Tropical plants in Wales

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Tropical plants in Wales ...

Britain Calling August/September 2009

London’s annual week of jazz

    The London Jazz Festival in association with BBC Radio 3 will take place this year from 13 to 22 November. The pan-London festival brings together an eclectic mix of jazz musicians from around the world in a variety of London venues from major concert halls to tiny clubs. Performers will include Sonny Rollins, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Gilberto Gil, Carla Bley, Dave Holland, John Surman, Tomasz Stanko, Tord Gustavsen, Alan Barnes, Stefano Bollani, John Scofield and Bill Frisell with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

    The programme for this 17th London Jazz Festival will include premieres, commissions, free events and an extensive learning and participation programme. The Festival opens on 13 November when jazz guitarist and ex-Miles Davis sideman John Scofield brings his new project John Scofield‟s Piety Street Band to the Southbank Centre, mixing blues with gospel and New Orleans style R&B. On 14 November 79-year-old saxophonist Sonny Rollins will play at the Barbican. Cleo Laine, John Dankworth and Friends will be Accentuating the Positive at the Royal Festival Hall on 21 November. The show will celebrate jazz singer Cleo Laine‟s career that has produced a range of music stretching back to the 1950s. London Jazz Festival, various venues, 1322 November


    Press contact: Jacquie Chalmers

    Tel: +44 20 7292 8860


Britain Calling August/September 2009

Extreme sports by the sea

    Europe‟s largest Extreme Sports and Music Festival will take place on Brighton beach on England's south coast in September. The White Air Festival consists of two nights of music and three days of more than 40 extreme sports.

    The sports will include World High Diving displays from a 30-metre tower into a three-metre pool, windsurfing, Thundercats, jet skis, mixed martial arts and scuba diving. A large urban freesports park will hold more than 10 sports including skate, BMX, inline, parkour, mountain bike, mountain board, streetboard and street dance. There will be more than 20 „Have a Go‟ sports on offer for visitors to try.

    The festival will also feature parachuting and displays from the Red Arrows air team as well as events for sailing, beach volleyball, gliding, zip wire and yo-yoing. This year‟s music acts include Doves, The Cribs, Biffy Clyro, The White Lies, British Sea Power, Natty and The Boxer Rebellion.

    The festival, now in its 12th year, was founded by World Champion windsurfer and British Kitesurfing Champion Nigel Howell.

    Tickets cost ?65 adults, ?60 students/under-16s. Day tickets from ?14. White Air Festival, 1820 September

    Madeira Drive, Brighton

    Tel: +44 844 847 2537 (tickets)


    Press contact: Rebecca Richardson

    Tel: +44 1273 454 190


Britain Calling August/September 2009

Torquay honours the ‘Queen of Crime’

    This year‟s Agatha Christie Festival will be held from 13 to 20 September on the

    English Riviera on the south-west coast. Fans of the creator of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot travel from round the world to attend the festival every year. More than two billion copies of her books have been sold. They have been translated into over 70 languages, making her the most widely published author of all time. Her work has only been outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare.

    The festival offers over 40 events including plays, open-air cinema screenings, tea-dances, flower festivals, walks, talks, lectures, book signings, classic car treasure hunts and murder mystery balls. The festival will launch with A Fête Worse than

    Death on the seafront at Torquay, based on the plot of the Christie novel Dead Man’s

    Folly. The official Agatha Christie Theatre Company will be performing one of her best loved works Spider’s Web, and will also be staging two lesser-known radio plays during a three-course meal at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay. The actors will wear evening dress of the period and will perform the plays almost exactly as they were on their original BBC broadcasts, complete with sound effects.

    Christie was born in Torquay in 1890, grew up in the seaside town and later bought a holiday home there, Greenway, which is now open to the public. This year is the 75th anniversary of the publication of her most famous book, Murder on the Orient

    Express. Her play The Mousetrap is now in its 56th year in London.

    Agatha Christie Festival, 1320 September

    various venues Torquay and the English Riviera


    Press contact: Lydia Stone

    Tel: +44 1803 408346


Britain Calling August/September 2009

Traditional music in the Highlands

    The UK‟s fastest growing festival takes place in the Highlands of Scotland this September. This year‟s Blas Festival offers over 80 cultural events based around traditional music, Gaelic language and song, food, learning, whiskies and clans. It includes a series of concerts played in whisky distilleries across the region as well as performances in venues ranging from village halls to Inverness Airport and the Eden Court Theatre.

