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Viva Lewes
 

Phoebe has been running the Swanborough Nurseries Greengrocer’s on Fisher Street for 27 years. It was a greengrocer’s long before that. She says her friend Doris, who is 80, worked in a fruit and veg shop on the site when she was a child. On Saturday, Phoebe is closing the shop. She blames parking restrictions for a downturn in customers; she says that it just doesn’t work any more. “You have to work too many hours to make ends meet now,” she complains. She doesn’t know what is going to be put in place of the shop. One thing’s for certain, it sure as hell won’t be another greengrocer. Perhaps it will be a charity shop. Perhaps it will be a chain store of some kind. Perhaps it will be an expensive boutique called something like ‘Ricoco’. A sad sign on the window thanks customers for their support, and for all the laughs over the years. It’s not often you have a laugh buying an apple in Waitrose. How many more businesses will have to close down before the powers-that-be realise that their policy of making it virtually impossible to short stay park in Lewes is going to irrevocably change the nature of the town? It’s time to call off the hordes of arrogant swaggering red-jacketed faux policemen, and to have a serious discussion on working out compromises on this issue. Any opinions gratefully received. Enjoy the week.

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Viva Lewes

Above: Sussex Landscape by Ethelbert White; Cover Judd’s Farm, by William Nicholson, both from Ditchling Museum’s Sussex Seen Exhibition (see page 12)
 
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Viva Lewes
March 9th - 15th 2006
 

Art:
Natural Forms (12) Night Prayers (21)
Sussex Seen
(11)
Blues:
Slimshack (14)
Bricks & Mortar:
St John sub Castro (25)
Cinema:
A Cock and Bull Story (20);
Memoirs of a Geisha
(9); Munich (13); Sophie Scholl (19);
Wallace & Gromit
(16); Zathura (8)
Classical Music:
Mozart & Friends (15)
Craft:
Sussex Guild (18)
Food:
Guido’s Restaurant (22)
Film Festival:
Kendal Mountain Film Festival (24)
Folk:
Moor Music (5)
Jazz:
Anglo-Swedish Quartet (4)
Kids:
Wallace & Gromit (16); Zathura (8)
My Lewes:
Bill Collison (26)
Opera:
Operalite (7)
Photography:
Dom Ramos - POTW (27)
R&B DJ:
In the Midnight Hour (14)
Talk:
Postcards of Lewes (6);
Propaganda Posters
(17)
Theatre:
O Go My Man (24)
Workshop:
Readers & Writers Day (10)

 


Cinema - Godzilla

Oscar Bravo: 3-time Acadamy Award winning Memoirs of a Geisha on at the All Saints

 
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Viva Kids
 
Thursday 9th March
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Jazz - Anglo - Swedish Quintet

The Lewes Jazz Club starts its Spring season with an international collaboration. The Anglo-Swedish Quintet is split into two sections from two different countries. The Swedish brass section consists of Kjell Berglund on trumpet and Rolan Keijser on sax. They have been playing together, off and on, all their lives. The English rhythm section consists of pianist Terry Seabrook, bassist Paul Whitton and drummer Spike Wells. They have been playing together for five years. The Quintet (or the ASQ), born of a recent collaboration between Kjell and Seabrook, play in the modern hard-bop jazz style (like Kenny Dorham, Tom Harrell or Freddie Hubbard), with a few originals mixed in with a majority of jazz standards.

The English trio are an experienced bunch. Terry Seabrook has released 3 cds with his band Cubana Bop and has worked with Joe Lee Wilson. Spike Wells was the house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s in the late sixties and played with Scott, as well as Tubby Hayes, Peter King and Bobby Wellins (including at the LJC in January). Paul Whitten, who lived in the States for much of the 80’s and 90’s toured Europe for six months with the great Chet Baker. Now that’s jazz.

 
Where?
Constitutional Club, 139 High St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £8
Food - Seasons
Lewes Jazz Club
(t) 01273 4767079
(w) click here
 
 
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Thursday 9th March
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Folk - Moor Music

At the age of fifteen Mark Bazeley recorded an album with his grandfather, folk legend Bob Cann. The songs had come from Bob’s grandfather: the album was called Five Generations and epitomises the spirit of folk music, where songs are handed down from one generation to another. Bob, who died in 1990, was a melodeon player (and singer and storyteller) in the old Dartmoor tradition. His grandson still plays with some of his instruments, and also plays the anglo-concertina.

