Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Shaun Newman - Luthier Classical Journey Tuesday 22 May Shaun's New Guitar Creations

Crediton Luthier, Shaun Newman will be in the Phonic FM studio next Tuesday to tell us about his latest guitar renovation and construction projects. We can hear - and hear about - his wonderful salon guitars and the marvellous 'La Cote' 19th century salon guitar he's renovating.

The Journey is still off-line, but just time to show you his beautiful pictures . . .

The Fiddle-Guit!

Another beautiful salon guitar

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Classical Journey Tuesday 15 May

On this Week's 'Journey' we welcome Will Hudson of the 'Rotten Apple Orchestra' who will talk about their show 'Rotten Apple Express' which will be on Tuesday 22nd May. There's also lots of musical items to listen out for!

More News about the
Baroque Ensemble and Organ Recital
Powderham Castle this Friday - 18th May
with a further demonstration of
the 1769 Bryce-Seede Organ
by 'Kapellmeister' Prof George Pratt

News of the Mozart 'Requiem'
(Plus Morten Lauridsen's 'Lux Aeterna'
and Ola Gjeilo's 'Sanctus')
Counterpoint Choir
Exeter Cathedral Saturday 19th May
Here, in rehearsal at the Uni Chapel
Rachel Mitchell accompanies
Director, David Acres, conducts
Alto Rachel Mitchell also sings
with 'Antiphon'
directeb by
Counterpoint Baritone
Matthew Cann

East Devon Choral Society - Gioachino Rossini's 'Petite Messe Solennelle
St George's Church Tiverton - Saturday 12th May

Video recordist Mike Brett
synchronises with
Sound Engineer Mike Gluyas
Lights, Camera

Pianist: Christopher Eastwood
Soprano: Catherine Hamilton
Mezzo Soprano: Alison Kettlewell

The East Devon Choral Society - applauding . . .

Director of Music: Andrew Daldorph
Catherine Hamilton - Soprano
Alison Kettlewell - Mezzo Soprano
Iain Milne - Tenor
Nicholas Merryweather - Bass
(Search 'English Touring Opera' for Nicholas!)
There will be some serious editing before Mike Brett and Mike Gluyas' recordings will be ready for us to hear - but tune in for an 'unofficial MP3' - what a sound! - Plus and interview with Vice-Chairman Sue North.

Vice-Chairman of East Devon Choral Society
Sue North
Hear from Crediton Luthier Shaun Newman - who will be bringing his latest creations into the studio next Tuesday for a live demonstration!

At his Crediton Workshop
Luthier Shaun Newman
(Shaun's Website)

Salon Guitar in
Nineteenth Century Style

Italian Rosette
Antique tuning set
(with 'ivoroid' pegs)

Listen in to hear the full details - and hear about his new creation: 'The Fiddle-Guit'!

Anything else? - Oh yes! The Caerphilly Ladies Choir!!!

Jean Davies Directs the Caerphilly Ladies' Choir
Exeter Cathedral Chapter House
Lunchtime: Saturday 5th May

Pianist Beverley Baker
joins Director Jean Davies
To tell us more
Press Officer Marjorie Gray

All on this Tuesday's Show

- Tune in to Phonic FM, 106.8 FM,

Message from Orchestra Leader Anna Cockroft - Baroque Masters - Recorder and Harpsichord Recital Saint Mary's Church, High St,.Totnes Friday 25 May Giacomo Puccini Madam Butterfly Exeter Northcott Sunday 22 July (and two repeats at Ugbrooke House)

Violinist - and Harpsichordist - Anna Cockroft

Hi Luch
Hope you are well.
Just thought I'd contact you about a couple of things!
The first one is about a concert I'm playing the harpsichord in on Friday 25th May in Totnes.

The programme is entitled 'Music from the Baroque Masters'
The players are Pam Canter (recorder and harpsichord),
Mary Eade (violin) ,
Vicky Evans (cello)
and me, Anna Cockroft, (harpsichord).

Pam will be accompanying Mary in Bach and Handel violin sonatas,
I'll be doing the honours in the trio sonatas!
Its at 7.30pm at St Mary's Church, High Street, Totnes on May 25.

Vicky has all the details ( )

Also I don't see New Devon Opera mentioned anywhere on your blog so thought I'd mention it!
(I play in the orchestra).

This year they are performing Madam Butterfly by Puccini at a number of venues
including the Northcott Theatre on Sunday July 22nd at 7pm.

