If you care about the future of Lewes you should visit the Phoenix Redevelopment Exhibition in North Street before the end of this weekend (Sunday March 20th). Property developers Angel Property are displaying their blueprint for the regeneration of what is now the Phoenix Industrial Estate and what they want to rename ‘The Phoenix Quarter’. They are proposing to build 800 properties on the site as well as a complex of offices, restaurants, cafés and artisan workshops. This is the second time they have displayed their plans, the first being in October. This second exhibition shows the changes the property developers have made to their original plans after comments made to them (mostly in a book laid out for that purpose) by the public who attended the first showing. Should we be up in arms about this? It isn’t clear. There is nothing wrong with urban regeneration per se. But it is important that when it does take place it makes the situation better than it was in the first place. Do we need a new quarter? What impact will it have on our lives? Can we trust the property developers to do what they say they are going to do? Are there any obvious flaws in their existing blueprint? What will happen with traffic? Where will all the new cars be parked? Where will all the new children go to school? Over the next few weeks we will be examining the issue from many different angles (starting on page 11). So, if you can only do one of the many things we are highlighting for you to do this week, then make sure it’s this one. Go to this exhibition. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing; the more you know, on the other hand, the stronger your voice.

Above: Anthea Chapman’s Sunflowers (see page 19).
Cover image: Jeni Johnson’s Opportunity.
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Issue 11
Anthea Chapman (19)
  Books: Lewes Book Fair (15)
Bricks & Mortar:
Martyrs' Memorial (23)
Bullet Boy (8); Capote (6); Good Night and Good Luck (22); Lord of the Rings Trilogy (14)
Classical Music:
Faure’s Requiem (16) Baroque Concert (5)
Pete Morton (7)
Lewes vs Bishop's Stortford (12)
Trad Irish Music:
Pelham Arms Duo (10)
Phoenix Development (2 and 11)
Spring Barn Farm Park (13); Spinning & Weaving (17)
My Lewes:
Sophie Orloff (25)
Hip H’Opera (9) Opera Playhouse (18)
Ben Whitehead - POTW (26)
The Crown Inn (20)
Delilah (24)
Art Nouveau (4)
Rumble (21)

Knight time 1: Lord of the Rings (page 14)
Thursday 16th March
Art - Art Nouveau

It had its roots in the Pre-Raphaelite love of curvy lines, particularly the floral designs of William Morris, still much loved by curtain makers today. It was an international movement, with a different name everywhere it became the rage, boosted by a boom in magazines, which helped spread its florid, curvaceous tendrils. The Catalans called it ‘modernisme’, the Germans ‘Jugendstil’, the Italians ‘Stile Liberty’. The French called it ‘The Modern Style’ recognising its English roots. Paradoxically, we called it ‘Art Nouveau.’ It spread its angel-like wings for 20 years, then disappeared, unsuited to the mood of austerity engendered by the First World War. But it made for quite a start to the century.

Tonight Anna Johnstone will be giving a talk and slide show on the subject, concentrating on seven artists who had an influence on its development: Antoni Gaudi, the fantastical Catalan architect; Toulouse-Lautrec, the post-impressionist painter and poster-designer; Edvard Munch, the depressive Norwegian oil painter; Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Scottish architect and artist; Louis Comfort Tiffany, the American lamp-maker; Rene Lalique, the French jeweller and master craftsman and Alphonse Mucha, the Czech painter whose curvy, extravagantly-dressed ladies immediately come to mind when art nouveau is mentioned.

Knight time 2: Gaudi’s Pedrera
Ringmer Community College
When? 7pm-9pm
How Much? £6 (book after 1pm Thurs on 01273 815500)
Ringmer CC
(t) 01273 815500
Thursday 16th March
Baroque Concert

When Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi was born in 1678, Alison Bury’s violin was already two years old. Tonight Alison, part of an ensemble of two violinists, one cellist and a harpsichordist, will be playing two trio sonatas by Vivaldi, as well as works by Leclair and Rameau. The harpsichord is a replica, made in the workshop in English Passage (see Viva Lewes 10): the other two instruments are also originals from the Baroque period. Alison says “when Baroque music is played with instruments of its own time it is lighter and more transparent. The instruments help bring out the various voices of the pieces with greater clarity. The music becomes more expressive in a very delicate sort of way.”

