavroyan’s ‘velvety indigo’ lighting.

But a dance performance must mainly be judged on its dancing, specially one by a company which is run by dancers rather than choreographers, as is normally the case. Ballet.co.uk finds a tone of ‘mysterious detachment’, which it doubts is intended. The Stage says it ‘lacks cohesion’. The Observer, bluntest of all, comments ‘an hour is overlong for such obsessive movement.’ Be warned: Celebrity Come Dancing it ain’t.

 
Where?
The Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 8pm
How much? £12.50/£10/£7
Dance - Man & Woman

Gardner Arts Centre
(t) 01273 685861
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk
Ricochet Dance Productions
(w) www.ricochetdance.com

 
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Viva Kids
 
Wednesday 23rd February
1 of 1
 

Night Walk - Lewes to Kingston over Juggs Way

This walk is an unsettling dream on your doorstep. Grumpy and homesick for Brighton, I sat in my unfurnished living room a few years ago and tried to think straight. When that didn't work I went for ‘a walk around the block’. The moon was huge and I muttered to myself about the ocean when I remembered the steps that climb out of the Winterbourne across the Hollow. I'd never been up them. Next thing I knew I was on the Downs. The prison at night was sepia yellow so that the whole thing looked like a Victorian photograph. The moon over the fields was alarming and the hills in front were like some Old Testament battle scene. When I got to the end I found myself looking down with a God's eye view of the land in a hallucination, surrounded by sheep. "What the hell???" It was my first real connection to Lewes.

The Lewes Footpaths Group is doing a similar 5.5 mile walk, starting from the Brook Street Car Park at 9:30am on Wednesday the 22nd of February. But if I were you I'd go at the dead of night.

 
Where?
Brook St Car Park
When? 9.30am (or midnight if that's your thing)
How Much? Free
Night Walk - Lewes to Kingston over Juggs Way
Lewes Footpaths Group
(w) www.lewesfootpathsgroup.org.uk
(t) 01273 473779
 
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Viva Kids
 
Extras
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Take a train to… Chichester

Chichester, home to 25,000 people, was recently voted the third best place to live in England. It is the county town of West Sussex. Lewes, of course, is the County Town of East Sussex. Comparisons are inevitable. It’s worth making a trip to see if that lot the other side of Hove got a better deal.

The city of Noviomagus Reginorum was founded in 3 AD and the cross-shaped main streets are a legacy of Roman urbanisation. The Roman wall which surrounds Chichester was largely replaced by a still-intact medieval structure and a walk around this wall is the best way to get an overview of the city and its open spaces: Priory Park, Jubilee Park, Bishop’s Palace Garden; it’s a colourful experience. Never out of sight long is the 277ft spire of Chichester’s 12th century cathedral. Just outside town there’s the pretty harbour and Fishbourne Roman Palace, once home to the splendidly-named Cogidnubus. They even have a university. They also have coach-loads of tourists pouring in, ending up at the hub of the town where there is a tangle of oldie-worldie pubs, restaurants and teashops to serve them. The word ‘twee’ comes to mind. Viva Lewes!

 
Where?
1 hour 10m west of Lewes by train
How Much? £11.40 cheap day return
 
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Bricks and Mortar - the Freemasons Hall

When they designed the façade of the Freemasons Hall they weren’t to know that the spot it was situated in would become one of the most stressful in the town, with people jams on the pavements and traffic jams on the streets as the world tries to shuffle through the Bottleneck as quickly as they can. The result is that the building rarely gets looked at, which is a pity. It’s worth stopping, with your back to the wall next to the Westgate Chapel, just for the immaculate drainpipes that frame the façade. These scream ‘Victorian excess’ at you. Also check out the Ruskinian foliage motifs and the strange mixture of styles. Is it Gothic? Is it Venetian? Let’s say it’s Gothic-Venetian.

The building was originally built as a base for the South Saxon Lodge in 1797. In 1867 one of the Lewes brethren realised the value of the property would double (to around £500) if the buildings to the back (old clay pipe shops which gave Pipe Passage its name) were added to the property. Lord Pelham laid a second foundation stone in 1868 and the new façade was added. It is still used for its original purpose: the Freemasons open it up to the public once a year. Watch this space, if that’s your sort of thing.

 
Where?
149, the High Street, Lewes
When? 24/7 outside; one open day a year inside.
Take a train to… Chichester
Sussex Masons:
(w) www.sussexmasons.org.uk
 
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Photo of the Week

Richard Wilson sent us in this rather stunning picture of a mighty oak tree, taken in a field on the Plumpton turnoff of the Lewes-Cooksbridge road. It is one of a series of nine he has taken as a typological study of the species. It was taken with a large-format hand-made Japanese ebony camera in the autumn. We like the way the tree is stubbornly hanging on to its lower foliage and the distant relationship it has with its cousins in the background. And imagining, of course, that it was once just a small acorn.

We welcome any contributions, comments, photos, rants, raves or offers of a pint down the pub. Send these, and anything else you want to get off your chest, to info@vivalewes.com

Photo of the Week

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That’s it then, from the town that never sleeps. Much. Hope you enjoyed the issue. This week we’d like to thank (in no particular order) Ben Whitehead, Anthea Chapman, Mary Beaney, Shirley Darlington, Laura Gwynne, Hannah Bailey, Paul Bellack, Harry the Cat and Darren Baggs. Contributors were David Burke, Alex Leith, Nick Williams, Dave Wilson, Antonia Gabassi, Dexter Lee and Richard Wilson.

Next week’s highlights include:
Friday 24th: The politically hijacked French film March of the Penguins (right) at the All Saints
Saturday 25th: Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy starts at the Seaford Little Theatre
Saturday 25th: Charlotte Jones’ The Humble Boy starts at the Lewes Little Theatre
Sunday 26th: Ishiro Honda’s classic Godzilla at the Gardner Art centre
Tuesday 28th: Peter Brook directs Dostoevsky – The Grand Inquisitor at the Gardner Art Centre


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

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Next week...
A penguin chick describes the one that got away to his baby bro in March of the Penguins
 
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