Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Vocal Explosion

Vocal Explosion

Culture to feed the Covid-19 soul

In these challenging times, we need other things besides food to nurture us. And at this time it is an opportunity to exercise not only our bodies but our minds and do those things that we have always wanted to do – and found excuses not to do  or simply never done or achieved.  Lauris Morgan-Griffiths wondered what there was out there to be enjoyed online, locally and nationally, from your home.

Now is the time to be creative, innovative: learn a language, cook those meals that you’ve never seem to have had time for. Learn a new skill, and also sit back and enjoy reading, seeing some theatre, draw or write.

Hastings Contemporary is offering remote  tours of its gallery. In a UK first, it has teamed up with Bristol Robotics Lab to offer a robot-assisted, guided virtual tours led by Hastings Contemporary curators and gallery team. Up to five people can join a remote robot tour  at one time by emailing It is your chance to be part of a truly novel experience.


Singing is the perfect thing to do at this time (that is, if you can sing, which sadly I can not), as it is an uplifting experience releasing hormones, pleasure-giving endorphins as well as anxiety and stress relieving oxytocin. So join Juliet Russell’s Vocal Explosion on Thursdays from 2 April for a live online singing and instrumental session for the whole of our community, singles and families, singing with each other in the virtual room from your own home.

Juliet says “we won’t be able to hear each other sing  because of the sound delay), but we can see and wave to each other!”

There will be songs from around the world, plus Celtic, Gospel and Beatles classics (bring your instrument too). You can download the lyrics here or from The session will include simple vocal and breathing warm-ups that will help our resilience at this time.

Places are limited –so please click on the link for your ticket from eventbrite and download Zoom beforehand.


Su Yeon Kim

Hastings International Piano, the charity responsible for the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition and Piano Festival, has launched an online concert series to support the careers of their prize winners – as well as provide succour to the souls of music lovers in Hastings and beyond. Short recitals will premiere every Friday evening on Facebook at 7pm and on the HIP website.

Su Yeon Kim, a 2018 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition prizewinner will be premiering on  Friday 3 April. Her programme will be:

Chopin Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op. 48 No. 2 and Chopin Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52.

The concerts are free to view, but viewers are able to make a voluntary donation to Hastings International Piano Engagement Fund.


Every week in their e-newsletter the Electric Palace cinema will be sharing not only film links but also interesting podcasts, guest blogs, interviews and film recommendations from volunteers and friends, including some treats from local filmmakers. Not wanting to swamp people with the myriad of films out here, they will give a curated selection each week.

Andrew Kotting

During these Covid-19 times, Electric Palace is offering free access to the constantly changing film streaming provider MUBI. From Friday 3 April  there will be a premiere of local filmmaker Andrew Kötting’s latest feature film road movie, The Whale Box. Some time ago, a whalebone box that was found washed up on a remote beach was given to writer Iain Sinclair. Once touched, the box can change lives. In 2018, Kötting, and some of his familiar collaborators – his daughter Eden, Sinclair himself and  photographer Anonymous took the box on a reverse pilgrimage from London back to the Isle of Harris.

And now for something completely different…

For children and the child in adults alike there are some ideas for printing, writing and drawing that will hopefully spark young and old imaginations.

Ed Boxall, local illustrator and writer of children’s books will post a creative activity every day on his website at 9am. He has planned activities for four weeks, Monday to Friday. They will be principally aimed at primary aged children but are designed to be enjoyable for anyone.

Boxall says, “It’s all based on tried and tested things that have worked in schools based on my books.” Lovely if people would like to buy one of the books that link to the projects but not obligatory.

There will be a weekly theme, and each activity will be broken down into simple instructions and should fill two low-stress hours. No special materials are needed – “but if you like the sound of joining in you’ll need pencils, biros, plain paper, scissors, some kind of paper glue and masking tape.”

Deborah Bowness:Home Printmaking

Deborah Bowness:Home Printmaking

Deborah Bowness, designer, photographer and wallpaper printer, has recently been teaching at Hastings College where she devised some simple techniques for her students. You can use anything to hand, lemons, bolts, buttons. The only requirement is to be inventive, creative in producing your own designs.

Hastings Museum and Art Gallery are posting activities on Facebook twice a day. For Dinosaur Week they have been lego-building a dinosaur and talking about dinosaur food. Curators have been on hand to talk about the museum’s collection, about the Egypt collection, a mummified hand, the ethics of collecting and keeping human remains, mummifying an apple. All sounds good stuff, have fun, enjoy it. Word of warning- I didn’t find it easy to access the information, but I am sure you will be more adept than I am. Good luck, it sounds interesting and fun.

National Theatre live at home

NT Live productions are being made available online as NT Home each week – for a week – via the organisation’s YouTube channel.

The first month’s screenings have been announced so far. The first one, on Thursday 2 April, will be One Man, Two Guvnors, starring James Corden, followed by Jane Eyre, the 2014 production of Treasure Island starring Patsy Ferran, and Twelfth Night with Tamsin Greig as a gender-swapped Malvolia.

Each production will be made available on YouTube at 7pm on Thursdays and audiences will be able to watch live or catch up any time in the following seven days.

Lisa Burger, the NT’s executive director and joint chief executive, said she hoped the service would “lift the spirits, bring people together and become something to talk about.”

Other national companies are also streaming productions, among them Sadlers Wells and the Old Vic.


Posted 20:46 Wednesday, Apr 1, 2020 In: Covid-19

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

Leave a comment

(no more than 350 words)

Also in: Covid-19

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT