Horsington’s Penny is behind revitalised Westland Centre

The newly refurbished Westlands Yeovil will stage an impressive  programme of opera, ballet, music, theatre, classic cinema and childrens’ theatre and film this spring. Some events are live, beamed direct from a major international theatre or concert hall. The programmes start at the end of March.

Horsington’s Penny Nagle’s ,company Flaming Lassie Ltd has been appointed by the  centre to run its film and event Cinema programme.

The first event is The Royal Opera House’s much loved classic Sleeping Beauty which will be screened at 7pm on Wednesday 29th March.   Following this will be the full Royal Opera House season including Puccini’sMadama Butterfly” on Sunday 2 April at 2pm, George Balanchine’s fabulous ballet Jewels on Sunday 16th April at 2pm,  Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton’s The Dream/Symphonic Variations/Marguerite and Armand on Sunday 11 June at 2pm, and as a grand finale the wonderful Jonas Kaufman makes his role debut in Verdi’s Otello on Sunday 2 July at 2pm.

Music events include “From the New World” by the Berliner Philharmoniker Live from Berlin conducted by the charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel on Friday 9 June at 6.30pm.  The orchestra will perform John Adam’s “City Noir” and Dvořák’s symphony From the New World. 

Theatre events on screen include the fantastic David Suchet as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest.  This production was critically acclaimed with four stars from every national newspaper, and really brings new comedic insight to the play.

Film Events include Mel Brooks’s satirical comedy The Producers followed by a talk on comedy by Anil Gupta, whose Producer credits include The Office, Goodness Gracious Me, and Citizen Khan on Sunday 21 May at 2.30pm.    Actor Olivia Williams (Sixth Sense, Rushmore, Lucky Break, The Halcyon) talks about To Kill a Mockingbird after a screening of the film on Sunday 4 June at 2.30pm.

For children aged 7-13 Bruton’s Youth Cinema Foundation workshops how to make a film with The Castaway Theatre Group before a screening of Bugsy Malone on Sunday 18 June at 2.30pm.

All tickets are reasonably priced and easily available on line or from a real live person at the Octagon Theatre Box Office in Yeovil.  Tel 01935 422884.

(Westlands is now part of the Octagon Theatre)


Penny Nagle MD of Flaming Lassie told the Blog, “ We are thrilled to be working with Adam’s team at the new Westlands Yeovil, which is growing and diversifying the existing cultural offering for the area with these new screen events”.

Adam Burgan, Arts and Entertainment Manager of The Octagon Theatre says “We are excited to welcome guests to the refurbished Westlands venue with comfortable seats, a great bar, friendly service and accessible parking.  We’re delighted that Penny and Flaming Lassie have created this screen programme with us which we hope all our audiences will enjoy”.

Background to the Westlands re-development There are many other events on at Westlands.

Editor’s note: Penny is behind more exciting cultural developments to be staged in Wincanton’s town hall. Watch this space.

Lord Waddington

The Blog is sad to report the death of Lord Waddington, probably South Cheriton’s most illustrious resident, on February 24th.

He was a politician and barrister who served his country and his party well. His roots were in Lancashire, and he served as a Conservative MP and held a number of key political appointments, including Chief Whip. Home Secretary and Leader of the House of Lords.

He was well known and liked in South Cheriton, where he and Gilly chose to retire, and was a familiar figure as he walked his dog around the village.

We send our condolences to Lady Waddington and the family

More here:

February Diary

Regular activities (Village Hall unless stated).

Monday Pilates 6pm
Tuesday Upholstery 10.30am
Badminton 8 pm
Wednesday Adult Tap dancing 10am
Thursday Art 10am
Friday Art 10am
Saturday Free

Other activities

Wed 1st Music Night – Half Moon Inn 8.30pm
Thurs 2nd W.I – Vietnam Adventures of Mike Spencer 7.30pm
Sat 4th Blackmore Vale and Yeovil National Trust Association. Grahame Meaden on Montacute House. Digby hall, Sherborne 2.30pm
Mon 6th Ladies Lunch Group. Virginia Ash, Henstridge Lunch
Thurs 9th  Parish Council Meeting 7.30pm
Fri 10th  TUSK Trust talk by Dan Bucknall. St John’s Church 7.30pm
Sat 18th Film The Girl on the Train. Milborne Port Village Hall 7.30pm
Fri 24th  Wincanton History Society. Preparing for the worst world war. Terry Stanford. Wincanto Memorial Hall 7.30pm
St John’s Church Services
5th February Holy Communion with Sunday School 9.15am
12th February Morning Prayer 11 am
19th February Holy Communion 9.15am
26th February Holy Communion BCP  8.30am
Churchwardens Anne Jones 370626
Rosemarie Wigley 371478

South Somerset Arts Directory

Did you know that the District Council publish a Directory of regular Arts events happening in South Somerset? No?, nor did I until I was contacted by Emma Westerman who has been tasked with updating it.  If you’re inclined towards dance, visual or performing arts, music or any other arty pastime you can think of, it may be a useful resource. Equally if you run any group that you think may benefit from the inclusion in future editions get in touch with Emma at ssartsdirectory@gmail.com.

Follow the new link on the blogroll or http://app.southsomerset.gov.uk/pageflip/SSDC_Arts/

What’s on? Ask the Fine Times Recorder

The HB’s links to useful sites

Another benefit of reading the Blog regularly is the list of links attached to the  home page. These will give you instant access to all sorts of information, from local traffic conditions and bin collection times to local news and entertainment.

One of our favorite links is the Fine Times Recorder, run by Fanny Charles and Gay Pirie-Weir, formerly of the Blackmore Vale Magazine.

This provides a comprehensive list of everything that’s on in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, together with honest and objective reviews. Well worth a regular read. Here’s a word from the Editors:

Click on the highlighted items to read the latest news, views, previews and reviews.

HAPPY New Year – it’s a bit belated, but we wanted to take a good look at the 2017 programmes around the region so that we had plenty to tell you about.

It is easy to get down-hearted about the political situation but we do have a lot of exciting news for you and perhaps the most important message is to get out and do something – support your local theatres and arts organisations, buy locally from independent shops and businesses, and be prepared to stand up for what you believe in.

So much of what we see in the media sounds like tantrum-prone toddlers. In this week’s Leader, we explain why we put much of this down to the infantilisation of culture. And we need to stand up against this Orwellian dumbing down.

So what’s new? We have details of the spring seasons at Bristol Old Vic, Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre, Salisbury Playhouse and Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre.

There is a report on the brilliant Theatre Royal Bath Creative Fund – an unsubsidised theatre which makes money from tours and West End transfers of its productions and uses that money to support small local arts organisations.

If you are interested in new music, Mark Anthony Turnage is the lead composer for the BSO Composers Day.

The Marine Theatre at Lyme Regis last year staged a successful open-air community production, The Tempest at Lyme. This year there’s an even more exciting project – a community play about the Monmouth Rebellion.

In Eco-soundings, we have preliminary news about the proposed Stonehenge tunnel – taking the huge volume of traffic on the A303 underground and restoring the stones in their ancient ritual landscape. It’s controversial – of course it is, but this is an opportunity to get involved and have your say. Highways England wants to gather as many views as possible.

Bristol these days feels like the most exciting city in the country (OK, we are a long way from Hull) and one of its most inventive events is the Slapstick Festival, now in its 13th year. Read about this year’s films and speakers.

On the visual arts front, we have some exciting galleries and arts centres putting on world-class exhibitions. These range from the small and distinctive Sladers Yard gallery, cafe and showroom for furniture maker/designer Petter Southall at West Bay, and Kelly Ross’s Art Stable at Gold Hill Organic Farm in Child Okeford, to Hauser & Wirth at Bruton and Messums Wiltshire in the 700 year old tithe barn at Tisbury.

Messums currently has a powerful sculpture exhibition, Deformations/Transformations, and Hauser & Wirth Somerset has a major Elisabeth Frink show opening on 19th January. Check out our Private View pages for more information.

Despite cut-backs and austerity, we have a thriving arts scene in this region, exciting developments in the local food economy and plenty to look forward. Get involved, take part – and enjoy!

Editor sits in the naughty corner

We need to point out a couple of errors, which you, diligent reader, have surely seen and are guffawing at over your Sunday breakfast.

Susan Maltin’s Telephone number in the kittens post is 01963 371400.

Those who were there are well aware that we sang “Always look on the Bright Side of Life” after Paul’s funeral, and not the “right side of life”. We apologise to those who may have been offended by the unwitting plug for the Conservative Party.

The stories have now been corrected. Apologies.

Singalong in Sherborne

Come and enjoy singing a veritable feast of music on 11th February. The Georgian Extravaganza will feature Israel in Egypt plus Handel’s Coronation Anthem No.2 – ‘The King Shall Rejoice’, an anthem by William Boyce – ‘O where shall wisdom be found’ and Thomas Linley Junior – ‘Let God Arise’.

You will thoroughly enjoy singing with lively Musical Director Peter Leech, who has such an enthusiastic approach and incredible knowledge of music.

Spectra Musica hope you will be able to join them in Sherborne.


Sally Greenhalgh

More about Spectra

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Happy 2017 everyone. Stay alive!


Two lovely kittens available

Two lovely new kittens will be available in a few weeks to a caring home. Owner Susan Maltin would prefer the two ginger pussies, believed to be male, to go to the same home as a pair. They are delightful.

Contact Susan on 01963 371400

Defibrillator action

At approx 10 am on Sunday 8 January a call was received on the village Emergency telephone system and our responder Kev Wigley responded to a person who had collapsed at Templecombe church. They took the defibrillator and arrived at the same time as the paramedics so in fact the defibrillator was not deployed.

It is reassuring to know the system works, and that all the team’s hard work and dedication ensured an efficient and professional attendance.