Pride 2020 – Call for Creative Exhibits

Creative / Artist Wanted

Medway Pride and the MGSD Centre are calling on creatives to use their preferred medium to represent how they celebrated pride during the social restrictions during 2020. They are also looking for work that represents all aspects of the support or isolation that individuals encountered during the lockdown periods. The work will be used for a Medway Pride History Month Exhibition in February 2021.

They are looking at all creative forms including but not limited to, Paintings, Craftwork, Photography, Videography, Written Word, Performance.

Written work can include comments, statements, poetry, essays which they will include in book form for the exhibition. 

They are looking to use some of the written work to be included as part of the public mural.

If you wish to contribute to the Medway Pride History Month Exhibition please contact MGSD Centre by the end of December 2020 via

More info at:

Featured Creative: Sara Ana Mejias Pinilla – SAM Art

Featured Creatives

Medway has a new artist in town and her beautiful paintings of pets will warm your heart! Recently having moved to Rochester, Sara loves painting animals and has an amazing way of making them present personality. I wanted to get to know more about Sara, so I asked some questions about her and her beautiful work!

How long have you been painting for?

I’ve been painting for almost 9 years, I was studying my third year at university when I started to paint dog portraits to raise money for a dog’s shelter.

Why do you love painting pets?

Because I love pets! I think when you are working, it’s really important to love what you are doing. I try to capture the essence of the pet and the magical expression in their eyes.

All the pets are really extraordinary, they give you everything, they make you laugh, help you with sad moments of your life…

I think they deserve to be remembered and with a portrait, you can freeze time and it gives you a memory for a lifetime.

Commissions for artworks of pets are notoriously hard and many artists turn them down, how do you manage customer expectations?

Well, when a person decides to work as a painter, he usually chooses a theme to specialise. Some of them work with landscapes, some of them with portraits of people and I chose animals. My customers always understand my style of painting. I usually show them some of the work I have created already so they can have a real expectations about the pet’s portrait I’m going to do.

What do you love most about Rochester?

Rochester has something special, I love getting lost in its streets and listening to the sound of the wind and nature.

I love its parks and gardens, they have beautiful flowers and they are very quiet so you can relax and enjoy.

I love walking near the Medway River and watching the sunset

Do you think you will stay or are there other places you want to travel to?

I don’t really know, I love living here but I would like to travel to other places to see more of this beautiful country. Time will tell what adventure I am going to live!

What would be your dream project?

My dream project would be to be a freelancer and be able to work painting murals and teaching painting in a studio or academy. I was a painting and art teacher in Seville so I miss teaching.

Whose work and music do you love?

I currently follow many great artists. Some of them are:

Javid Tabatabaei, an Iranian-Canadian water-colourist who paints magical landscapes.

Casey Baugh is an extraordinary painter from New York who makes charcoal portraits out of the ordinary and paintings of the city at night with women as the main character of the scene.

Ruben Belloso is a Spanish wonderful  pastel painter, born in Seville. He paint beautiful and emotional portraits.

About music, I listen to different musical genres. I like to paint with soundtracks, jazz, post rock, grunge, puck, indie, alternative rock …

Antilopez, Polyphia, Mogwai are great music bands and Jeff Buckley, Billie Holiday or El Kanka are great musicians!

Thank you for speaking to Creatabot Sara!

You can see more of Sara’s work on her Facebook page.

Residents invited to join virtual bookclub to mark 150th anniversary of Dickens’ last novel – May to October 2020 – Medway

Creative and Art Events, Creative and Art News

Medway Council is inviting residents to take part in an online book club to discuss Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Dickens’ death, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Mystery of Edwin Drood, the council is encouraging residents to download a copy of the eBook from Medway’s library service and join them in reading the mystery in monthly instalments, the same way the original readers would have enjoyed the novel.

The central mystery, the disappearance of Edwin Drood, plays out in a thinly-disguised gothic Rochester.

Can you solve the mystery? Download the eBook and join in discussions about the novel on the Reading Drood blog each month from May to October. If you’re not already a member of Medway libraries you can join online and borrow eBooks immediately. In recent weeks more than 15,500 eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers have been accessed by residents.

Chapters one to five will be read in May, six to nine in June, 10 to 12 in July, 11 to 16 in August, 17 to 20 in September and finally chapters 21 to 23 in October.

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am pleased we are launching a virtual book club to discuss Dickens’ last novel, it is one of the ways in which we are adapting services in these unusual times. I would encourage residents to sign up for an online library account as there are thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines on offer for them to read, as well as The Mystery of Edwin Drood and I hope as many people as possible join in with the online discussions. We look forward to welcoming you all back into Medway’s libraries and community hubs as soon as we can.” 

To sign up for a library account visit

Medway Libraries – Knit ‘n’ Natter, Art, Lace Making, Sewing, Book Clubs, Walking and more – 2020

Creative and Art Events
Illustration By Gemma Correll

Medway Libraries offer an incredible variety of free and affordable creative sessions for the local community. To see what is happening in a library near you download the below spreadsheet or see the images below.

Swale Film Festival – 20th to 22nd September 2019 – Sittingbourne

Creative and Art Events

Swale Film Festival is running from Friday 20th September – Sunday 22nd September at the Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne.

Across 3 days they will be showing three feature length movies, a selection of short films about Swale and hosting a Movie Quiz!

The theme of the Swale Film Festival is LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE, which is why all of the films have links to the local area.

To see the programme visit and to book.

They welcome everyone to all events (subject to age restrictions of course!), with special discounts for Swale Film Society members. If you’d like to, you can sign up for membership for £6 for the rest of 2019, which will also get you discounts for the rest of our films this year.

The Swale Film Society shows one film on the last Friday of each month at the Avenue Theatre.

This year’s Swale Film Festival kicks off on Friday night with the 1944 classic movie A Canterbury Tale, showing at 7:45pm at the Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne. 
There is also a very exciting Movie Quiz taking place on Saturday night, 6:30pm – 8pm, where participants can win big film related prizes such as free cinemas tickets, popcorn and drinks – a mega movie bundle at its best! The quiz will be followed by the multi-award winning British feature film Jellyfish, another film that has links to the local area as this movie was made in Margate. 

Sunday sees the final screenings of the festival. At 2pm there will be FREE FILMS about Swale, such as the very retro yet fascinating short film ‘Swale Ready for the 90s’, which takes a look at how our borough was gearing up for big changes in business, leisure and tourism. Our final screening is Juliet, Naked, a comedy starring some very familiar faces (Chris O’Dowd, Ethan Hawke and Rose Byrne), which was also filmed very close by in Broadstairs! A resident of Sittingbourne will coming along to share their personal experience of working on this big budget as an extra, so lots of first hand behind the scenes highlights will be shared! 

The Swale Film Society is a volunteer community cinema group, and we hope many of you will come along and enjoy the wonderful festival that we have put together for the residents of Swale. 

Medway Open Studios –  Saturday 6th to Sunday 14th July 2019

Creative and Art Events


The wonderful Medway Open Studios returns for it’s eight year (I know we can’t believe it either!) during Saturday 6th to Sunday 14th July 2019, with many different venues to visit and a wide variety of work on show by local artists.

Visitors are welcomed to explore the hidden creative work spaces and secret studios of Medway, take part in activities and events at local arts venues, view exhibitions, talk to artists, buy art and crafts, and see first hand the array of artistic talent and opportunities in this impressively creative area of Kent.

