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On Friday 5th May at 8pm, renowned duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman perform at premier folk music venue, The Witham, Barnard Castle’s vibrant Arts Centre. With a world-class reputation as original songwriters and twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 folk award for Best Duo 2013 and 2016, Kathryn and Sean are a must see for this season’s music offering at the highly respected venue.

Having a career boasting collaborations with folk greats including Kate Rusby, Cara Dillon, Seth Lakeman, Levellers, Show of Hands and more, the partnership form a union of solid guitar playing, smoky vocals and top-notch producing skills. Sean, one third of the legendary Lakeman brothers is regarded as ‘the unsung hero’ of modern British folk and Barnsley born Kathryn has been hailed as one of the finest singers of her generation, held in the highest regard of peers and music fans alike.

 

Their original material deals with subjects such as wicked mermaids, norwgian legends and a lonely whale, and together with an intimate show and strength of passion, the duo ensure a rare treat for any listener.

 

Tickets are available at www.thewitham.org,uk or by phone on 01833 631107 (10 – 4pm, Tues – Sat). You can also call into the Box Office at 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle during these hours. 

‘I have a theory, relatively speaking - it is going to change your world...maybe.’

On Wednesday 3 May, 6.30pm, recent theatre resident, Sian Armstrong brings her current production, Stupid to be enjoyed by friends, Turrets Youth Theatre and visitors to The Witham. 

Free admission. Work in Progress Show

Wednesday 3 May | 6.30pm

"Everything is different now. Nothing is what it used to be. I need to solve it. I have a theory. Sadie says I’m being an idiot, she says that it’s all subjective. That’s why I need you. My fellow professors, miraculous phenomenons. Together let’s walk the world and look out at the universe as it really is. My equations aren’t made of numbers – in fact you might never have heard them before. Or some of you might recognise them as your own. Take them. They’re my present to you. My findings, aged 24 ½."

 
Creative Team
Performer and Co-Writer: Sian Armstrong
Director: Paula Penman
Co-writer/mentor: Laura Lindow
 

On Monday 1st May at 8pm, The Witham opens it’s doors for Jig Doll - a sensational new project by young folk star Hannah James of esteemed trio, Lady Maisery. A fusion of digital layering, traditional folk music and clog dancing, Hannah brings audiences a unique combination of the traditional and contemporary arts.

Singer, accordionist and clog dancer, Hannah has been deemed as one to watch as a solo artist. Already possessing an outstanding portfolio having performed in numerous highly successful folk outfits over the last decade, including  working alongside renowned folk-fiddler Sam Sweeney who brought a sell-out concert to The Witham back in September 2015. 

 

Described as an elegant and exotic show exploring the life of a traveling musician, her combination of flowing accordion melodies and percussive foot stomping is an impressive and beautiful mix, even for those who are not familiar with folk music traditions.  

Maddy Sutton, Audience Development Officer at The Witham states: ‘with percussive dance at the heart of this show, the gig will be a really exciting and energetic experience. Hannah is bringing something that is genuinely new and interesting, and because she mixes so many different elements to the production, everybody can be confident that they will be blown away from the impressive skill-set on show!’

Tickets are available at www.thewitham.org,uk or by phone on 01833 631107 (10 – 4pm, Tues – Sat). You can also call into the Box Office at 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle during these hours.

The Witham is proud to present Emotive Landscapes, an exciting exhibition of arresting, and experimental painting, printmaking, and drawing inspired by local landscapes by celebrated artists Dawn Brookes, Debbie Loane and Andrew Dalton.

Emotive Landscapes (Thursday 27 April to Saturday 20 May, 10 am - 4 pm, Tues to Sat) presents a display of abstracted, emotive landscapes by three artists from the North east region. 

As Debbie Loane of Easingwold comments:
“I come from a largely agricultural background. As a painter working with the landscape I am constantly challenged to create work which acknowledges the romantic splendour of the Northern landscape, whilst at the same time being conscious that my work is rooted in the daily practicalities of rural life. As a result, my work can take many forms.”

Dawn Brooks of Scarborough creates abstract monochrome prints that are stark, intimate and expressive. By combining drawing with drypoint etching and collagraph, she develops the printing plate, instinctively reacting to marks as they are made.

Describing his approach to his creative practice, Andrew Dalton of Thirsk remarks,
“As an artist, I am fascinated by black and white. In print, painting and drawing I use black, and its gradations to white, as the vehicle through which I express myself. Whether figurative or abstract, my imagery represents a personal narrative; a distillation of moments that represent experience. I try to create images that offer the viewer ambiguous forms to consider and fill with their own meaning.'

Since August 2016, The Witham Art Gallery has been taken to new heights by the Visual Art Coordinator, Sarah Mayhew Craddock, who has been working with the team to develop the gallery into an increasingly dynamic and diverse Visual Arts hub.  Despite her imminent maternity leave, Sarah has planned and curated exhibitions for the next eighteen months.

As Sarah Gent, Marketing Manager at The Witham comments, “It’s been just fantastic to witness Sarah work, pulling together exhibitions here at The Witham that incorporate exciting and beautiful works by a wide range of artists from across the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.”

The Emotive Landscapes exhibition feels like a flagship exhibition in this work, a brilliant achievement here at our vibrant arts centre, with artists of this calibre bringing their work to Barnard Castle to offer our visitors a rich and exciting visual arts experience.”

The Witham is open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday, and admission is free.

For further information about the Emotive Landscapes exhibition and the Visual Arts at The Witham, visit  www.thewitham.org.uk and select Gallery.

Combining two of the finest talents in jazz music from the North-East region, Paul Edis and Emma Fisk perform a special concert of duets at The Witham on Wednesday 12th April.

An exciting programme made up of music from late 19th century through to the 1950s.  Together the duo will be taking their audience on a musical journey through this creative but turbulent period of history with music by Dvorak, Elgar, Fats Waller, Gershwin and  Cole Porter.  This evening offers a fascinating tour of people, places and music.

The two musicians are critically acclaimed in the north-east for their interpretations and quality performances. Unique as a jazz-violinist, Emma Fisk specialises in Hot/Club, Gypsy and classic jazz and gigs regularly at festivals around the UK. Paul is in demand as a performer and composer having been described as ‘a new voice in jazz, a real jazz composer, a very thoughtful improviser’ in Jazz Journal.

 Tickets are available at www.thewitham.org,uk or by phone on 01833 631107 (10 – 4pm, Tues – Sat). You can also call into the Box Office at 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle during these hours.

 

 

On Wednesday 29 March at 7.30pm, the north-east’s premier chamber music ensemble, Royal Northern Sinfonia of Sage Gateshead will be on tour to The Witham, Barnard Castle’s vibrant art centre.

Brining a wonderful programme of chamber music for strings, the orchestra’s repertoire will include Mozart’s Duo for Violin and Viola, Schubert’s String Quartet No.12, Kodaly’s Serenade for Strings and Brahms’s String Quartet No.2.

Royal Northern Sinfonia has built a world-wide reputation for the quality of its music making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with the audiences. Maddy Sutton, Audience Development Officer at The Witham says: ‘It’s always a treat to have the orchestra come and perform in Barnard Castle. It really is an opportunity to witness the finest musicianship with such a beautiful set of pieces on offer. It’s true that the orchestra are always so amiable and entertaining- it creates such a personal experience in listening to classical music’.

Another offering of first-class performance is a live broadcast from Covent Garden by The Royal Opera House of Madama Butterfly on Thursday 30 March at 7.15pm.  This will be a unique viewing to see Puccini’s famous opera conducted by Antonion Pappano in a close-up and high-definition experience.

To book tickets and find out more information, visit The Witham between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, book online: www.thewitham.org.uk or call 01833 631107.

 

 

 

Children’s theatre company Kitchen Zoo are bringing their first show, The Owl and The Pussycat, to The Witham in March, in a spectacular adaptation of the classic poem which features puppetry and live music. The North East based company are setting sail in their pea green boat and will be performing the children’s tale at 11am on 18th March at The Witham and is perfect for children aged 3 – 7 years.

