Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Review: Clare Teal

A most enjoyable evening

On Saturday evening at the Flavel Centre, Clare Teal, the award-winning jazz singer and broadcaster performed to a full house; she was accompanied on piano by Jason Rebello, the accomplished jazz pianist.
The minute that Clare arrived on stage, she began to build a rapport with the audience by telling anecdotes in a wonderfully relaxed way.
Her set included a great variety of numbers ranging from classics made famous by Ella Fitzgerald and numbers penned by Thelonius Monk to songs written by Van Morrison, who Clare has worked with.
She sang memorable arrangements of ‘My Funny Valentine’, the classic Rogers and Hart number and ‘Mack the Knife’, composed by Kurt Weil with lyrics by Bertholt Brecht for their musical drama, the ‘Threepenny Opera’.
It was a most enjoyable evening, and the audience was very appreciative. 
Clare Teal is a regular performer at the Flavel, so be sure not to miss her next time she comes to Dartmouth.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

News: Volunteer's Party

A great turnout for the Volunteer's Party

The Flavel Centre boasts a group of volunteers that is over a hundred strong!

This enthusiastic band support the Flavel by working in the Box Office, Stewarding, working with the Maintenance Team, providing fresh flowers, working with the Film Selection Team, working with the PR Team and many other areas. There are so many different ways that volunteers can contribute and use their skills, and the Flavel would not be able to run without them.  

So the party held on Monday evening was by way of a huge thank you for all their hard work and support, and recognition of their invaluable contribution to the running of the Flavel Centre, which is a hub of the Dartmouth community. Many thanks must got to Deb Penn for organising it, and to the staff who helped her put on this very enjoyable event.

There must have been close to a hundred people at the party, including staff, Trustees and Members. Sid Davies, the General Manager and Doug Twigg, the Chairman, both expressed their gratitude to the volunteers. Doug also thanked Christine Freeman for her invaluable work as Treasurer over a period of ten years, and presented her with a gift.

Everyone had a wonderful time, and following the party, many people used their complimentary tickets to watch the film A United Kingdom, a fascinating story of a mixed race marriage set in 1940’s Botswana.

Here are some comments from contented volunteers!

Thank you and your colleagues for organising such an enjoyable and convivial evening last night.  It was a great opportunity to meet other volunteers and make new friends.  As a relative newcomer, it feels good to be able to be part of such a thriving and professionally run arts centre. Fabulous food, conversation, wine, music and film. We all felt thoroughly appreciated. Well done!

Please thank all the staff and trustees for their motivation and support of all us volunteers. Privilege to be part of this jewel in Dartmouth's crown!

Thank you for an enjoyable  evening. Such a warm and friendly welcome in a relaxed setting. Good to mingle and chat with lovely people...i'm so pleased to be a part of this friendly team of volunteers.

The film was excellent...oh, and tasty nibbles too!  

Sunday, 8 January 2017

News: Lunch With Friends - An Exclusive Flavel Friends Event!

What could be more enjoyable than an exclusive two course lunch at the Flavel - with your Flavel Friends!


Catered by Dartmouth Fine Foods

Tickets: £25 from the box office – includes a glass of sparkling wine

Box Office Tel: 01803 839530

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Comment: I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake was screened at the Flavel recently, and one of our cinema-goers sent in a comment after seeing it

"So pleased I got to see 'I, Daniel Blake'.  Certainly a disturbing and thought provoking film on many levels.  Do get to see it if you possibly can.

The main problem to me seems to be that nobody (or very few) actually listens.
Dan was entitled to help - there would have been money for him - but bureaucracy got in the way, and an inability to think outside the box.
For example, this poor man who had never had anything to do with computers in his life, kept getting told to 'go on line'.  I totally related to that!!
He couldn't fill in his forms.  He wrote out a CV by hand - that wouldn't do.  He was told to look for jobs.  He spent the whole week going round doing just that - but they asked for proof.  There must surely be somebody who could pick up people like Dan who had paid his contributions all his life and wanted to work, and help him.  Enough said!!"