You can find a PDF version of the guide here and full website at

Medway Print Festival – 7th to 23rd June 2019

Creative and Art Events


Medway Print Festival is now in its fourth year! Created by Allison Young and Matt Bray to celebrate printmaking and fine art in Medway. Running for two weeks across multiple sites, the festival includes a wide variety of events and activities to showcase some of the best printmaking being created today as well as highlighting the fascinating local history of the medium. The festival includes activities in 12 venues, welcoming back some regular participants as well as some new organisations for this year. 

Download the 2019 Festival Guide here

See events listings here :

Strand Pool Mural Workshops – 16th and 23rd June 2019 – Rainham Riverside Park

Creative and Art Events

Join artist Natasha Steer in designing artwork and stencils for a new mural on the side of The Strand Pool, Gillingham, which will be situated in the Commodores Hard slipway area (see photo).

This free session will involve sketching estuary plants and marine wildlife as well as helping to design stencils for use in creating the mural. All materials and inspiration will be provided and the workshop will take place in the Education Room in the visitor centre.

Suitable for adults and also children over the age of 5, should families wish to attend.

The mural is being created in collaboration with Medway Council and the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership.

Book your place at

Circle Of Life Exhibition – 13th to 29th May 2019 – MCH House – Gillingham

Creative and Art Events


As part of Dying Matters week, which takes place between 13th to 19th May, The Brown Bread Collective is holding an exhibition at MCH House in Gillingham of work created by local creatives in response to the brief ‘The Circle Of Life’.

The exhibition is on display in the foyer and waiting room from 13th to 31st May and all are welcome to visit and view. Free parking is available on site and there is full disabled access.


The Medway based Brown Bread Collective was created in January 2019 to help encourage the conversations that should be happening around the subjects of death, dxying and bereavement. In Spring 2019 the collective made a call out to local creatives in Medway and Swale to create responses to the brief ‘Circle of Life’.

This exhibition runs during the month of May, in which Dying Matters week occurs. Every year in May, Dying Matters and their coalition members, of which the Brown Bread Collective is part of, host an Awareness Week, which gives an unparalleled opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda. In 2019, the week will run from 13th to the 19th of May and the theme is ‘Are We Ready?’.

The Brown Bread Collective host a monthly Death Cafe at Dragon Coworking in Chatham. The next Death Cafe is on the 29th May from 6pm to 8pm and all are welcome. At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. The aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

Collabs – Art Exhibition By Matt Bray – 10th to 27th April 2019 – Sun Pier House – Chatham

Creative and Art Events

Sun Pier House are hosting an exhibition during April of works created by Matt Bray in collaboration with Daisy Parris, Darrell Hawkins, Wendy Daws, Adam Newton, Zara Carpenter and the artist’s 5 year old nephew Miles Bray.  The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, distressed prints and a latex installation. One timely sculpture on show is a field of ten heads on spikes named after the politicians involved in Brexit.

Matt Bray is an artist and curator with an MA in Fine Art from University of Kent. He is co-founder of the highly successful Sick! project and annual Medway Print Festival. He has curated exhibitions with some of the areas leading artists such as Billy Childish, and last year’s hugely popular show with Laurie Vincent from Slaves and Daisy Parris at Rochester Art Gallery.

Sun Pier House is open Wednesday – Saturday (11am-4pm). Matt will be there every day making new work and meeting visitors as well as live streaming to social media.

Dates: 10 – 27 April 2019
Closing party: 27 April 6-9pm (open to all)

Rainbow Reservoir and The Love Family Gig – Saturday 20th April 2019 – Rainham

Creative and Art Events

56300117_521671455025163_714436082766184448_nCareful Now Promotions a are delighted to welcome Rainbow Reservoir to Kent, supported by Medway’s very own The Love Family. This is the second of the Spring gigs at the Oast Community Centre in Rainham on 20th April 2019.

Book tickets here:

Rainbow Reservoir is Angela Space (drums/vocals/keys) and Ian Hargest (guitar/vocals). A two-piece based in Oxford UK, these transatlantic teammates met while Angela was a musician-in-residence at one of Her Majesty’s Prisons and Ian was a resident. Upon Ian’s release he joined the band and since then they have worked together to create Rainbow World, a place where sock puppets and songwriting, silly jokes and spray paint all come together perfectly.

The Love family were originally active from 1989 – 1995, the band reactivated in 2009 and have since released 2 albums, 4 Eps and 4 stand alone singles. 2019 will see the release of a new album, ‘Time Travel & The Weather’. They haven’t played live for a few years having slimmed down to a 2 piece. Now the numbers are back up they can start again. They mostly get described as an ‘indie rock band’. They can live with that.



Body Confidence Burlesque Workshop – 26th May 2pm to 4pm – Dragon Coworking – Chatham

Creative and Art Events


Body Confidence Burlesque Workshop
26th May 2pm to 4pm
Dragon Coworking, Chatham, St George Hotel.

Dare to find the Minx within you!

An empowering and practical guide to the creative art of Burlesque and Body Confidence. Burlesque is an empowering and body positive art form which will help you unleash your inner minx! Learn how to love put a pep in your step and a wiggle in your walk through gentle, fun and simple routines. No dance experience necessary, no nudity, but plenty of smiles and laughter!

There’s no fun like dressing up and shimmying your sequins. Let Miss Maybe show you how, she’s the mistress of the art!

Learn how to:

* Invent your own burlesque character
* Remove a glove and twirl a boa
* Strut your stuff with a classic Burlesque walk.


Book at

Tea and coffee provided. The session will be 90 minutes long with a short break included.

Please arrive at 1:45pm for a 2pm start.

Entrance to Dragon Coworking is via the St George Hotel reception.

About Missy Maybe:

Miss Maybe performs traditional British Burlesque acts that skillfully merge the best of Vaudeville and Music Hall with sharp wit and observational comedy. A trained actress, she brings an innate understanding of the stage and character to her acts, often combining humorous monologues with striptease and clowning. Her ability to create plausible yet ridiculous characters is unparalleled; to do so whilst retaining the audience’s empathy despite their antics is testimony to her great skill as a performer. She is an accomplished compere and is currently touring the UK with her theatre show ‘ A Glimpse of Stocking’, a one-woman show that celebrates the wit and irreverence of British Burlesque.

Kelly Stanley and Co E.P Launch Gig – 22nd February 2019 – Sun Pier House – Chatham

Creative and Art Events


Modern folk trio from Medway, Kelly Stanley & Company release their debut E.P on February 22nd and to accompany the release, they host a special launch gig alongside The David James Rumsey Band at Sun Pier House.  Kelly has long played in Medway and was a feature in the papers and on Television screens back in 2003 when she appeared on Stars in Their Eyes Kids and won Medway’s Sound Generation Songwriting Contest.

Since then Kelly has worked many years on the circuit as a professional musician and passes on her skills as a private singing teacher. Now performing as Kelly Stanley & Company,  Kelly is joined by some great talent; including Joe Millgate on Double Bass and Liz Ost on Cello.  The group perform throughout Kent at a variety of venues including the infamous Music Room at Pizza Express and the yearly Rochester Sweeps Festival. The new E.P features 6 original songs and will be available as a CD and on all download and streaming services.

To buy tickets for the launch visit

Club AUsome Vacancy – Freelance Performing Arts Tutor – January 2019

Creative / Artist Wanted, Creative Opportunities

Club AUsome Vacancy

Club Ausome is a group for children with additional needs, based in Medway.

They are currently looking to recruit a fun, energetic person that has the confidence to lead a group of children in Dance , Drama and singing.

Dance – various routines but with the emphasis being on having fun

Drama – role playing games

Singing – teaching the children the joy of singing, building confidence.

DBS is a requirement

It is a self employed role – rate of pay can be discussed at interview.

