The King's MenFour thousand booklets giving full details of a feast of summer entertainment open to the public at next month’s Marlborough Summer School have been distributed in the town.
They are available in retail outlets in the High Street and reveal the delights on offer, ranging from gala events given two of the UK’s famous choirs and pop stars to recitals, lectures and political debates.
“Everything is available to local residents,” Jon Copp, Marlborough College’s director of enterprise. “You don’t have to be coming to the Summer School to catch one of the concerts. We welcome everyone’s participation.”
While entry to more than 30 entertainments is all part of the fees paid by an international mix of more than 3,000 students, they are available to the public at ticket prices ranging from £5 to £20 a seat.
Highlights of this summer’s programme include concerts in the Marlborough College chapel by the Treorchy Male Choir from the Rhondda Valey in South Wales and the arrival of The King’s Men (pictured), a close harmony choir made up of choral scholars of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge.
Mike d'AboIn the world of pop Mike d’Abo (pictured), former lead singer with Manfred Mann will be appearing with his Mighty Quintet in the College’s Memorial Hall, also the venue for The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular Show will present the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis junior.
Eve LoiseauAnd as the 50th anniversary approaches of the death of Edith Piaf, her memorable songs will be re-created in a concert given by Eve Loiseau (pictured) with violinist Fiona Barrow and Nurray Grainger on the accordion providing the authentic French music that won Piaf international acclaim.
The world of art is represented by a lecture by Claude Rogers on the Salisbury Cathedral painting by John Constable just saved for the nation and Nick Nelson revealing the Life and Work of David Hockney.
And Roger Vitos will reveal Love Amongst the Ruins in the seductive paintings of the pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, who fled London for Paris in the wake of his turbulent affair with his model Maria Zambaco.
Lectures include one on the Curious Life and Death of Rudolf Hess given by General Peter Williams, who spent six years in Berlin during the Cold War and both guarded and provided interpretation at Spandau Prison for Hitler’s deputy.
The story of Marlborough Castle – from Hunting Lodge to seat of Parliament over 200 years – will be presented by David du Croz, head of history at Marlborough College, and the theatrical career of Dame Ellen Terry will be the subject of a lecture by actress Eunice Roberts, who has been seen on TV in Casualty, Midsomer Murders and Inspector Morse programmes.
Other events include individual piano, lute, organ and
vibraphone recitals plus a performance by the Classic Buskers. There will also be a music scholars’ concert abd a finale gala event called the SingaLongaShow! With the London Pops Orchestra, two guest star West End soloists – and the audience as the chorus.
Elinor wants to raise a political laugh in aid of her riding charity
One fascinating political event will be the appearance of acclaimed Channel Four political editor Elinor Goodman, who served on the Leveson inquiry as an independent panel member, recalling the highlights of her hectic career.
That is on top of the Question Time debate with a panel of top politicians and journalists (see Marlborough’s Question Time is all geared up for a royal birth (June 8) chaired by Michael Kallenbach.
And the added attraction of 66-year-old Elinor’s lecture is that it is a charity event aimed at raising funds for the Riding for the Disabled Association’s branch at Wilton.
The association, whose president is Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, helps some 25,000 people a year to learn to ride, not to mention show-jumping and carriage driving skills, through a network of 500 individual voluntary groups nationwide.
I am doing it in aid of the Riding for the Disabled as I am the chair of the local branch,” Elinor told Marlborough News Online. “It helps kids with special needs from local schools learn to ride.
“My hope is that if people like this lecture, they might pay me to do it on some occasion, and that I can raise more money for the RDA.”
As to her political memories, she added: “The lecture will basically run through the highlights of my 30 year career as a political journalist -- both comical and serious, with the emphasis probably on the funny side.
“I may touch on some of the ethical issues raised in the Leveson inquiry, but the prime purpose will be to entertain. I was political editor of Channel Four news since its inception in l983, and lived through some pretty momentous times, like the election of Mrs Thatcher, her resignation, the Brighton bomb, and then John's majors trials and the Tony Blair's reign.”
The local branch of the RDA was in fact set up by a group of horse owners 25 years ago in Wilton. It then moved to be based at Manton Grange, thanks to the generosity of Ken Carter.
“Every Monday we now teach about 40 kids from schools like Pewsey Vale and St John's and numerous local primaries,” explained Elinor. “What makes our branch unusual is that we take our own horses there, rather than the RDA having to buy horses and keep them at great expense.
“So horses that might have been ‘hunting’ on a Saturday or competing at a pony club event, may be plodding round the arena on a Monday. The horses seem to know they have nervous riders and calm down accordingly.
“All the research, and anecdotes from parents, suggests that riding can be beneficial to children with special needs. It can help the physically disabled with their muscle development, and balance, while children on the autistic spectrum can improve their communications and concentration.
“It's also one of the times in the week when they can really proud of their achievements. It is deliberately not competitive, but at the end of the term I think they all feel pleased with themselves, and, hopefully, a bit more confident.”
Tickets £7 at the door, including a glass of wine.
Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of Jill MorisonOne hundred years after women marched through – and were attacked in - Marlborough en route to London to demand the vote, a group of artists are to re-enact the pilgrimage.
In July 1913, women marching to from Land's End to London to protest for the vote passed through five Wiltshire towns: Corsham, Chippenham, Calne, Marlborough and Swindon.
Part of what eventually became known as The Great 1913 Suffrage Pilgrimage – which culminated in a rally in Hyde Park on 26 July attended by 75,000 people – the women were often subject to a hostile reception by anti-suffragists.
In Marlborough their wagon was overturned and they had to be rescued by police.
To celebrate the centenary of the pilgrimage, Dreadnought South West Association – a new organisation that works with arts and heritage to champion women’s voices and stories – will tour a new play, Oxygen, written by Exeter-based playwright Natalie McGrath, along the same route as the pilgrimage.
As well as commemorating the courage of all those who participated, the project also seeks to raise awareness of the fact that the core reasons driving the fight for women to gain the vote – to end child poverty, to end the slave trade, and to end sweated labour – concern issues that are relevant today.
As well as the full-length play and pop-up ‘episodes’ taking place both indoors and out, the project is accompanied by a series of commemorative land journeys, and will showcase a diverse range of responding arts and heritage events.
The play visits Marlborough Town Hall on Wednesday, July 17 from 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £12 and £8 are available from www.marlboroughboxoffice.co.uk