The new Twickenham Theatre above the London Road bar (on London Road, obviously) has closed after its very first run. Why? Well, it wasn’t down to lack of interest from west London theatre goers. Its first production, Sweeney Todd, received excellent reviews and even added extra dates to meet demand. The closure is all about the venue. The London Road has been sold by its owners and, according to the theatre’s Executive Director Tony Green when quoted in The Stage, “The new landlords do not ‘figure theatre as part of their plans’.” Here at twickerati HQ we reckon that’s a big shame.
Mr Green is now looking for a new venue in the area to build on the success of Twickenham Theatre’s first, but hopefully not last, production.
* The Stage
* Twickenham Theatre
Words. They didn’t come easy to singing Frenchman F.R. David in his boring yet surprisingly successful early 80s hit of that name but there are plenty of them coming up in the Borough over the weeks ahead. Why? It’s the return of the Richmond Literature Festival, that’s why. Here at twickerati HQ we thought that a quick preview of the event would work well and would work even better if we could get someone else to write it for us. Carla Bromhead from the London Borough upon Thames Arts Service has volunteered to be just that someone. These are her words…
“The Richmond Literature Festival will once again take place throughout November, bringing a range of exciting literary events to the borough. This year’s main programme features a range of literary figures and personalities covering a variety of subjects including history, music, art, politics and war. Highlights include the esteemed actor Sheila Hancock at the Orange Tree Theatre and British Museum curator, Irving Finkel discussing his discovery of an ancient Babylonian tablet which was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary recently.
As part of the festival, the Richmond Shakespeare Society (usually based at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham) will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with a special performance titled Love’s Fool in the Octagon Room at Orleans House Gallery. Twickenham will also welcome Charles Beauclerk whom will be discussing his biography of the pianist John Ogdon.
Strawberry Hill House will be the atmospheric location for an evening delving into the English obsession with vampires in a talk with acclaimed writers Essie Fox and Lynn Shepherd. It will also be the venue for BBC Antiques Roadshow’s Marc Allum to tell the tales of his discoveries in the intriguing market of antiques. And at the end of the festival, when you’re starting to feel slightly Christmassy, Kneller Hall will host an evening with Andrew Gant, composer and former choirmaster at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, to dissect the stories behind our well known carols and kick start the Christmas season (mince pies included!)
The Literature Festival is also very proud to be working in partnership with St Mary’s University on a series of events held examining the art of writing.
Tell us which festival events you’re looking forward to or add your reviews in the comments below.”
* For more information on all the events in this year’s festival programme and to book tickets: visit www.richmondliterature.com or call 020 8831 6494
* Keep up to date with festival news and share your thoughts on Twitter @richmondlitfest
* ‘Words’ by FR David (Warning: contains tedious repetition)
You will recall that a while ago we told you about the launch of Twickenham Theatre? You don’t? Well, we did. Anyway, its first production is now underway. It’s a version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Remember Sweeney Todd? Demon barber? Dab hand with a cut throat razor? Liked a pie? That’s him. The production is billed as a ‘musical thriller’ laced with wit and dark humour. It stars David Bedella and Sarah Ingram and runs until 4th October. And where is Twickenham Theatre you might well be asking. It’s at 68 London Road above the London Road Bar, that’s where.
So, are you going? Or have you gone? Give us your thoughts or reviews here.
* Twickenham Theatre
So busy has this item become that we’ve added an updates section. Click Here to go directly to it. And it’s also worth noting that the comments stretch back over two pages so look out for the ‘older comments’ button when you get to the end.
[Edit: this article has been superseded by a more up to date article here and another here.]
Previously, on twickerati…
Welcome to ‘Gloriana World’ at Twickenham! Don’t knock it, it could be coming soon to a river near you. The royal barge Gloriana ‘off of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee’ needs a home. The proposal coming from Lord True, sorry, we mean Richmond Council, is that a new, purpose-built boat house at Orleans Gardens could be just the ticket. And what’s more, we’re not just talking solely about a boat house, we’re talking about a visitors centre, new cafe and new play area too.
Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012
Here at twickerati HQ, we like to mix a bit of nimbyism with support for progress and change. It’s an odd mix. It sometimes works but it does also mean we get nervous when presented with grand solutions to problems that we didn’t know existed.
HELLO! The weather might be a bit so-so but the great twickerati (that’s you btw) won’t be deterred by a cloud or two. You’re better than that. What the hell, let’s re-phrase it… we’re better than that!
Twickenham Festival and a load of other summer fun is upon us. We don’t do proper listings on this site (it’s just too hard and we’re just too lazy) but we have pulled out a few highlights for you. And of course, as you’d expect, we’ve provided copious links to sites which contain not only more, but better, information than you’ll find here. So let’s get to it, let’s get ready to #Twickfest!
[UPDATE: And now that things are underway, we've created a new item for festival pictures so take a look.]
While we ponder plagiarising various local websites to create our legendary Twickenham festival season “What’s On” guide, we thought we’d mention two things coming up which might just tickle your fancy.
A Foodies Festival in action
First up is a Foodies Festival at Marble Hill Park this weekend. Given that Twickenham now has an organic butchers, a farmers market, an ‘artisan bakery lab’, a proper fishmongers and, of course, a moderately large Waitrose and a KFC, it’s fair to say that we’re turning into a right bunch of foodies here on the rive gauche of the Thames. So, given that (made-up) fact you could well be interested in the Foodies Festival which takes place on 24th, 25th and 26th May. What dat? It’s a food and drink festival which features top chefs, cookery demonstrations, kids stuff, pop up restaurants, live music, a ‘real ale and cider farm’ plus wine and cocktails. There’s even a ‘feasting tent’ and a chilli food market. Sounds interesting. We’re guessing that you don’t take your own picnic. The event runs from 11.00am through to early evening each day. Tickets can be purchased online but through the magic of twickerati (and the internet) you can register below for free tickets.
* Register in advance for free tickets (500 pairs available. Register online and your name will be put on the guest list for when you turn up)
* Foodies Festival – Marble Hill Park
Meanwhile…. remember the Twickenham Alive Film Festival last year? Well, it’s back. The grand screening and prize awarding ceremony for the 2014 edition takes place on 29th May at St Mary’s University on Waldegrave Road. Eleven films will be shown over the evening covering a range of genres. As with last year, there are entries from overseas as well as from the UK to give it a bit of an international flavour. You can register for tickets through the link below. Oh, and punters will, according to the website, “have direct access to the Student Union Bar with drinks at club prices”. Surely you’re not going to be swayed by the prospect of cheap booze are you? Are you?? Tickets cost a mere £6 each or £10 per pair.
* Twickenham Alive Film Festival
“Woof! Woof. Woof!”
“What’s that, Lassie, old girl? There’s a boy? Trapped in the old mine shaft?? And he needs our help???”
“Woof! Woof, woof. Woof!!”
“Ah, I see, you’re saying that irresponsible child can wait a bit but we urgently need another Twickenham High Street Update? I’ve got it now, old girl. Let’s get on with it.”
So there we have it. Despite just a few weeks passing since our last update it’s time for another. Spring is in the air and on the high street. Here’s what’s hot…
[UPDATE: We've added a few new items at the end of this article]
After the warm reception and positive reviews given to Ke Sushi on London Road, we’ve now gone and got ourselves a second sushi restaurant in the form of Iso Sushi on York Street. There’s been a distinct lack of recent success in that place – we’re talkin’ the short-lived Din’s Grill and Pizza Rizzo – so here’s hoping for third time lucky with this new business. What with sushi being the new Thai (which was the new Indian, which was the new tripe and onions, etc) it could actually do well.
Sushi you, Sir!
“Steady on there! What’s with all this Richmond Park nonsense?” is what you may well be muttering to yourself on seeing this headline. Well, d’you know what, you do actually have a fair point. The pages of twickerati aren’t generally littered with items from ‘over the water’, it’s just not the done thing. This is a Twickenham blog for Twickenham people, but in this case we’ve made an exception. We all love a bit of Richmond Park even if it’s only to admire the view of Twickenham squatting majestically between the river and the A316. The exception we’re making here is to advise you to visit the Isabella Plantation at some point in the next couple of weeks. Just wait for a sunny day and go early or go late but make sure you avoid the crowds.
There’s stuff like this…
Calm down, it doesn’t exist and there’s not even a plan. But apart from those small obstacles it does sound good doesn’t it? A brief tweet last night (n.b. all tweets are brief) from @julie_twickers sparked a flurry of retweets and responses. What did she say? Well, she simply said: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a cinema back in Twickenham? How could we progress this idea? @twickerati @twickenhamlocal @AmyDyduch”. Did we say ‘flurry’ of retweets? It was more like a bloody frenzy. A Twickenham-esque restrained frenzy, perhaps.
So could it work? Would it work? And where would it be? And who would go there? And why? Enough already! You’ve probably got the idea by now. A multiplex? That’s not going to happen. An arty little affair showing the better class of films just like Richmond Filmhouse? Well, that’s a maybe because Richmond Filmhouse is no more – it’s the Curzon Richmond these days, part of a small chain. How about something like the Olympic Cinema in Barnes showing films with a trendy cafe bar to boot? Sounds good but would it be sustainable in Twickenham? Perhaps.