BArts has joined Love Hoddesdon BID (Business Improvement District) as Voluntary Members (more to come)
BArts is supporting the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 (more to come)
BArts is part of the Broxbourne Creative Partnership. (more to come)
Here is the full text of Lee Rayner's introduction to the latest Programme
Welcome to our Autumn and Winter programme, full of interesting opportunities as usual
There are more than seventy different events listed in our new programme for September to March 2020, plus regular activities on offer from our thirty-one affiliated groups! Virtually every aspect of the Arts is represented. There are eight visual art groups for floral art, painting and photography, five music groups, eleven theatre and dance groups and six groups presenting a variety of educational / social activities. With something for every age, there’s no need to hibernate, or become a ‘couch potato’ during the autumn and winter months!
We are lucky to have three branches of the international organisation known as the U3A, (University of the Third Age) affiliated to BArts. Lea Valley is the oldest established, with membership covering a wide area; Broxbourne and Cheshunt branches are a little younger. All provide interesting leisure opportunities for those no longer in full-time employment. Subscriptions are just over £1 per month, so affordable for most people. Check their lists of activities on page three of the programme and see their entries for specialist speakers in the calendar section. U3As are very successful in contributing to a healthy and fulfilling retirement, so much so that they are now frequently part of a ‘social prescription’ endorsed by G.Ps
The Borough of Broxbourne is particularly blessed in having one of the largest entertainment venues north of the Thames, with theatre / cinema seating for 550+. By September, the Café Bar will have been completely modified and re-furbished, to provide an enhanced, flexible space for food and drink and small-scale events, plus an art gallery (now discontinued). The Spotlight’s regular programme now includes recently released films and relayed live performances of prestigious productions from the West End, National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as occasional Opera and Ballet. Quality entertainment on your doorstep, at a fraction of what you would have to pay if you travelled into London.
Two classic thrillers, The Edge of Darkness, by Hoddesdon Players, and The Thirty-Nine Steps, by The Vallé Academy, are part of the autumn entertainment on offer, EHOS presents the ‘Madness’ musical ‘Our House in September’ and Mayhem Theatre Arts and Jason Theatre School both have dance productions in March - a lovely opportunity to see talented young dancers from pre-school to teenager.
In addition to the Borough’s annual pre-Christmas pantomime, Broxbourne Theatre Company is presenting Puss In Boots in January and Cheshunt Dramatic Society has Sleeping Beauty scheduled for February. These local pantomimes tend to be very traditional in style and a great first introduction to live theatre for young children.
There are two opportunities to discover more about theatre and see what lies behind the scenes with ‘Talk, Tour and Tea’ on November 8th for the thriller Edge of Darkness and January 10th for the panto Puss in Boots. An interesting way to spend a winter’s afternoon and finishing with a delicious afternoon tea!
Sadly, classical music doesn’t usually feature much in the Borough’s leisure programme, so we are lucky to have the professional recitals and concerts organised by Hoddesdon Music Club. This season’s Saturday concerts include piano, clarinet and horn recitals and a festive Carol Concert. The Broxbourne Handbell Ringers also feature in HMC’s programme.
David Boarder’s A10 Orchestra and the Broxbourne Chorus offer the chance to participate in music making, as does the Three Valleys Male Voice Choir, who perform several concerts a year for charity.
The BArts’ sponsored My Kind of Music free, lunchtime piano concerts at the Spotlight cover a lovely mixture of music from popular classics to evergreens, film themes and musical theatre. Usually on the first Wednesday in the month, from 12.00 to 2.00 pm in the Spotlight Café Bar, they are very popular, so booking a table is advisable.
BArts’ support for local artists and photographers used to be demonstrated by exhibitions scheduled at The Spotlight. Mellow Fruitfulness, focused on the pleasures of Autumn, was to have run from October to November and Circles, exploring the huge variety of ways that the shape features in Nature and in man-made objects, from January to February.
However, after our printed programme had gone to press and was actually in circulation, we learned that, due to a change of policy at the Spotlight, we were not going to be able to affix anything to the walls. Consequently we have sadly had to cancel our exhibitions, which were free for anyone to enter and usually with a very high standard. Exhibitions were already planned to the end of 2020.
Our long-established Let’s Do Lunch events still manage to attract capacity audiences and focus on an eclectic mixture of subjects from the Arts and Social History. There’s usually a bit of ‘tongue in cheek’ humour, lots of musical illustrations and the buffet lunch is very good value, with a glass of wine or fruit juice included in the £15 ticket. Subjects coming up include Impressionism in the Arts, Eccentrics, Poets Laureate and Ideas of Beauty.
This year on October 9th, The Artful Badger Open Evening at The Spotlight is a chance to see the range of BArts’ activities and many of our groups in action. There’s free entry and free entertainment, back stage tours, and a lighting display.
With all the foregoing events and activities, it’s easy to overlook some of the courses, lectures, talks and interesting discussions presented by The Arts Society East Herts, The Hoddesdon Society, Lea Valley Discussion Group, the U3As and the W.E.A. All offer stimulating material in a pleasant, informal atmosphere and welcome new members.
The index at the back of our programme helps you to find what you want.
We do hope that you’ll find time to read the programme and discover lots of things of interest. Copies will be available in libraries, at The Spotlight and other local outlets. If you like what we do, tell your friends!
The BArts’ Team