So, our new autumn programme has landed and is jammed with over 90 wonderful gigs, concerts, markets, exhibitions, workshops and so much more. And it's introduced by none other than Poet and Comedian Ian McMillan! As a small arts centre working hard help folks enjoy and get involved in the arts, Ian’s heartening words and sentiment is hugely appreciated…. And not just because he obviously loved the cake!
Have a read of Ian's thoughts about The Witham and come and check out the next season's worth of events next week.
Everyone is creative and here at The Witham, we believe it's a fundamental human right to experience, participate in, and be excited by great art and culture. And we're working hard to offer you just that with our latest exciting season packed with theatre, films, visual art exhibitions, workshops, music and comedy.
Our mission is to be a platform for best artistic and cultural experiences, champions of participation in the arts for all, whilst creating a community that builds relationships and nurtures progressive, dynamic projects to excite, inspire & encourage artistic exploration.
September at a Glance
20 Sep | The Magic Flute | Opera
21 Sep | King Lear Live from Shakespeare's Globe | Theatre
Sat 23 | Cumbrian Printmakers: Carborundum/Collagraph | Workshop
23 Sep | Funny Way to be Comedy: Robin Ince | Comedy
26 Sep | Exhibition on Screen: Canaletto and the Art of Venice | Cinema
27 Sep | Birkett and Fiske | Music
28 Sep | Royal Northern Sinfonia | Music
Fun in the Oven Theatre Company presented Canary at The Witham on Wednesday 13 September 2017. Our reviewer Evie Brenkley (aged 14) reviews...
With bright yellow faces and dark blue overalls, the highly talented actresses of ‘Canary’ certainly caught one’s eye, and the play was equally striking. Darkly comedic and fabulous, the play was based on the ‘Canary Girls’ - brave women called upon during WW1 in a desperate time of need. When desperate for soldiers, Britain had raided all of its factories for men - and had no-one doing important jobs such as making the weaponry and explosives needed to fight. Once domestic slaves, the girls were now the key to pulling through and winning the war, making munitions and for the front line. Although it gave them illnesses, including yellow skin due to the toxic poisoning, many women enjoyed their new job as it gave them independence and a chance to live their life as their own. The play really gave us an in-depth detail of their lives and the entire thing was really fascinating. If you ever get the chance to go and see it - do, it is very enlightening and well worth watching.
The first part of the play is a sort of advert for the Canary Girls, with a narrator giving the girls life as they go about their daily tasks. This all changes, however, when an air raid strikes and the girls are left alone - just the three of them. When the actresses really discover themselves, we watch some heart-wrenching material whilst connecting to them on an emotional level. The entire play is very well choreographed and put together, constantly hilarious. The script was well written too and really emphasised showing us the women’s lives and also how they were being treated. The majority of it was still applicable to today’s society, making the play really thought-provoking at so many stages.
When the end of the air raid, and then the war was announced, everybody was given a short break, before the audience was allowed back into the theatre for a Q&A session with the actresses and their director. This was very interesting and allowed us all to gain a deeper understanding of the play. They all told us that they had such good fun producing the play, and improvising in rehearsals to discover their characters. They are still working on the final play, to make the whole thing really exciting so that “no one ever leaves the room.”
The audience loved it too, and it struck the teenagers there in particular. One of them told me they “thought the subject matter was very interesting and the physical way it was portrayed was excellent”. Another said, “the lighting flowed very clearly, and it came together well with the sound and the acting”. Certainly, the overriding consensus from all was that the play was incredibly enjoyable.
‘Canary’ has an excellent mix of fact and fiction, funny and heartbreaking; and the contrast between happy and sad is excellently portrayed. It is very well put together, with wonderful character development and the plot line is almost faultless, with every concept flowing together nicely. Considering this is still a work in progress, I can’t wait to see it develop and flourish in the future.