Ventnor Arts Club were delighted to host The Mike Must Go On last Wednesday evening…an exclusive live streamed mix of well-known classics and self-penned songs performed by Mike Christie from Cowes. He was twice joined at the keyboard by tenor Thomas Cameron who delighted us by arriving at the club to make a surprise guest appearance. He has been a welcome visitor over the last three years appearing at The Fringe and delighting us also with his Christmas concert.
The Ventnor Arts Club audience very much enjoyed the evening. Mike involved the global audience, who joined the streamed event, by sharing their messages and comments in between songs and engaged everyone with his relaxed and easy chats. We would love to welcome him back before long and hope to host another such event in the future.
This was our first live event of the autumn following the summer performances during The Fringe and we are excited to have more live events coming soon as we begin a programme of satellite broadcasts from the NY Met Opera, The National Theatre and Royal Opera House.
Ventnor Arts Club welcomed members for an evening of drinks and conversation on 27th May after several months of closure due to the Covid-19 restrictions. It was wonderful to be able to open the doors and greet familiar faces, to hear the hum of people catching up with each other and the clink of glasses. How we have missed that! During the time we have been closed, work has been going on at the club behind the scenes and also in our main room where, in order to give greater comfort to audiences, state of the art air conditioning has been installed.
Last week we began our club screenings and were pleased to show two contrasting films The Dig, which was a member’s request, and The Windermere Children. Book Group met on Friday…a really enjoyable get together after months of comparing reading notes via email! We had so much to catch up on and as usual the conversation was stimulating and fun.
The calendar is beginning to fill with a variety of exciting recorded live events from the worlds of theatre, opera, ballet and contemporary music. These include international productions and Ventnor Arts Club is delighted to be able screen these in our very special relaxed and comfortable venue. Details are on our website and will be going out in our weekly newsletter.
We are continuing look after our guests by offering table service and by carefully maintaining our standards of cleaning. At Ventnor Arts Club we are keen to ensure that everyone who comes through the door does so with confidence and that they each enjoy their visit to us in every way possible. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new faces, giving a warm welcome to all.
Off we go into Lockdown Number 2 and sadly Ventnor Arts Club has had to close it’s doors once again.
We were thrilled to be back and busy following the first lockdown and then again for a second time after the heartbreaking flood, which so rudely interrupted our comeback. It was wonderful to welcome old friends and new faces and provide table service, conversation and a variety of screened events ranging from art documentaries to film and theatre.
We had a busy programme of screenings planned to tempt you through November and although we have rescheduled as many as we can for December, we were determined to give people a chance to see some excellent productions right up to the wire.
Most notable was Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre in August this year – with no live audience in attendance due to Covid restrictions. This was a new adaptation by Connor McPherson and starred Toby Jones as Vanya with Richard Armitage as Astrov and Aimee Lou Wood as Sonya. We had two sell out nights and great reviews from our audiences. An atmospheric set and the tension between the cast of characters portraying the conflicted family gave us all a night to remember.
Other screenings in the last few days included ballet and opera from the Royal OperaHouse with stunning productions of Giselle and Manon Lescaut both recorded live and released on film for cinema viewing. Here was all the drama and tingling emotion one could wish for and hopefully enough cultural nourishment to see you through to the other side.
There has been much activity within Book Group, which was due to hold its November meeting this week when we would have been selecting our short list of titles for the coming few months. We have just finished reading two very contrasting novels: Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and The Guest List by Lucy Foley.
There have been some animated reviews emailed in to these! They were not all complimentary but were very much in keeping with the interesting discussion that normally takes place in the cosy atmosphere on a Friday evening at Ventnor Arts Club. As we all turn our attention in remembrance to another time of national crisis, the next group read is Warlight by Michael Ondaatje; a story of lives built and undone in the closing hours and long aftermath of the second World War. Fingers are firmly crossed that the December Book Group meeting can go ahead with perhaps a glass of mulled wine to sip while we discuss!
Members of Ventnor Arts Club Book Group spent an interesting and enjoyable afternoon last Saturday on a visit to Farringford, the home of Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.
TheGrade 1 listed house has undergone a major restoration and is beautifully presented.Tour guide commentary reveals much about this peaceful and domestic haven where Tennyson lived and worked from 1853 until his death in 1892, during which time it became a focus of intellectual and artistic activity during visits by many of his eminent friends.
The Ventnor Arts Club Book Group outing took place just as we are about to reconvene after the summer break.Our informal meetings take place once a month, usually on a Friday evening at the club.The reading list is compiled from nominations or recommendations from members of the group and cover a range of genres.Over recent months we have covered contemporary fiction and non fiction featuring a range of international authors…some books have been Marmite being either a real hit or have been given a resounding thumbs down.It is always interesting to hear the different points of view generated from a shared text.
The first Book Group meeting of the Autumn will be at 7.30pm on Friday 6th September at Ventnor Arts Club.
We are very pleased to continue hosting the Ventnor Film Society. The new season offers a range of wonderfully made and stumulating films. We have shown one or two at our club screenings and can endorse the choices made. If you’d like to see any of the films, please make sure you book ahead. Details are on our calendar and at the Film Society website along with synopses of the movies.
