Ocho Concert – Review

 Ocho, St Peter’s Church, Stapenhill.

Ocho is the Spanish for eight, which is handy as the vocal group Ocho consists of eight members. I’m pretty certain they knew this when they chose the name.

The group, who were successful at the Burton Vocal Festival, performed ‘in concert’ at St Peter’s Church, in Stapenhill, to raise funds for the Rainbows Hospice which is the children’s hospice for the East Midlands where children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions can go for specialist respite stays, symptom management, palliative and end-of-life care.

On a warm July night the audience were treated to some wonderful acappella singing by this very talented group.

From the opening Rocka My Soul to Lennon and McCartney’s Goodnight their voices soared and swooped through the church as they took us on a musical journey that presented songs as diverse as Rachmaninov’s Bogoroditsye Dyevo through Quincy Jones and Billy Joel to Cole Porter and Queen.

The singers, Soeli Bonham and Tilley Bancroft, sopranos, Hannah Gardner and Rachel Cook, altos, Huw Lloyd and Stuart Hannibal, tenors, and Adrian Juffs and Derek Gardner, bass, looked as delighted to be there as the audience with a lot of interaction between the songs that kept us smiling.

Practically every song was a highlight with the appreciative audience bringing the group back for an encore. Personal favourite was, in the modern parlance, a mash-up of Lennon and McCartney’s Blackbird and I Will, just sublime. There was a great reception for Bohemian Rhapsody and the closer of the first half Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova, yes an instrumental, was thrilling.

There were a lot of very knowledgeable musicians and singers in the audience who thought that they did a brilliant job of it.

A light-hearted ‘Battle of the Sexes’ in the second half saw the gents triumph with Still of the Night over the ladies much more complicated Java Jive – a fair result I feel.

All in all a very entertaining evening and a very pleasant way to support charity.

To find out more about Rainbows Hospice go to: http://www.rainbows.co.uk/

Further information about Ocho can be found at:


Bill Pritchard.

Brewhouse Events July 2015

 Open Mic Night – with Sound Stage Project

Date: Friday, July 3, 2015

Time: 7.30pm

Price: £1.00

More impressive local talent come to the Brewhouse. The ‘Soundstage Project’ is proud to announce another live music event.


Violet Way Academy: ‘PETER’

Date: Thursday, July 9, 2015

Time: 1.30pm & 6.30pm

Price: £6.00

Come fly with us on a magical adventure. Meet Peter and his friends in a land full of pirates, fairies and wonder.


Performing Stars Academy: Disney Alice in Wonderland Jr.

Date: Saturday, July 11, 2015

Time: 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Price: £9.00, £7.00 (child)

Come and see the students of Burton Performing Stars Academy as they perform Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland Jr.’


Coral’s Pupils Concert: The Best of British

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Time: 7.30pm

Price: £7.00

A pupil’s concert presented by Coral Gould MBE


Summer Jazz Night featuring the Hot House “Screaming Kicks Big Band”

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015

Time: 7:00pm

Price: £7.00, £5.00

The Screaming Kicks Big Band is one of the UK’s leading youth jazz orchestras and boast some of the regions finest young musical talents.


The Madhouse: Paper Aeroplanes with support

Date: Saturday, July 25, 2015

Time: 8:00pm

Price: £12.00 Advance, £15:00 Door

Paper Aeroplanes specialise in an intoxicating brand of Alt folk. Their heartfelt lyrics and gorgeous melodies are guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye and sooth your troubled soul.

In the Gallery…

Steph Trethowan: Journey Through Colour

Gallery Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 to Saturday, September 5, 2015

‘Journey through Colour’ tells an emergent story shaped by Impressionism, Fauvism and more modern day painters such as David Hockney. The artists’ interest in the natural world influences her choice of subjects, although these are often used as vehicles of expression for her love of vibrant colour.

‘Sound and Social’: 30 July, 7pm – 9pm


Debris Design

Gallery Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 to Saturday, September 5, 2015

Debris Design brings together an eclectic mix of contemporary artwork created using recycled and found materials.


Brewhouse Shop

Gallery Date:

Friday, May 22, 2015 to Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Brewhouse now has a creative and innovative shop space selling a broad range of unique, affordable handcrafted gifts and cards, much produced by local designer makers. If you’re looking for a unique gift for family, friends or a loved one, The Brewhouse shop is the place! Alongside the shop, we have a changing Craft Case programme showcases high quality contemporary craft and design from around the UK.


Andy Farr: Lost Generation – Sight Sound and Social

Date: Thursday, July 2, 2015

Time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Lost Generation is an Arts Council funded initiative by Andy Farr to make the WW1 centenary more relevant to today’s young people. The exhibition will be a mix of 2D, 3D and pieces resulting from his work with students at Abbot Beyne School, and previous collaborations with schools in Yorkshire and the Midlands.


 Brewhouse Box Office Tel 01283 508100

Thanks to Helen Taundry for the info.

Fur Coat and No Knickers – Review

To celebrate its 100th production Burton’s Little Theatre Company (LTC) is staging a revival of its first ever play at the Brewhouse Arts Centre.
Mike Harding’s Fur Coat and No Knickers, which was a sell-out for LTC in March 1991, covers the stag night of Mark Greenhalgh, played by Tim Robinson, and the following day’s wedding to Deirdre Ollerenshawe, played by Caitlin Pritchard.
During these proceedings we are introduced to the members of the two families in a series of freeze frames that stop the action while the protagonists introduce themselves to the audience . . .  along with their little secrets.
On the Ollerenshawe side we have: mother Edith, played by Elaine Pritchard, dad Harry, played by Mark Pearson, brothers Peter and Kevin, Alec Tomlinson and Dan Tunks respectively, and Edith’s dad Nip, played by Mike Mear, and the aforementioned Deidre.
For the groom, Mark, we have: dad Ronald, played by Leon Ratcliffe, and mum Muriel, played by Vicky Fryer, also in Mark’s corner is Hamish, the best man, played by Adam Woodward.
Officiating at the marriage is Father Finbar Molloy, played by Matt Bancroft, sporting the kind of Irish accent that you really do need to have known a Catholic priest  while growing up to fully understand.
While Mr Bancroft’s Father Molloy is brilliantly realised it is Mr Mear’s Nip who has the best lines but for me it is Dan Tunks that steals the show as Kevin, although I did think his dancing at the disco and his sideburns owed rather a lot to 70s porn stars – or so I am told.
Also featured are Vanessa Birch, Sarah Spencer, Ken and Carol Brown, Tom Pritchard and Leon Ratcliffe’s daughter Georga, who is the same age her dad was when he appeared in the show in 1991.
The strong cast make this a delightful romp through a very different age. One that still had vivid memories of the Second World War and had yet to come to terms with casual sexism and racism.
The fun begins as the Ollerenshawes prepare for the stag night during which a drunk Mark is chained to a lamppost with a blow-up rubber doll. The wedding itself is quite high spirited too with half the guests, including the priest, suffering blinding hangovers.The first night audience were clearly ready to be entertained as the laughter rarely faltered and the almost full auditorium showed their appreciation at the final curtain.
Fur Coat and No Knickers, directed by John Bowness, runs until Saturday, June 27, at the Brewhouse Arts Centre in Union Street with shows at 7.30pm each evening plus a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm
Tickets cost £9 for adults / £8 concessions (concessions Wednesday and Thursday only. All matinee tickets are £0 and are available from the Brewhouse box office on 01283 508100.

Bill Pritchard.

LTC – Fur Coat and No Knickers

Fur Coat and No Knickers (LTC’s 100th Production)

by Mike Harding

To celebrate LTC’s 100th production, they are staging a revival of their first ever play performed at the Brewhouse.

Mike Harding’s hilarious comedy “Fur Coat and No Knickers” was a sell-out for LTC back in March 1991 so don’t miss out on your ticket, revisit the chaos that is an Ollerenshawe family wedding!

Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th June 2015 at the Brewhouse.

7:30 each evening plus Saturday matinee at 2:30pm

Tickets: £9 adults / £8 concessions

(Concessions Tuesday to Thursday only – Matinee tickets all £8)

Brewhouse Box Office 01283 598100

RCS – Curtain Up!

Rolleston Choral Society’s Curtain Up! concert on Saturday, June 27, will feature two recipients of BADAC Bursary Awards.
The concert, which will comprise of songs from the shows and choruses from operas, takes place at the Rolleston Scout HQ, Station Road, Rolleston, and tickets, costing £8 (including light refreshment), are available from Starbucks News in the village or you can pay on the door.
The choral society singers will be flavouring the evening with music to sooth you into summer, listen to the longing for their homeland in the Chorus of the Hebrew slaves and think back (or forward) to summer weddings as we share Wagners famous music.
Musical direction is by Jane Phinn and the accompanist is Nicholas Waller
In addition a variety of soloists, including BADAC award winners Alisha Kahn and Ewan Bourne, will be performing both vocal and instrumental pieces.
Curtain up for Curtain Up! is 7.30pm.