Mark’s latest album, Moor Music, was recorded with Jason Rice, also appearing at the Oak tonight. Jason is a piano accordionist and singer from a traditional folk family. He also happens to be an all-England step-dance champion, and will demonstrate this dance, performed on a 15-inch square board, as part of the show. Rob Murch completes the trio. Rob is one of Europe’s finest classic fingerstyle banjoists, and has adapted his style to suit the box-playing of Mark and Jason, creating his own unique sound. The trio have played together all over the folk-festival map, from Wadebridge to Pinewoods USA.

 
Where?
The Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8.30pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk - Peta Webb, Ken Hall and Simon Hindley
Folk at the Oak
(w) click here
 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Friday 10th March
1 of 4
 

Talk - Postcards of Lewes

In 1902 the Post Office revolutionized communication by allowing both the message and address to be written on one side of a postcard, freeing up the other side to publish a picture. The ‘picture postcard’ was born and the medium became all the rage, the e-mail of its day. Millions were sent through the post every day (usually arriving in the afternoon if sent in the morning); there was a publishing boom to meet demand. It became fashionable to keep postcard albums. The boom lasted until the First World War, after which the telephone took over as the easiest way of communicating.

‘Deltiology’ is the term used for collecting post cards: Philip Hall is Lewes’ foremost deltiologist. Just before Christmas Philip gave a talk about his collection of Lewes postcards, taking the listener on a journey, starting at the Cliffe Church, and moving up School Hill showing a picture postcard at virtually every step. There was so much interest in what he was saying, and so many questions asked, that he only got as far as the old Star Inn (now the Town Hall), and had to stop. It was immediately arranged for him to continue the talk at a later date, which is tonight.

 
Where?
Anne of Cleves House, Southover High St, Lewes
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £4 in advance from Anne of Cleves House
Theatre - Great Expectations
Anne of Cleves House
(t) 01273 474610
 
 
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Friday 10th March
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Opera - Operalite

I love the best things about opera. I love the choruses, the costumes, the choreography. I love the arias; I enjoy looking down at the orchestra. So how come, whenever I go to see an opera, I want the damn thing to end shortly after the first interval? How come, when I’m clapping the cast as they bow in front of the final curtain, most of my enthusiasm comes from relief? You might blame my ‘modern’ attention span; you might say that opera does little to satisfy my modern-day narrative needs. Perhaps the two things are connected.

Carol Kelly’s OperaLite nights are an attempt to make opera more palatable to the everyday punter. A pianist, vocal coach and repetiteur, she has got together a group of internationally acclaimed singers to perform some of the more memorable arias and choruses ‘up front and personal’ while explaining herself the importance and meaning of the pieces in question. ‘A frustrated stand-up comedienne’ she makes it her mission to take the stuffiness out of opera, to put a smile on the face of the audience. Performers include Elizabeth Brice, Louise Armit, Riccardo Simonetti and Paul Austin Kelly.

 
Where? The Chamber Room, Pelham House,
St Andrews Lane, Lewes
When? 7:30pm
How Much? £25 including wine and canapes in the interval. Proceeds to the Shelterbox disaster fund
Dewponds
Operalite
(w) click here
Photograph:Ornan Rotem
 
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Viva Kids
 
Friday 10th March
3 of 4
 

Cinema - Zathura: A Space Adventure

If Zathura’s central plot line - a couple of kids stumble across a board game with supernatural powers – feels familiar to you, it’s probably because ten years ago you were watching Jumanji. Both films are adaptations of Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg books, and like Jumanji before it much of the film depicts a series of increasingly violent events which the boys have somehow to survive. Director Jon (Elf) Favreau delivers visually spectacular special effects – look out for the particularly cool ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ moment – whilst also keeping the plot moving nicely along. Scott Brown of Entertainment Weekly feels that “Zathura is a rarity: a stellar fantasy that faces down childhood anxieties with feet-on-the-ground maturity”; whilst Justin Chang at Variety feels that it is “arguably the best adaptation of a Chris Van Allsburg book to date”.

If the idea of Jumanji in outer space appeals, then, and you’re looking for a film for kids aged nine plus which will also hold your attention, you could do a lot worse than Zathura.