    The festival, a key part of the national Homecoming Scotland celebrations, will also launch its own „Scottish Embassy‟ with an „embassy‟ agreement with the Celtic

    Colours International Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Visitors attending both events will get „visa‟ rights that include information, advice and ticket price incentives.

    Featured artists for the Blas festival include Dougie MacLean, Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, Blazin‟ Fiddles, the Barra MacNeils and Karen Matheson.

    Festival Director Donna MacRae says: „The Celtic Colours festival provided the inspiration for the creation of Blas and our “Scottish Embassy” strengthens the links and cements our partnership. Visitors will be able to visit our website and access information about Scotland in our embassy.‟

    Blas Festival 2009, 412 September

    Various venues across the Scottish Highlands.


    Press contact: Peter Kane

    Tel: +44 1463 871600


Britain Calling August/September 2009

British game served in British inns

    During October and November Great Inns of Britain will be serving local and seasonal game. The head chefs of the 20 independently-owned Inns in England, plus one each in Scotland and Wales, will be cooking dishes that celebrate the quality and choice of game available in Britain.

    Dishes include venison loin from Black Norwegian Fallow Deer bred on the Haddon Estate and served at The Peacock at Rowsley, Derbyshire. The Bell Inn at Hordon-on-the Hill, Essex will be serving wild rabbit saddle in herb mousse with fondant potato and rabbit leg ballottine and chestnut mushrooms a dish that helped

    the inn win the Pubchef Food Excellence Award 2009.

    The menu at Barnsdale Lodge in Oakham, Rutland will include Exton Estate Pheasant Pot Roast, served with root vegetables, apricots and chestnuts using pheasant shot on the Exton Estate owned by Lord Gainsborough, the father of the innkeeper, Thomas Noel.

    Some of the inns will also be offering themed events and seasonal special offers which range from game dinners to master classes and culinary presentations on preparing and cooking game.

    Many of the inns are on or close to locations for stalking, shooting and clay pigeon shooting. Some are also able to offer exclusive hire for private shooting parties upon request.


    Press contact: Naomi Roberts

    Tel: +44 113 279 9909


Britain Calling August/September 2009

Age-old harvest customs in Sussex

    The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum near Chichester in the south of England will be celebrating traditional harvest customs at their annual Autumn Countryside Show in October.

    Visitors to the leading museum of historic buildings in England will see heavy horses ploughing, vintage tractors, steam threshing, falconry, a fun dog show and demonstrations and displays of traditional rural crafts and skills. There will also be a Wood Show and craft and trade stands.

    The museum has a collection of nearly 50 historic buildings dating from the 13th to the 19th century in 20 hectares (50 acres) of Sussex countryside. The buildings have been carefully dismantled, conserved and rebuilt to their original form to bring to life the homes, farmsteads and rural industries of the last 500 years.

    Buildings include a timber-framed farmhouse from Kent, a market hall from Hampshire, a Victorian school, a medieval shop, carpenters‟, plumbers‟ and brickmakers‟ workshops, barns, a granary and a treadwheel.

    Many of the interiors have been furnished, recreating the way the buildings were used by their owners centuries ago. Seven historic gardens show the herbs, vegetables and flowers grown to meet the needs of rural households from medieval to Victorian times.

    The open-air museum is open daily from mid-February to the end of December. Admission adults ?8.95, over-60s ?7.95, children 515 and full-time students ?4.70.

    Family ticket (two adults and up to three children) ?24.25, under-5s free. The Autumn Countryside Show is open 10.30am5pm on 1011 October.

    Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

    Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0EU

    Tel: +44 1243 811363


    Press contact: Cathy Clark

    Tel: +44 1243 811363


Britain Calling August/September 2009

The food and drink of the East Midlands

    The fifth East Midlands Food and Drink Festival takes place this year on 34 October

    at Brooksby Hall, a 16th-century hunting lodge near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. The area is known for its Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

    More than one million Stiltons are eaten every year, more than all the other blue cheeses in the UK put together. White and Blue Stilton are both protected under European law and can only be made in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire. Seven producers are licensed to make the product.

    Melton Mowbray Pork Pies are now also protected under European law. Since the 18th century, the sides of these pies have been bow-shaped because they are baked free-standing without a hoop or tin. (Pork pies baked in tins or hoops have straight sides.)

    In the 1760s, as the region‟s Stilton cheese production grew, so did its pork industry because the whey was used as a food for pigs. Agricultural workers, grooms and hunt servants ate their pork wrapped in a protective pastry case as a transportable lunch.

    Dickinson & Morris pie maker Stephen Hallam will give a Master Class at the festival in making an authentic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie. The festival will also display and sell other cheeses, breads, pies, game, beers, spices, juices, bison, chocolate, cider, wines, chutneys, sausages, cakes, ostrich and pancakes. Admission to the festival is ?6, under-16s free.

    East Midlands Food and Drink Festival

    Brooksby Hall, Brooksby, Melton

    Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 2LJ


    Press contact: Sue Richmond

    Tel: +44 1673 828764


Britain Calling August/September 2009

An international festival in Canterbury

    The annual Canterbury Festival aims to be a celebration of everything from classical and world music to contemporary dance and comedy. This October‟s international arts

    festival features more than 200 cultural events in venues throughout Canterbury and the surrounding area in Kent, south-east England.

    Venues include Canterbury Cathedral where the festival opens with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen performing Handel‟s Coronation Anthems to mark the

    250th anniversary of the composer‟s death.

    Theatre performances include The Caravan, presented by Look Left Look Right

    and staged in a caravan in Canterbury‟s city centre. The audience of eight people per

    show are entertained to tea and biscuits by the cast in this telling of the trauma of losing a home to flooding.

     For comedy, Spymonkey will present Moby Dick, and the international award-

    winner from Poland, Karbido‟s The Table, fuses music and theatre. Dance

    performances include a Zimbabwean exploration of the Mugabe regime by Bawren Tavaziva.

    During the festival there will be a series of guided walks. Local restaurants and hotels will offer special deals during the fortnight.

    Canterbury Festival, October 1731

    Tel: +44 1227 787787 (box office)


    Press contact: Megan Williams

    Tel: +44 1227 762952


Britain Calling August/September 2009

Brighton celebrates the end of summer

    Daylight saving time is observed in the UK from the last weekend in March until the last in October. This year British Summer Time (BST) ends on Sunday 25 October when the clocks go back one hour from 2am BST to 1am Greenwich Mean Time (Universal Time).

    White Night in Brighton and Hove on the south coast of England will celebrate the event with a variety of night-time cultural events and „happenings‟ across the city. Major attractions including the Royal Pavilion and the Brighton Dome will stay open on Saturday night until the early hours of Sunday.

    Last year‟s successful White Night events included underwater music in the Prince Regent Swimming complex, music and poetry recitals in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and movie shows in the Library. As last year, most of the White Night events this October will be free.

    The Royal Pavilion was built by the Prince of Wales George IV, the oldest son of George III. He rebelled against his strict upbringing and scandalised the country with his drinking, womanising and gambling. The Pavilion‟s lavish interiors mix Asian exoticism with English eccentricity.

    White Night 2425 October, Brighton and Hove


    Press contact: Charlotte Barrow

    Tel: +44 1273 292620


Britain Calling August/September 2009

Maharajas come to London

    Maharaja: The Splendour of India‟s Royal Courts will open at the V&A in London on 10 October the first exhibition to explore the world of the maharajas and their culture. More than 250 objects will be on display, many on loan to the UK for the first time from India‟s royal collections. The exhibition will cover the period from the 18th century, when the era of the maharajas began, to the end of British rule in 1947. It will examine the changing role of the maharajas in an historical and social context and how the maharajas‟ patronage of the arts resulted in splendid and beautiful commissions. The exhibition will include three thrones, a silver gilt howdah, gem-encrusted weapons, court paintings, photographs, a Rolls-Royce, Indian turban jewels and jewellery commissioned from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

    The V&A is open 10am5.45pm daily (to 10pm on Fridays) admission free.

    Tickets to the Maharaja exhibition, which runs from 10 October to 17 January: ?11 adults, ?9 seniors, ?6 students and under-18s.

    The V&A, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

    Tel: +44 20 7942 2000


    Press contact: Alex Bratt

    Tel: +44 20 7942 2502


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