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Artful Dodging

A look at what you can see in and around Dartmouth

by Max Brandt (Opinions expressed are those of the

writer –Ho Ho Ho..... Can i stop now?)

it’s ‘Happy Christmas and a less stressful New Year’ and already we’re looking forward to a veritable cornucopia of arty things that will be happening in and around Dartmouth. First though, let’s see what’s going to be entertaining and


delighting us this festive season. To make things easier, if the event is NOT going to take place at The Flavel, I’ll tell you… otherwise we’ll take it as read. Andrew Meller is an actor and storyteller of prodigious

talent who plies his trade year-round, bringing to life the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the comedy of Bob Newhart and introduces us to Sherlock Holmes. Saturday 8th December sees him bringing to life some of Charles Dickens’ most iconic Christmas stories and characters, imbuing the auditorium with seasonal atmosphere and giving us A Very Dickensian Christmas. This time of year is all about tradition, memories, laughter and reflection, and who better to help us get into that frame of mind than that master weaver-of-dreams, Charles Dickens? Speaking of tradition, you can’t get more traditional

than The Nutcracker, can you? It’s a live screening from the Royal Opera House (and the live screenings are rapidly becoming something of a very popular tradition at The Flavel) on Thursday 13th December. Magical, mysterious, and with a villainous mouse, the whole production is alive with beauty and spectacle; and with Tchaikovsky’s evocative and stirring music, you’ve got a recipe for a truly Christmassy night out. More tradition from 28th – 31st December with guaranteed mayhem, singing and general seasonal silliness; you guessed it, it’s pantomime time! Get right into the Christmas spirit with “Jack and the Beanstalk”, the Dartmouth Player’s Pantomime. Playing on the above dates it then transfers to the Brixham Theatre the 4th & 5th January 2013. Bill Hunt the writer and director says “This is our 6th annual panto at the Flavel and is proving to be a very popular annual event. This year we are very pleased to be doing a couple of additional performances at the Brixham Theatre in the New Year. We have a new talented cast of around 20 local people, including some really good singers, so Norman has been able to compose some great

mazing isn’t it, how quickly the year folds in upon itself and we find ourselves dusting off the plastic holly and mistletoe? Fifty issues in and once again

songs.” Each year the Dartmouth Player Pantomimes are created by collaboration between Bill and Norman Cork who composes all the original music, songs and lyrics. “This year most of the popular nursery rhymes are included for people of all ages to join in. We have to create a growing and climbable beanstalk, not to mention the Giants costume. Fortunately we have Paul Luscombe who is already a big guy, indeed this is why I choose to do this panto. It is usually like that. Last year somebody gave us some Chinese hats so we did Aladdin. Somebody else has just given us a crocodile so I am looking at the possibility of doing Peter Pan.” The Dartmouth Players Pantomimes always include video sequences. “Video techniques mean you can practically achieve some of the more magical aspects of these stories. Last year for instance we had the magic carpet ride and I have a few ideas for this year.” A word of advice: if you’re going to catch the pantomime,

go and get your tickets as soon as you possibly can. It’s always a sell-out and always fun. Fancy some Corelli, Mendelssohn and Elgar, interspersed

with a sprinkling of Christmas Carols and seasonal songs? All played by Dartmouth’s own Orchestra? Then I’ve got the very thing for you. Tuesday 18th December there is a fundraising concert with all the above components and a glass of mulled wine. Dartmouth Orchestra Society is made up of local musicians, both professional and amateur, and conducted by ex R.M Bandmaster Sid Davies and this concert is in aid of The Flavel, so what’s not to like? You get superb music and get to support your local temple of the Arts! Win-win. Running throughout December and on into January is the

2012 Stellar Graduates Exhibition. Mark Riley, curator of the Coombe Gallery in Foss Street, has been busily scouring art colleges throughout the land to find the most promising graduates and get their work displayed here in Dartmouth. It’s the perfect opportunity to see what’s what in the art world and who knows? You may even get the chance to buy the early work of the next Jeff Koons, Cady Noland or Miguel Barcelo. This is really a very exciting chance to see how an artist develops their style and, perhaps, get in on the ground floor…maybe even start your own collection. Buy yourself a Christmas present, you know you’re worth it! Here’s a real post-Christmas treat for everyone. Running at

various times from 28th December through to Thursday 10th January the long-awaited (by me, anyway!) prequel to Peter Jackson’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, arrives at The Flavel. The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey is the first part of what was to have been a two-part telling of the origins of the ring, but became a new trilogy. Jackson has taken the book ‘The Hobbit’, along with other stories from the appendices of LOTR and The Silmarillion, and fashioned what is destined to become another spellbinding series. You can see amazing trailers if you search Youtube or Jackson’s Facebook page. So here’s a brilliant way to wind-up


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