 
Where?
All Saints, Friars Walk
When? Fri 6pm; Sat and Sun 3.30
How Much? £4.50
Theatre - The Winslow Boy
Lewes Cinema
(t) 01903 523833
(w) click here
Trailer
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Friday 10th March
4 of 4
 

Cinema - Memoirs of a Geisha

In the 1997 novel Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden took a Dickensian-style plot and wrapped it in the exotic world of mid 20th century geisha culture. It was a neat trick – the plot may have been hackneyed, but the unfamiliar details of the setting painted a delicate readability into the narrative. A Hollywood movie version became inevitable: unfortunately ‘Chicago’ director Rob Marshall hasn’t been able to make the subsequent film half as engaging as the novel was.

Certainly the film is beautifully shot, certainly the attention to detail of every button of the Geishas’costumes, every nuance of their gestures, makes for a lavish spectacle. For this it won three Oscars (for costume, art direction and cinematography). But there are problems. Marshall chose Chinese actresses to play the main roles, on the assumption, presumably, that all Asians look alike to the average Western audience. All the dialogue is in English (a throwback to the world of pre-1980 ‘ve haff vays off making you tock’ war movies). Oh, and you don’t get to sympathise with any of the characters. At all. Wash off the exquisite face paint, then strip off the refined kimono and unbind the delicate feet. What’s left inside is rather ordinary, rather drab, and rather dull.

 
Where?
All Saints Centre
When? 8pm (also Sat 5.30pm)
How Much? £4.50
Cinema - Godzilla
Lewes Cinema
(t) 01903 523833
(w) click here
Trailer:
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th March
1 of 6
 

Workshop - Readers and Writers Day

Writer’s block affects all writers at some time in their life and novelist and playwright Susannah Waters is giving a free workshop at the Town Hall on how to avoid it. This forms the first part of the County Council’s annual Readers and Writers’ Day. Susannah has just published her second novel, Cold Comfort, a love story set in Alaska using the consequences of global warming as a backdrop.

Afterwards two other writers give talks. Novelist and filmmaker Paul Bryers gives the lowdown on writing fiction. Paul’s latest novel, The Used Women’s Book Club, is a murder thriller based in the East End of London. Then Kathryn Hughes, a biographer and historian, will be talking about how to write non-fiction. Hughes is a literary critic for the Guardian and regularly appears on artsy shows on Radio 4 and BBC2: she has written three successful biographies set in Victorian times, the latest being The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton, about the real life of the woman behind the book which laid out the code of behaviour for the Victorian housewife. There will also be stalls set up by various reading and writing groups from around the county, and food by the excellent Station Street caterers FOODfood.

 
Where?
Lewes Town Hall
When?

Workshop 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm
Talks 12noon-2.30pm

How Much? Free. Pre-booking essential 01273 481813
Cinema - March of the Penguins
 
   
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th March
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Art - Sussex Seen

The Sussex landscape, from its gentle rolling Downs to its savage sea-splattered cliffs, has long been a favourite subject for artists. An exhibition at the Ditchling Museum celebrates and analyses different artists’ methods of capturing the county’s beauty from the 18th century to the present day. The exhibition includes work by artists using all kinds of materials from oils to found materials. Of particular note are oil paintings by William Nicholson (see cover) and Ethelbert White (see page 2), watercolours by Eastbourne born-and-bred Eric Ravilious, and photos from Jem Southam, who shot a typically comprehensive project on the dew-ponds of the South Downs (see right). The works are taken from the Towner Art Gallery Collection in Eastbourne, a museum which, from its foundation in 1923, has maintained a preference for local paintings as part of its ‘Pictures of Sussex’ policy. Images have been assiduously collected, in the words of its founder Arthur Reeve-Fowkes, ‘to provide the visitor with a complete review of this beautiful county’.

The Ditchling Museum, housed in the village’s old Victorian schoolhouse, is an apt setting for the exhibition, sheltered as it is by the powerful but calming presence of Ditchling Beacon.