Alison has been playing chamber music with Henrietta Wayne (violin) and Maggie Cole (harpsichord) for 20 years (including at Glyndebourne for the Age of Enlightenment Group); tonight they are joined by young up-and-coming Baroque cellist Emily Robinson. The highlight of the evening will surely be Maggie Cole’s solo performance of Rameau’s harpsichord suite. Cole is an internationally acclaimed performer who has been a regular recitalist for Radio 3 and has performed all over the world, from Finland to India.

Baroque ‘n’ roll: Maggie Cole’s harpsichord
Pelham House
When? 8pm
How Much? £10 or £8 in advance on 01273 475200
Pelham House
(t) 01273 488600
Thursday 16th March
Cinema - Capote

Truman Capote, like many serious writers, was an eccentric genius. Capote is the story of how the act of writing his most important book turned him into a complete basket case. The book in question is called In Cold Blood. It is a brilliant piece of non-fiction, which examines the senseless murders of a family of four in a Kansas home through the eyes of their killers, a pair of psychotic drifters. Capote interviews the two, time and again, to try and find the real meaning of their actions. In doing so he becomes obsessed with the more intelligent of the two, Perry Smith. Capote continues to interview Smith throughout his stay on Death Row, finally understanding that he will only be able to complete his book when the man he has come to love is executed.

Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t just play Truman Capote in this well-made, thoughtful, intelligent film: he becomes him. For this he rightly won the leading actor Oscar his quietly brilliant career richly deserves. That he completely overshadows all the other actors doesn’t matter. This film is about what happened when Truman Capote stared too hard in the face of Truth. It needed a strong central performance: it got a brilliant one. Go watch it. But first, if you haven’t already done so, read the book.

The Truman Show: Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote
Picture House, Uckfield
When? 2pm, 6pm, 8.30pm
How Much? £5.80
Uckfield Picture House
(t) 01825 764909
(w) Website
Friday 17th March
Folk - Pete Morton

One of the interesting things about folk music is that it’s not just about keeping up old traditions, it’s about modernising them too. This has created a polemic between modernists and traditionalists in the folk music scene. “There are a lot of people in the folk scene who really dislike things being changed,” says Pete Morton, who’s playing at the Royal Oak tonight. “It's virtually impossible but they like the idea of things being the same as they've found them. There's another school of thought that you adapt and make songs as presentable to the modern world as possible. I think I'm more of that school.”

Leicester-based Morton used to be a Bob Dylan impersonator performing protest songs of the folk revival. He did the rounds of the folk clubs, and discovered a love for traditional songs. So he started introducing some of them, particularly ballads from the English-Scottish border, into his repertoire. He also started writing his own material. His songs are gentle and powerful at the same time. Another Train has become a much-covered classic. Now he delivers a fifty-fifty mix of self-penned numbers and adapted trad ballads. He has just played a 34-date of the USA, and is currently on a UK tour promoting his new album Flying an Unknown Flag. The Guardian called it “not only impressive but a revelation… totally original.”

Flying an unknown flag: Pete Morton
Royal Oak, Station St, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50
Folk at the Oak
(t) 01273 478124
Friday 17th March
Cinema - Bullet Boy

Hackney is gentrifying fast. The house prices have risen, the pubs are going gastro and there is a street that on Saturdays sells French cheeses, and bread with olives. Yet for a long time it’s been one of our poorest boroughs, with a high crime rate and rough housing facilities. The rich are moving in, but the poor aren’t moving out. I’ve not seen anywhere in Britain where the country’s class division is so apparent. This is the setting for Bullet Boy. If you are familiar, as I am, with the 'right' side of the Hackney tracks, it is compelling to get a glimpse at the other.

The plot may be familiar if you enjoyed the black cinema explosion in the States in the eighties and nineties. A kid comes out of prison determined to go straight but can’t turn his back on the only world he knows. Pretty soon he gets involved in a spiral of violence. Does he betray his best friend’s honour and get involved, or does he follow his mother’s advice and become a good role model for his little brother? This is a solid enough debut from director Saul Gibb, whose use of real urban locations and unprofessional actors gives the film a level of authenticity which makes it a hundred times better than that Guy Ritchie’s silly Saaf London shoot-em-ups.