If you are interested please send Kellie an email via detailing your experience with children.

Find out more about the club via:

Open Call for artists in North Kent – Deadline 31st January 2019

Creative / Artist Wanted, Creative Opportunities

The Whitstable Biennale Artist Development Programme are looking to get to know artists who are working in North Kent so they can work with them to support their practices.

Over the next year Whitstable Biennale will host a series of events which will combine showcases of work by North Kent artists working with film, sound or performance (selected by open call) with presentations from invited speakers from local artist-led initiatives in Kent and the surrounding areas.

The events will be open to artists from across the county to come to meet other artists, see new work and find out about nearby organisations. They will be a chance for North Kent practitioners to show work to peers and curators, gain feedback, form new networks and find out more about opportunities to work with organisations who are currently commissioning artists close by.

The first showcase is on 21 February 2019 in the lecture theatre at UCA Rochester (10 mins walk from Chatham Station).

Organisations confirmed for the first event are:

LV21 (Gravesend)

TACO! (Thamesmead)

Well Projects (Margate)

All artists applying that meet the criteria will get to showcase their work. Whitstable Biennale will fit as many artists into the first event as possible and will work towards further evenings for those that don’t get to show work in February. Each artist will be paid £50 for their contribution, (inclusive of travel).

Works must be maximum 10 minutes long and artists must be living in north Kent (Medway, Swale, Dartford or Gravesham) to apply.

To take part by showcasing your work, please send an expression of interest which includes your address / postcode in North Kent, a short statement about the work you’d like to show and your practice and a weblink to the work to by 31st January 2019.

Those who wish to attend but do not want to show work can just turn up on the day.

*Whitstable Biennale will have a limited amount of technology at the venue, which should enable single channel video and stereo sound playback. There is also a small, carpeted stage for performance. If you have any queries about the work you would like to present please contact Whitstable Biennale with a short description of the work.

The 2018 Aladdin Pantomime Launch Party – By Molly-Tastic Treves



As you may know last year I attended my local theatre (The Hazlitt Theatre) pantomime launch party. The pantomime last year was about Cinderella, and I was very humbled to be selected to attend the opening night performance, as well as the launch party.

So this year I got a very exciting email about attending the launch party for their new pantomime ‘Aladdin’, and I could not say no.

So this blog post is all about my experience about the launch party and some exciting cast interviews! So lets begin!

Once I arrived at the canal edge I was greeted by the crew of the theatre, and waited for the boat (yes a boat!) to pick up the interviewers, bloggers and students for the launch party. Whilst the boat was trying to dock at the river edge, the cast from the pantomime were on the boat waving and greeting everyone.

As soon as they docked the cast had a group photo in front of the boat, which was a great opportunity to get some close-up pictures! Then we all set off for the hour journey to celebrate the new pantomime.


Once the boat had set off, we heard a speech from the manager of the theatre giving his thanks to the cast, crew, interviewers, students and brands on board the boat supplying lunch and drinks.

After he ended the speech everyone dispersed, trying to interview the cast and grabbing great photo opportunities. For me one thing was on my mind, and that was my anxiety.

Although I had done this last year, I only managed to grab a few interviews. However I was fairly determined to make the most of this amazing opportunity and get more than just a few interviews, even if that meant pushing my anxiety down the deepest, darkest hole for a solid hour. (A tip when doing interviews: take rescue remedy, it helps A LOT!)

Luckily, I had prepared notes before going, so I had my trusty notebook full of quirky and interesting questions to ask the cast. I had to say I was pleased with myself, and I was really determined to get to know the cast.

The first cast member I interviewed was Erina Lewis who plays the ‘Slave Of The Ring’, and I have to say she was a great person to start off the interviews and was very friendly, which helped my anxiety to calm the heck down.

Question One: What was the funniest moment of your carer?

Answer: I was on a bus with a friend one day, and we slept through a trailer explosion. At the time we had no idea what happened, and we were quite lucky that none of us got hurt.

Question Two: What is the most unique part of your job?

Answer: The most unique part is changing up the roles I play. Being unique is a great thing about acting.

Question Three: What is your favourite thing to do at Christmas?

Answer: My favourite thing to do at Christmas is having family time. I also like wrapping presents and pantomimes.

Question Four: If you had a magic lamp, what your three wishes be?

Answer: My first wish is for World Peace. My second wish is a new handbag. And my last wish is for three more wishes.


The next interview I gave was with Richard Blackwood who plays The Genie. Richard was really friendly and a great guy to give questions to. And most of you might know him from playing a role in the TV show EastEnders.

Question One: What was the funniest moment of your carer?

Answer: I was on MTV and it was a live show. I had messed up some of the script to start with, and as it was live I couldn’t mess up anything else. And then at one point I hit my knee so hard I had so much pain, but for the show I needed to play it off like nothing had happened. When the show ended I passed out from so much pain.

Question Two: What is the most unique part of your job?

Answer: The most unique part of my job is entertaining the audience.

Question Three: What is your favourite thing to do at Christmas?

Answer: My favourite thing to do is opening the presents.

Question Four: If you had a magic lamp, what your three wishes be?

Answer: The first wish would be three more wishes. The next wish would be to be happy. And the last wish would be to be rich.

The third person I interviewed was Tim Hudson AKA Widow Twankey. From listening to Tim, his carer sounded funny and very busy.

Question One: What was the funniest moment of your carer?

Answer: I was in the play ‘Hamlet’ and in the play Hamlet’s father tells him to avenge his death. So the actors swore and the front row of the audience was shocked and it made them jump.

Question Two: What is the most unique part of your job?

Answer: I would say the variety of shows and places you go to.

Question Three: What is your favourite thing to do at Christmas?

Answer: My favourite thing about Christmas is Christmas Day. I like seeing the kids open their presents and watching the Queens speech, but unfortunately I the only one who watches it. (We both laughed about this)

Question Four: If you had a magic lamp, what your three wishes be?

Answer: My wish is to have three people to attend a dinner party with me. They would be: Elvis Presley, King Richard and Laurence Olivier.

After I finished these interviews I talked more with the cast casually and took some pictures of them in and around the boat. This is one of the nicest things about the cast and crew. They are all so friendly and don’t mind if you have an extra question or you want a small picture with them right at the last-minute.

After all the lovely interviews and pictures we docked and left the launch party. I have to say a huge thank you to the Hazlitt Theatre for inviting me it was one of the most memorable experiences this year. And a big thank you to the cast who were super friendly and lovely towards me and my interviews, I can’t tell you how much that means.

Molly-Tastic Treves

‘Aladdin’ is running from the 1st to 31st of December 2018 at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone. You can buy tickets at here

Local Poet Launches First Book Inspired By Unusual Stories of Medway – 28th November 2018

Creative and Art Events, Creative and Art News


A local poet is launching her first book “Fire In The Head” at Poco Loco, Chatham on the 28th of November at 7:00pm. SM Jenkin, a second generation Irish poet, born in Chatham, was inspired to publish the book which features Medway inspired poems after attending poetry classes lead by local writer Philip Kane some years ago. 

The book draws attention to the many different stories of Medway, honouring the influence of people like James McCudden, Anne Pratt and SM Jenkins very own mother and father. The book notes interesting incidents that few people know about, such as the time William Blake was arrested when he visited Medway for a sketching tour.

The launch lands on the anniversary of Blake’s birth, and the book includes a great deal of  remembrance, which is why it is being launched in November. Speaking about the book SM Jenkin said “The book remembers the stories, people and myths of Medway that often get overlooked. Medway is a place that has many stories and many people passing through, it is a place of transition and transformation. I include myths woven into the fabric of the place. It ties well into the theme of #wearemedway”. 

