Henry Priestman At Fusion Creative

PriestmanFormerly a member of Yachts and The Christians but now solo with his friend Les Glover, Henry Priestman has been a part of the UK music scene since the late 70s and although it’s hard to believe when one witnesses one of his live shows, he’s now sixty. Never.

His visit to Fusion Creative on Saturday gave him the chance to showcase some of his newer material, covering topics as diverse as the uselessness of men and the joys of getting old but he also found time for the Christians’ classic Ideal World. Most of his songs have a wry humour to them but Peace At The End Of The Day, a song dedicated to his late mother and mother in law and Grey Is The New Blonde, showed that he can do tender and moving too.

Swapping gags and banter with each other and with audience members Henry and Les gave a terrific performance filled with wit, humour and humanity and including a master class in how to sing while eating a Locket (other throat sweets are available), a skill possessed by many of the residents of Hull and the North Bank, where it is passed down from father to son as part of their oral tradition.

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Highlight of the evening was the gorgeous Valentine Song but it was a set with plenty of variety, including songs of political indignation, about the greed of politicians and Ghosts, a wonderful song about the Hessle Rd fishermen and the loss of the Hull fishing industry. Support came from Josie-Anne Gray who delivered a set of uncompromisingly political poetry.

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It was certainly a fantastic night and we understand there are plans to bring Henry Priestman back to Fusion in 2017 to work with the choir and to deliver workshops and a performance as part of their annual festival.

That’s certainly an event to look forward to and there’s lots of great stuff coming up at Fusion, including a circus weekend and a young people’s theatre project for the summer.

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With theatre, music, gardening, crafts and lots more every week there’s always something great going on at Fusion. Look out for ukulele sessions – starting soon!
You can find out more at www.fusioncreative.org.uk

All Aboard For The Flying Scotsman

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There’s an exciting day in prospect at Cleethorpes Station on Saturday 11th June when 60103 Flying Scotsman, one of the most iconic locomotives in railway history, steams into town to pull a train full of enthusiasts to Newcastle and Morpeth.

Built in 1923 and designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for the LNER, the engine left the factory in 1923 and was named after the London to Edinburgh service. In 1934 she was clocked at 100mph, officially the first locomotive in the UK to have reached that speed.

Steam locomotive 4472 arrives to cheers from waiting crowds.
Steam locomotive 4472 arrives to cheers from waiting crowds.

Newly restored and repainted in her BR colours Scotsman will leave Cleethorpes Station at 7.30am and pass through Grimsby Town Station at about 7.40am. All seats sold out long ago unfortunately but the engine will still make a fabulous sight for train lovers of all ages.

If you’d like to ride on a future Flying Scotsman event you can find details at www.railwaytouring.net and there’s also a fantastic programme of Scotsman related events running throughout the year at the National Railway Museum in York – far too many to mention here so go to www.flyingscotsman.org.uk and remember to check which days the engine will be on show.

Patients Urged To Nominate Their Own NHS Stars

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Have you had a good experience from your local NHS? Want to thank that particular member of staff who did their best to look after you?

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust is seeking nominations for the Patients’ Choice award category at its annual staff awards ceremony, Our Stars, which is held every October.

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Simon Dunn, people and organisational development lead explained: “Each year we hold a special event to celebrate and recognise those staff members who add that extra sparkle to our patients’ experience with us. Whether it was someone clinical who provided exceptional care or someone else who made your visit that little bit easier we want to hear from you.”

“We’re inviting nominations from patients and their loved ones for the Patients’ Choice award so we can recognise those individuals and teams who have made a real difference to patients and their families.”

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So whether it was a nurse, doctor, cleaner, therapist, consultant, volunteer, porter, receptionist, a member of catering staff or someone else – if a member of staff made your day recently now’s your chance to say ‘thank you’.

Karen Jackson, chief executive at the Trust, said: “Often our staff often don’t realise that what they do is special, they see it as part of their daily job. Help us to honour and recognise their efforts by nominating them for an award.”

