ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT by Tom Guest

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Big Fat Review of the Year 2017

I can hardly believe it’s been a year, it’s flown by so quickly, mostly, I think, because 2017 has been an exceptionally busy year in our community, especially with regards events and arts projects. Our many venues in the Village have seen a huge variety of performances, art events, gigs, music events, concerts and charity shows, all of which contribute to making Sedgefield the wonderful place it is.

The Parish Hall has seen performances by the Lyric Singers, SLYC and Lirica with their regular concerts throughout the year, including this year the Youth Choirs performance of their old favourite ‘Yanomamo’ by Peter Rose and Anne Conlon. The adult choirs have performed two sold out shows in the summer and at Christmas, both of which were incredibly well received by their faithful audiences.

The Sedgefield Rock and Blues Club have gone from strength to strength with another sell out year including performances from LaVendore Rogue, Stevie Nimmo, Greg Coulson, Eugene Bridges, Kossoff...The Band Plays On and Marcus Bonfanti.

The Sedgefield Players have performed a variety of plays and shows including Elaine Murphy’s ‘Shush’, ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C. S. Lewis and their annual Pantomime, ‘The Pied Piper’ by Alan P. Frayn. Their success at festivals this year has been exceptional with wins at Richmond and Saltburn in the All England Theatre Festival for their production of Russell and Wafer’s ’The Regina Monologues’ and then at the Sedgefield Festival in September where they swept the board with their productions of Brecht’s ’The Jewish Wife’, Stef Smith’s ’Remote’ and ’A Touch of Rose Madder’ by Jim O’Connor.

This year’s Folk Festival was a smash hit, utilising venues including the Parish Hall and Ceddesfeld Hall, with sold out performances from Flossie Malaviale, The Mighty Doonans, The Goodfellows and Other Roads. Over the road at Ceddesfeld the Open Mic nights have become a regular part of the Folk Festival and have been headlines this year by local groups including the Holkey Folkies and The Milliners.

Ceddesfeld also sees regular events including Burns Night Suppers and Quizzes, as well as the SCA being the drive behind the annual Medieval Fayre and Sedgefield Day. The Manor House is growing its reputation as an excellent venue, as well as hosting regular events such as Jane Spinks week long art projects.

All in all, another spectacular year, developed by the wonderful volunteers that Sedgefield is so lucky to have. Last mention must go to members of Sedgefield in Bloom who do so much to keep Sedgefield looking beautiful all year round and the wonderful work they do to help in the community. Here’s hoping that 2018 will be just as productive, exciting and innovative. TG


Manor House Success

As regular readers and attendees of events at the Manor House may be aware, The Manor House is hosting gigs. Recently 3 very different gigs that were very well received by the audience - and they had some brilliant feedback from the artists themselves.

Lorraine Carpenter, Tour Manager for Dana & Susan Robinson from Vermont, USA, emailed “I understand from Dana that he and Sue had a lovely time and they felt the audience enjoyed it too. It was a pleasure working with you. I hope we’ll do it again sometime.” Dana also posted on his Facebook page “a wonderful evening at the Manor House in Sedgefield, UK.”

Keith James, with his Songs of Leonard Cohen, reviewed his performance in front of a sell-out crowd; "I enjoyed my concert at the Manor House very much! It was a really great experience with a wonderfully warm and enthusiastic audience." Old Red Eyes commented on Facebook following his gig; “Loved it tonight at the Manor House. More like that please! Thanks to all who came.” The great news is that some of the Manor House audience is coming from as far as Leeds, Barnard Castle, Washington and Middlesbrough - it’s brilliant to be bringing folks here to Sedgefield.

Coming up next: Rod Clements & Ian Thomson on 3rd February and Miranda Sykes on 2nd March. Tickets are available from www.wegottickets.com


2017 - another successful year at Sedgefield Blues Club

Hundreds of fans enjoyed the best acts on the Blues circuit from the UK and beyond.

As volunteers, we get great pleasure in the feedback from people outside the area who have discovered a hidden gem - plus, they are always overwhelmed by the beauty of our village and the kindness shown to them by local people.

Our first act in 2018 is Aynsley Lister (26th Jan-SOLD OUT). He has headlined festivals all over Europe, including Durham Blues Festival last year. This will be his third (long awaited) visit to Sedgefield and another fantastic evening of entertainment that will continue to make Sedgefield Blues Club one of the most talked about venues on the circuit. For example, did you know over 200 bands/artists get in touch each year wanting a gig, most based on recommendations from other artists; very satisfying for all involved. Please check out www.sedgefieldblues.com for next year’s gig list. It would be great to see you there. Finally, Sedgefield Blues Club wishes all our friends, volunteers and all of our artists a Merry Christmas and a New Year. See you next year.