The Owl and the Pussycat live in a dull and dusty world, so imagine how shocked and surprised they are when a stupendous storm sweeps them out of the window, SPLASH! On to an unexpected sea voyage to a curious land. But who will they meet? Which way should they go? And, what is a runcible spoon?

Kitchen Zoo is a duo made up of performers Bob Nicholson and Hannah Goudie, who have worked together since 2014 on various projects. The Owl and the Pussycat will be their first

show as Kitchen Zoo and it has been developed in partnership with ARC, Stockton-on-Tees and The Witham, Barnard Castle.

Hannah described her excitement: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to explore this brilliantly bizarre adventure by Edward Lear. There is such beauty in his storytelling and the

language he uses which we are excited to bring to life through music and song as we work with the wonderfully talented Jeremy Bradfield as musician performer.”

Tickets can be bought for The Witham by calling the Box Office on 01833 631107 or at

www.thewitham.org.uk

 

On Friday 10 March at 8pm, Oysters 3 will perform a fresh acoustic set with off-the-wall stories at The Witham Art Centre in Barnard Castle.

Folk-rock legends and the creative-heart behind Oystersband, John Jones, Alan Prosser and Ian Telfer bring a prolific show giving audiences an insight into the band’s career with songs spanning across the decades in a relaxed atmosphere. This show presents a special opportunity to enjoy stripped-back versions of the band’s back catalogue.

Famed for their distinctive mix of crafted lyrics, big tunes with a thorough grounding in British traditional music, this is a rare chance to see the trio up close and personal and to remember their inspirational 40-year international career.

The band state: ‘The origin of this idea was a challenge to do something different in addition to a ‘normal’ concert. The really interesting part is that the songs stand up so well in a stripped-down format. It lets us explore some less familiar parts of our repertoire too.’

Maddy Sutton, Audience Development Officer at The Witham says, ‘Oysters 3 are a prime example of musicians who are willing to take risks with the genre and are still as passionate today about live performance as they were when they started out. Therefore, I think this show really will be a celebration of their stories and ambitions within the British folk scene.’

The Witham have teamed with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme to bring Canadian company Les Bordéliques to Barnard Castle on Wednesday 8th March at 7.30pm. They bring a masterful and memorable performance that takes a fun look at the dating game.

Bind Date is a funny and touching performance from two Canadian Cirque De Soleil performers whose desperate search from a soul mate is told through a captivating mix of circus, dance, mime and music.

The performers convey the personality archetypes of:  shy, pretentious, neurotic, rebellious and romantic. From stilts to high heels, classical violin to contemporary music, step dancing shoes to ballet slippers, these archetypes bring us an amusing dating game through the tease of seduction and a comedic clash of personalities. 

By combining narrative and clown-inspired theatre, Les Bordéliques weave movement, melody and rhythm into imaginative performances, bringing colourful characters and tales of whimsy to life.

Sarah Gent, Marketing Manager at The Witham said “…We are delighted to be welcoming Les Bordeliques to The Witham in this funny and touching performance. It’s fantastic to work with Highlights Rural Touring Scheme to bring such a high calibre of theatre to Barnard Castle. This is for everyone aged eleven and over to come and enjoy this captivating mix of circus, mime, dance and theatre!”

On Friday 3 March at 8pm a unique mix of folk and traditional music from around the world is brought to The Witham,  Barnard Castle’s vibrant arts centre by The Hut People.

The English instrumental duo is firmly established as one of the most unique and entertaining acts on the UK folk scene today, mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex with their distinctive sound of piano accordion and foot-stomping percussion. Accordionist Sam Pirt & Percussionist Gary Hammond have impressive backgrounds in music having been part of and performed alongside legendary acts such as The Beautiful South, Nina Simone, The Dubliners & Sharon Shannon. A treat for a Barnard Castle venue, the duo have been a hit at local Swaledale Festival for eight years running with sell out shows across the board thanks to their humour and charm.

To book tickets and find out more information, visit The Witham between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, book online: www.thewitham.org.uk or call 01833 631107.

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