 
Where?
Ditchling Museum, Church Lane, Ditchling
When? Until 4th June, Open 10.30am-5pm, Sundays 2-5pm, closed Mondays
How Much? £3.50 adults, £2 concs, £1 students, U16 free
Cinema - March of the Penguins
Ditchling Museum:
(t) 01273 844744
(w) click here
 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th March
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Art - Natural Forms

The lower floor of the Crypt Gallery, its 13th century undercroft, is one of the very few surviving architectural reminders of Seaford’s prosperous medieval heyday as one of the Cinque Ports. It was possibly the ground floor of a wool merchant’s house. The Black Death and French raids decimated Seaford’s population in the late 14th century: then Atlantic storms silted up the harbour, and the town’s prosperity dwindled. It’s worth a visit to the Gallery just to visit the Undercroft: you are taken through a fat Gothic arch down some steps into a room with vaulted ceilings, which not only looks, but smells medieval.

The latest exhibition in the Crypt is by the A22 group of artists, named after the road which used to connect many of them with the art school they all met at, then called ECAP, now the South Downs College. The theme of the exhibition, called Natural Forms, is the Sussex countryside: there are 15 artists on show, including Christine Dunn, an abstract painter whose inspiration comes from close-up, sometimes even microscopic, visions of nature.

 
Where?
Crypt Gallery, off Church St, Seaford
When? Open 10.30am-5pm (closed 1.30pm-2.15pm and Sundays)
How Much? Free
Talk - Archaeology on the South Downs
Crypt Gallery:
(t) 01323 891461 or 01273 484400
 
 
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Saturday 11th March
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Cinema - Munich

September 1972 – the Palestinian Black September group carry out the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics. The world is appalled. Israel needs to take action. Mossad agent Avner (Eric Bana) is hired to covertly lead a team charged with carrying out the assassination of those responsible for the outrage. An Israeli himself, at first he feels it his patriotic duty to do the job. As the film progresses he gets enmeshed in the moral ambiguity this job engenders.

Spielberg has made a tense political thriller, using this ambiguity as the intellectual narrative that drives the story along. And so we are presented with a rare beast, a sensitive action movie, where every explosion is worried about, where every bullet is another question mark. The fact that the director asks more questions than he answers in the film has divided critics, many of whom wanted him to sit more clearly on one side of the political fence or the other. In fact he is doing something much more valuable than political statement-making. He is analysing a civilisation negotiating compromises with its own values. Powerful stuff.

 
Where?
All Saints Centre
When? 8.15 (and Sunday 6pm)
How Much? £4.50
Theatre - Humble Boy
Lewes Cinema
(t) 01903 523833
(w) click here
Trailer:
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th March
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Blues - Slimshack

“The funny thing is,” says Ian of Slimshack, “that it’s much easier to get a blues gig in Lewes than in Brighton.” It’s true: Lewes is fast becoming the blues capital of south-east England, with established names like Little George Sueref and Kent Duchaine hitting town in recent weeks, and up-and-comers like Slimshack finding room to play their stuff – in this case an enthusiastic and energetic Rhythm and Blues sound. The band draw influence from Muddy Waters and Slim Harpo, as well as the likes of Little Walter, Taj Mahal, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, Freddie King, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Rufus Thomas, Tommy Tucker, Rory Gallagher and Dr Feelgood.

Slimshack have been going for about a year and a half, but are pleased with the progress they are making, and have managed to whip up quite an atmosphere at their previous gigs. They have even started getting airplay in the States, on Big Bad Radio. After the gig is finished, if you still want to keep in the same vibe, DJ Rick is spinning his Rhythm and Blues session In the Midnight Hour at The Lansdown, mixing r&b classics with Motown, ska, Northern Soul and Stax numbers.

 
Where?
The Snowdrop, South St, Lewes
When? 8.30pm
How Much? Free
Blues - John Crampton
The Snowdrop
(t) 01273 471018
Slimshack
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Saturday 11th March
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Classical Music - Mozart and Friends

Lewes boasts a rare throwback, a harpsichord workshop, where Paul Simmonds, an accomplished harpsichord and clavichord musician, restores these ancient machines. The workshop, housed in a half-timbered medieval building, is also the venue for several classical music concerts every year. Tonight, to celebrate Mozart’s birthday, the workshop is the venue for an evening of music, ‘Mozart and Friends’. The recital will be performed by Steven Devine on piano, and Catherine Martin on violin. Devine is the conductor of the Mozart Festival Orchestra, and is in demand for both his conducting and keyboard skills around the world’s major concert venues. Catherine Martin is an accomplished violinist with a string of recordings to her name and she comes to Lewes fresh from the Bach Festival in St Martins-in-the-Field.

