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‘My Mother Said I Never Should . .’ at The Stables until 13 May. Actors from left to right: Victoria Rowland, Abby Nicol, Mary Campbell and Janet McCarter (Picture by Peter Mould)

Preview corner – What’s HOT in May

Been struck down with election fever yet? Thought not. It’s still more than a month to go before ‘the nation decides,’ and a brave new dawn of freedom, equality, fairness and peace breaks. Far more likely, of course, we’ll discover that, whoever gets in, there’s going to be NO DISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCE whatsoever to anyone’s life, prospects or happiness. But while we’re waiting, there’s lots to enjoy in the arts here in this lovely town. HOT sent Toby Sargent, our man with the can of export-strength lager and life membership of the Tufty Club, to find out.

Let’s start with the Electric Palace Cinema in the Old Town’s High Street where, on 14/5, you can wish Jack Nicholson an only-slightly-belated happy 80th birthday by booking to see his bravura performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Later, on 25, 26 and 27/5 you can see this year’s Oscar winning Manchester by the Sea which is certainly the best thing I’ve watched at the cinema this year.

Little Buddha

A still from Little Buddha, showing at the Electric Palace Cinema

This is followed, in short order, by Little Buddha on 28/5. This is described as a ‘modern day re-telling of Siddhartha’s story and the founding of Buddhism, star(ring) Keanu Reeves as the Prince who undergoes the Five Ascetic principles to achieve Nirvana.’ Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci  in 1993, the showing is to be hosted by the Hastings Triratna Buddhist Group.

Sticking with the silver screen for a moment, you really should check out what’s on this month at the Kino-Teatr in St Leonards. Yes, there are afternoon showings of highly regarded recent releases like A Quiet Passion (14, 17 and 18/5), and Fences (19,24 and 25/5), but how about their David Lynch Weekend on 20 and 21/5?


Here’s the Blurb: ‘To celebrate the release of the third season of Twin Peaks, we thought it would only be apt to host a series of films by one of the true American auteur filmmakers, David Lynch. We have selected for your viewing pleasure just a handful of his work to watch in what may as well have been a venue built for his films. One of the highlights of the weekend will be the brand new, 4k digital transfer of Mulholland Drive, personally supervised by Lynch himself. Earlier that day, we will also be screening his first feature Eraserhead, to celebrate 40 years since the release of the title.’ The remark about having ‘a venue built for his films’ is spot-on, by the way, if you’ve never been there.

I’ll just highlight one of the on-stage shows at the Kino next month: Ellie Taylor on 25/5. You may have seen her on BBC’s Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week and The John Bishop Show; Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, or heard her on Radio 4’s The Now Show, but now she’s coming down here and, amazingly, tickets are just a tenner.

Layout 1

‘Complex and emotional’ – A haunting poster by Cliff Brooker for The Stables Theatre’s main production for May

Elsewhere on stage, the main production this month at The Stables is My Mother said I never should by Charlotte Keatley. This is a complex and emotional play about four women, with a sharp focus on family relationships and how they develop within the shifting currents of social change across the last century. It’s on 5-13/5 and promises to be a challenging evening out.

Rock legends

The White Rock Theatre also offers some cracking nights out this month to take your mind off the frenzied election campaigning that we are set to be bombarded with any day soon. A properly staged production of Puccini’s La Boheme, sung in Italian with English subtitles, and featuring international stars will delight us on 8/5. And if something more contemporary appeals, how about the master of feelgood live performances, Jools Holland, and rock legend Shakin’ Stevens on 24 and 28/5 respectively. Legends both of them.

Stories in pictures

In the visual arts, May is your last chance to get along to see the outstanding exhibition of work by Keith Tyson, Turn Back Now, at The Jerwood before it closes on 4 June. Meanwhile at the Lucy Bell Gallery in Norman Road you can see Marilyn Stafford – Stories In Pictures 1950-1960 an exhibition that will shortly be reviewed in these (virtual) pages. Ms Stafford, an Ohio born photo-journalist, currently lives in West Sussex and has a fascinating back story. Definitely worth a look and, best of all, it’s free to get in.

Throbbing cornucopia

Finally. don’t forget the Victorian splendor that is St Mary in the Castle, which this month hosts the Hastings Philharmonic on 20/5, who will be performing Brahms’s Second Symphony and Beethoven’s Choral fantasy op.80 as well as his Egmont Overture.

And, as always, there will be a throbbing cornucopia of live music in the pubs and other small venues that are such an amazing feature of life here. But do check venues, large and small, for times and ticket availability. Oh, and don’t forget to vote next month – it really does matter. Mind how you go, and don’t have nightmares.

Posted 15:41 Friday, May 5, 2017 In: Hastings Life

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