“Whaddya mean the plot’s hackneyed?”
All Saints Centre, Friars Walk
When? 8pm
How Much? £4.50 on the door
Lewes Film Club
(t) 01903 523833
(w) Website
Friday 17th March
Opera - School 4 Lovers

Set in an inner city estate decorated with New York style graffiti, Glyndebourne's new Hip H'Opera, School 4 Lovers, looks like fun. In an intriguing adaptation of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, we’re promised an on-stage battle between MCs and Soprano; opera and hip hop. There is a DJ in the foyer. It’s a joint production between Glyndebourne and the Finnish National Opera and it sure sounds challenging. With tickets at £10 and £20, it’s also a bargain.

But the big question is: what do you wear? Kangols and sweat suits are clearly not the norm at Glyndebourne, but you might feel a little uncool in black tie. Having practiced at home, we’re pleased to tell you that a few simple fashion adaptations can work well and help to mark the “cultural fusion” of the event. With some clever folding, a cummerbund makes for a convincing scully, and, without support, dinner suit trousers naturally fall low to reveal the top of boxers. A pocket watch looks great with a heavy gold chain around the neck and cufflinks can be worn as tongue or ear studs. Alternatively, you could just opt for sewing a hood to the back of your dinner jacket. For the girls, try wrapping your pashmina tightly around your body to make a mini dress. No need to select items of jewellery, just wear the entire contents of the box.

Gentz ‘n’ the Hood: Hip-hop hits Glyndebourne
When? 7.30pm DJ in foyer for 8pm show (same times Sat)
How Much? £20 (£10 U18 & concessions)
(t) 01273 812 321
(w) Website
Friday 17th March
Traditional Irish Music Night

St Patrick’s Night, synonymous with a few pints of the black stuff, a bit of a knees up, great craic all round. There are parades in Cork and Dublin, sure, but it’s bigger abroad. The Irish love being Irish, and showing everybody they are proud of their heritage. In England, there are huge celebrations in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle: cities with sizeable Irish populations. The Pelham Arms is flying the green, white and orange flag for Lewes, with an Irish night, and a top quality duo playing traditional instruments. Melanie Davies plays the fiddle; Dirk Campbell plays the uilleann pipes, a rare sight around these parts. There will be dancing, and a fair bit of singing, no doubt, by the end.

It all makes you wonder why the English find it so hard celebrating being English. Despite a flurry of St George crosses on car aerials during the last couple of international football tournaments, only one in five Englishmen can tell you when St George’s Day is (April 23rd). Is this a hangover of guilt for being the major partner in the British Empire? Or a manifestation of our characteristic national don’t-blow-your-trumpet self deprecating trait? For some reason it just seems wrong to fly the flag. We get our patriotic thrills vicariously. The craic will be mighty tonight.

Flag day: But why don’t we celebrate our patron saint?
Pelham Arms
When? 8.30pm
How Much? Free
Brighton-Irish Arts Network
(w) Website
Saturday 18th March
Phoenix Quarter Exhibition - Views

The exhibition of the proposed Phoenix Quarter talks repeatedly about the views that will be opened up by the new development. But how could they improve on the majestic vision of Lewes from the top of the East Sussex County Council buildings? There you can look down on everything, even the castle. By using this criterion, the council buildings "open up views" all over Lewes. By the same definition, prospective tenants of the new Phoenix development will be encouraged to look out across the river to the recreation ground. But of course, we might gain one view at the expense of another. Everyone in Lewes has to look at the council offices, but many would be happier to see the patch of sky behind them.

The people who pay to live in the Phoenix Quarter will themselves become the "view" of anyone walking on the other side of the river. Angel Property are keen to mention the views of the castle they will permit, but that is one of the tallest structures in the town. What about the half mile of rooftops in between? Angel is proud of the way their proposed development imitates the varied skyline of the town. But have they gone to this trouble because we will no longer be seeing the real one?

Behind you! Sometimes it’s better to look from something than at it
Market Lane Garage, 32 North St, Lewes.
When? Thurs & Fri 11am – 7pm; Sat & Sun 10am – 5pm
Angel Property
(w) Website
Lewes Matters
(w) Website
Saturday 18th March
Football - Lewes v Bishop’s Stortford

They used to call him ‘Rucksack Man’ on the Highbury North Bank terraces because striker Martin Hayes was so slow it looked like he was heavily laden with luggage. In the dressing room, they called him ‘Albert Tatlock’ for similar reasons. Nevertheless he scored 24 goals in 1986/87, to finish top scorer, the highlight of an otherwise disappointing career. He is now manager of Bishop Stortford (where he ended his playing days). He has got the Hertfordshire side moving at some pace: he brings the Blues to the Dripping Pan on the back of a 13-game unbeaten run. Lewes will have to be wary of Bishop Stortford’s in-form two-man strike partnership of Steve Morison and Roy Essandoh.

A fine 5-1 away win over Basingstoke at the weekend saw the Rooks progress to third place in the table. Jean-Michel Sigere scored twice, his 24th and 25th of the season. Jamie Cade chipped in with a brace and Karl Beckford made it 13 for the season in a rout which will have surprised Rooks fans who watched an ineffective Lewes side struggle in a 0-0 draw with lowly Thurrock at the Dripping Pan a week before. Viva Prediction: 2-2.

At 5pm you can watch the England v Ireland Six Nations rugby game in the Dripping Pan clubhouse, which is followed by a quiz.

Down the Pan: The Rooks’ fortunes are looking up
Dripping Pan, Mountfield Rd, Lewes
When? 3pm
How Much? £9 adults, £6 14-16. £2 kids
Lewes FC
(w) Website
Saturday 18th March
Family Day Out - Spring Barn Farm Park

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well an exhibition at the recently re-opened Spring Barn Farm, aims to solve the age-old question for your kids. However, after viewing the hatching eggs, week-old chicks, older siblings and the nesting mother hens, there may be some tricky supplementary questions for you to wrestle with - and perhaps an explanation for the lack of a chicken omelette on most menus? Spring Barn remains a working farm so as well as the chickens there are pigs, goats, rabbits and ponies for your kids to interact with. At this time of the year however, it’s the lambs taking centre stage as the farm’s 150 or so ewes start lambing. Co-owner Louise tells us that they already have five lambs on show - three black and a couple of Southdowns - which visitors can help to bottle-feed.

Now in its fifth season, the farm has becoming a popular weekend spot. Additions for this year include the doubling in size of the popular kids’ ride-on area; plus the provision of both an outdoor and two indoor play areas – including the recently opened Creepy Castle. There is also an indoor haystack and a sandpit area to keep the kids amused. We suggest you finish your day off with a roasted ginger cordial and a snack in the fairly priced café.

We all agree: Sigue Sigue Sputnik are pony
Kingston Road, Lewes
When? Daily 10am - 5pm
How Much? Adults £4.75; kids £3.75; Under 3’s free
(t) 01273 488450
(w) Website
Saturday 18th March
Cinema - Lord of the Rings Trilogy

JRR Tolkien was a maverick. He destroyed the myth that you need any kind of character development in a thousand pages of jargon-heavy prose. When Lord of the Rings arrived in cinemas, fans were anxious: would the films be true to the original spirit of the novels? Thankfully, the answer was yes. One-dimensional characters came roaring in to two dimensions, they struggled against each other, fought, swore earnestly, struggled some more, and then fought some more. The films also try to add some much needed humour, but sadly, then kill each joke by repetition. Perhaps the jokes too are meant to be earnest?

This weekend, you get the chance to see the three films back to back - in Uckfield. It’s a huge battle of GOOD and EVIL and NEW ZEALAND in a neat little theatre in a grey little town. Make sure you don’t mistakenly leave before the weird 20-minute sequence at the end of the last film, where everybody kind of re-caps on how much they’ll miss each other - like in the Christmas episodes of Happy Days. Particularly look out for the two hobbits, who having stared lovingly into each others eyes for the best part of nine hours suddenly grab little girlfriends and whirl them around. It’s a bit like Abraham Zapruder's film of the Kennedy assassination. Decades from now people will still be trying to figure it out.