On the bill tonight are sonatas by Mozart, CPE Bach and John Gibbs, as well as Joseph Haydn’s adagio in F Major. Tickets, we are told, are running short, so book early.

 
Where?
English Passage
When? 8pm
How Much? £9
Tribute - In Bob We Trust
Paul Simmonds
(w) click here
(t) tickets - 01273 552548
Steven Devine
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 12th March
1 of 5
 

Cinema - Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

When transferring from short episode to feature length film, a cartoon can make three terrible mistakes. I am happy to report that Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit avoids them all. The first mistake is to hope something small and charming will continue working 90 minutes after the original would have finished. But Nick Park has always been so fertile with the characters, props, gags and atmosphere of post-war Yorkshire that his film sailed past this one. The second mistake is to hope something small and charming will still work after you send all the characters to Mars, or Hollywood or some ‘big screen’ location, populated by ‘big time’ villains. ‘Wallace and Gromit Go to America and Take on Dennis Hopper with the Help of Billy Connolly and Sean Penn’ for instance, would have just sucked. But all the new elements of this film are reasonable extensions of the W&G universe.

The deadliest mistake is the opposite of the first: take well developed characters and "explore them" subjugating the entire film to some emotional struggle within Wallace, or between him and his dog, perhaps with them learning a valuable lesson by the end. I am delighted to say that the new film stayed clear of this one too. Phew!

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 2pm
How Much? £5 (£4 cons)
Cinema - Godzilla
Gardner Arts Centre:
(t) 01273 685861
(w) www.gardnerarts.co.uk

Trailer:
(w) click here

 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 12th March
2 of 5
 

Talk - WW2 Propaganda Posters

At the beginning of World War Two the government’s Propaganda department was called into service to encourage women into joining the military or doing civilian war work. The result was a controversial poster campaign which glamorised these jobs out of all keeping with their reality. Particularly controversial was the ‘Blonde Bombshell’ poster (right), which tried to encourage women into the ATS women’s army by showing a stylised ATS member looking rather like Jean Harlow. The poster was recalled after the matter was brought up in Parliament, and replaced with a less glamorous one, with the comment ‘this war is not a beauty parlour!’

The propaganda posters and the reality of the jobs that they advertised was the subject of Sarah Corn’s degree dissertation and she will be giving a talk on the subject at Newhaven Fort. Most womens’ jobs during the war were far from glamorous: they usually worked in messes, as drivers or on anti-aircraft guns (though Churchill wouldn’t allow them to fire the guns). Whether or not it was the posters that did it, the government succeeded in mobilising British women: by the end of the war 460,000 were in the military and 6.5 million were doing civilian war work.

 
Where?
Newhaven Fort
When? 2pm
How Much? Ticket included in museum entrance fee of £5.50 (£4.60 concs, £3.60 U16)
Cinema - Godzilla
Newhaven Fort
(t) 01273 517622
(w) click here
 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 12th March
3 of 5
 

Arts and Crafts - Sussex Guild

Just as supermarkets are threatening the livelihood of local farmers, mega-furniture-etc stores like Ikea and Homebase are making it more and more difficult for local designers and craftsmen to ply their trade. The Sussex Guild is a network of innovative local art and craft designers which is trying to give talented local artisans a marketplace. Each member has to pass a strict quality control test to join the Guild, which then presents their work in fairs and shows around the county. They work in many different forms including wood, metal, ceramics, glass, printmaking, jewellery and textile arts. There are 60-odd members of the Guild – just over half of them will be represented at the show in Pelham House today.

Amongst them will be John Pomfrey, who designs contemporary furniture in stainless steel, granite and glass; Jo Pearson, a jeweller who blends precious metals, resin clays and glass; Brendan Devitt-Spooner, who designs show-the-joints wooden furniture; Rachel Spring, who makes sculptural ceramics, and Rosi Robinson, who makes surprising batik designs. From next week the Guild will be exhibiting permanently in the space in Southover Grange formerly used by the Star Gallery 2 and Kenneth Clarke Ceramics.

