Archives for the month of: June, 2012

Audience gathers at NeST for Turrets performance    On Wednesday 20th June, following the procession of the Olympic torch through the town, an audience of more than 50 people gathered at NeST gallery in Barnard Castle for the Turrets performance ‘Inspired by Dickens.’

Poet Anne Dauber opened the evening by reading her poem The Great Grey Barn which won the Barnard Castle Winning Words Open Poetry Competition.

Bronze Arts Awards candidates and Turrets members Elliot Bevan and Owen Carter formed an ‘Ant & Dec’ style duo and acted as hosts for the evening.

Hosts Elliott Bevan and Owen CarterThe evening started with a performance of eight of Charles Dickens’ poems which Ellie Renfrew had woven into a story about a young girl called Lucy.  Other members of the group who are working towards Bronze Arts Awards supported her by acting out the quatrains while Ellie recited them from memory.

Ellie Renfrew recites Dickens' poetryNext was Lotte Evans with her poem ‘On Death’.  The poem was written using words and phrases from Dickens’ verse as a word bank. The first verse is as follows:

When someone’s death occurs in your life                                                                                                                                                          nothing but thought leaves your head.                                                                                                                                                                           What was going through God’s mind                                                                                                                                                                                 when he decided to take them from your life?

Abigail Kent cheered us up with her poem ‘Devil’s Food’ which turns out to be a bar of chocolate.  An indication of this twist in the poem was apparent in Abigail’s wings which were made out of chocolate wrappers.  The rest of the cast supported her by chanting ‘It’s devils food’ in an echoing round.

Liam Samson followed with his performance of ‘Edmund.’  The message of this poem was that ‘money doesn’t bring happiness.’

Kerin Borer continued the theme with her rendition of ‘The Lonely Lord.

A quick change to the stage set and the addition of a few props saw the cast form a wall around Catherine Robertson who sat at a school desk to recite her poem ‘The Wall’ which evoked the feeling of the modern classroom still being as claustrophobic and restrictive as Dotheby’s Hall and the Wackford Squeers’ Academy.  The second verse is a good example of this:

The windows with bars like a prison,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and wardens for teachers,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   a never ending sentence!

Catherine and The Wall     The set was completed by Jack Parker’s poem Always which reworked lines from Dickens’ verse into four stanzas about a modern day homeless man in London.  In the absence of the person who was cast to perform this role, Jack enlisted the help of hosts Elliot and Owen who squashed themselves into the cardboard box ‘home for one’ while Jack recited his lines about a character named George Gabriel.

Jack Parker performs George GabrielThe performances were well received and the audience enjoyed a short break before returning to their seats for a performance of the Turrets adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby.



Olympic Textile Workshop at NeST with Lone Helliwell  Extra textile workshop dates have been scheduled at NeST, for Friday 13th and 20th July from 2-4p.m. and Tuesday 17th July from 1.30-3.30p.m.  To book a place contact the gallery staff on 07413 101014.

During the past fortnight, textile artist Lone Helliwell has run workshops in Barnard Castle, Richmond and Darlington to engage members of the public in creating 5″ textile squares for the Winning Words Olympic Textile Poetry Installation.  Felting and hooky techniques have proved the most popular with people who have attended from as far away as Berwick.  We even had a visitor from Finland in last Friday’s session.

Poet, Anne Dauber has supplied photographs to illustrate her winning poem The Great Grey Barn.  Workshop participants have been using both these and the words from the poem as inspiration for a variety of pieces which are being considered for selection to create the final installation.

Examples of work produced so far include:

Hooky square      Felt Marsh MarigoldsFelt CowKnitted Winter Sky

Rehearsals  An ‘Inspired by Dickens’ poetry performance will take place at NeST art gallery in Barnard Castle on Wednesday 20th June at 7p.m.  Members of Turrets youth theatre group have been meeting in The Hub to rehearse for the event which is being held on the day that the Olympic torch relay passes through the town.

Young people working towards Special Edition Arts Awards as part of the cultural Olympics Winning Words project will start the evening with a performance of new poems inspired by eight verses written by Charles Dickens.

They will be followed by local poet Anne Dauber.  Anne will read her winning poem The Great Grey Barn, which won the Barnard Castle Winning words Open Poetry competition earlier this year.

There will be a short break to purchase refreshments from the cafe before a second Turrets group take to the floor to perform their version of Nicholas Nickleby.

Tickets for the event cost £2 and are avaiable from either Jill Cole at Turrets or NeST gallery staff.

Reservations can be made by contacting the gallery vai or tel: 07413 101014