2012 seems to be zooming to a close. Those feared words, “not too long to Christmas” have re-entered the language, along with the dreaded “after Christmas we will………”. It’s also that time of the year when traditionally we start to look back on our year…….. BUT STOP ……… I am not going to fall into that trap, yet if I had a medal or two to throw around I would have run out by the time that the Open Minds Theatre / RCC Ltd AGM had come to an end.
It’s simply incredible what OMTC has achieved in 2012, and hard to believe that it has been done against the backdrop of massive cuts in Arts Grants stretching across the entire Band of Funders from the Arts Council to local Government.
Once again the jewel in the crown was OMTC’s involvement in The Rotherham Shakespeare Festival which is one of the Borough’s finest arts projects, providing training for teachers through hundreds of Workshops, and more importantly arts activities for over 1,200 young people. The project culminates in performance at Magna, where over ten nights an audience close to 3,500 attended, many of whom had not previously been to the Theatre or ever experienced Shakespeare.
The Festival is getting a National and International reputation and this year the live Webcast audience rose from 8,000 to 139,528, which is great news – and I feel very guilty that the Webcast passed me by.
Colourscape in it’s various forms; Kids Can Do Project; Life Act (who performed brilliantly on The Diversity Festival stage at The Rotherham Show); there have also been some amazing developments pushing forward the Youth Theatre; The Old Market Gallery and acting as hosts to touring Theatre Companies as part of Cultural Olympiad, Theatre Wally from Pakistan being the standout; “Opus Hatch – He Wants to Friend You”, written by local writers Karen Mulcahey and Tair Rafiq.
OMTC and RCC for a small Company do so much for the arts in Rotherham, pulling together Partnerships far and wide; it’s just a pity that our local media choose to overlook much of it. Not entirely the fault of the local papers / radio or television as to be quite honest if it were not for attending the AGM or being plugged into what is happening I wouldn’t have a clue myself. We’re still not the best at getting our story out there.
Just an observation though, when there has been an arts story published by the Advertiser it’s often weeks ahead of an event, and when it has come to the week of the event, or the run of an event like a Month long Festival nothing!!
RAE can’t complain too much though. We’ve had more than our fair share of the Arts headlines in 2013 with coverage in The Star and Advertiser of all our main events if on occasions with the rider of the above note. Our media coverage can be found HERE
This week in The Advertiser though we had a sort of non-story. Changes to the music local Licensing Regulations, essentially repealing the bureaucracy imposed by Blair in 2003. Personally and for the average Band I don’t think it made slightest bit of difference. To my knowledge, not one Pub locally closed because they were suddenly not allowed to promote amplified music, and I can’t think of a Pub that wanted to have amplified music that didn’t promote Bands because of the 2003 legislation.
Anyway, somehow half a page was taken up discussing the difference this would make. My line is that it would not make the slightest bit of difference. Ironically, a Manager of a local live music venue that is about to be sold, I believe, into closure, says the change in the law will help local Bands to get more Gigs. Pub closures and the wind down in live music is down to many more factors than a Licensing clause that made little or no impact to my knowledge.
Interestingly, OK not that interestingly, I gave that interview over a month ago. One suspects that it was quiet news week for The Advertiser this week.
No danger of The Advertiser having space for “minority arts news” this week, our wonderful Council having either made complete idiots of themselves or been well and truly out played in the media game giving the same “idiot” result. One thing is for sure, someone will be losing their job be it in the Press Office or in Social Services.
And to those who say that we should what would amount to prescribing political parties I say be careful for what you wish for, many of the policies if not all the policies of UKIP are supported by Conservative Party MPs – so where does that leave us? Fight and win the argument through peaceful debate don’t hit out at individuals who might, misguided as it might be, have joined what they thought was a one issue and legal Political Party.
And apologies, we at RAE have still not fully tied up the 2013 dates for the Diary, but they will be with us very soon. Just a couple of confirmations to be received before we can publish with confidence. Should all be a little clearer at the end of this week.
That also applies to the changes to the Web Sites. They may seem slow, but we are getting there. Please let me know if the flash spinning things on the RAE Home page HERE slow things down too much, DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE.
T Shirts, to be specific, very smart Slamfest T Shirts, are currently on a not to be repeated sale price of £4. Yes only £4. Help Mick clear his attic and make way for 2013 stock by snapping up these colourful garments. How do you get your hands on one or two? Shirts from all stages are available. All the details are HERE. Failure to do so will result in us sending around the John Lewis Snowman to leak over your living room carpet on Christmas Eve evening!!
An interesting development for the poets and story writing and telling followers of the Blog, the opening of a facility close next to Wilkinsons on Corporation Street called The Pop Up Story Book. This has been set up under the umbrella of Inspire Rotherham. I’m not one hundred per cent sure yet what the Shop will be doing but I understand it’s a base from which they intend to out reach literary projects, e.g. as part of one of their programmes Michael Rossen will be visiting High Greave Junior and Infant School on Monday. I’m hoping to get into the Shop for a chat with Deborah soon, meanwhile you can find out more at the Web Site HERE
Looks as if it’s going to be a busy build up towards Christmas. But first two shouts for help from ACOUSTIC musicians. On Saturday the 1st December 1:00pm the Campaign that is seeking to save Herringthorpe Field being developed by The Rugby Club will be demonstrating on the field along with a Christmas bring and buy sale. Anyone able to get down and bash out some chords will be more than welcomed by Tom and the organising Committee.
Also on Saturday 1st Diamond Velocity need transport to get to a Gig over at Barnsley. Petrol money and a drink plus some great music is promised. Band of four members a drum and an amp need to be shifted. If you can help Email by sending a message HERE
And then on Saturday the 8th December The Button Tin in the Imperial Building on Corporation Street is holding a Christmas Arts Market + (and here’s the tempting bit) a HOG ROAST from 10:00am. ACOUSTIC MUSICIANS are needed to make this a top event. So shift bums, dig out the guitars and get into Rotherham Town for a real Christmas celebration. Everyone more than welcome. More details HERE
First Monday of the Month and over at Worksop our good mates Storm Trees are doing a fine job. Julie and Richard are hosting an evening of music. This week they have those old age pensioners called The Rogues and that young man Dylan Brierley will also be attendance. A quality night. It’s called The First Monday Club which can be found from around 8:00pm at the The Three legged Stool.
It’s worth saying that Julie and Richard are unsung heroes for the cause. Not only are they fantastic supporters of the Rotherham live music scene, turning up at more Open Mic and Jam sessions than even The Mashers in their hay and mobile days, they are also a duo / quartet that go out and actively search out new and virgin venues to host LIVE MUSIC. And of course they are talented – makes yer sick! Lol
First Tuesday and it’s Folk at The Butchers, Braithwell. And then for first Friday it’s the Christmas ROMP for the poets down at The Bridge, while they keep Playing On over at The Rutland in Sheffield.
You can keep up to date with all the listings for December HERE as they come to my computer.
Just to remind folks pictures from The Fringe Festival / Busking Day and Urban Pianos can be found HERE and of course the Slamfest pictures can be found HERE
Stay tuned while the Web Sites continue to be updated and hoping to announce the full RAE programme in the next Blog.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, have great fun, support local artists and KEEP IT LIVE