To find out more about the event visit the Facebook event page 

You can follow SM Jenkin on social media via: 


Reviews of Fire in the head: 

“You can taste the tang of the Medway in these sharp, observant poems, where myth and history gang-up on the present to tell new tales. A fine line-up from poet, SM Jenkin, to waken the sleepers and inspire fresh dreams.”

Caitlín Matthews (author of Diary of a Soul Doctor and King Arthur’s Raid.)

“In this collection, Chatham based poet SM Jenkin, interweaves myths of seal wives and Medway mermaids, with her own stories and experiences. She questions what it means, if anything, to be ‘adjusted’ in the world and contrasts her philosophies with rich imagery, exploring the ferocity of nature and her thirst for its wild freedom.”

Isabelle Kenyon (Fly on the Wall Poetry Press)

Take On Me : 80s Inspired Immersive Performance In Hoo Needs You!

Creative / Artist Wanted, Creative and Art Events



A woman enters the changing room for the first time in decades.

A lifeguard twiddles his thumbs as he dreams of being a real hero.

A crammed aerobics class slides into slow motion; their thoughts tumbling out as they watch their bodies in the unforgiving mirror that surrounds them.

TAKE ON ME is a new show by theatre company Dante or Die, set amongst the 1980s world of headbands and legwarmers that digs below the surface of the luminous colours and fitness fads.

Taking place after hours in Hoo Sports Centre on the 1st and 2nd of December 2018, you’ll be divided into small groups to be a fly on the wall as you’re led through the pool, the changing rooms, the gym and beyond to hear the inner voices of a variety of characters as they strive for a better version of themselves. Performed by a company of professional actors with a local supporting cast and set to live acoustic versions of classic 80’s pop hits TAKE ON ME will be an intimate and comical experience. You’ll never look at your local leisure centre in quite the same way ever again.

They need you!

To make this production possible they are looking for people who’d like to join in with larger or smaller parts both in the cast and crew.

For more information about how to get involved contact Project Coordinator Emma via email; or call on 07947 567489.

Go on, take the plunge!


Minimus #21 – A Collaborative Musical Activity – 16th September 2018 – 2pm to 5pm – The Good Intent – Rochester

Creative and Art Events


Minimus #21 : A Collaborative Musical Activity

The idea is to get a bunch of inputs/sound sources and mix them LIVE in spontaneous combinations. All are welcome, bring an instrument/voice/noise with you and plug into a low-volume, high intensity sonic arena.

Electronic or acoustic, found sounds, words, noises, anything.

This event will take place in the garden bar of the Good Intent, John Street, Rochester, ME1 1YL from 2pm to 5pm on the 16th of September.

A Sunday afternoon of quality ales, convivial company and spontaneous improvised music. Relax, listen, join in, make something interesting.

Murderous Medway – Crime Writing Festival – 6th and 13th October 2018

Creative and Art Events

The Rochester Literature Festival is proud to present its very first Crime Writing Festival Murderous Medway.

With five panels of brilliant crime writers headlined by Mark Billingham, a murder mystery evening and writing workshops, Murderous Medway is a must for crime readers and writers alike.

Split across two October Saturdays (6th and 13th) it’s a packed schedule with eleven fantastic authors, a brand new murder mystery adventure by Alternate Shadows Theatre Group, The Curious Case of Cuthbert’s Curse, and three crime writing workshops covering Concept, Character and Conflict which will leave you with a complete blueprint for your own novel or screenplay.

Festival Director, Jaye Nolan, says: “We’re very excited to welcome eleven authors at the top of their crime writing game to Rochester. Thanks to our Patron Lisa Cutts, and our partner Matthew at Urbane Publications, we’ve writers whose work is being adapted for the screen, writers whose jobs have a direct influence on their storytelling and those for whom crime elements spill over into other genres – headlined by the best selling and multi talented Mark Billingham.

We’re delighted to be working with Alternate Shadows again, bringing their renowned energy and originality to another of our events, and also thank our workshops tutors, Ben Slythe & Graham Guy for their unwavering help, along with Dorothy Lehane and Annwen Adams from the University of Kent, one of our sponsors this year.

We’re also extremely grateful to our other partners, Medway Adult Education and TT Litho, for their continued and valuable support.”

The festival takes place at the Rochester Community Hub and Library, and in Eastgate House, surrounded by some of Medway’s top cultural and heritage attractions, with ample cafes and restaurants nearby. 

For more information and tickets, please visit or call 07904 643770.

Crime Writers’ Day

6th October 2018

Rochester Community Hub 11am-7pm.

All Day Panel Pass £30 (25% discount off the workshops if an All Day Panel Pass is purchased – email for details.

11am Crime Seen: Jane Lythell, Hugh Fraser and Julie Wassmer.

There’s a reason – several, actually – why crime drama is so popular on television. The thrill of a chase, the whodunnit factor, the edge of seat menace. Our Crime Seen panel at the festival consists of three authors infinitely qualified to discuss why taking crime and thriller books to screen is so successful, as well as give us an insight into the creation of their own work. 

12.30pm Real Jobs, Fictional Worlds: Lisa Cutts (Detective) Anna Mazzola (Criminal Justice Solicitor) and Simon Michael (Criminal Barrister).

How do authors get to the nitty gritty of criminal law procedure? Most will speak to the experts – those dealing with real crime day in, day out. For this panel though, we bring together the experts themselves, whose non writing profession informs their fictional crime writing through first hand experience. 

2pm The Real Killers: Paul Harrison

Truth is stranger than fiction – it has to be, since in fiction, everything has to make sense. Loose ends need to be tied up and usually, for a really satisfying read, the perpetrator of the crime is caught by the cleverness of our detective. But real life crime? There isn’t always a nice, tidy ending and there are few authors who commit to the page the level of depravity to which some real criminals sink. Thus, this talk on notorious people who inspire fictional killers is not for the faint hearted! 

3.30pm Crossing the Genres: Christi Daugherty, Guy Adams and AK Benedict.

Are writers restricted by calling themselves crime or thriller writers? Are readers happy to have their expectations subverted when an author produces work that doesn’t fit into their usual slot on the bookcase? And what challenges do authors face when moving into crime from other genres? On this panel, we have three crime writers with work covering genres as diverse as young adults, fantasy, crime with a supernatural twist and even Dr. Who spin offs in book and audio play form. 

5pm Mark Billingham in conversation with RLF Patron Lisa Cutts.

We’re delighted to be joined by prolific, multi talented and entertaining best selling author Mark, whose latest novel, The Killing Habit, has just been published. It continues the award winning series featuring London based detective, Tom Thorne, which includes The Dying Hours, Lifeless, Good As Dead, Time Of Death and Love Like Blood. Lazybones and Death Message both won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel Of The Year. 

Mark will be joined by our lovely Patron Lisa Cutts, whose generosity – alongside Matthew at Urbane Publications – has brought together this fabulous line up of writers. The opening of Lisa’s debut novel, Never Forget, is one of the most stunning beginnings to a literary career ever, and her latest book Lost Lives is due out in November. 

NOTE: There will be a thirty minute break in between each panel for book signings and comfort breaks.

The Curious Case of Cuthbert’s Curse

Alternate Shadows Theatre Group Proudly Present An Original Murder Mystery Adventure at Eastgate House.

Saturday, 6 October Various times from 7.30pm. £8 per ticket.

What caused Explorer and Treasure Hunter Cedric Cuthbert to die of fright?