 
Where?
Pelham House
When? 11am-5pm
How Much? Free entry
Cinema - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Sussex Guild:
(t) 01323 833239

 
 
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Sunday 12th March
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Cinema - Sophie Scholl

1942: events are turning against Hitler. Germany has been defeated on the Russian Front and America has joined the war. A group of dissident students distribute leaflets around Munich University calling for their colleagues to demonstrate against the Nazis. Two of them, Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans, are caught. This film, featuring a strong central performance from Julia Jentsch in the title role, takes us through the next six days, as the siblings are interrogated and prosecuted by a regime which brooks no dissent. This is a German-made film, and Scholl is a heroine in a country of which so many people ask: how could people just sit back and let that happen? The film shows exactly what happened when Germans did make a stand against Hitler’s totalitarian regime. It makes for uncomfortable viewing.

We are living in a period of war in which our civil liberties are being chipped away at by the government. The film makes you ask yourself: could this happen here? And it makes you ask yourself: if it did happen here, what would be my reaction? It is unlikely that many of us would behave with the bravery and dignity of Sophie Scholl. This is a shocking and inspiring piece of work.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 5pm
How Much? £5 (concs £4)
Cinema - Godzilla
Gardner Arts Centre:
(t) 01273 685861
(w) click here
Trailer:
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Sunday 12th March
5 of 5
 

Film - A Cock and Bull Story

I sit at my desk, attempting to write a review of a film about a film-crew making a film about a novel which is unfilmable. It is Friday evening. I watch a couple of trailers and clips from the film, and read a few reviews on the internet. I string a few sentences together. I write: “The novel in question is Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, billed here as ‘the post modern classic written before there was any modernism to be post about.’” I write: “It stars Steve Coogan, playing Steve Coogan playing Tristram’s dad, and Keeley Hawkes playing Keeley Hawkes playing Tristram’s mum. Get the picture? It’s a meta-movie.” I write: “I picked up Tristram Shandy a couple of years ago and tried to read it on a train. Truth is, it’s not just an unfilmable novel. It’s pretty much an unreadable novel, too.” I write: “Winterbottom has made a very watchable film about this very unfilmable, unreadable novel. Bravo!”

There’s something wrong. There’s something not working. My girlfriend rings me on my mobile, makes me laugh. Thus refreshed I start a rewrite, deciding to out-meta director Michael Winterbottom. I write an article about a journalist writing an article about a film crew filming a film about an unfilmable and unreadable novel. This is that article. Cut! ENDS.

 
Where?
Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 8pm
How Much? £5/£4 concs
Cinema - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Gardner Arts Centre:
(t) 01273 685861
(w) click here
Official Trailer:
(w) click here
 
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Viva Kids
 
Monday 13th March
1 of 1
 

Art - Duncan Bullen

Duncan Bullen paints very minimalist paintings, of the sort which provoke discussions amongst people about the nature of art. Some artists paint such art in order to provoke such a reaction. With Bullen you get the feeling this is not the case. The artist spends several weeks every year in Santa Caterina, a hermitage on the Italian island of Elba. He has recently published a book of the work he has produced there, entitled Night Prayers. ‘The prayer and ritual that have been said for centuries seem to get into your skin. And into your soul, if you are watchful and prepared to watch in quiet expectation,’ he says of the experience. Many of his paintings have dark backgrounds with grid patterns of lights shining through. When you know about the source of the painting, you may feel a peaceful sensation when you look at it. In the prologue of Night Prayers a critic writes that looking at his work is like ‘being at the still point of the turning world.’ Bullen has juxtaposed his works with poems from the 13th century theologian Johannes (Master) Eckhart. The sentiment of the poem he has chosen for the opening page probably has some relevance to Bullen’s philosophy of art.

‘This I know. That the only way to live
Is like the rose, which lives without a why.’