Warning: Too much Tolkien can damage your health
The Picture House, Uckfield
When? Starts 11am, finishes 9.30pm (same times Sunday)
How Much? £15
Uckfield Picture House
(w) Website
(t) 01825 763822

Official Trailer:
(w) click here

Saturday 18th March
Books - Lewes Book Fair

“When I buy a second hand book, I don’t just want to see a picture of the cover,” says Lewes Book Fair organiser John Beck. He is referring to the huge increase in second-hand book sales over the internet, a phenomena which has been very damaging to the welfare of many in Britain’s long-established second-hand book industry. “I want to be able to feel the book, too. I want to be able to smell it.” Beck complains that he has recently had to return internet purchases he has made to their sellers, because the description didn’t match the product. This is one reason why book fairs in the UK are thriving – the Lewes fair today will have more than 40 different stall-holders, and is likely to be attended by up to 500 enthusiasts, most of whom will have travelled into town especially for the event. Buying a second-hand book is an art-form. You need to browse the book, feel its weight, imagine it on your bookshelf. You never know, you might even end up reading the thing.

Don’t expect the Gutenberg Bible or a Shakespeare First Folio, but there will be books sold for as much as £1000 and as little as £3: the bulk of the stall holders will be selling rare first editions, quality children’s books, books about the world wars, local interest books and maps and antiquarian books.

Book Fair trade: 500 bibliophiles will be in town today
Corn Exchange, Lewes Town Hall
When? 10am-4pm
How Much? 50p
Saturday 18th March
Classical Music - Fauré’s Requiem

“It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death,” said French composer Gabriel Fauré about the funeral mass he wrote in 1888. “But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.” Fauré's piece, which is being performed tonight by Lewes’ own Esterhazy Chamber Choir, was a radical work in its time: he took two traditional elements out of the Mass, the Dies Irae, and the Rex Tremendae, adding in their place the In Paradisum; thus he got rid of the idea of hellfire and damnation, replacing it with a more comforting vision of the afterlife.

The 24-strong Esterhazy Choir, formed in 1993 and directed by Bruce Grindlay, specialize in a capella singing of both sacred and secular songs. Tonight they are concentrating on the former: they are also performing contemporary composer John Rutter’s Gloria and Fauré’s first ever composition, the Cantique de Jean Racine (1865). But the highlight of the concert is certainly Fauré’s Requiem, which was most poignantly performed in 1922 at his own funeral.

Mass grave: John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Gabriel Fauré
St John sub Castro, Lancaster St, Lewes
When? 7.30pm
How Much? £12/£8 concs on door or from Lewes Tourism
Esterhazy Chamber Choir
(w) Website
Sunday 19th March
National Science Week - Fleece to Fabric

Q: What colour was the skin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex?

This and many more questions are asked and answered in the comprehensive booklet accompanying the thirteenth National Science Week which ends today after a week-busting ten days. The event is an initiative from the British Association for the Advancement of Science (the-BA), and their President, Frances Cairncross, hopes it will engender a broader interest in all science-based subjects as well as energising us to think and act more proactively on globally important issues such as carbon emissions, reduced energy consumption and the broader climate change debate.

Science education has moved on in leaps and bounds since Viva’s school days, when science meant playing dangerously with Bunsen burners and staring incomprehensibly at a yellow-with-age copy of the periodic table hanging slightly askew on the wall. This week, Sussex Past have been running a series of events at the castle, culminating in today’s Fleece to Fabric event. It’s an investigation into the fabric making process and is billed as suitable for all ages. It will be interactive, it will be informative, it will be fun. And you’ll come away with your head full of more spinning, weaving and dyeing terms than you can shake a raddle cross at.

A: Nobody really knows, as pigment is not preserved in fossils

Fruit of the loom: fabric making explained at the castle
Lewes Castle
When? Drop in 2-4pm
How Much? £1 per person (all ages)
National Science Week
Sunday 19th March
Opera - Operaplayhouse

Last summer internationally renowned opera singers Pippa Longworth and Karl Daymond, who together run the company operaplayhouse.com, travelled around the country in a red trailer which converted into ‘the world’s smallest opera house’. Audiences were treated to various operatic treats including a three-and-a-half-minute rendition of the history of opera, and the debut performance of the self-penned Nelson and Emma. Their mission to put a smile on the face of opera is not confined to these shores. In the winter the dynamic pair performed the latter work in the Caribbean as part of the Trafalgar anniversary celebrations. In between arranging such projects and performing in more traditional operas Pippa and Karl help train a talented group of young opera singers (aged between 20 and 45) to maximise their potential. This group periodically meets up for demanding weekend workshops, which culminate in a live performance in front of a select audience. Tonight the company have decided to invite Viva readers to join that audience.

