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)
Another month, another bit of school news. Or in this case, not one, not two but three pieces of schools related information that fall under the banner of FYI.
You’re already familiar with the plan to develop a Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus on the current Richmond College site at Egerton Road in Twickenham aren’t you? It’s the joint partnership between the College, El Brute, Harlequins and Haymarket Media. As part of the plans a new secondary school will be established, opening in 2017. In fact, you’re probably already thinking, “Didn’t I already comment on that proposal a while back?” And you’d be bloody right too. There was indeed an opportunity to feedback on the initial plans but now you’ve got another one. Yes really. This time it’s a chance to find out more about the detailed proposals. Deja vu all over again? Maybe, but in more depth. The consultation will be on the REEC website and there will also be drop-in sessions at Richmond College on 21st October and 4th November. The canvassing of views about a revamped site comes at time when the college has garnered more column inches in the Richmond & Twickenham Times. On this occasion it’s about drug taking and dealing in the playground on Craneford Way allegedly by college students. Continue reading
A plume of water rises into the air outside Sandy’s Fishmonger
Nice one, geyser.
[Photo courtesy of @DPBedford on Twitter]
. A new idea as part of the Twickenham Action Plan or simply a burst water main? We reckon the latter but it made for quite a sight on a rainy Monday in October. Cue plenty of traffic disruption and local shopkeepers digging out their insurance policies.
Richmond Council have just announced that the temporary road closures and diversions will remain in place for 24 hours while Thames Water carry out remedial work. Here’s their page about it.
Thanks to @DPBedford on Twitter for the photo.
And here are a couple more…
This one’s from @originalrobyn
And this via @becksbake
The hole, complete with a fixed pipe, pictured on Tuesday morning:
Richmond Council are laying down the law. To themselves. In an unusual piece of Kafkaesque logic El Brute have advised everyone, including themselves, that putting up posters in empty shops is simply not allowed. The law will be enforced! And the best way to communicate this message? By means of posters in empty shops of course. Or perhaps it’s simply a Council job creation scheme. As they’re no doubt saying down at the civic offices, “See me in court, sucker!”.
Football – of the ‘association’ variety – on a rugby pitch?!?
Terry, Costa, Fabregas & Co
And not just any old rugby pitch mind you! We’re talking about Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby. There are some folk who’d be outraged by the very thought of it. In fact some of them are probably already incandescent with rage, their blood boiling as they punch the screen of their laptop or stamp their smartphone into the dusty ground. Could it really happen? It could! Maybe.
The RFU have confirmed that Chelsea have been in contact with them about the possibility of using Twickenham stadium while Stamford Bridge gets redeveloped and expanded. According to BBC Sport, the RFU have said: “We have had an enquiry from Chelsea FC but have not had any discussions of any substance”. So, it’s early days and Chelsea are said to be considering a number of different options of which Twickenham is just one. Will the RFU be inclined to let a spherical ball roll around on the hallowed Twickenham turf? They might. There’s a lot of money in football and there are plenty of examples of football and rugby clubs sharing grounds although not quite in the same Premier League club / ‘national stadium’ way that this would play out.
And then of course there’s the question of what this might mean for the town on match days with thousands Chelsea fans making a beeline for Twickenham from across south west London and the Surrey prawn sandwich belt. 80,000 boozy rugby fans is one thing, 60,000 football fans is another.
So, would you be happy to see Chelsea set up a temporary home at Twickenham Stadium? And will it ever happen??
It’s fait to say there are a lot of unhappy people out there and, in true Twickenham spirit, there’s now a petition against the idea.
* BBC Sport
* Online petition opposing the idea
Here at twickerati HQ we’re all lovin’ this Instagram pic of the river at Twickenham. It was taken by Eel Pie Islander Michele Whitby and, as she says, “The only things on the river this morning were me, my kayak and the ducks – beautiful”. Beautiful? We’re inclined to agree. What a fantastic way to start your day.
Morning by the river at Twickenham
[copyright: Michele Whitby]
Give us a wave!
Mucho upsettedness among many residents of south west London about trials being conducted by Heathrow airport on its easterly departure routes. Yep, them’s the ones when the planes bank round over Twickenham, Strawberry Hill and Teddington after take off, i.e. the ones that rattle your windows and have you reaching for the volume button on the remote control. The trial is officially called “Easterly departure trial 2″. It began on 28th July and runs through to 15th January 2015.
The purpose? According to Heathrow one objective is to “test the use of performance based navigation”. This involves using new navigation technology to allow aircraft to follow routes more precisely and so place less reliance on air traffic controllers. The second objective of the trial is to test different departure routes “with the ultimate aim of reducing separation on departures”. Nope, we don’t know either. Something about reducing delays on departure and holding times on the ground, according to the airport blurb. Sounds a bit like facilitating more flights too maybe, doesn’t it. Perhaps it’s even also about testing scenarios linked to that third runway thingy.
Gloriana at Twickenham in 2012
The idea to build a boathouse and dock for royal barge Gloriana at Orleans Gardens in Twickenham has been shelved by Richmond Council. In a press release on Friday 12th, El Brute said that although the results had not been fully analysed, “It is clear a substantial majority of respondents were opposed to Gloriana’s permanent home at this site. It has therefore been agreed between the Council and the Gloriana trustees not to proceed any further with this project”.
Here at twickerati we regard this as the right decision although it did take El Brute rather a long time to get there. Nice boat, sure, but Orleans Gardens was not an appropriate location for such a large construction. There was a very active and vocal campaign against the proposal led by the team at Save Orleans Riverside. As part of their work they secured 4,500 signatures for their petition opposing the plan and, as you know, our own poll (with over 1,600 votes cast) showed over 70% against with just 13% in favour. It seems that the Council did listen to the people, eventually. It will be interesting to see whether now, after their long silence, Twickenham’s Councillors will be willing to voice their own opinions on the matter.