On the night of a full moon, Cedric awoke the household with a blood curdling scream. By the time the Butler had broken down the locked study door, Cedric was dead, a look of  sheer terror on his frozen face and notably, the cursed emeralds from the tomb of a Peruvian Tribal King are nowhere to be found.

Mysterious goings on indeed!

Come along and join in a promenade theatrical experience and help the detective solve this puzzling case.

Murderous Medway Three ‘C’s Crime Writing Workshops

13th October 2018

Rochester Community Hub


Tickets are £8 for one workshop or a pass to all three for £20.. A 25% discount is available on the workshops if you purchase an All Day Panel Pass. Email for details.

Workshop 1: 10am-11.45am Concept – What’s the big idea? 

Do you have a story you want to tell? Still having trouble finding the story at all? Blank Page Storytelling begins with no assumptions and provides a set of examples and exercises that can begin with a blank page, just an idea, or a partial project and set the foundations firmly so the story can emerge. The exercises will help identify the core of the story, find the structure, the hero, the genre, setting and tone. The workshop is informal and friendly but filled with real-world examples and interesting exercises.

Workshop 2: 12noon-1.45pm Compelling Characters – Creating flawed heroes and charismatic villains

Humans are full of inconsistencies. Characters can be contradictory. They can be selfish and generous, lustful and prudish. Using prompts and a variety of writing exercises in the supportive environment of the workshop, you will create flawed heroes and antagonists with redeeming qualities, and generate new writing that centres on these newly formed authentic characters.

Workshop 3: 2pm-3.45pm Conflict – Interrogate your narrative and drive your plot

In our lives, we face daily conflicts; conflicts with ourselves and conflicts with each other. Such tensions build the rich drama and chaos of human existence and are necessary components of our fictionalised character’s lives also. Interrogating these conflicts through a series of writing exercises, you will enhance your understanding of the various ways conflict can be used to intensify your writing and drive plot development.

Rebecca Vassie Memorial Photography Bursary Award Launched – Deadline 19th October 2018

Creative Opportunities


Submissions are open for the third annual Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award, a photography bursary worth more than £3,000.

In addition to a £2000 award in cash, which funds an early-career photographer in the UK to undertake a narrative photography project, the winner receives more than £1,000-worth of printing at Metro Imaging plus support towards industry and public exposure. 

The award was created in memory of Rebecca Vassie, a British photographer, photojournalist and UCA Rochester alumni who died suddenly, aged 30, while on assignment in Uganda in March 2015.  

Judges for the award include Matthew Tucker (BBC News), Melanie Hough, curator at Getty Images, and photography critic Jennifer Thatcher (Art Monthly, ARTnews). 

Applicants for the award, who must be either from or based in the UK, are asked to submit a proposal setting out a compelling vision for a narrative photography project with a social or political context. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 19 October 2018. 

For more information and to apply visit :

Creative Wellbeing Course – June to July 2018 – Ashford

Creative and Art Events, Editorials

Creative Wellbeing will be a free creative course involving writing, arts and activities, with a focus on wellbeing and positive mental health. 

By the end of the six weeks, participants will have had fun, gained new skills, contributed to a book that the whole community can enjoy, met new people, and have a better understanding of how creativity can support their wellbeing and health.

Tuesday evenings, 7.15 – 8.45pm

19/06/2018 – scrapbooking with Betsy Aidinyantz

26/06/2018 – creative writing with Connor Sansby

03/07/2018 – bath bombs with Natasha Steer

10/07/2018 – motivational art with Georgina Cooper

17/07/2018 – inspirational typography with Kate Tompsett

24/07/2018 – poetry with Dave Horn

Ashford Volunteer Centre, Berwick House, 8 Elwick Road, Ashford TN23 1PF

To book please register here, or email or

Places are free, but limited. Whilst we recommend people sign up for the whole series, it is not necessary, and people are welcome to come to as many as suits them.

The workshops are supported by OneStop Carriers for Causes Fund.

Sewing Workshop With Beth Frost – 7th July 2018 – Rochester

Creative and Art Events


Would you like to learn how to sew? Beth Frost has a sewing workshop coming up on July 7th 2018. It is aimed at complete beginners, you will learn how to use your machine (thread it, maintain it, clean it), sew a seam, hem, appliqué. Then after lunch (included) you will make your own zipped make up bag AND a cushion to take home. All this in a garden setting, cream tea lunch, homemade cake, refreshments and a gift. £60 all inclusive. All materials included, just bring your machine. Saturday 7th July, 10.30-3.30 in Rochester.

To book please message Beth via her Facebook page:

Much Laughter Comedy Nights – Medway

Creative and Art Events

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 19.03.05

Much Laughter specialises in Charity Comedy Nights, running monthly gigs to raise money for local charities and non-profit organisations.

With new talent cropping up all the time, they also run preview and work-in-progress shows. Much Laughter are on hand to arrange Charity Comedy Nights in Medway and surrounding areas to suit all budgets. 

In the future, they are planning to open a stand-up workshop to help vulnerable children and young adults grow in confidence. 

To find a list of the dates for the regular comedy nights visit:

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 19.04.05

Whitstable Biennale 2018 – Art Festival – 2nd to 10th June 2018

Creative and Art Events


Photo from: Kris Lock & Josephine Sweeney
The Vase in the Container
Saturday 2nd June – Sunday 3rd June

The 2018 Whitstable Biennale brings the most exciting experimental and emerging art to Whitstable, with live performances, film screenings, sound works, and the written word woven into the fabric of the town, with major new commissions, exhibitions and film premieres.

Art will be dotted around the town making new routes to explore for those who don’t know Whitstable, whilst creating radical and uncanny shifts within familiar spaces for those who do. From a Victorian Sea Scouts Hall to Whitstable’s only DVD/Comic shop, the biennale will take over curious buildings and unusual spaces. Artworks will be located on the streets, on the beach, and in the harbour – inside boat sheds and even on a mysterious spit of land only visible at low tide.

Taking its title from Booker-shortlisted novel Swimming Home by acclaimed writer Deborah Levy, many of the works in the Biennale are a response to the rhythms of the tide and a reflection on the ocean, exploring ideas of where home might be and thoughts of being at sea or in exile. Many of the works also touch on issues of identity and the movement and instability of languages, food, cargo and people. Deborah Levy, own inspiration was drawn from John Cheever’s book The Swimmer which was later made into a film starring Burt Lancaster, and Levy herself will create a new, limited-edition text for the biennale, which she shall read from and distribute to Biennale attendees.


For a full programme and to find out more visit

“Life from a Different Angle: When I Met James Dunn” Premiere – 14th May 2018 – Odeon Chatham

Creative and Art Events

In Loving Memory of James Dunn.

Medway based photographer Tommy Reynolds is happy to announce that the James Dunn documentary ‘Life From A Different Angle’ premiere has been organised for Monday 14th May at 7pm at the Odeon Cinema in Chatham and ENTRY IS FREE when you register your tickets.

This short film will now serve as a legacy to James who sadly passed away this month and help raise money for the charity DEBRA who are the national charity who support sufferers who have epidermolysis bullosa. All donations made to get your ticket will directly them. Please donate as big or as little as you want and help fund pioneering research and find a cure for EB.

The film has been created by Medway based professional photographer Tommy Reynolds alongside cinematographer Michael Mowbray. Speaking about the film Tommy said “I’ve never been more proud of this film I’ve made alongside my friend Michael Mowbray and I really hope you can come along to be the first to watch this on the big screen and help support DEBRA. I’ve invited friends, family, local press and people from the charity to come along to help raise awareness for DEBRA and I hope you can come along too to this one time only event”.