The group will sing a short performance (of about an hour) of excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Magic Flute, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Delibes’ Lakme and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Seats will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Latecomers might have to stand, but that’ll be part of the charm. Opera does not need to be about plush red seats, champagne and tuxedos.

Access all arias: Opera Playhouse bring art to the masses
St John sub Castro Hall, Talbot Terrace
When? 6pm
How Much? £3 including a glass of wine
(w) Website
Monday 20th March
Art - Chalk Gallery

Anthea Chapman loves painting the Downs, but they very rarely come out green. Nor is the sky often blue. She doesn’t see a scene so much as the mood of a scene at a particular time of day. Dusk seems to be her preferred hour. She brings out the deep blues and lilacs and reds of the early evening light in a skirmish of colours. When she paints sunflowers, their heads are down ready for night, the darkening yellow of their petals competing with the orange in the sunset-smeared sky. All this in slightly blurry, slightly impressionistic oils.

Meanwhile there’s recently been a change-around of the other 19 resident artists’ work. The theme, until April 1st, is ‘Splash of Colour’. There are a couple of new cows from Amy Williams, one of which, ‘Doris’, looks like she’s just been told a good joke. There are a couple of glacier-like chalk pits from Sue Barnes. And there are three great abstract paintings by Jeni Johnson, one of which we liked so much we’ve turned it into our cover. A black canvas is thickly splattered with impertinent yellow and red splashes. It is called ‘Opportunity’. It alone is worth popping into the gallery to see.

Chalk of the town: Anthea Chapman’s Sussex landscapes
Chalk Gallery, 4, North St, Lewes
When? Open daily 10am-5pm
How Much? From £50

Chalk Gallery
(t) 01273 474477
(w) Website

Monday 20th March
Lunch for a fiver - The Crown

To open this series, three of us march into the Crown, at the bottom of the High Street, taking the table near the gas fire which is so authentic–looking I actually poke at one of the ‘coals’, to check it isn’t really a lump of fossilised fuel. It isn’t. The Crown offers its restaurant food in the pub, so the menu is constantly changing. I spot an exciting option. Well within my budget, at £3.95, Stilton fondue with pear segments and walnut bread. Nick, known for his love of the pork pie sandwich, tries a self-concocted experiment: an egg mayonnaise and Branston pickle sandwich served with chips & bacon (£5.10… oops). Jessica goes for the prawn and cod gratin at £3.95.

When the meal is brought in by a pleasant and extremely pregnant waitress, I can see that the envy in my fellow diners’ eyes is as green as my Stilton, which comes in a little dish and looks, for some reason, like guacamole. There are four little cocktail sticks to prong the bread with and dip it into the cheese. The taste is sensational – first the bready hit, then the cheesy backlash, followed by a crunch of walnut and its subsequent aftertaste. Finished off with a pear chaser. Later, when my head has cleared, I’m advised by Nick that pickle and mayo doesn’t quite work. I’m not that surprised. The gratin is declared a hit. Lunch in the Crown gets our thumbs up, too.

Through the arched window today… it’s Stilton fondue
191 High St (opposite the war memorial)
When? Daily 11.30am – 2.30pm
How Much? That’ll be about a fiver…
The Crown Inn
(t) 01273 480679
Tuesday 21th March
Dance - Renegade Theatre Group

Modern artistic dance is an entertainment that I just don’t ‘get’. Sometimes I wonder what is lacking in me, and what I’m missing. Do people feel surges of passion when they see a particularly graceful move? Do they get a kick out of appreciating the technical difficulty of a shimmy or jump? Am I a philistine because I haven’t got the patience to sit through an hour and a half of graceful and inventive movement on stage without starting to get those little tangential thoughts that enter your head when you’re in a space you don’t really want to be in but can’t leave?

By all accounts German Theatre group Renegade are the dance group for me. They had a surprise hit in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004 with their hip-hop dance version of Romeo and Juliet, Rumble, which has been touring ever since, and is coming to the Gardners tonight and tomorrow night. They have transferred Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love and internecine hatred from the streets of Verona to an unspecific inner-city centre. Instead of balconies there is scaffolding; the Montagues and Capulets become a couple of warring street gangs. The dancing is said to be spectacular: on their website, many spectators asked to send in their comments stated that the show had been ‘wicked’. The Guardian called it ‘thrilling stuff… a real Shakespeare turn on.” Sounds wicked. Check out the video link. Looks wicked too.

I see you baby… Shakespearin’ that ass
Gardner Arts Centre
When? 8pm. Also Wed 8pm
How Much? £14/£12/£10
Gardner Arts Centre:
(w) Website
(t) 01273 685861
Renegade Theatre:
(w) Website
Video clip:
(w) click here
Wednesday 22th March
Cinema - Good Night, and Good Luck

It’s 1954, Cold War hysteria is flourishing, and Senator Joe McCarthy’s witch-hunt is in full flight. McCarthy has created a climate of fear by suggesting that communist sympathisers have been taking over America: he has been busy interrogating and blacklisting political opponents and radicals who offend his ultra-conservative sentiments. Hollywood has been particularly hard-hit – 300 actors, including Charlie Chaplin, have been banned from working in the USA. A CBS newsman, Edward R Murrow, decides to make a documentary revealing the brutality of McCarthy’s methods, knowing that this is an act of professional suicide. This film is about the making of that show.

The film has been made by George Clooney’s Section Eight production company. It is filmed in black and white, almost entirely indoors. It breaks all the rules. It is as politically timely as it is stylistically bold. Both sides of the Atlantic, governments are using the climate of fear that has followed terrorist attacks in New York and London to push through laws which seriously undermine our civil liberties. Much of the press is supine, having swapped truth for access. “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home,” says David Strathairn, who is brilliant as Murrow, at the end of his documentary. “Good night, and Good luck.” Indeed.

Type cast: David Strathairn as Edward R Murrow
Picture House, Uckfield
When? 8.25pm
How Much? £5.80
Uckfield Picture House
(w) Website
(t) 01825 764909
Bricks & Mortar - The Martyrs' Memorial

If you google ‘Martyrs' Memorial Lewes’, you are directed to an outraged 1998 article on Ian Paisley’s website, vehemently defending our town’s bonfire celebrations in response to an earlier piece in the Catholic Herald. This anger contrasts dramatically with the relaxed view on Lewes High Street, where many people are unaware of the memorial’s existence. This is partly due to its non-central location – the obelisk, dedicated to the 17 Protestants burned in tar barrels during Mary I’s religious persecution, is positioned high on Cuilfail near the golf course. (The area’s clearly non-Sussex name was actually the invention of a then-local solicitor to remind him of his Scottish home and roots).

Constructed in 1901, and paid for by public subscription, the memorial was originally highly visible from the front steps of Lewes Town Hall (the Star Inn back in 1555-57) and the actual site where the deaths occurred. Over the intervening century, a combination of property development on Cuilfail and the growth of the surrounding trees means that far from dominating the hill, the memorial now blends quietly in to its surroundings. Nowadays, the only real way to get a clear understanding of the memorial’s original significance and its surprising size is to wind your way up through the Cuilfail estate, climb the wooden steps, and stop to admire its bleak stone beauty.

Quite contrary: memorial obelisk to the Protestant martyrs
Cuilfail Hill
When? Constructed 1901
Shopping - Delilah

With the name ‘Delilah’ inscribed in fancy swirling lettering, the new women's clothing shop on the High Street has kept us all intrigued during its incredibly long re-fit. Is the reference to Tom Jones ironic or not? We have been wondering. Will it be a super trendy new teen store or an old-fashioned French lingerie boutique? Low-rise jeans or satin knickers? Our suspense was over when, without any announcement, it opened on Saturday. To our relief, it is spot-on for Lewes, bridging the gap between the rather grown-up Monsoon or Renwick Clarke and the very young Lazybones, Bone (Her) and Fat Face. Clean and contemporary in style, it sells great garments by labels such as Marilyn Moore and Paul & Joe. In Delilah, you are going to find a pair of Joseph trousers that will last for years or a prize summer blouse or a perfect cardigan.

