This summer, as part of Summer of Stories, The Witham offered a week long musical theatre summer school, starting on Monday 8th August. On Saturday 13th, we produced an all singing, all dancing, 20 minute version of the West End show, Matilda. Speaking as one of the 14 young people (aged 8-12) lucky enough to have participated, I can say that the week was enormously tiring but probably one of the best experiences of my life.
Having been given a copy of the script and songs, Monday was spent getting to know each other. Auditions were held on Tuesday morning and by lunchtime we knew our roles. Wednesday and Thursday were spent running through the play as well as learning choreography for the chorus numbers. The tech and dress rehearsals brought much excitement on Friday, and before we knew it, Saturday was upon us. To get us into spirit we did some busking on the streets, singing songs from the show. At 2pm, in costume and having calmed any last minute nerves, we were ready to begin. The performance went very quickly, but was so much fun. When it was time to say goodbye, a few tears were shed after such a wonderful week.
On behalf of the whole cast, I’d like to say a massive thank you to the team behind it: Sarah, Maddy, Lotte, Laura, Grace, Katy and Tom. Without you it couldn’t have happened. When I spoke to the cast afterwards, they all said they would definitely come again next year – I know I will!
By Evie Brenkley
As it’s a grey day today I don’t feel too bad telling you that I’m planning ahead with the Visual Arts programme at The Witham and looking to Christmas.
I’ve spent the last few weeks drafting a Visual Arts Strategy for The Witham, and a big part of that is aiming to develop the economy and ecology of art in Barnard Castle and the surrounding area.
With the help of the team here at The Witham I hope to achieve that by supporting, facilitating, and promoting the work of emerging and mid-career artists, designers and makers from County Durham, Yorkshire, Cumbria, and the north east of England. In doing so helping to retain artistic talent in the region, and drive cultural tourism to the region.
The first step on this ladder is the birth of the Teesdale Christmas Art Fair, which will take place at The Witham from Thursday 8 December to Tuesday 20 December. The event will present an exciting opportunity for visitors to buy unique works of art created by some of the most exciting, regional fine artists just in time for Christmas.
The inaugural Teesdale Christmas Art Fair will show a variety of work, from painting to sculpture, by artists working in or inspired by County Durham, Cumbria and Yorkshire and the north east of England.
In order to keep quality high, and the balance of work on display right, involvement in the Teesdale Art Fair is by selection. Artists wishing to express interest in exhibiting in the Teesdale Art Fair should send an artist statement and images of, or a link to, their work to email@example.com
Please help me on the first rung of the ladder by spreading the word about the Teesdale Christmas Art Fair amongst regional artists, friends of The Witham, and visitors alike.
Many thanks, and look forward to hearing from artists out there,
Sarah Mayhew Craddock
Visual Arts Co-Ordinator
Our new team member...Sarah describes herself as artistic, energetic, analytical and resilient! Find out more....