Please arrive with enough time to grab some snacks and head into the cinema to promptly start at 7pm.

Book tickets here

Yarn Shop Day For The Oliver Fisher Baby Unit – Saturday 12th May 2018 – ArtyCat – Rochester

Creative and Art Events


ArtyCat at Francis Iles is thrilled to be taking part in Yarn Shop Day again and will be holding a “Sit, Knit and Natter” at 104 High Street, Rochester, Kent so KEEP THE DATE FREE and come along and join in!

The theme this year is Premature Babies and they would love you to join in supporting the Oliver Fisher Premature Baby Unit at Medway Hospital. They will provide free knitting patterns for hats, booties and mittens so please come along and let them help you get underway. Adults of all ages and abilities welcome and you can always take your item home with you and continue it there if you don’t manage to finish it with us. You can just pop it back when you are finished and they will ensure that all the beautiful knitwear is delivered safely to Oliver Fisher Ward. Experts will be on hand, to help you and offer advice with any knitting queries you may have and they will also be holding a raffle to raise funds for the ward too.

There will be free-flowing tea and coffee, but why not help ArtyCat become more eco-friendly by bringing your favourite mug along – there will be additional biscuits for anyone that does!!

If there are any queries or if you are a Knitting Genius and would like to come along and offer your support and advice to others, please message via their Facebook page

ArtyCat look forward to welcoming you between 10am-4pm on Saturday 12th May 2018.

Go to FB event page…

Paint The Town Festival – 14th to 18th March 2018 – Medway

Creative and Art Events

Ugly Chief

Ugly Chief – 16th March 7:30pm,  Brook Theatre, Chatham

Paint The Town Festival is back for Season 4, running from 14 -18 March 2018. The theatre and arts festival produced by Lyrici Arts in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre’s Collaborative Touring Network, will once again focus on touring brilliant new works, championing local creatives and offering a bit of kindness to the people of Medway. See the full listing of events at

Highlights this season include the 5* sell-out, dark comedy, Ugly Chief by award winning performer Victoria Melody and her real-life dad, celebrity antiques expert Mike Melody (of ‘Dickenson’s Real Deal’ fame). The show explores when Mike was wrongly diagnosed with a terminal illness and how Victoria went about planning for the funeral he would have wanted. With video diaries and open declarations, the show is a snapshot into the relationship between a father and daughter who don’t always see eye-to-eye. 

Paint The Town Festival is always looking for performances that challenge issues and support worthwhile campaigns, and programming Byron Vincent and Dave McGill’s Live Before You Die is no exception. Looking candidly at two friends who are more used to calling each other names than talking about depression, this brilliant touring show highlights men’s mental health and the necessity of breaking down the stigma around the subject.

The festival has loads for the little ones too! Sponge is the squishiest, squashiest show for babies and toddlers taking place during the week at Medway Adult Education. After working with the organisation and using it as the venue for their sell-out babies show Neverland, the festival producers were excited to bring another mesmerising children’s show to Rochester. 

We cannot wait for Season 4! Being able to not only programme brilliant touring shows and place them in local venues like Medway Adult Education and The Brook Theatre, but also to work with talented local creatives and create a platform for their work to be showcased is what makes every festival so very exciting. We have gone another step and made all the festival tickets £5.00 or less, so there really is nothing stopping everyone from engaging with the arts and joining in.”

Other events taking place during Paint The Town include; Festival of Festivals, a glamorous showcase by Chatham based dance school Dance Alley, Beached a uniquely exclusive puppet show for only eight people at a time by StrangeFace Theatre Company, a children’s theatre workshop based on retaining the royal crown by Bindlestick Theatre Company and Shakespeare inspired crafts with Creative Champion of the Year winner Natasha Steer of Creatabot. 

During the festival keep a look out in hidden spaces for eight beautifully hand-crafted flower bouquets by Clara A. Free to whoever finds them first, the bouquets are a gift from the festival team to the residents of Medway as a thank you for their support so far. 

Paint the Town Festival: Season 4 runs from 14 – 18 March and tickets are on sale now. Event information, show trailers and ticket links can be found at

Show Schedule (please check website for full event listings):

Title: Ugly Chief by Victoria Melody

Venue: The Brook Theatre, Chatham, ME4 4SE

Dates: Friday 16th March 2018 – 7.30pm

Title: Sponge by Big Imaginations and Turned on its Head

Venue: Medway Adult Education, Rochester Community Hub, ME1 1EW

Dates: Thursday 15th March – Saturday 17th March 2018 (multiple times)

Title: Festival of Festivals – A Dance Celebration by Dance Alley

Venue: The Brook Theatre, Chatham, ME4 4SE

Dates: Wednesday 14th March 2018 – 7pm

Title: Live Before You Die – by Byron Vincent and Dave McGinn

Venue: Huguenot Museum, 95 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1LX

Dates: Saturday 17th March – 5.30pm

Trailers, Information and Ticket Links on

All theatre tickets only £5.00 each this season!



Valuing Arts and Culture In Medway and Kent – 22nd February 2018 – Gillingham

Creative and Art Events

Valuing arts and culture in Medway and Kent-daytime workshops

Supported and funded by Medway Council’s Arts Development Team in partnership with Look Kloser Performing Arts Company. 

A day of creative workshops by some of Medway and Kent’s best practice arts led projects for health and wellbeing with and for the community.
22nd February 10am-4.15pm 

Suitable for students 16+, graduates, artists, and those interested in the role of the arts for the health and wellbeing of the community. An opportunity to experience current arts led projects available in Medway and Kent. 

When: 22nd February 2018, 10am-4.15pm

Where: Woodland Arts Centre, Woodlands Road, Gillingham, ME7 2DU

Birch room 

10-11- Natasha, Creatabot. Community focussed visual artist.

11.15-12.15 – Lance, Physical Folk. Using all art for all abilities, ages, cultures to share stories and skills.

2-3- Chris and Wendy, MESS ROOM. The MESS ROOM hosts artist led projects in partnership with local communities and beyond.

Ash dance studio 

11.15-12.15- Laura, Look Kloser. A workshop exploring how to make performing arts inclusive and open to all.

12.45-1.45- Georgia, Loop dance Company. Contemporary dance workshop.

2-3- Luci, Edna. Edna explore innovative and inclusive dance, music and movement activities for older people in the community.

3.15-4.15- Rebecca, Active Armchairs. Dance for older people in residential and daycare centres.

To book onto any of the workshop and for any queries please contact Laura King,, 07809641214. 

Cheriton Light Festival – 24th and 25th February 2018

Creative and Art Events


The streets of Cheriton will once again be illuminated with all sorts of delights for the Sheraton Light Festival 2018. Wrap up warm and come and visit this amazing free event that takes over streets and building with interactive art for 2 evenings in February. The  festival takes place on the 24th and 25th February between 6-9pm.

Keep an eye on for up to date information and more info.

Medway Book Swap Club – Monthly Meetup

Creative and Art Events


Bring a book to swap or just recommend something you have read to the group, which meets on the last Monday of the month at the Coopers Arms in Rochester (although please always double check venue for the month!).

To keep up to date with events and find out more visit:

Helping Where It Hurts – My Experience of Helping Families Impacted By the Grenfell Tower Fire – By Natasha Steer


The first time I arrived in the W10 area in August 2017, I travelled via car from the hostel I was staying in, loaded up with art equipment to run workshops for families affected by the Grenfell fire. I was later glad I had approached the workshop with almost rose-tinted glasses, traveling straight to the workshop space. I’m not sure I would have initially been able to deliver that session in the same way, had I seen the Grenfell tower first, I will explain later.

