Colchester in Brief
By Ana Grabova
Published 01 May 2012
(May-June 2012 Edition)
The latest news, views and things to do from around the town, compiled by Sophie Cole.
Actor, comedian and writer Miles Jupp (The Thick of It, Rev) will take to the stage of Colchester Arts Centre this May with his Fibber in the Heat show. Jupp tells the amusing anecdote of how he briefly swayed his career as an actor on popular kids’ TV show Balamory into his boyhood dream of sports journalist. By managing to blag his way into the press pack of England’s 2006 tour to India under the guise of a cricket correspondent for BBC Radio Scotland and The Western Mail, Jupp re-tells the fulfilment of this dream and the actuality and awkwardness of the deed. This is the second UK tour of the act which debuted at the Edinburgh Festival 2010. It will be showing at Colchester Arts Centre on Saturday 12th May.
That’s a Plan, Batman!
Get in touch with nocturnal creatures of the night at the various Bat Evenings running in Colchester’s local parks this summer. You will be taken on a tour with an expert from the Essex Bat Group, using bat detectors to identify the different species. The Bat Evenings run in Castle Park, Lexden Park and High Woods Country Park. Booking is essential, with tickets priced at £3 for an adult. To find out more or to book, visit the Colchester Visitor Information Centre or phone 01206 282920 (bookings via telephone are subject to a £2 booking fee). The evenings run from 8.30pm to 10.30pm. Children should be accompanied by an adult and you are advised to take a torch.
Prepare for an attack on the senses with this festival double-whammy! Colchester’s ninth annual Food and Drink Festival and Rose and Horticultural Show is set to take place in Castle Park on 23rd and 24th June. Bringing in over 10,000 visitors per day to the site, the Food and Drink Festival has earned itself a permanent place in Colchester’s events calendar. Expect exhibit stands from local food producers and retailers and a wealth of mouth-watering treats from the hot food stands, including a fully operating restaurant from Colchester Institute’s very own cookery school.
The Food and Drink Festival will be running in partnership with Colchester’s Rose and Horticultural Show. The rose show had been traditionally held in Castle Park and had been an annual event for over 100 years until it stopped during the 1980s. Organisers of the Food and Drink Festival have brought the rose show back to its Castle Park roots to be enjoyed alongside the food event. This gardening show focuses on the amateur gardener as opposed to the professional. So don your gardening gloves and dig out those secateurs as there are over 40 categories for you to enter, with prizes of up to £50! Entrance costs £3 which includes access to the Rose and Horticultural Show.
Colchester Arts Centre for an evening of Wicker Man hits such as the ‘Maypole Song’ and ‘Summer Is Icumen’ which will be sung along to the screening of the film itself. Goody bags and pagan hymn books will be handed out to members of the audience as the evening’s hosts Dr David Bramwell and Eliza Skelton direct the actions and lyrics throughout the screening. Tickets cost £8 with doors opening at 8pm.Keep Friday 15th June free if you’re a fan of the Wicker Man because a sing-along screening is coming to an arts centre near you! Grab your pagan robes and animal mask before heading over to
A ‘Souper’ Show
Mercury Theatre Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th June. Coming from the award-winning playwright Janice Okoh, Egusi Soup is depicts a tale of family tensions and cross-cultural diversity as a bereaved family prepare to return to Nigeria for a funeral. Okah explains that the inspiration for her play comes from her own experiences but also that she wanted to write a piece “that was easily accessible to Nigerians but not exclusively so.” Fast-paced and full of humour, this performance is set to be like the soup itself; a delightful dish!
Colchester Goes Back in Time
Oyster Fayre this summer! Those with shellfish allergies rest assured - there will not be a real oyster in sight at this fun family event! Instead, prepare yourself for archery, falconry displays, music, dance, storytelling and a plethora of medieval costumes. This year will also play host to the fifth International Festival of the Guild Town Pipers which will include individual performances from each band as well as the Big Blow, in which the bands combine their efforts. The medieval festival will be running 10.30am-5.30pm, Saturday 2nd – Tuesday 5th June at Lower Castle Park.
Father’s Day Fun!
Why not spend Sunday 17th June out of the house and join Colchester Zoo and a host of animals for the special Father’s Day events they will be putting on? The day is set to be fun for all the family with a chance for you to cheer the sea lions on in their special football trials. There will be a Father’s Day competition to enter and a unique selection of food at the Café UmPhafa!