25 Live – The Anvil Celebrates its 25th Birthday

The Anvil concert hall celebrates its 25th birthday this year.  Basingstoke’s key arts venue is renowned as one of the top five concert halls in the country and has a great reputation in Hampshire and beyond, as well as internationally.

The Anvil was built by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and opened in May 1994.  It has become one of the country’s leading venues, putting Basingstoke on the map and bringing to the town audiences from all over England.  With seating which sweeps from the stalls to the circle without a break, audiences have a great view from wherever they sit; there is an intimate feel no matter how far from the stage you are.

The Anvil is highly thought of by both audiences and performers alike.  The last survey undertaken showed a 96% audience satisfaction rating for the third year running, and people who first came to The Anvil as children in 1994 are now bringing their own children to the venue.  The Anvil is also a favourite venue for artists and those giving enthusiastic compliments range from Dara O’Briain to Sir Simon Rattle.

The Anvil is run by Anvil Arts, a not-for-profit trust.  As well as the performance programme, Anvil Arts works in the community taking musicians into mainstream and special schools, residential homes and hospitals.  Every year more than 30,000 children perform on its stages.

The Anvil will be marking this special anniversary on Friday 3 May with a spectacular birthday concert performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Jonathan Mayes, the orchestra’s Concert Director, said “The Philharmonia is delighted to have a long-standing relationship with The Anvil as Orchestra in Partnership.  Since our first performance in Basingstoke in May 1994, the same month that the hall opened, we have continued to bring many of the world’s great conductors and soloists to Basingstoke.  Our players love performing in The Anvil’s outstanding acoustics and we are thrilled to be participating in the 25th anniversary celebrations. Here’s to the next 25 years!

The programme will feature Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and the world premiere of Breathing Space, a new commission by highly-rated British composer Samantha Fernando.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason – credit Lars Borges
Samantha Fernando

Speaking about the piece, Samantha said “The Anvil was the place I saw some of my first orchestral concerts as a child so it is particularly meaningful to be writing a piece for a performance there“.

Over the last 25 years, The Anvil has helped to transform the image of Basingstoke.  With the continued support of its audiences, funders and artistic partners, the next 25 years look set to be even more exciting and successful.

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Action for Happiness – Exploring What Matters Course, 2nd May at Viables

March 20th was the International Day of Happiness. Sounds a bit trite? Well, the national mental health and wellbeing charity, Action for Happiness, is doing its bit to help people find happiness, break isolation and build social cohesion – despite life’s difficulties. Take a look at the BBC’s coverage of AfH on the day.

Locally, AfH will be running a new course called Exploring What Matters to help people discover how to live a happier and kinder life. Evaluation surveys from over 1,000 previous course attendees have showed significant improvements in both the personal wellbeing (+20% Life Satisfaction; +13% Mental Wellbeing) and also in the pro-social behaviour (+9% Compassion; +16% Trust) of the course participants, and we could all use a bit of that.

Jasmine Hodge-Lake came to the course having suffered for over a decade with chronic pain which left her unable to work. She describes how it helped her:

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without Action for Happiness and that course. I found there were things I could do that would make a big difference and started to feel hopeful about the future. I still have bad days and life certainly isn’t perfect. But it has really helped me so much. Now I’m trying to be the change that I want to see.”

The course is based on groups of up to 24 people exploring “big questions” together each week. The questions/themes for the 8 sessions are as follows:

  1. What really matters in life?
  2. What actually makes us happy?
  3. Can we find peace of mind?
  4. How should we treat others?
  5. What makes for great relationships?
  6. Can we be happier at work?
  7. Can we build happier communities?
  8. How can we create a happier world?