The prices are on the high side, with a few surprising exceptions; the sizes look pretty small (though a few token items go up to 18), but the styles are carefully chosen and truly sophisticated. We wanted just about everything in it. The owner looked surprised to have so many customers as she hasn't started her marketing. She’s new to town (ex-London) and doesn't realise quite how much us Lewes gals craved a new fashion boutique. We are delighted with the result.

Just our bag: Delilah fills a hole in the market
90 High Street
When? 10am-5.30pm Mon-Sat
How Much? Seven-For All Mankind jeans £149
(t) 01273 473367

Name: Sophie Orloff.
Profession: Cook, rather than chef.
Best thing about Lewes? I love it that you can walk everywhere.
Worst thing about Lewes? An insensitive approach to new architecture. It always ends in a compromise and looking like Trumpton. Or the library, which looks like Tesco.
Boozer? The Lewes Arms, which feels like an extension of my home.
Poison? White wine. I’ve never got on with beer.
Waitrose or Tesco? For cat food I go to Tesco. For fizzy water and wine I go to Waitrose.
Traffic wardens in a word? Sad. You have to be pretty desperate to do that sort of job.
Local lass? No. I came here 12 years ago. Very much a newcomer, and very aware of it.
Which Bonfire Society? Borough. I like the walk there and it’s not quite as full as the others.
Falmer Stadium yes or no? No.
Favourite Lewes landmark? The Cuilfail obelisk. Or St John Sub Castro.
How often do you go to London and Brighton? Brighton once a week, London every six, to see my folks and friends.
Sunday lunch? Plough & Harrow, Litlington.
What's on your cd player? Booker T and the MG’s.
Last parking ticket? In my own street, three weeks ago.
Lewes would be better if… they could engineer priority to pedestrians in the centre.
What Lewes needs like a hole in the head is… A super sized Tesco. That’s what Brighton’s for.

Sophie Orloff: “No more Trumpton architecture.”
15 Station St, Lewes
(t) 01273 470070

Photo of the Week

This week’s picture comes from Ben Whitehead, one of the Chalk Gallery artists, who noticed earlier this month that the Cliffe Bridge pavement had gone all Burberry scarf. So he snapped it with his new Digital Canon EOS Rebel. We love the way the shadows of the railings criss-cross with the shafts of light and the cracks of the pavement creating myriad shades of grey. Somehow the picture wouldn’t work without the bits of flattened chewing gum adding some circularity to all the lines.

We love getting all the photos and messages coming in at info@vivalewes.com: keep them coming. We welcome any feedback, rants, poems, compliments, insults, free holidays, contributions and ideas. Please alert us if you are holding an event which you think we would be interested in covering. And let us know any strong opinions you have on local issues, such as parking and the Phoenix Quarter.

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

Burberry Bridge
Dawn choruses, daffs and the first signs of coffee drinkers braving the sub-seasonal temperatures on the silver tables outside Bill’s. That’s the end of another week, and it’s officially the last one of winter. So, with a surge of seasonal joy in our hearts we’d like to thank the following people for making this issue possible: Pippa Longworth, Alison Bury, Maggie Cole, Anna Johnstone, Pete Morton, John Beck, Jo from the Pelham, Michael from sureitsirish.com, Lynn Gayford, Joanna Stephens, Anthea Chapman, Sue Barnes and Louise Possegger. Contributors this week are Jessica Wood, David Burke, Dave Wilson, Alex Leith, Nick Williams, Ben Whitehead, Melton Mowbray, Antonia Gabassi and Dexter Lee.

Next week’s highlights include:
Fri 24th: The Nicholas Yonge Society present the fabulous Gaudier Chamber Ensemble
Fri 24th: Paul Haggis’ Oscar-winning film Crash at the All Saints
Sat 25th: Glam rock tribute band Alvin Sawdust at the Pelham Arms
Sat 25th: Linocuts, lithographs, and screen-prints at the Thebes (see right)

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

Where’s that banjo? Screen-prints at the Thebes next week
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