The Witham Community Arts Centre offers a diverse range of exciting cultural experiences and events in Barnard Castle this autumn excellence entertainment for both the local community and visitors alike from September to December 2019.
This season brings companies of national importance to Barnard Castle. Opera North return with Little Listeners: Carnival of the Animals on Wed 25 Sept, when the fabulous players of the Orchestra of Opera North give a relaxed concert for babies, young children and their families. Outstanding screenings this season include National Theatre Live Fleabag on Wed 20 November, the hilarious, one-woman show that inspired the BBC’s hit TV series written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Northern Stage return with The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holme’s most infamous case, adapted from Arthur Conan Doyle’s gothic classicon Thursday 10 October.
The Witham is a place that showcases emerging and regional talent. Ground-breaking dance company Old Kent Road presents the ground-breaking new show OSCiLLATE on Thursday 14 November, an epic fusion of classical tap and street dance. The Witham specialises in regional excellence with North East performers Katie Doherty and the Navigators on Friday 13 September and the Pitmen Poets on Sunday 3 November.
The Tribute bands booked by The Witham are accomplished musicians in their own right, with no backing tracks in use – Beatlemania on Friday 6 September and The official Blondie Tribute band Bootleg Blondie on Thursday 5 December. Funny Way To Be Comedy Club continues to bring first-rate performers to Barnard Castle including Mark Watson’s The Infinite Show on Saturday 14 September and Nick Helm’s Phoenix From The Flames on Saturday 19 October.
The Witham continue to work in partnership to connect and expand the programme with local and regional initiatives including the AONB Dark Skies Festival (Pop-up Planetarium on Tuesday 29 October and Apollo 13 on Wednesday 30 October) and also Framing the Landscape, an exhibition of the top entries to the North Pennines AONB partnership photography competition from 1 – 26 October. Participating the TakeOff Festival with performances Sky on Tuesday 22 October and Fly on Wednesday 23 October offers children and schools internationally renowned performances that would otherwise not reach Teesdale.
The Witham is a place for life-long learning, well-being, socialising and playing with a variety of classes and workshops, for all age and abilities. Falling on Your Feet isa dance and health programme co-produced with Helix Arts for people aged 65 + years workshop from 24th September, weekly sessions on Wednesday from 6pm with ManHealth, the men’s mental health support group. Monthly Singing for Fun sessions from on 18 September offer the chance to enjoy a relaxed, fun session with local musician and teacher Jane Ford and Wiggles and Wobbles continues to offer musdic and movement for 0 – 4 years and their grown-ups.
The Witham responds to audience feedback by introducing Sunday Classics – matinee recitals starting with Pellingman’s Saraband on Sunday 29 September, Aquarius String Quartet on Sunday 20 October and pianist Stephen Raine on Sunday Sunday 8 December.The Film Club continues to programme titles through a poll to members of popular titles – this seasno, they selected Fisherman’s Friends on Thursday 19 September and the Elton John musical fantasy, Rocketmanon Wednesday 16 October.
Explore the venue’s heritage through the exhibition Pills, Thrills and Skills, exploring 150 Years of The Witham from 12 – 28 September. The Tea Dance on Sunday 6 October (with dance classes on Wednesday 25 Sept and 2 October) and The Witham Rewind Disco on Saturday 20 November re-ignite the great social occasions of the past at The Witham, whilst offering something new for younger generations to enjoy.
The Witham offers the opportunity to explore the world including through the eyes of two Britian’s most accomplished mountaineers, Simon Yates (best known for his role in the harrowing Touching the Void) on Wednesday 9 October and Doug Scott OBE on Wednesday 9 November. On Thursday 12 September, Apphia Campbell presents WOKE, a performance exploring the African American experience and civil rights that won The Scotsman Fringe First Award and was highly commended by the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award judges. Storyteller Matthew Bellwood explores society, friendship and the places we live through Terror From The Skies on Friday 27 September. Gracefool Collective’s This Is Not A Wedding (Friday 4 October) invites you to witness a generation’s experience of pressure, conformity & expectation in this radical and apocalyptic reimagining of one of our most recognisable ceremonies.
Christmas at The Witham promises fun for the whole family, with the return of Father Christmas and crafts (Saturday 14 and 21 December), a feast of Christmas music with lively community choir, No Added Sugar for their Carols by Candlelight concert on Saturday 14 December, funny theatre with inspired by Dicken’s classic tale, The Scrooge Diaries (BAH HUMBUG!) on Wednesday 18 December and a screening of our Film Club members favourite Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life on Thursday 19 December.
As Sarah Gent from The Witham says, ‘We are passionate about offering our community opportunities to experience, enjoy and participate in events here. With our new autumn season, we’ve worked to ensure everything at The Witham is of an excellent standard and continue to listen to feedback to ensure what we book is not only of interest to our local community but also encourages visitors to our beautiful dale. I urge you to visit the website or pop in and pick up a programme – I hope you’re surprised and impressed with what you discover here.’
‘The Witham team extend heartfelt thanks to the fundraisers of this season, with Grace Notes bringing another afternoon of acoustic music by local musicians on Saturday 5 October, the Rewind Disco organisers Michelle Grancourt and Claire Robinson as well as pianist Stephen Raine and Roy Tranter for his lecture on the History of the VIctorian Candle on Tuesday 3 December.’
To discover more and book tickets, please visit www.thewitham.org.uk, call the box office on 01833 631107 or visit The Witham between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturdays.