Christmas display, Corto Deli
Can it really be that time again when we have to scour other people’s websites and publications to find the best of what’s on in Twickenham and then pass it off as our own hard work? Yes, yes it can. So here we go with some quality stuff to keep you occupied over the festive season. Meanwhile we’re off to sort out our legal defence with our lawyers. Whether it’s Christmas lights, festive fairs, artists’ studios, a pantomime or rugby at Twickenham Stadium that you’re after, when it comes to #twickmas, we’ve got it all below. Or at least, we’ve summarised some aspects of it…
Scroll down or just click on our categories if you want to keep it simple:
Other Christmas events in & around Twickenham
Panto & Theatre
Music & Comedy
Other Useful Links
When seminal indie art-rockers The Sugarbabes sang ‘Push The Button’ way back in 2005 it’s unlikely they were aspiring to be the ones who switched on the Christmas lights in Twickenham some nine years later. And to be honest, they’ve had so many changes of personnel that having a stage big enough to fit them all on would be difficult, especially as they’d also need to make space for assorted local dignitaries and Star Wars Storm Troopers. Come to think of it, do we actually know who’s inside those Storm Trooper outfits? Mutya? Keisha? The other one? Is that you lot in there??
Twickenham – Friday 21st November
Twickenham Town Centre Christmas Lights – from 4.00pm
Busy, much? Expect plenty of Twicker-types down in Church Street for Twickenham’s Christmas lights. Events kick off in the afternoon. There will be stalls, Punch & Judy shows, face painting, the band from the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall and more. Given that the presence – or at least the clearly identifiable presence – of The Sugarbabes is highly unlikely, you will see, Don Craine of 60s (and current) rhythm & blues outfit Downliners Sect doing the honours when it comes to pushing the button at 6.30pm. It was on Twitter; it must be true! Expect plenty of mulled wine, mince pies, festive music and a whole lot of good-natured milling around. Worth a visit. More info (coming soon) at TTBA
Festive Family Fayre at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens – 4.30pm to 7.30pm
There will be elves. There will be reindeer, Santa, children’s crafts, stalls, carol singing and live music from Nark Drool and the Shudders to keep you entertained at the Diamond Jubilee Gardens on Twickenham Embankment. More info from Twickenham Riverside Trust.
[UPDATE at 13/11/14: The ice rink has now been approved by LBRuT Planning Committee]
After last winter’s temporary ‘Richmond Rink’ in the grounds of York House, the organisers at Twickenham Alive are hoping for the go-ahead for a repeat performance, but in the grounds of Strawberry Hill House rather than at the seat of Council power. The plans have been circulating for a while but a final decision from El Brute’s planning supremos is still pending. A committee ruling is expected at the meeting on 12th November and it’ll need to happen then if the rink is to open just a few weeks later on December 6th.
Here at twickerati HQ the verdict from the editor’s suite on the 17th floor is that this is a good idea and that the proposed location is a better choice than on top of the tennis courts at the side of York House. It may not be quite as accessible or central but it’s certainly more picturesque, or has the capability of being so, and isn’t that a large part of what these temporary rinks are all about? We also reckon the Diamond Jubilee Gardens would be a good spot but that one will have to wait for another year.
There is a fair amount of support for the Strawberry Hill House rink idea but, needless to say, there’s some local opposition too – the noise, the cars, the food, all those bloody people enjoying themselves. Last year’s temporary rink was small and particularly well suited to families with young children. Even if the proposed rink is slightly bigger (which appears to be the case) it’s unlikely to change the clientele substantially – perhaps a few more student types from St Mary’s University next door. Will there really be an influx of ‘skater louts’? We doubt it. We reckon it will be popular with normal people; people a little bit like you, perhaps. And after all, doesn’t Strawberry Hill House already get a steady stream of visitors in the summer? Why shouldn’t it continue to do that for a couple of months in the winter too?
So, is this whole ice rink malarky plan treading on thin ice or will it see you walking in a winter wonderland?
A planning committee decision is expected in mid-November and, if approved, the rink will run from 6th December to 25th January. Tickets will be available online, at the rink and through Crusader Travel in Church Street.
* Richmond Rink (in Twickenham / Strawberry Hill)
* Crowdfunding page
* Planning application (14/3393/FUL)
* LBRuT planning committee page
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!