Saturday, 11 March 2017

Young Artists Platform - Adam Dyer and Katharina Naomi Paul

Adam Dyer - from a talk with Liz and David Ferguson.

We were waiting with a cup of coffee to chat with Adam Dyer who is coming to the Flavel to perform with violinist Katharina Naomi Paul, as part of the Young Artists platform at the Flavel on Friday 7th April - book your seats early to get the ones you want!

Adam has packed much into his life already. He is a Natural Sciences graduate from Cambridge, has specialised not only in piano, but also violin, and is currently learning the trombone,. How lucky to be able to combine both Sciences and the Arts. Looking at the internet tells you that he has an interest in Jazz, has recently been performing in Oslo, and has some tracks available to hear on Youtube. But there is much more……

There are sometimes not many young people in the Flavel cafe (!) so Adam was easy to spot. It was immediately obvious that he and Liz would get on well as they found common ground talking about the jazz pianist Bill Evans. He was amazed that Liz had heard the old favourites back in the 60s playing live at Ronnie Scotts in London. I had prepared some questions to keep the meeting flowing along, but these were not necessary and his enthusiasm carried us along.

Although he started with classical piano lessons, Adam enjoyed improvisation from the start and this developed into a love of jazz when he was chosen to be the schools Big Band pianist by an inspirational Head of Music, David Pickthall. At Cambridge he formed his own group and  was inspired by listening to and playing transcriptions of Charlie ParkerAt this time he attended Darlington Summer School, ostensibly to study the jazz course under Keith Tippett, but he spend much of his time in the masterclasses of Martino Tirimo, a classical concert pianist who berated his lack of technique!

Having all this under his belt in his early twenties was not enough. He went on to do a Masters degree in jazz piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music in London under Nikki Iles and Norman Beedie, and here he met Katharina. She had already turned down a full time orchestral post in Germany to move to London, favouring the opportunity to create exciting new projects over playing standard repertoire. The stage was set.

At this point my notes run out. I was listening and waiting to hear more with such attention that I stopped writing. I know his father and partner (Marie - the locally famous Scots lady for cross country running) live locally which is why he is so often down here. We all enjoy the Music of Ravel. We enjoy Swing’ music. We agree that music needs to be memorised when playing in performance (a struggle for many of us older players). We agree that the vital mix of risk and excitement gives the best edgy’ performances. But a look at our watches said we had to part. An hour head flown by, and the chat had been meant to last for 10 minutes.

Lastly but not leastly  he gives lessons in jazz piano. Liz made a note of this for future reference.

So come and meet Adam and Katharina after the performance and enjoy youthful enthusiasm for a fusion of style and culture we do not often have the chance to hear in Dartmouth. I look forward to the concert and will buy tickets as soon as possible.

David Ferguson.

To find out more and to book tickets click here:

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Flavel Celebrates 12 Years!

 The Organisers

The Flavel Arts Centre celebrated its 12th Anniversary on 26th February by holding
a lunch for Friends of the Flavel. The lunch was a huge success, beginning with a glass of Prosecco, and continuing with a delicious two-course lunch catered by Dartmouth Fine Foods.
Friends old and new joined in the celebrations – including two previous Chairmen, and some of the original Trustees.
Flavel Friends is a membership scheme that helps to support the centre, and plays a very important role, as the centre is self-supporting and does not receive any outside funding.
Doug Twigg, the current Chairman, thanked everyone for attending, and talked about the success of the Flavel, which started as a modest concept, and which blossomed into the amazing Arts Centre we have today.
It has undergone many changes over the twelve years, but due to the hard work and dedication of the whole team involved in running the centre – Trustees, Staff and Volunteers– it continues to put on a wide variety of events to suit all tastes.

And a good time was had by all!

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: