• J&D
  • Forest
  • Art
  • Ballet
  • Ballet 2
  • Guitar
  • Olga
  • Polly gone wrong
  • Rajiv Karia

Hampshire Cultural Trust’s arts centres are officially open for the autumn season on Monday 14 September. The doors have been swung open for a new programme of live performance in the form of music, comedy and theatre, along with a range of classes, workshops and film screenings.

The live programme at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham, kicks off with regular music on Thursdays. The first gig comes from alt-folk duo The Last Inklings, followed by English traditional and folk singer, Nick Hart. Both acts are also performing at Forest Arts Centre in New Milton on regular Friday music nights and at West End Centre, Aldershot on upcoming Saturdays. The first gig at West End Centre is Polly Gone Wrong, three hardy and feisty lasses singing original songs baked with folk and blues, elements of playful obscurity and close harmonies, with Harry Skinner, who has recorded with the likes of Andy Fairweather Low, Paul Lamb and Ben Waters.

Local favourite, comedian James Alderson, returns to his monthly Tuesday spot at Ashcroft with TV comedy stars Jake Lambert, Joey Page, Nathan Caton and Paul F Taylor. The line-up for the first monthly Wednesday comedy night at Forest Arts Centre includes comedian and voice-over artist, Tom Ward (Comedy Central's Roast Battle, Lab Bible, BBC Radio 4, Sky Sports and more) alongside comedian, rapper and writer, Joe Jacobs (BBC Radio 1Xtra and Channel 4's stand-up show, ClubNite). Thursday night comedy at West End Centre comes from Olga Koch, who’s been spotted on Mock The Week, The Now Show, Pls Like, The Blame Game and BBC Arts Hour, with up-and-coming stand-up, Rajiv Karia, who has a subversive take on the day-to-day world.

Classes at the arts centres officially start on Monday 14 September. Kicking off with Dancing Fit and Tutored Life Drawing. Favourites such as Art for Beginners, Ballet, Exploring the Artist, Gentle and Chair Based Yoga will also return. Some classes, including Parkinson’s Dance Class, Art Appreciation, Tiny Toes, Art for Adults with Learning Disabilities, Choir and Drawing Room with the fantastic Fatima Pantoja, have been taken online to ensure those who cannot be at the centre in person will not miss out.

Autumn workshops include a brand new Life Drawing session, sewing and textiles for fashionistas aged 11-16, creative writing and a free Wellness Walk through the majestic trees of Blackwater, giving participants the opportunity to take part in the Sounds of the Forest project. Other workshops include drawing on location at Red House Museum in Christchurch, Barre Fitness, Nuno Felt Scarf Making and more.

For movie lovers who enjoy watching films in a small, relaxed environment, a Forest Film Night at Forest Arts Centre is an ideal alternative to larger cinemas. Films including Little Women (PG) and Military Wives (12A) will screen on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. Saturday Morning Cinema for kids is also back, with favourites such as Frozen II (PG) and Dolittle (PG).

Bridget Floyer, Hampshire Cultural Trust’s arts centre Artistic Director, commented: “Whilst things may look a bit different at our arts centres this autumn, we’ve been working hard to make our events safe and still create a great atmosphere. It is an opportunity to reconnect and with our new, regular comedy and music nights to support some of the best local performers our region has to offer, as well as up-and-coming new talent. We encourage our customers to come along and discover old favourites and try something new as well!”

To help keep everyone safe our arts centres have introduced a number of measures in line with government guidelines to help manage visitor numbers and maintain social distancing to protect visitors, staff and volunteers. Find out more at https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/news/category/arts-centres

Hampshire Cultural Trust’s arts centres are home to great local music, top-notch comedy, ground-breaking theatre, workshops and classes. The centres are operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, which was set up as an independent charity in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a county that offers outstanding cultural experiences to both its residents and visitors.