I had responded to a call out for volunteers to help with the summer activity programme via Arts Emergency. I then asked whether people in my network would like to help with purchasing materials, knowing that it really wasn’t all that far away from Medway and my own community had been impacted too. Paint The Town festival also kindly sponsored the workshops which paid for enough materials for 2 workshop sessions and my travel costs.

The session in August went so well, the venue was absolutely packed and I had multiple craft activities on offer. First we had wooden boat decorating, then T-Shirt printing, then stress putty! Something so tactile like this can be an excellent stress reliever – some of them couldn’t leave it alone for the rest of the afternoon!

All the people there were a delight to work with and it was reassuring to know there were trained counsellors present in case any families needed support. I brought a friend too, Saira, who has over 20 year experience in nursing. I have training in mental health first aid for young people, but my experience so far had never amounted to a local disaster like this.

There wasn’t anything in particular I could say was different about the workshop, young people are at first glance so resistant – often inside there are a lot more issues, that they may not have even realised yet. I could tell the young people and parents really appreciated the effort everyone was making to support them and provide distracting activities.

And heck do they need distraction.

Once the workshop was finished myself and Saira made our way to Latimer Road station. The walls of the pathways leading to the station are covered in memorials, missing posters, and big big signs demonstrating an understandable anger of residents – One sticks in my mind in particular, just reading “WHY?”.

Then we reached the station, where the Grenfell tower itself looms over the community. We all know what it looks like don’t we? I thought I did. But let me make it clear, nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for how black that tower is, it is completely incinerated. Myself and Saira look up, tearfully and discuss the tragedy. We discuss when we found out, both unaware initially of the real devastation – us both knowing we will probably never really know the true devastation in fact. Only that community truly knows and to this day it is being very well disguised as to how and why the tragedy happened.

Visiting again today (11th November) months later, the missing posters have turned to beautiful memorials and shrines for those who are definitely lost. I’m not talking small hidden memorials, the whole of Bramley Road is decorated. My heart sinks. Most people across the UK have stopped talking about the incident, and yet every day families STILL have to deal with the bereavement. People are still living in hotels having not been rehoused yet, the council clearly not being quick to lend a hand in housing communities in the area they live due to London rent prices.

A stall is next to the station raising awareness of a people’s inquiry into exactly what happened that day and promoting prevention of it ever happening again. The lady on the stall explains she’s heard a PR company have been commissioned to take care of the way news about Grenfell is presented. I don’t know what to say.


Today running a second session for the amazing project “Kids on The Green”, I did notice children’s behaviour being more unsettled than previously. The impact of what happened would do that, especially over time with a lot still not being resolved 5 months on. Bereavement and loss will always have an impact somehow. That’s why I wanted to help in some way, even just to be a friendly face.

If you would like to help families impacted by the Grenfell fire you can donate to the Kids On The Green Project via You Caring

Thank you to Paint The Town Festival for sponsoring the bulk of my workshop costs and to the following people for their additional amazing support:

Anne Marie-Jordan

Emma Williams (Shadow Paper Cuts)

Sue Ranson

Jacqueline Racham

Paint The Town Festival is Back! – 23rd to 29th October 2017 – Chatham

Creative and Art Events


Paint the Town Festival is back for Season Three – and this time it’s all at The Brook Theatre, Chatham during the October Half Term!

This theatre and arts festival, produced by Lyrici Arts in collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and The Collaborative Touring Network, features a week of brilliant touring theatre shows, public workshops, kids activities, showcase opportunities, pop-up surprises and much more in a packed programme of events running from the 23-29 October. The Brook Theatre café will be open every day for refreshments with a tasty lunch menu on offer.

It kicks off on Monday 23rd with a live music reception from the award-winning Jayne Snow, and then the Community launch commission which will take to the stage at 7.30pm; a brilliant new dance piece #ThisIsMe by local organisation Look Kloser.

The festival continues with brand new shows and reworked performances from London’s Battersea Arts Centre including  Almost Always Muddy By Likely Story Theatre and Kirsty Harris – an interactive puppet and building adventure for little ones and their families; the sell-out show Ross & Rachel By James Fritz – a one woman performance that dispels the ‘Friends’ myth and takes an unflinching look at the myths of modern love; and The Castle Builder By Vic Llewellyn and Kid Carpet – an entertaining musical journey about the creativity of famous architects and local makers, performed by internationally renowned performer Kid Carpet and Vic Llewellyn.

The Castle Builder

The Castle Builder

For music lovers -Fat Lady Opera, Sparked Echo and The Mess Room present The Opera House Next Door on Tuesday 24th– an exciting cross between The Crystal Maze and a grand opera. There are also daily lyrical lunch performances in the foyer space, and Play On Words Theatre Company takes us back in time to the 1940s & 50s.

Paint the Town Festival also has additional shows and events for family audiences to cater for October Half Term. Kid Carpet will perform his children’s show Super Mega Rockin’ Rock Show on Saturday 28th – a fun packed interactive rock show suitable for small kids, big kids and animals! They are joined by Bindlestick Theatre Company on Wednesday 25th with a hands on interactive mini adventure of Super Duper Superheroes for all those mini super humans in your lives. Let’s All Dance will also join us on the 29th October with The Owl and the Pussycat – a gorgeous original family ballet, which takes a fresh and humorous look at the famous Lear poem.

There will be plenty to offer with daily craft workshops by Creatabot, professional creative demos & workshops for all ages by local creatives and the touring artists staying in residence for Paint The Town. Also look out for the luxurious handmade craft and gift fair running from 24-25th selling the best in unique local creations, performances and workshops specifically for kids, themed face painting and much much more. Paint the Town @ The Brook is the place to be this Half Term!

 “We are really excited about this season and can’t wait to present the work this October says Keely Augustus, Director of Lyrici Arts. “It’s fantastic to be partnering with The Brook Theatre and to have the opportunity to place the festival under the roof of this historical building. We are delighted to be able to work with local artists and new audiences, and that we’re able to bring high quality shows and activities to everyone close to their home.  We’d like to extend a big thank you to Medway Council Theatre Team, and Medway Council Arts Team for all of their support this season. “

Cllr Howard Doe, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at Medway Council, said: “We are delighted that the Paint the Town Festival will be held at The Brook Theatre. The theatre, which has just had a £415,000 facelift, is a vital venue in the heart of Medway and we are pleased is it being used to host a week of touring theatre shows, public workshops, kids activities and showcase opportunities. There will be lots of fun activities for children and families to take part in during the half term week.”

Paint the Town Festival runs from the 23rd – 29th October at The Brook Theatre, Chatham, ME4 4SE.

Tickets for all activities are on sale now – book online via via The Brook Theatre box office by telephone on 01634 338338/ email

For full listings and trailers for all events visit


Launch of Cinderella Pantomime – Maidstone – By Molly Treves

Creative and Art Events, Editorials



I recently got offered an opportunity to go to a press launch event for a Christmas Pantomime.   When I was offered the chance I was delighted, and couldn’t refuse such an amazing opportunity.

The event was being held for one of my local Theatre’s version of the classic tale,  Cinderella. It is this years Christmas Pantomime, where the cast interact with the audience and talk A LOT about Christmas. I mean who doesn’t love a Christmas Pantomime? Filled with Christmas cheer, holiday spirits and an indoor fireworks finale.

When I arrived at the venue, I was greeted by lovely staff and cast characters. It was a friendly and  warm welcome, which is what I needed as I was feeling a bit anxious. The cast were dressed in full costume and they all looked lovely.                                                       I bet you’re wondering where the event was held? Amazingly the event was held on a boat! How cool is that?!


The boat was called ‘The Kentish Lady’. It has an outside decking area and a large indoor room. The boat is a canal boat and is used for short hour long trips along the river, it also runs longer round trips of the local river. I have been on the boat before, but I don’t remember much of the trip as it was a few years ago.

On board the boat, Wagamamas served food and a local gin distillery was serving gin and tonics. The food was lovely and tasted amazing! By the way I didn’t drink the gin as I’m too young!

There were many cast members who are well known and friendly Celebrities. The cast members are Stefan Booth (Prince Charming), Rustie Lee (The Fairy Godmother), Adam Borzone  and Stephen Richards (The Ugly Sister Of No Mercy), Craig Anderson (Buttons) and Elizabeth Bright (Cinderella). All the Actors and Actresses were so lovely and  kind to me, and loved hearing about what I want to pursue as my future career. They all wished me well in my future, and they also let me ask them a few questions about their career.


At the very beginning of the event, there was a small Q&A for the cast members. Someone asked how they felt about Theatres not getting much funding any more. The cast replied by saying that they want children to be able to experience the magic of the Pantomime as it is often their first introduction to Shows. It can also encourage them to get involved with performing themselves. The Cast said that they love seeing the audience interact with them. They also said it means a lot to them how people are still coming to the theatre, to watch pantomimes and plays. I thought this was a lovely thing for the cast to say. For them to care about the audience is just a lovely thing to do.

Rustie was telling us about the first time she was in a Pantomime on stage. She said her three year old son was in the audience, and loved seeing his mum on stage. Just before she was about to sing, her son yelled “That’s my mummy!”. This made us all laugh, and smile.

The views and scenery on the boat were very beautiful, and it was such a lovely sunny day. I think we all felt in the Christmas spirit, as the cast yelled “Merry Christmas!” when the boat docked in.

The characters that Adam Borzone and Stephen Richards play are called the Sisters of No Mercy. They wore colourful dresses, and very tall hats. They also wore very bright and colourful wigs, which they adjusted from time to time. Whilst on the boat, the boys struggled to walk around as the boat had a low ceiling. Luckily the boat did have small raised windows in the ceilings, so the boys were able to stand under them without having to bend their backs awkwardly.

An interesting thing that I found out, was that some of the cast hand-make their costumes. They also re-use old costumes instead of buying or remaking new one’s. I found it really interesting and useful to know, that they care about reusing and recycling. There are up to ten costume changes per show which one of the Ugly sisters of No Mercy said is tiring but great fun as they all represent a different part of Christmas.

One of the other things that I found interesting, is that some of the cast wanted to be Actors and Actresses since they were little. When I was talking to Craig, he was saying he started acting lessons when he was five and continued until the age of sixteen.

I asked Elizabeth when do they start rehearsals? She told me they only start rehearsing one week before the actual show! I got a bit shocked as I thought they would start very soon. She did say that the children who star in the show as well, start rehearsals in a few week’s. There are eight teams of Children as they can only work restricted hours. I told her I remember going to acting lessons, and remember the stress of rehearsals. I even asked her ‘if she had a Fairy Godmother, what would be her wish?’. She replied with “I will have to go with world peace. As it’s something that can help everyone.”.


The whole day was amazing and I can’t wait for more opportunities like this. Thank you to the Hazlitt Theatre for letting me come to your amazing event! Also thank you to Natasha for giving me your space, I loved it!

Well that’s it for now, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

Bye for now!


Bhangra and Bollywood Live – 3rd October 2017 – Chatham

Creative and Art Events


On Tuesday 3rd October, the School of Music and Fine Art presents a major Bhangra and Bollywood Event at The Deep End, Chatham Maritime, which features top UK Bhangra star, the multi award winning Kuljit Bhamra, described by London Asian Guardian as “One of the most prolific and dedicated Asian music producers to come out of Britain”

Kuljit Bhamra is one of the most inspiring and influential musicians, composers and record producers on the British Asian music scene.  He has recently been appointed Artistic Director for the Society Of The Promotion Of New Music (SPNM) and is responsible for programming events during their upcoming season (

The event also features Kaykay Chauhan (keyboard) and vocalists Shahid Khan, Rekha Sawhney and Bindi Sagoo (dholak/perc) from the stage musical Bend it like Beckham.

Doors open 7pm. Performance 8.30pm with Bollywood Band, then at 9.30pm the Vasda Punjab Bhangra Dancers.

There is also the chance to book for a 4.30pm drumming workshop, and from 5.15pm – 6pm, a Bhangra dance workshop.

Tickets (includes food) from the Gulbenkian.


Medway Fun Palace at Nucleus Arts Centre – 7th October 2017 – Chatham

Creative and Art Events

fun-palace-large-with-new-logo copy copy

Medway Fun Palace has been in it from the start! This year Medway Fun Palace hopes to have dancing, singing, experiments, painting, building bridges – whilst also building a community!

Join Creatabot for Mess and Muck workshops from 1.30 to 3.30 pm – book at :

The 5000 Poppies project has come to Medway Fun Palace: a pub, Medway libraries, The Royal Engineers Museum, local shops, military wives, rugby players, knit and natterers have all been part of the 5000 Poppies Project. The Poppies will be displayed in the Royal Engineers Museum from the 31st October.


 Nucleus Arts Centre, 272 High St, Chatham, Kent, UK, ME4 4BP

7th October, 2017 – 11:00AM – 4:00PM

Pigmental – Exhibition By Karl Bielik – 8th September to 3rd December 2017 – Rochester Art Gallery

Creative and Art Events


‘Sunday’ by Karl Bielik

In a time when paintings are often considered for their narrative content or meaning, Karl Bielik offers us work that resists such short cuts to seeing and invites the viewer instead to look.

The work is both sensitive and serious. Loose oily wounds and thick emulsions offset light glazes and dribbles. When imagery becomes too suggestive it is corrupted and broken to prevent that slip into easy identification, and the end of looking. Everything is done to encourage a longer, more contemplative engagement between artwork and viewer. Take your time with each painting, let it stir you like a kind of visual music.

Exhibition date and time details:

Friday 8th September to Sunday 3rd December 2017 at Rochester Art Gallery, Rochester High Street (inside Rochester Visitors Information Centre).

Opening times:

  • Monday to Saturday – 10am-5pm
  • Sunday – 10.30am-5pm
  • October to March – Closed on Sundays except during special events

Workshop: Saturday 25th November 10:30am to 3:30pm – Handmade books and fanzines

A free one day workshop. Working with artist publisher John Bently, participants will be given the opportunity to examine the artists extensive personal collection of rare books from 300 years of underground publishing history; from early 18th century pamphlets to chapbooks, rants, tracts, fanzines and low budget artists books. Participants will then be encouraged to produce their own books and zines whilst contributing to the production of a collaborative publication. To book a free place please contact the Arts Team on 01634 338319. Suitable for adults and accompanied young people age 13+


Karl has recently been selected for The John Moores Painting Prize, the RA Summer Show and the Contemporary British Painting Prize. Pigmental at Rochester Art Gallery features ‘Sunday’ the painting selected for John Moores as well as other works created specifically for this exhibition.

Alongside Karl Bielik’s paintings we are showing a selection of handmade, editioned publications made by John Bentley of the Liver and Lights Scriptorium. 55 books in the last thirty four years, each one different in concept and form from the last, they chronicle and celebrate the ordinary people and things of London and its nearabouts: their stories, traditions and lives and humbly follow in the noble tradition of the Pamphleteer, the Ranter, and the Penny Balladeer.