Last year’s winner was Lindsay Clark, midwife at Scunthorpe General Hospital. The patient who nominated Lindsay said: “She is a dedicated, compassionate midwife who deserves this nomination. She is an absolute credit to your team and without her careful eye and fast acting manner when things deteriorated during my labour; I am not convinced me and my daughter would be a healthy as we both are today.”

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If you have been a patient or visitor at Scunthorpe, Grimsby or Goole hospitals or at one of the Trust’s community health services, you can nominate a staff member, clinical or non-clinical, in one of these ways:

• Go to the Trust website at: www.nlg.nhs.uk/about/awards
• Email nlg-tr.comms@nhs.net
• Call (01724) 387739.

Please provide your name, contact number, the name of the staff member you are nominating, the area they work in and the reason for the nomination.

The winner of the Patient’s Choice award, and nine other awards, will be revealed at the Our Stars 2016 event at the Forest Pines Hotel and Golf Resort on Friday 7th October.

The Peoples Issue 43 Starring JCS Fish

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The Peoples Issue 43 is now available in major supermarkets, Freshney Place and lots of other distribution points. This issue has the lovely people from JCS Fish on the front cover and inside you’ll find features on local small and medium sized businesses, great days out and the Tour De Yorkshire. There’s also a picture feature on Grimsby Town’s open topped bus tour of the town to celebrate their return to the Football League.

You can find the magazine online at the Diva website.

A Glorious Festival Of Flowers At St Peter’s Church

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St Peter’s Church in Cleethorpes is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion they’ve organised a series of events including a marvellous Flower Festival which we were fortunate enough to visit this week.

The celebrations will also include an exhibition by the Great Grimsby Family History Group, which runs from June 8th-17th and features exhibits drawn from local registers of births, marriages and deaths. There are two visits from Dr Alan Dowling who will be giving a talk entitled How Cleethorpes Became A Seaside Resort on June 8th and reading from The Young Visiters By Daisy Ashford on June 15th. Both events are at 2pm.

June also marks the return of the popular St Peter’s concerts which begin on June 10th with young musicians from Thrunscoe Academy playing the cello, singing and Samba drumming and continue through to late August, every Friday from midday until 1pm with a mixture of jazz and classical and even some ukulele music.

Visit the church website at www.stpeterscleethorpes.org.uk for more details and many thanks to everybody at the church who was so helpful when we visited.

Murder Most Agreeable At The Caxtons

Caxtons

Dead Man’s Hand
Caxton Theatre
4th-11th June 2016

In an elegant and isolated villa in 1950s Italy people are dying. Thrown together apparently by chance, a group of strangers soon come to realise that their presence is in fact the result of the machinations of the mysterious and unseen Mr Konarkis.

His motives are unclear but a bloodstained note, (which arrives special delivery attached to a disembowelled fox), urges them to repent and confess their sins in order to save themselves.
Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one. We’re in Agatha Christie territory surely? With a little JB Priestley for good measure. Maybe so, but there’s a twist. Or rather there are several twists. And then some more.

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In fact this new production at the Caxton Theatre, directed by Debra West, has more twists than a bag of eels and nothing is ever what it seems. It’s a knowing and ever so slightly post modern take on a genre that has been a staple of the British stage for decades. The classic tropes of the stage thriller arrive and are dispatched as quickly as the proverbial strangers in a country villa and as the body count rises so does the tension.

Who will be next? More importantly, who will be last?

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Since it’s such an ensemble piece and because I’m terrified of inadvertently giving things away, I’m going to take the coward’s way out and simply say that the whole cast is excellent and that Dead Man’s Hand is a splendidly enjoyable evening for anyone who loves a great thriller delivered with panache and just the right mix of thrills and suspension of disbelief.

This is a play that will keep you guessing right to the end and it’s huge fun and very stylish too.

Highly recommended.

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Dead Man’s Hand runs from 4th-11th June at 7.30pm.
For tickets or further information go to www.caxtontheatre.com

Silhouettes Musical Theatre Present Carousel

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Set in a coastal community with a fishing based economy and a permanent fairground, Carousel is in many ways the perfect musical for our area. Of course we don’t have clambakes but they don’t have fish chips and mushy peas, so that’s even, but the show does boast one of the few discussions of the erotic potency of piscine olfaction in the whole of western literature (outside of specialist publications) – a phenomenon without which Grimsby would presumably never have grown beyond being a village.

To celebrate their 75th anniversary this year Silhouettes Musical Theatre are presenting the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, directed by David Wrightam, at the Auditorium between June 1st and 4th, and it’s a real treat for ear and eye, with great singing, exuberant dancing and fine acting throughout.

All concerned give excellent performances, especially the two principles, Jordan Carlton, who is suitably raffish and indecisive as Billy Bigelow and does a fine job with the tricky Soliloquy and Kate Prior whose Julie Jordan has just the right mix of innocence and steely determination to get her man.

They’re supported by a fine cast including Jane Hebdon, Gary Howson and John Ferguson as the romantic triangle of Carrie, Enoch and Jigger, (never trust a man named after a burrowing parasitic insect), and Ann Forward whose Mrs Mullin deploys boothloads of frowzy swagger as she seeks to bring her favourite ex-employee back to the midway. John Solley and Susan Wheatley-Solley bring some old fashioned New England Methodist charm to the roles of Starkeeper and Heavenly Friend.

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The chorus and supporting cast are excellent too, particularly in the grand set piece June’s Bustin’ Out All Over, as is the orchestra (under the guidance of musical director Harold Thompson) and the choreography (courtesy of Hayley Wrightam). In their hands even the dream sequence, which has the potential to be a bit dull, (I’ve never really understood the ballet within a musical thing), is a highlight, with bright purple show people (there’s no people like them) and the uptight Snow family, conspiring to torment the young Louise, played by Lucy Frith, who manages to make a big impact in the few scenes in which she appears.

The sets and costumes are terrific, (getting a functioning carousel onto an amateur stage must have been a daunting challenge but it’s accomplished in style) and the whole production has enormous visual impact. The opening scene at the fairground is full of colour and bustle and the death scene (spoiler alert – it’s Billy – but you probably knew that anyway) with the gaudily dressed townsfolk in their party clothes standing in a deeply shadowed line across the stage while Julie weeps over the body of her feller looks like a Victorian Caravaggio.

If there’s a downside then possibly it’s Carousel itself. Richard Rodger’s music is fine, Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics the same, but it’s hard to believe that this musical, voted the best of all time by Time magazine in 1999, would achieve that position today. It’s an unwieldy piece that seems determined to break all the conventions of storytelling and it’s the book, also by Hammerstein and adapted from the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, that’s principally at fault. That and having a central moral that it’s possible for men to hit women hard and make it feel like a kiss. Possibly not a great message for the 21st century.

Whatever the shortcomings of the libretto, (and bearing in mind that it’s possible that I’m wrong about it and the rest of the world is right), the Silhouettes deliver a show full of joy and gusto and if you’re a fan of the Broadway musical tradition, or even if you’re not, it’s well worth a visit.

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Carousel is at the Grimsby Auditorium until June 4th at 7.30pm each evening and with a 2pm matinee on Saturday.
For tickets or further information go to www.grimsbyauditorium.org.uk or www.silhouettesmt.co.uk

Netherlands National Circus At Meridian Showground

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If you’ve driven along Kings Road, Cleethorpes this week you may have noticed the minarets of a huge tent peering over the walls of the Meridian Showground.

It’s the home canvas of the Netherlands National Circus, which is playing two shows a day until June 5th. The circus is hosted by Yasmine Smart, grandaughter of the famous Billy Smart who has been a part of the show for the past two years.

Yasmine has fond memories of Cleethorpes because she visited with her grandfather’s show back in Aug 1968, walking the elephants from the railway station to the ground on Taylors Avenue, next to the Lynton Hotel.

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The circus’ brand new production for 2016 will have something for everyone. It has an international cast of breathtaking artistes and is packed full of comedy, aerial performances, diablo and much more. Two hours of fun, action packed, fast paced, family entertainment guaranteed!

The Netherlands National Circus will be performings everyday between Monday 30th May and Sunday 5th June 2016 at 2.30pm & 7pm (Monday-Saturday) and 12 noon & 3pm on Sunday. To book tickets call the ticketline on 0113 260 2444.

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