Thanks to Nick Willmott / Bill Pritchard for the info.

Uttoxeter Choral Society – Musical Director

Uttoxeter Choral Society, Staffordshire are seeking a new Musical Director from September 2015We are a mixed, non-auditioned, SATB choir of about 40 voices. We have been established since 1881 and are seeking someone enthusiastic to continue this tradition. We rehearse every Thursday in Uttoxeter Guildhall from 7.30-9.30pm and have a varied repertoire of traditional and light music. This is a remunerated position and we would like to hold auditions in July with a view to the applicant starting in September 2015. Closing date for applications 6th July 2015.

Interested parties please contact Secretary Mary Pollard kmary.pollard@btinternet.com in the first instance.

Thanks to Mary Pollard for the info.

Burton Library – What`s on in June




Saturday 13th June11:00am – 1:00pm

Felt craft.A taster session to introduce sewing techniques and felt construction. Free. Booking is essential as places are limited.

Wednesday 17th June 7:00pm

The Tale of Two Crosses: A Burton Hero.

Owing to William Coltman’s heroic actions during WW1, he has become the most decorated other rank in the British Army.

A talk by John Coltman. Free Booking is essential as places are limited.

Monday 22nd June (Time tbc)

Container vegetables. A twenty minute introduction to growing your own vegetables. Free

Saturday 27th June 10:00am – 4:00pm

Festival of Gardening Craft activities for children of all ages. Come along and join the fun. Free. Drop in.

Tuesday 30th June 10:00am – 12:00pm

Reading Café – Drop in for a chat about books you love over a cup of coffee Free. Drop in.

22nd June – 6th July

Burton ArtSpace – Martine Warner

Burton Library

01283 239556

Thanks to Dianne Wheeler for the info.

Brewhouse Events June 2015

Burton and South Derbyshire College: Greens Day’s American Idiot

Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 – 19:00

Price: £7.00/£5.00

Time: 7:00pm / 4:00pm

It’s show time again, and the Performing Arts and Music learners of Burton and South Derbyshire College are cordially inviting you to join them in being an American Idiot alongside them.

Receiving the rights to be the amateur REGIONAL PREMIERE of Greenday’s concept musical has been a great honour and one excitingly received by all involved.

So please come and join us as the Jesus of Suburbia and cast take a well needed Holiday down that Boulevard of Broken Dreams to discover that When September ends they will have had the Time of your Life.


(Free School and BSDC matinee Wednesday 3 June at 2pm)

Tickets £7.00 £5.00 Concessions (or both nights £10.00 and £7.00)


Literature Talk & Film

Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 – 12:00

Price: £6:00 Plus Discount Lunch

Time: 12:00pm

On the Beach film and book

Join Dr Jane Mackay for the first of this season’s fascinating but accessible insights into great works of literature. Jane will give a presentation from 12 – 1pm, then we suggest you stay for lunch in our café between 1pm & 2pm and then we’ll be offering a free screening of a film version of the book in our cinema from 2pm. Jane has a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about literature but presents in a highly accessible and fascinating way. Priorknowledge of the books are not required.


Burton Operatic Society: Bop in the Bar

Date: Friday, June 5, 2015 – 19:30

Price: £7.50

Time: 7.30pm

Burton Operatic Society (soon to be Burton Musical Theatre Company) performing songs from Musical Theatre in a relaxed environment in the Brewhouse Bar. Ensembles, Solos, Duets, Full Company Numbers for your entertainment and enjoyment.


Stephanie Parrott ARAD School of Dance: Cinderella and Coppelia

Date: Saturday, June 6, 2015 – 19:00

Price: £8.50

Time: 7:00pm

Cinderella! Neglected by her step sisters, Cinderella’s life is one of hardship, her Fairy Godmother appears and casts a spell that will change her life forever.

Coppelia! Swanilda is engaged to Franz and plans to marry during the festival, her fiancé is more interested in getting another girl’s attention. The girl is Coppelia who sits on the toy-maker Dr. Coppelius’s balcony reading all day long. Swanilda and Franz both make plans to visit Coppelia!


Celebrating Dance

Date: Friday 12th June 7pm & Saturday 13th June 3pm

Price: £12.00 £9.00 Concession

An opportunity for children from Towerview Primary, Springfield Junior School and St. Wystan’s , Repton to showcase their dance work. Don’t miss out on this popular show, book early to avoid disappointment.


The Madhouse Presents: Amy Wadge and Pete Tye

Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015 – 20:00

Price: £12.00 in advance /£15.00 on the door

Time: 8:00pm

Amy and Pete need no introduction! Fresh from the Brits, Amy has enjoyed much deserved recognition and success, with her song-writing collaborations with artists like Ed Sheeran. She is an internationally acclaimed talent!