We’re really pleased to announce that caulkhead singer songwriter Holly will be kicking off our 2014 line up, on Saturday February 1st. We tried to book her last year but she was busy learning more about her craft at a university on the mainland. But now she is booked and we hope you come along to an enjoy an evening with her and her music.
Holly Kirby is a singer-songwriter and musician from the Isle of Wight. Her YouTube channel which she set up aged 16 in 2007, is frequently one of the most viewed musician’s sites on YouTube in the UK. In the past year much of Holly’s work has been an eclectic mix of Celtic, folk and pop music.
Her YouTube videos have received nearly two million views in total, her website has been viewed over eight hundred thousand times, and she has more than eleven thousand subscribers who are notified of each new video she produces.
Holly enjoys all sorts of music and is very open to new ideas and new sounds. She especially enjoys performing music live, and as well as appearing on TV she has played and sung before crowds ranging in size from small groups while busking through to many hundreds in concert, including playing as the support act for Joan Armatrading and Amy MacDonald.
Tickets are available now – £5 for members / £7.50 for guests. book at firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1823, The Troy Savings Bank in New York moved to a new building. To demonstrate the Bank’s appreciation for the many years of patronage by the local community, the plans for the new Bank building included a Music Hall on the upper floor. How appropriate that we, in our beautiful 1920!s former Nat West Bank Building, are opening our doors to provide a backdrop for a Music Hall event, to be staged in the spring of 2014.
Director and Producer Lizzie Flynn, who has a background in Musical Theatre, is keen to engage the passion and artistic talents of the local community and give it the opportunity, i to perform in our lovely and appropriate space. Music Hall is a great genre through which to try out your hidden talent, or to enhance your performance skills. Lizzie is delighted that Graham Benson has volunteered to act as Chairman and master ceremonies on the night. He has a wealth of experience in pub and club Music Hall and will ensure the entertainment goes off with a bang. The Music Hall classes will run at the club on Friday afternoons from 4 – 5.30 and the bar will be open for some much needed post rehearsal refreshment. Interested performers – club members and non members – should email Lizzie at email@example.com now.
The fun begins on Friday 1st November at 4.00 p.m.
This Saturday sees the beginning of a series of discussions at Ventnor Arts Club led by Lizzie Flynn, expert facilitator and ‘a woman in search of the truth’.
The sessions will be conversations stimulated by pieces of film, newspaper reports, a picture or even a piece of philosophical writing. The group then, sustained by a delicious afternoon tea, goes on to have a proper conversation about life, love and the meaning of the universe. Or it might just take a tangent and end up debating the impact of Strictly Come Dancing on the traditional Saturday night out. Whatever turn the conversation takes it is unlikely to be small talk and it will be a certain way of getting to know and understand your co-conversationalists and where they are coming from.
The first in the series which is entitled Afternoon Antithesis will be accompanied by tea, savouries and cakes and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome, the more the merrier and more meaningful the conversation.
Ventnor Arts Club members gathered within the comfortable former Nat West Bank premises in Ventnor for a celebratory cocktail evening and live music from Tallulah Smith, who has become a firm favourite with members and guests of the club.
Tallulah’s distinct clear voice, with just a trace of warble, was beautifully complimented with guitar and supporting vocals by David Champion from band of the moment CHAMPS. Songs like ‘Georgia’ that could be straight from a Country and Western club in Nashville, albeit a dead hip one, ‘Heaven Knows’ with its plaintiff chorus and the poignant ‘Heart Shaped Box’ were all delivered perfectly by the diminutive songstress whose voice filled the room with its high glass ceiling: her pretty duck egg blue and white polka dotted blouse echoing the slate blue walls of the club.
Coordinated in every way, the sadness of many of her songs plucks at the heartstrings of everyone who hears them – memories of that angst of first love, the awkwardness of feeling at home in your own skin and the trials and tribulations of finding your own style (‘Best Clothes’). Yet they have a playful side too. ‘Hair do’ is a very funny, tongue in cheek song about loving someone for his hairstyle, yet delivered so dead pan that it is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground. They call it ‘Pastoral Folk’ apparently, but it has a most haunting quality that lingers long after the set has finished.
The collaborations of David Champion and his Brother Michael have led to a variety of bands, with different line ups including the BBC Radio play listed CHAMPS, The Shutes and on this occasion a sort of ‘cocktail hour’ version of Tula and the Blackgang. On this occasion Michael was taking the night off, but listening intently from a stool at the back of the club.
With her acting background, sweet vocals and such musicianship around her, we predict Tallulah could go a long way. Her set was very entertaining, extremely charming and just perfect for the intimate atmosphere of cocktail mixologist Dan’s last night at the Ventnor Arts Club before his move to the West Country. Good luck to Dan in Bath and to Tallulah & CHAMPS; keep mixing it up – we love it.
Set list: Georgia; heaven knows; skin; heart shaped box; best clothes; honeybee; weeping; sit still; beautiful; best friend; hair do.