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Arts & Entertainment

This Saturday! A music event in Marlborough for young people starring local musicians

SN Dubstation: will it be the weather for dark glasses, T-shirts and sombreros?SN Dubstation: will it be the weather for dark glasses, T-shirts and sombreros?The Marlborough Youth Network has organised its first ever open-air music festival, aimed at young people aged 13-19. It will take place on Saturday (September 24) from 2pm until 10pm on Marlborough College's Treacle Bolley playing fields and it goes under the title: MY ME.

This will be a great opportunity to support and enjoy local music acts such as Dirty Thrills (headliner), George Wilding, Rufus Mackay, Rohan Ball, Sam Evans Band, All Ears Avow and SN Dubstation.

All of these acts will be featured on the main stage, with a special dance performance courtesy of M.A.D. - the Marlborough Academy of Dance and Drama.

With a line up this varied you can be sure to enjoy your favourite genre as well as discover an unexpected new sound - something that should not be missed.

All are must see - and hear - acts, however ones to watch out for include George Wilding and Swindon's SN Dubstation. George Wilding is a young self-taught singer song writer who has previously supported acts like Newton Faulkner and The Levellers. He creates a chilled and subtle folk sound that clearly showcases his raw talent.  

On the other hand SN Dubstation are an eight piece band that effortlessly merge Reggae, Ska and Dub sounds to create infectious bass lines that you can dance to.

The headliners, Dirty Thrills are an exciting “bluesy-rock” band that will remind you of The Black Keys and Queens of the Stone Age.  They have had glowing reviews mentioned in magazines such as “Classic Rock Magazine” and “Blues Magazine”. Featuring clever guitar riffs and catchy vocals, this band will make you move.

Not only will this festival feature musical entertainment, but there will be a variety of other activities on offer - including drumming, circus skills, cake decorating and art workshops as well as hockey and golf sessions. UV face painting could liven things up, as will several fair rides including giant spinning teacups and a hilarious rodeo bull ride.

The Marlborough Youth Music Event tickets are £5 each with a £3 food voucher included in the price. These tickets are available now from the St John's Library, the Marlborough Library and Sound Knowledge. And tickets can be purchased on the day.

With the 2016 festival season coming to an end, this is a chance to extend the summer by coming to support an amazing local cause and have a great time in the process.

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In pictures: Pewsey Carnival goes with a bang

You're fired! the Human Cannonball from the Circus floatYou're fired! the Human Cannonball from the Circus floatWiltshire’s oldest illuminated carnival procession returned to Pewsey last night (Saturday) with an increase in the number of floats, to the delight of the crowds.

Eighteen colourful floats – as well as walking entrants – took to the streets of the village, with themes ranging from politics, musicals, movies, literature and the Olympics all represented.

Thousands of spectators – blessed with a dry, mild night – lined the streets to wave and cheer them on.

Photographer Jonathan Helps was on hand to capture the action for Marlborough News Online.

Click images to enlarge.

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Four-legged fun kicks of fancy dress festivities

The annual tradition of getting dressed up and have a laugh returned to Pewsey on Saturday, kicking off a week of Carnival action.

As always there were some topical entries, with emojis and a trio of Donald Trumpty Dumptys making an appearance, along with a good smattering cross-dressing.

Despite dismal weather conditions earlier in the day, fifty eight teams took part in the event: almost double the number last year.

But competitors had resigned themselves to getting wet, as the course takes the teams of three – each tied by the ankle – through the River Avon.

Pewsey Carnival culminates this Saturday (September 17) with the famous illuminated procession.

The procession starts from 7.30pm at the Carnival field on the Burbage road, and colourfully and noisily wends its way through the village for the following hour.

Images courtesy of Jonathan Helps    

Click images to enlarge

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One final push for the mighty beam engines in 2016

A steam train runs past Crofton Beam EnginesA steam train runs past Crofton Beam EnginesThe mighty beam engines at Crofton Pumping Station will give one final scheduled push this month, with its annual steam gala.

A range of attractions will entice visitors on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, including steam vehicles, classic cars, canal boat trips and morris dancers.

Live music ranges from jazz to performances by the Pewsey Male Voice Choir. To add an educational element to the weekend there will be talks about Victorian dressmaking and about the beam engines and their engine house.

Although the facility closes to the public over the winter months, it can still be brought into service doing the job it was designed to do – pumping water 1.6km to the summit of the Kennet and Avon Canal – as happened in Easter this year.

The pumping station is due to reopen to the public in April 2017.

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The voice of Euro 2016 comes to Marlborough

Izzy BizuIzzy BizuYou may not know the name Izzy Bizu, but if you’re a football fan you’ll recognise the voice – her cover of Edith Piaf's La Foule used as the theme for the BBC's Euro 2016 coverage.

BBC Sound of 2016-longlisted singer Izzy will be performing at Thirty8 in Marlborough on Tuesday, September 6 from 6.30pm in support of her debut album A Moment of Madness.

Tickets to see the rising star – who has played Glastonbury twice and supported Jamie Cullum, Rudimental, and Foxes on tour – are free to people who buy a copy of her album from Sound Knowledge in Hughenden Yard.

Izzy will be at the shop after her performance to sign copies and meet fans.

For full details, log on to the Sound Knowledge Facebook page at


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Wolf Hall Live! Debbie Wiseman brings music she composed for the TV drama to open Marlborough College Concert Series

Debbie Wiseman (Photo: Michael Leckie)Debbie Wiseman (Photo: Michael Leckie)The music from Wolf Hall - the multi-award winning television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's two novels of Tudor intrigue - opens the 75th season of the Marlborough College Concert Series.    For this unique Wolf Hall Live!  concert (September 18) the composer of the original score, Debbie Wiseman, will be conducting the Locrian Ensemble of London.

Joining them to read excerpts from the first two novels in Mantel's Tudor trilogy will be the actor Anton Lesser who played Sir Thomas More in the television series. In an interview to mark this concert Debbie Wiseman told Marlborough.News: "I loved the books and can't wait to read the final volume."

Debbie Wiseman is a renowned British composer specialising in music for film and television.  Her credits - over 200 of them - include the big screen films Wilde (about Oscar W) and Tom & Viv (about TS Eliot and his first wife) and small screen classics like The Death of Yugoslavia and the theme for Andrew Marr 's Sunday morning programme.

The six-part Wolf Hall television series was adapted from the books by Peter Straughan and was directed by Peter Kosminsky - who lives in Wiltshire and who talked about filming the series at last year's Marlborough LitFest.   

This popular series was Debbie Wiseman's sixth collaboration with Kosminsky.  Previous dramas they have worked on together include her scores for The Promise and Warriors - and she is now working on a four part series Kosminsky is directing for Channel 4, which is scheduled to be broadcast next year.

Wiseman says that such a long-standing working relationship with a director is very helpful: "We now have a musical shorthand and completely understand each other's way of working. I find Peter's projects hugely inspiring."

"The score is there to help the audience navigate their way through the drama, and as the music was thematic - there was a very definite Cromwell theme and Anne Boleyn theme - it meant I was able to use these themes in many different guises and orchestrations as the story unfolded."

Where do you start when you are writing a score? "Most projects start with a script, and then I see the production as it's being edited and start work at that stage on sketching out the score...writing to picture and working closely with the director."

Anton Lesser as Thomas More (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Anton Lesser as Thomas More (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)"With Wolf Hall I started writing themes based on the scripts, and I'd composed Cromwell's Theme and Anne Boleyn's theme before Peter had started shooting. He actually took my demos for the themes on set with him as he was filming."

We asked Debbie Wiseman whether the books' author had influenced her music for the television series: "I met with Hilary at the first screening and she was very complimentary about the score which was a huge thrill for me."

"Although she wasn't directly involved with the score, her style of writing greatly influenced the music. She makes the characters feel very much in the present, not in the past, it allowed the score to not be slavishly Tudor in its style. Much of the score, even when I'm using period instruments such as lute or harpsichord, still sounds modern, and that was a direct result of the feel and style of the writing, and of course the direction."

Debbie Wiseman did not see the Royal Shakespeare Company's staged version of the novels - "I didn't want to be influenced in any way".  The plays certainly had a very different approach to the story and its characters compared to the television series.

The BBC Television series was renowned for Kosminsky's use of candlelight to achieve a personal and intense feel to the drama - did that influence Debbie's music? "Everything affects the score - the lighting, the locations, and of course the drama and characters."

Was there one scene that lived on strongly in her memories of working with Kosminsky, the production team and the actors? "The final scene where Henry goes to hug Cromwell after Anne Boleyn has been executed is a very powerful and memorable moment. I remember writing three or four different pieces of music for that final scene before settling on the right musical tone."

Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) with Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) with Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) (Photo: copyright Company Pictures/Playground Entertainment for BBC2 2015)

The wait for the final volume of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy goes on - exactly a year ago Hilary Mantel was still researching documents concerning the Seymour family and letters written by Cromwell which are held at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.  

Will Debbie be writing the music when the third volume is filmed for television? "It's quite a long way off until volume three will be ready for TV - Hilary has to finish the novel and then it needs to be adapted by Peter Straughan, and then the cast and Peter Kosminsky need to be available."

Unusually for music composed for a television series, the audio recording of Debbie's Wolf Hall score was at the top of Classic FM's chart within weeks of the broadcast of the final episode in February last year. (The music is still available on CD.)

Debbie Wiseman is not only an eminent composer, she is also known as a conductor and presenter - how does she face up to the complexities of Wolf Hall Live? "I'm hugely looking forward to Wolf Hall Live! Conducting the score alongside readings from the novels is very exciting and we hope that the audience can re-live the magic of Wolf Hall in the concert hall!"

This concert does, of course, have a strong local connection.  Wolf Hall, between Great Bedwyn and Burbage, was the Seymours' home where Henry VIII met the young Jane Seymour, his future Queen.  Wolf Hall has long since vanished and is now little more than a name on a few signposts, the name of a farm and of a later Manor House that has seen better days.

The other concerts in the Series - usually in the Memorial Hall - are:
•    Paul Turner (Piano) - Sunday, 9 October 2016 - 7.30pm
•    Band of the Grenadier Guards - Sunday, 6 November 2016 - 7.30pm
•    Academy of St Martin in the Fields Sextet - Sunday, 22 January 2017 - 3.00pm
•    Choir of St John's College Cambridge - Sunday, 5 February 2017 - 3.00pm - in the Chapel

Information about this concert and the others in the forthcoming Marlborough College Concert Series can be found here - with details of tickets, their prices and how to buy them.

Our thanks to Company Pictures for the Wolf Hall photos.

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Folk duo come to Marlborough

Chris While and Julie MatthewsChris While and Julie MatthewsAward-winning folk duo Chris While and Julie Matthews will be performing at St Mary’s Church Hall in Marlborough on Saturday, September 24 from 8pm in support of their tenth studio album, released just a week before.

While and Matthews have been performing together since 1993, when they were members of The Albion Band.

They were the winners of the Best Duo category in 2009’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and have been nominated nine times since 2001.

Their songs have been covered by a range of artists including Mary Black, Barbara Dickson, Christine Collister and Fairport Convention.

Both multi-instrumentalists, Julie plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica and accordion while Chris plays guitar, bodhran, banjo, dulcimer and percussion.

Tickets cost £15 from


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