The Reg Vardy Brass Band is among the attractions at The Witham this summer.
The Reg Vardy Brass Band is among the attractions at The Witham this summer.

A NEW film club and a wider range of events and community activities form the basis of The Witham’s summer programme, which was unveiled to supporters last week.

Highlights include Confessions of a Cockney Temple Dancer (May 3), a funny solo show combining amusing storytelling with Indian dance, and a sing-along screening of the classic movie Grease.

There’s a broad range of music on offer, from the Reg Vardy Brass band (June 15) and Samling Academy Summer Concert (July 20) to Queen of Rock (May 17) and Cara Dillon (June 8).

The Big Band Theory (June 29), a 15-strong line up of North East musicians playing hits such by Arctic Monkeys, Fall Out Boy and Calvin Harris is another of the musical highlights.

Barnard Castle School are bringing two studio concerts to showcase young musicians from Andy Yeadon’s Rock and Pop sessions (June 25) and Philippa Dearsley’s Vocal Studio (June 14).

During Barnard Castle’s 1940s weekend in June, the centre will host Damaris Jean and the Ragtime Rewind Vintage Swing Band (June 22).

There is also a collaboration between The Bowes Museum and TCR Hub with the youth theatre days for eight to 16-year-olds: Turrets Take Over (August 12–14).

Spoken word events are proving popular with An Evening with Julian Norton (May 8) and Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen (July 24) already sold out. Amanda Owen is booked to return in November.

Journalist Chris Lloyd, brings local history to life, speaking about Henry King Spark, a megalomaniac maverick businessman who ended up beaten and bankrupt in Barnard Castle (May 15).

There is much for families to enjoy, such as Lyngo Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk, adapted and performed by former Cbeebies presenter Patrick Lynch for families with children aged three-plus (July 27).

The Funny Way To Be Comedy Club brings world-class names to Barnard Castle from Sophie Willan of BBC Radio 4 fame (May 13) to Friday Night Dinner star, Tom Rosenthal (July 18).

A new monthly acoustic café slot for local musicians to busk on the balcony over the café, begins with TCR Hub Young Musicians on May 25, 2pm-4pm.

There is now a coming soon section in the summer programme featuring popular tribute band, Beatlemania (Friday, September 6), Northern Stage’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (October 10), Funny Way to Be Comedy’s Lost Voice Guy (October 29) and Northern Ballet’s screenings of Dracula on Halloween.

The film club is free to join, online at www.thewitham. org.uk.

Marketing officer Sarah Gent explained: “Previously, each film screened at The Witham has required single film licence at a cost of £100 per screening.

“The Witham now has an umbrella licence which costs £168 per year and allows unlimited screenings of popular and classic titles.

“This means The Witham will screen more films but also has implications for the way in which these can be publicised and promoted. Films will still play an important part in the summer programme but the majority will only be promoted to Film Club members.”

Entry to a fifilm requires the purchase of a Witham refreshment voucher. This can be redeemed for a cup of tea, coffee or squash and costs £4 per adult and £2 per child.

Ms Gent added: “We are working hard to reach out wider and further than The Witham has previously, programming events with more of a community focus and over a wider spectrum of genres. This new programme demonstrates this.” To discover more about the events and The Witham Film Club, call 01833 631107 or head to www.thewitham.org.uk.