News: Flavel Staff Visit the National Theatre

Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre 

Deb Penn and Dan Nichols (Duty Managers), were invited to a behind the scenes tour of the National Theatre (NT) recently, and reported their experience.

 As one of 900 venues that now take part in live to screen theatre, it was an opportunity to talk with other exhibitors, as well as appreciate the huge amount of work that goes into screening each live performance.

Along with the Royal Opera House and others,The Flavel has a contract with the National Theatre, which means we agree to screen a number of their plays and we buy this as a whole package. Sometimes this includes some lesser known plays, and we are part of a national drive to reach out to wider audiences. and this helps us to fulfil the requirements of our charitable trust status.

A presentation from camera director Tim van Someren, made Deb and Dan appreciate how privileged we are to be the recipients of the huge amount of technicality and expertise needed to provide us with this unique view of a play, not witnessed by members of the audience sitting in the NT, who have often paid in excess of £100. Apparently, the world’s best camera men and directors work on NT Live performances and it is a very special evening for the actors and crew. We also get the benefit of behind the scenes interviews with some of the actors that help our understanding of setting the play in a particular context.

When a play has the go ahead to be screened live, a new production team move in and often rearrange the set, wigs, make up and rebuild the set. They also take out 300 seats. The challenge for the director is to capture the right person at the right time delivering the right line. It’s the small things that the camera focuses on, that make the live broadcasts so extraordinary, and all for a fraction of the cost. As in a film experience, the NT Live’s camera director has huge power over what he/she chooses to focus on. This will give us a different perspective from a member of the public viewing the same performance during that evening.  

On the night of the live broadcast, although there are still people in the NT who are aware that the 8 cameras are present, their experience is more one of being in a live studio. The production team literally call the shots like a conductor, turning the feed from all the cameras into a seamless live broadcast. Mistakes do happen, as obviously none of it is edited.

Due to the success of NT Live, they now have partnerships with other theatres so that is why we sometimes have productions from The Donmar Warehouse and Mice and Men etc from Broadway.

The most successful selling broadcast to date has been Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch, closely followed by The Audience with Helen Mirren.

Many people remark on the lack of young people in our audience for classic plays. As NT Live on demand has been released exclusively to secondary schools as a free teaching aid, this might be an explanation, and is such a fantastic resource.

The Director of the NT Rufus Norris, gave a presentation on upcoming events and warned that the only way people would be able to see these almost sold out productions would be in their local venues.

Upcoming productions include:

·        15 December - No Man’s Land (Pinter) from Broadway – Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. This is sold out and will include a post production question and answer session.
·        2 February - Amadeus is almost sold out. This is a classical musical crossover. Dan and I watched the understudy rehearsal which we found to be rich and mesmerising.
·        9 March - Hedda Gabler will be a bold and new retelling of this classic tale starring the brilliant Ruth Wilson of Jane Eyre and The Affair fame. Will definitely sell out. 
·        6th April - Twelfth Night - will be a different take, set in the Mediterranean modern day
·        The Salome - music and nudity
·        Angels in America
 This is a unique way of seeing these wonderful productions, so if you haven’t yet experienced a live screening, do make sure you get your tickets in good time. 

Click on the link below to find out more and to book tickets:


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Young Guest Reviewer: Kubo and the Two Strings

Our young guest reviewer, Eliot Ely, aged 11, has sent us his comments about this exciting film.

'Kubo and the Two Strings' is about a young boy named Kubo who must locate a magical suit of armour worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
It is a very exciting film but a bit scary in places! I really enjoyed it though because of the action genre and the fact that all most all of it was stop motion animation. I would give this film a 4/5 because I thought it was a great but there could have been some more story. I would recomend this film to ages 10 and above, due to the fact it was quite scary. I would definitely see it in the cinima again. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Interview: Martin Turner ex-Wishbone Ash

Martin Turner gives us an insight into his long career in the music business ahead of his concert Written in the Stars on Friday 11th November at 20.00

Your career with Wishbone Ash spans 40 years. What changes have you seen in the music industry over that time, as a musician and a producer?

