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Toad of Toad Hall roars into The Stables Theatre this month

Preview corner: What’s hot in December

So much to do, see and enjoy in our local area in December. Toby Sargent, our man in the bri-nylon Santa suit with 10 B&H and a half bottle of Lidl own brand Scotch tucked into his boot, slipped out of his grotto to take a look.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a pantomime, they say, and it’s good to see the tradition is alive and well in Hastings at the White Rock Theatre where Peter Pan, starring ‘boy-band sensation’ Jaymi Hensley, Nina Bell and local favourite, the comedian Ben Watson, will be on stage from 16-31 December.

Hot Chocolate

But before the fun starts in Neverland, the White Rock has other shows to delight us. Remember Hot Chocolate? Originally fronted by singer Errol Brown, they were one of only three acts – along with Elvis and Diana Ross – to secure a UK Number 1 in every year of the 1970s. The line-up is completely different these days (Errol died from cancer last year at 71), but they’re still doing gigs and banging out their excellent back catalogue. They appear at the White Rock on 2 December.

White Rock Theatre - venue for the Hastings Music Festival photo: Antony Mair

The White Rock Theatre is hosting Peter Pan (photo: Antony Mair).

You’ll also find tribute acts at the same venue with the work of Rod Stewart and Michael Buble recreated on stage by look-and-soundalikes on 7 and 8 December respectively.

The ever-splendid Kino-Teatr has a range of films and events, as usual. Two in particular caught my eye. On 22 December the comic writer and journalist David Quantick presents a quiz night. There’ll be questions on popular culture, music, films and books and, given he has written for some of the sharpest TV comedy programmes of the last 25 years, we can expect something clever, funny and very probably difficult too.

It’s a Wonderful Life

And if you’re looking for something folksy, poignant and just plain heart-warming, then Christmas Eve sees the Kino presenting two showings of It’s a Wonderful Life.

Like the Kino, our local Odeon will be open throughout the month as usual, but a quick mention feels right for the ‘Odeon Silver Cinema’ scheme. It’s a selection of films aimed at the over 55s and normally screened at 11am.  The BFG with Mark Rylance is on 6 December with The Magnificent Seven (8/12), Swallows and Amazons (13 and 15/12) and Cafe Society (20/12). Oh, and tickets are just £3 with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit thrown in. Fantastic value and not a Marvel comic inspired bit of cinema drivel in sight.


Richard Hawley – the ‘guitarist’s guitarist’ comes to the De La Warr

December’s highlights from the De La Warr Pavilion include acclaimed guitarist, singer-songwriter Richard Hawley on 3 December, Jimmy Carr on 11/12 and something rather extraordinary on 14/12. That’s when the pavilion hosts ‘A Celebration of David Bowie’ where Philip Glass’s Heroes Symphony / Low Symphony will be performed by Charles Hazlewood conducting the Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra.

British Paraorchestra

The British Paraorchestra (BPO), by the way, is the world’s first professional ensemble of disabled musicians. They made their debut at the Paralympic Closing Ceremony in 2012 alongside Coldplay. They’re pioneering a global movement to recognise and showcase disabled musicians with extraordinary abilities, and are definitely worth a look.

Euan Uglow The Blue Towel-1982-83-c-the-estate-of-the-artist-courtesy-jerwood-collection

The Jerwood Gallery’s study of 20th century British art includes Euan Uglow’s The Blue Towel 1982-83. Copyright the estate of the artist, courtesy of The Jerwood Collection.

At the Stables Theatre from 13-23 December there’s Toad of Toad Hall by A.A. Milne from the novel The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. It’s a familiar story but none the worse for that and makes for a great family show with a fine cast led by Matt Davis, Charlie Abrahams, Michael Wilson and Daisy Estall.

Biggest names in rock music

In the visual arts the Lucy Bell Gallery is showing ’30/30/30,’ a major exhibition of the work of Jill Furmanovsky, one of the UK’s best-known and respected music photographers. The artists photographed in her 40+ year career include many of the biggest names in rock music. A review will be appearing in HOT shortly. The show is free and runs until 4 January.

At the Jerwood, there’s ‘Century: 100 Modern British Artists’ which, as the name suggests, showcases work by that most under-rated of artistic genres: British art from the 20th century. HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths reviewed the exhibition recently. The Jerwood is also running a one-room exhibition – ‘In Focus: Stanley Spencer – A Panorama of Life’ – across the month.

But there are hundreds – probably thousands – more things going on this month. If you know of something that needs publicity, get in touch and we’ll do our best to get it into the What’s On section.
For times, addresses, prices and details of individual events, visit the websites of the host companies through the links in the text, above.


Posted 08:07 Friday, Dec 2, 2016 In: Performance

1 Comment

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  1. Annie Mannion

    …and the Electric Palace will also be doing its annual It’s A Wonderful Life screenings again this year, from Friday 16 December until Sunday 18 December:

    Comment by Annie Mannion — Friday, Dec 2, 2016 @ 19:06

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