Each weekly session follows the same structured format, which includes:

  • Tuning In. Starting each session with short mindfulness and gratitude exercises to create a calm and positive atmosphere and to encourage friendly connections.
  • Expert View. Watching a short video relating to the theme, including talks by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard Layard, Karen Armstrong, Ed Diener and Brene Brown.
  • Personal View. Reflecting on personal experiences relating to that week’s theme.
  • Did You Know? Learning interesting new ideas based on the latest research.
  • Group Discussion. Having an in-depth discussion in small groups of 3-4 people.
  • Action. Committing to a personal action to take based on what has been discussed.

Participants are asked to make a donation of £90 to attend. However, there is a genuine pay-what-you-can offer if that is too much – no questions, no embarrassment so that the course remains open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. On the other hand, Participants who are able to donate more help to ensure the course is available for those who have less.

The course will take place at The Viables Community Centre every Thursday for 8 weeks, starting on 2nd May. Please get your tickets now from Eventbrite.

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Charity Disco – Saturday 6th April, Sherfield Park Community Centre

Charity Disco in aid of Oliver’s Fund and Asthma UK

Evening of classic tunes to get you moving. Fully licensed bar selling beers and ales, wine and prosecco. Adults £5, under 16s £2, tickets purchasable in advance.

Further info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2234020003486285/

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Easter Egg Hunt – Friday 12th April, Sherfield Park Community Centre

Charity Easter Egg Hunt for Asthma UK with Bump Into Mums

Our regular Bump Into Mums coffee morning with an Easter twist! We are running an egg hunt for the little ones, £3 per child and all participants will receive an easter egg. One of our mums is running the London Marathon in April for Asthma UK and all proceeds from this event will go towards that.

Please contact the community centre or Kate or Michelle to book your tickets in advance, thanks 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/events/2341046062844567/

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Based on the much-loved book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Thursday 28 – Sunday 31 March
Thu & Sat 4.30pm
Fri – Sun 10.30am & 1.30pm

The Haymarket, Basingstoke

Credit: Anvil Arts

The smash-hit production of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt comes to The Haymarket from Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 March.  Based on the much-loved book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, the fun-filled adaptation is set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score.

Join our intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog on a quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes, plenty of adventure and a few surprises along the way.

This mischievous celebration of play is the perfect treat for families with children aged 3 and up.  It is just under an hour long with no interval.

WE’RE GOING TO THE THEATRE
WE’RE GOING TO SEE A BEAR HUNT
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PLAY!
WE’RE NOT SCARED!

Tickets are priced at £12.50 (includes £2 booking fee).  Call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244 or visit anvilarts.org.uk.

Credit: Anvil Arts

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Solo Mia Fashion Show in aid of The Pink Place Cancer Charity

Tickets on sale now £10 in advance or £12.50 on the door, for more info and sales email: events@thepinkplace.org.uk or call 07899 970 841.

On: Thursday 7th March 2019

At: The Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke, RG22 9NU

Browsing from 6.30, Fashion show approx. 7.30 tickets include a glass of bubbly! all proceeds to The Pink Place Cancer Charity.

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Local Dad is a record breaking beatboxer and is bringing his family theatre show to Basingstoke

Local dad Simon Shlomo Kahn, professionally known as SK Shlomo, grew up in Buckinghamshire and now lives in Hook with his wife and two young children.

His breathtaking vocal skills gained him early recognition as a world record breaking beatboxer and world looping champion, and he has worked with superstar fans like Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, Rudimental and Bjork.

“Beatboxing is the art of creating unbelievably rich music using nothing but your voice” says Shlomo. “Beatboxers can create the sound of a full orchestra or electronic track – the drums, the keyboards, the basslines, all performed using nothing but a mouth and a mic.

“It’s an amazingly empowering way for people from all walks of life to express themselves and I love teaching people how simple it is to make vocal rhythms”

SK Shlomo is bringing his family theatre show “Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids” to Basingstoke Anvil this Easter on April 16th, where everyone young and old can become one of his superstar sidekicks in a world of funny sounds, brilliant noises and cool music.

“Hook is a great place for families. We’ve made lots of lovely friends here on the school and nursery run who keep asking me to bring my kids show to a local theatre so we are finally doing it! The Anvil is a great venue and I’m really excited to share my love of music with the next generation of music makers. My own boys are excited they can finally come to a show too but I know the parents will have just as much fun!”

Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure For Kids is currently on tour and is at Basingstoke Anvil on April 16th 2019
Find out more: skshlomo.com/kids
Book tickets now: anvilarts.org.uk or Box Office: 01256 844244

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Half-term sure to be eventful in Basingstoke

An intimate pop-up venue which will host entertainment for all ages is coming to Basingstoke for a wide range of activities and performances throughout the February half term.

The Event Box is a temporary indoor venue which will be in the Market Place at the Top of Town in Basingstoke from Monday 18 February until Saturday 23 February. A full programme of free daytime activities for the family will be on offer as well as ticketed events for children and adults in the evenings.

The initiative is being run and organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Basingstoke Together, which is the face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re so excited to be hosting such a fabulous calendar of events here in Basingstoke at The Event Box. At this time of year, we’re all a little more inclined to stay at home or indoors. However, we want to encourage people to venture out and explore the fun activities which are on offer during this traditionally quieter time of the year.

“We hope that lots of people of all ages will make the most of this fun opportunity to come and join in the fun at The Event Box. We also hope that it helps to cement Basingstoke as a great destination for families as well as visitors of all ages.”

The full schedule includes:

Monday 18th February, 11am – 6pm, The Jurassic Box
Head off on a dino dig to discover T-Rex bones, train your dinosaur and find out about the world when dinosaurs used to roam. Arts, crafts and dino dress up for youngsters.

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Tuesday 19th February, Midday – 6pm, The Bricks Box
Children can indulge their imaginations in a world of LEGO®. Marvel at the amazing brick unicorn made of 37,800 individual elements, take control of the Brick Kingdom or get a selfie in the LEGO brick throne. Play tables also available for children to get creative too.

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Wednesday 20th February, 11am – 5pm, The Art Box
Get messy with Artventurers to make your own creations with glitter, paint and everything in between. Free face painting for children aged three and over.

7pm – 10pm, The Art Box After Dark
A pop-up art gallery will showcase up to 30 new works from local and visiting artists, hosted by THAT Gallery, Basingstoke. Some of the artists will also be on hand to discuss their work. Free to attend but pre-booking is required.

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Thursday 21st February, 11am – 4pm, The Circus Box
A day of circus skills workshops and demonstrations for your budding greatest showmen, as well as puppetry workshops and interactive shows.

5.30pm – 7.30pm, Film Box Kids
The Greatest Showman (PG) 1hr 40mins
£3 per ticket which must be pre-booked

8pm – 10pm, Film Box Adults
Top Gun (15) 1hr 50mins
£5 per ticket which must be pre-booked

Credit: Basingstoke Together
Credit: Basingstoke Together

Friday 22nd February, 11am – 4pm, The Games Box
Test your skills against Miss Pacman, beat your friends at Air Hockey or take yourself back to the 1980’s and try your hand at Space Invaders.

5.30pm – 7.30pm, Film Box Kids
The Lego Movie (U) 1hr 40mins
£3 per ticket which must be pre-booked

8pm – 10pm, Film Box Adults
The Wedding Singer (12) 1hr 40mins
£5 per ticket which must be pre-booked

Credit: Basingstoke Together

Saturday 23rd February, 11am – 4pm, The Tech Box
Test your skills as a drone pilot or take part in a live virtual orchestra. The drone racing is suitable for children who are able to ride a bike as hand-eye coordination is key.

5.30pm – 7.30pm, Film Box Kids
Despicable Me (U) 1hr 35mins
£3 per ticket which must be pre-booked

8pm – 10pm, Film Box Adults
Shaun of The Dead (15) 1hr 40mins
£5 per ticket which must be pre-booked

Some activities will require pre-booking due to a strict capacity restriction. All of the daytime activities will be free of charge although some evening activities incur a ticket cost. More information can be found here: www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

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