MT:  Changes have been huge -  many creative people worked in the music biz back in the late 60s and 70s, now everything is much more corporate and run by accountants looking for instant revenue generation it seems. The creativity of bands and song writers was quite incredible during this period as our post war generation came of age and set about changing the world, or at least trying to.
Recording back in those days could only really be done in a commercial recording studio which was expensive.  Over the last few decades tape has gradually been replaced by computer based systems recording to hard drives and can to some extent be achieved in back rooms and garages, so massive numbers of smaller home studios have sprung up wherein it is now possible to get decent recordings and continue to own the equipment. Obviously the results do vary and in the end are down to skill, music making craft, etc.

You are a prolific song writer, bringing out 10 studio albums in 10 years from 1970-80. This is an amazing feat, since other artists tend to have gaps between albums. Where does your inspiration come from?

MT:  Most of the songs I have written come from personal experience and require emotional involvement but I also have an ability to tune into the cosmos or whatever you want to call it and write stuff that is more instinctive and a less cerebral process. I cannot profess to have a great deal of control over this but when it happens from time to time the results are usually very strong.
I also enjoy reading, been getting into Oscar Wilde's writing in recent years.
One looks for inspiration all around,  especially in other people, the human condition, etc.

Have you ever experienced a period when you were ‘blocked’?

MT:   I never see it as "blocked",  more just emotionally exhausted sometimes and needing to recharge the creative batteries.

Do you have a particular album that is very meaningful for you?

MT:   Not sure if we are talking Wishbone Ash here or other artists.  My tastes in music are pretty varied - I have always listened to Classical music right from when I was a child, particularly fond of Russian composers - Tchaikovsky,  Rachmaninov, Shostakovitch. I am also fond of he music from the Cirque de Soleil shows which blends many musical styles. I have an album that I use to relax, chill out and it has even fixed me on occasion when I have been crazy - that is Dakshina by Deva Premal - Hindu music.
Talking Wishbone Ash music, obviously I love 'em all because so much of my energy went into them.  I should mention two albums that made me cry - one was Locked In (1976) where I had a vocal cord problem and I was very unhappy with how the album ended up sounding. Tom Dowd the producer was not in good shape at the time and neither were we.It was a huge disappointment and I felt at the time that my career in music may be finished, so down was I. 
Way back in 1972 after working for nine months to put the material together for the Argus album, I finally sat in the studio control room and listened back to the whole album and it reduced me to tears. I thought it sounded wonderful, although I wasn't sure how much of a "commercial" success it would be. It was a huge release after working for so long and hard wrestling mentally with very big themes which had been with me for a while. Wonderful moment, and that album is much loved and probably has sold pretty much as many copies as the rest of the Wishbone Ash catalogue put together.

You have formed other bands and experimented with different styles of music. How would you describe your music now?

MT:   In my early days in the 1960s, I did my apprenticeship playing other popular music of the day, very enjoyable.
In the early 1980s when Wishbone Ash had left me I got very into studio production and eventually recorded the basis of an album which a bunch of talented guys I was working with at the time.  We did do a few gigs as Wolfgang (Mozart's Christian name), but it was pretty apparent that the audience was not ready for a band which included a synth - they wanted Wishbone Ash type music, two lead guitars etc, so basically it ended up "not proceeded with".Those recordings did however form the basis of my solo album "Walking the Reeperbahn"
which was released later in the 90s.
I also got into doing gigs with the Blue Bishops during the 90s which got me back into live playing after quite an absence. They were a good band and I have stayed good mates with them, we get together now and again.

Are you going to continue touring with your band?

MT:   Yes, last year we recorded an album together - "Written in the Stars"  and that has given us the appetite to do more which I hope will happen next year. Obviously we have a good camaraderie in the band, they are wonderful characters and we will continue on both fronts, recording and also playing the old 1970s WA music, I might add with the spirit and in the way it was originally intended.

For more information and to book tickets click on the link: http://theflavel.org.uk/TheFlavel.dll/WhatsOn?Programme=2946016