 
Where?
Star Gallery
When? 11am-5.30pm. Runs till 15th April.
How much? Free
Art - The Art Room
Star Gallery
(t) 01273 480218
(w) click here
 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Tuesday 14th March
1 of 1
 

Food - Guido’s Restaurant

We arrive at Guido’s restaurant at 9.50pm, after watching Barcelona v Chelsea in the Brewers. It is the first night they are open, and we have pre-ordered a range of their products. There are two of us, and we have asked for £15 worth of food each. This is easy to do in a place like Guido’s, which is an international tapas bar. The idea is to eat a variety of small portions rather than, as we tend to do in this country, a massive mound of the same thing. We get a nice starter: pitta bread with a guacamole dip; we order a bottle of Argentinian red wine, recommended by the maitre d’, Darren, who is very enthusiastic. We are the only customers. The manager, dressed in the gear of the Commercial Square Bonfire Society, sits in the background doing the accounts. The main courses arrive: spare ribs, meatballs in tomato sauce, red snapper in peanut sauce and lamb tagine. Our culinary voyage has now crossed Greece, Argentina, China, Italy, Thailand and Morocco. The background music is 50’s – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, that kind of stuff. The decor is mock 70’s. We digest with an amoretto. Before we leave we are shown some pictures on the wall. The building was a car showroom in the 20’s. Guido’s is eclectic in more ways than one. It is just what Lewes needs. We sincerely hope it gets the customers it deserves.


 
Where?
The Bottleneck
When? Open 11am-11pm (Orders 12- 9:30pm)
How Much? Around £3-4 per tapa
Food - Seasons
Guido's
(t) 01273 474342
(w) click here
 
 
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Viva Kids
 
Tuesday 14th March
2 of 2
 

Theatre - O Go My Man

‘O Go My Man’ opens with a series of split-ups as a TV war reporter returns home to Dublin from Darfur, and immediately runs away from his wife and kid to set up with his lover, a down-on-her luck actress, who in turn leaves her husband, a photographer involved in a project snapping a celebrity chef. Get the picture? Everybody’s in the media, and everyone’s prepared to cut throats to get their own way. ‘O Go My Man’ is an anagram of monogamy: this is also a play about the selfishness of urban sexuality.

It’s Stella Feehily’s second play after the highly acclaimed ‘Duck’, and it opened in the Royal Court in January to rave reviews in the press. Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote that the play ‘combines a sharp look at the chaos of contemporary sexual mores with a wild surreal humour’ and gave it four stars out of five. Paul Taylor of the Independent wrote ‘the play charts a culture’s retreat into narcissistic self-pity’ and gave it three. But he also wrote it was set ‘in a milieu of… more abstruse varieties of latte than you can shake a shillelagh at,’ so maybe you can’t trust his judgement.

 
Where?
Gardener Arts Centre, University of Sussex
When? 8pm, also on Wednesday 15th March
How Much? £12.50/£10/£7
Food - Seasons
Gardner Arts Centre
(t) 01273 685861
(w) click here
 
 
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Film - Kendal Mountain Film Festival

Every year over 7,000 mountain enthusiasts descend on Kendal in the Lake District for the Mountain Film Festival, the second biggest event of its kind in the world. Over 300 films are shown, all of which have a mountain-related theme. The very best films are chosen and put together for a UK tour. 2006 is the first year Lewes has been included on that tour. There are four films. ‘Return2Sender’ is a collage of spectacular climbing shots, including some base-jumping in Mexico and a climbing dog named Biscuit. ‘Storms’ is a home-produced comedy made by Alastair Lee and Dave Halsted, a ‘Fast Show’ for the climbing world. ‘Ian Wright’s Excellent Adventure’ follows the former England and Arsenal star up Greenland’s highest peak. And ‘Hotrock’, two years in the making, follows a climbing group on an epic journey looking for the mountain to top all mountains, which takes them through Europe, down East Africa and along the spine of the Andes.

For mountain climbers and hikers this will be the filmic event of the year. The festival’s PR department assures us that there’s plenty to enjoy for anyone else who simply appreciates a good mountain when they see one.

 
Where?
Lewes Town Hall
When? 6.45pm for 7.15pm start
How Much? £12
Bricks and Mortar - Baldy’s Garden
Mountain Film:
(w) click here
 
 
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Bricks and Mortar - St John sub Castro

On the steep hill overlooking the Pells pond and park, stands an imposing flint and brick structure. St John Sub Castro may look like a castle, but it works as a church. Its name is basically a description of its location, Latin for ‘under the castle’. The current building, opened in 1849, was constructed by the well-respected Brighton-based architect & builder George Cheesman and had become a recognised Lewes landmark by 1861 when Black’s Guide described it somewhat abruptly as ‘a modern building’. The site itself however has a longer history, having been host to an earlier church – there are burial registers dating back to 1601 - whilst the current graveyard is in fact the site of a wooden fort believed to date back to Roman times. Look out in the graveyard for the obelisk monument, commissioned by Tsar Alexander II to commemorate the 28 prisoners who were captured during the Crimean War, and who died in Lewes jail during the 1850’s.

Originally designed with a small chancel and large side galleries, the church itself was changed as recently as the 1970’s when the western gallery was demolished. The most eye-catching feature of the church itself is the imposing heavily timbered roof, which adds both colour and depth to the building.

 
Where?
Lancaster St.
When? Built 1849
Food - Seasons
 

 
 
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My Lewes - Bill Collison

Name
: Bill Collison.
Profession: Greengrocer, coffee maker, shop assistant.
Best thing about Lewes? It’s like an island. There’s nowhere like it. When I come back after being away I’m so happy.
Worst thing about Lewes? The flood, and the threat that it might happen again.
Boozer? The Gardeners, though with three kids I rarely get out.
Poison? A bottle of Rioja at home.
Waitrose or Tesco? I’ve never been to Waitrose. I’ve only been to Tesco a few times. I get embarrassed if I see my customers with a bag of apples because they might think I’m angry with them.
Traffic wardens in a word? Parking in Lewes wasn’t broken. Why try to fix it?
Local lad? Brought up in Kingston.
Which Bonfire Society do you go to? Cliffe.
Newspaper? The Times
Falmer Stadium, yes or no? My family are from Falmer, my dad’s buried in Falmer. As a Brighton fan I want to see them with a stadium, but not in Falmer.
Favourite Lewes landmark? The castle lit up at night.
How often do you go to London? Less than once a month.
Brighton? Once every three weeks or so.
Sunday lunch in a village pub? The Griffin in Fletching.
What's in your CD player right now? Jack Johnson. The new one.
Lewes would be better if… They did more with the river.
What Lewes really doesn't need is... Any more chain stores
 
Food - Seasons
Bill's Produce Store:
(t) 01273 476918
(w) click here
 
 
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Photo of the Week

In a neat piece of meta-art, local artist Dominic Ramos has sent us a fine photograph of the fine mural he painted which you might have noticed adorning the wall opposite the Quaker House in Friars’ Walk for the last few weeks. Dominic scrawled an impromptu press release on a piece of paper in the pub for us, describing the mural’s subject, a late-medieval friar, pushing a barrow in a garden full of the sort of vegetables likely to have been grown in those times. In the foreground is a ‘trug’ (a kind of period local basket); in the background are several Sussex breed cows. Local gardener Andrew Hale posed as the friar; the piece was commissioned by Cindy Holmes, whose wall it is, and who runs the health food shop on Cliffe High Street. The mural is a neat trompe l’oeil: we love its perspective, particularly in the foreground, and we love the trug.

If you would like to send in any photos, comments, ideas, rants or opinions, please feel free to do so at info@vivalewes.com. As we said in the introduction we are particularly interested on hearing people’s opinion on parking in Lewes.

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


Photo of the Week

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That’s it, another nail in winter’s coffin as we march inexorably towards the season of hosts of daffodils and lonely clouds. This week we’d like to thank, in no particular order, the following people for their kind co-operation: Colin Prescott, Vic Smith, Jane Voskins, Kevin Orman, Anna-May Bridger, Hilary Williams, Hannah Weller, Christine Dunn, Ian Slimshack, Marianne Mezger, Sarah Corn, Elaine Butlin, Hayley Brown, Clive Allen, Bill Collison and, as ever, Darren Baggs. Contributors include: Dom Ramos, Dave Wilson, Nick Williams, David Burke, Alex Leith, Lord Byron, Antonia Gabassi and Dexter Lee.

Next week’s highlights include:
Thu 16th: Lecture on Art Nouveau in Ringmer
Fri 17th: Bullet Boy. Saul Dibbs Hackney-shot film about growing up in the ghetto
Fri 17th, Sat 18th: School 4 Lovers – A Hip H’Opera. Glyndebourne ‘n’ the Hood
Sat 18th: Estarhazy Chamber Choir present Faure’s Requiem

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
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Food - Seasons
Art Nouveau put two fingers up at stuffy classical design and art. And it’s coming to Ringmer next week
 
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