Pete has music industry credentials, second to none and works with only the very best, because he can!


The Little Theatre Company: Fur Coat no Knickers

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 – 19:30

Price: £9.00

Time: 7:30pm

To celebrate Little Theatre Company’s 100th production, we are staging a revival of our first ever play performed at the Brewhouse. Mike Harding’s hilarious comedy ‘Fur Coat and No Knickers’ was a sell-out for Little Theatre Company back in March 1991 so don’t miss out on your ticket as we invite you to revisit the chaos that is an Ollerenshawe family wedding!

7.30pm each evening plus Saturday Matinee at 2.30pm

£9.00 £8.00 Concessions

Matinee tickets all £8



Burton and South Derbyshire College End of Year Creative Showcase

Showcasing the newest, brightest and most cutting edge creative talent from Burton and South Derbyshire College at a free week-long event.

The final show is a culmination of the outputs from learners taking courses in ‘creative studies’ including: Photography, Graphic Design, Fashion, Fine Art, Textiles, 3D Design, Media & Film Production

Showcasing the newest, brightest and most cutting edge creative talent from Burton and South Derbyshire College at a free week-long event.

The final show is a culmination of the outputs from learners taking courses in ‘creative studies’ including: Photography, Graphic Design, Fashion, Fine Art, Textiles, 3D Design, Media & Film Production

15th June to 19th June, 6pm – 9pm


Thanks to Nathan Gallagher for the info.

BADAC Bursary Awards

Once again the youngsters of the Burton area have demonstrated the vast array of talent we have performing in the town and its surroundings.

Burton and District Arts Council (BADAC) held their annual general meeting at the Brewhouse arts centre on May 20th which was followed by the traditional concert given by some of the young people who have been awarded bursaries by the organisation.

There were representatives of the arts from musical theatre, drama, solo vocalists, accompanied singers, pianists, a flautist and a percussionist. Coral Gould was the accompanist for some of the performers.

The evening’s entertainment was opened by Wil Pearson on piano who sang Come by Me by Harry Connick Jr, a boogie woogie piece that showed off both Wil’s voice and his piano-playing ability.

Next up was Emma Carter with Better from Little Women which she sang very well.

From the world of drama we had Georgia Evans, as Rita, with a well-performed extract from Educating Rita. Georgia was followed by Rebecca Fisher who sang and tapped her way through I Got the Sun in the Morning” from Annie Get Your Gun. I thought that she appeared to have gained in confidence in the past 12 months.

Following on from the tap dancing was Ewan Bourne who sang The Year Turns Round Again, from War Horse, unaccompanied – both moving and mesmerising. Scarlett Marchant then brought musical theatre to the fore again with a good rendition of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina from Evita.

James Vickers, who showed his talent on the saxophone last year, chose to entertain us this time with Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair on piano – for which he showed a delicate touch.

Eleanor Skinner was up next with a great rendition of Freddy My Love, from Grease, which was really lit up by her fantastic last note. Jack Broughton led us into Les Miserables with a well-realised Master of the House. He was followed by Katie Ireland performing On My Own from the same show superbly. With even the trickiest of lyrics perfectly audible.

Syrinx by Debussy was the chosen piece by flautist Rebekkah Lycett during which you could have heard a pin drop such was the attention paid by the audience.

Keely Russell gave a great performance of Popular from Wicked and the evening’s entertainment was rounded off by Will Raybould on a snare drum. Leaving BADAC chairman Geoff Thompson to remark that when Will first applied for a grant he was a little boy behind a large drum kit but now he had grown his kit had shrunk.

There was a round of applause during the concert for all of the fine arts bursary winners and at the end of the performances the Mayor of East Staffordshire and President of BADAC, Councillor Ron Clarke presented the bursaries.

It was noted by the BADAC chairman that for many of the recipients it would be their last time at the awards as many of them were going off to universities and onto drama and ballet schools to further their careers in the arts. Chairman Geoff Thompson also paid tribute to the council and the many businesses and groups in the town who donate the funds which enable the BADAC bursaries to continue.

Before the show commenced there was a special presentation of a Burton and District Arts Council Honorary Lifetime Membership Award to Brian Alston in recognition of the voluntary work he has done for both BADAC and the Brewhouse. Brian ran the BADAC volunteer bar for many years, giving up much of his time to maintain what was a vital service for audiences of our own affiliated groups and all the other public events held at the Brewhouse arts centre.

Bill Pritchard.