There are also 2 performances at Ugbrooke House
(which has been the traditional venue from the beginning)
by kind permission of Lord and Lady Clifford in aid of Sense.
Dr Paul Foster is the musical director
and the chairman is Linda Hughes .
I only mention the Ugbrooke House venue because it has a special atmosphere
(no doubt helped by the extra long interval for picnics in the park!).
I'm not involved in the running of it in any way, but just thought I'd let you know about it! Unfortunately most other concerts etc I'm involved in seem to be either in Somerset or Cornwall!
Look forward to seeing you somewhere soon!
Best wishes


Anna Cockroft

Friday, 4 May 2012

OwlGlass Theatre's second play at the Hour Glass Eugene Ionesco's dualogue 'Frenzy for Two' Wednesday 2 May - Saturday 5 May

OwlGlass Theatre at the Hour Glass Inn
Charlott Reinhold & Sebastian Pope in 'Frenzy for Two'

A preview on Tuesday Morning
Sebastian (with beard) and Charlott
exchanging banter
in the Phonic FM studio
On Tuesday morning this week actor and director, Sebastian Pope, was in the Phonic FM studio to tell us about his exciting theatre venture, 'OwlGlass Theatre'.
With him was a young graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Charlott Reinhold. Charlott recently completed post-graduate drama training at the Drama Centre, London. She has performed 10 theatre roles, including the lead in Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House' at the end of last year.
Sebastian first appeared on stage in Exeter in 2007 at the Bikeshed Theatre, in a touring production of Eugene Ionesco's 1950 play 'The Bald Prima Donna' by 'This Particular Theatre Company', which he co-directed with David Lockwood. He has since performed at the Barnfield Theatre, where he also directed the first 'Theatre of the Owl', or 'OwlGlass', production - Joe Orton's 'What the Butler Saw', in 2010. Last year OwlGlass moved to the Bikeshed Theatre, where Sebastian directed and appeared in Tom Stoppard's 'After Magritte', Eugene Ionesco's 'Frenzy for Two', and  Noël Coward's 'Private Lives' - before moving 'OwlGlass' to the Hour Glass Inn in Melbourne Street for 'Pinter and a Pint' - three short plays by Harold Pinter which delighted a capacity audience of beer (and wine) drinkers in the basement.
Lucy Elzik and Sebastian Pope
are Ethel and Ernie Pringle
in 'Alas Poor Fred'
at the Hour Glass
Building on that success Sebastian has planned four more (bimonthly) OwlGlass productions in the Hour Glass for 2012. On 7th March, Sebastian opened the new 'OwlGlass' series with 'Alas Poor Fred'. This play was written by a 33 year old James Saunders in 1958 and first performed at the Library Theatre, Scarborough in 1959. James had produced several radio plays in the fifties, and had also put on several stage productions - starting with 'Cinderella Comes of Age' in 1949. A month after the opening of 'Alas Poor Fred', a new member of the company made his debut at the Scarborough Library Theatre in a modern translation of 'The Game of Love and Chance' ('Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hasard') by Pierre de Marivaut - it was the nineteen year old Alan Ayckbourne.
For the OwlGlass production of 'Alas Poor Fred', Sebastian was joined by Lucy Elzik from Exeter University. (Lucy and her University colleagues are currently planning a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in August - to raise money for water projects in Kenya - see Lucy's page.) Together Sebastian and Lucy were Ernie and Ethel Pringle, a homely couple locked in an endless dispute. Ernie insisted on dragging out of Ethel an explanation of what had happened to Fred - and whether he was the 'man with moustache' in Ernie's photograph. The long-suffering Ethel has plenty of cutting observations to make about Ernie and his obsession with Fred - beautifully delivered by Lucy, who created a delightfully bizarre character for Ethel. Ernie, it transpires knows full well what has happened to Fred - and why. Sebastian's Ernie is doggedly determined to get to the bottom of the 'mystery', and becomes more hilariously confused as the play progresses. This production was lovingly crafted, and played to capacity audiences who became deliciously embroiled in Saunder's improbable conflict. The play was co-directed by Sebastian and a first year student at the Cygnet New Theatre (just 100 yards from the Hour Glass) - Sorrel Meechan. Sorrel's debut as a director was a huge success and she went on to take full directorial responsibility for Sebastian's next production . . .
Another heated debate - 'Frenzy for Two' by Eugene Ionesco
'He' and 'She' (Sebastian Pope and Charlott Reinhold)
dispute the distinction between molluscs and reptiles
- and the best way to survive the military confrontation
going on in the streets outside their flat
James Saunders made no secret of the fact that his first Scarborough play drew on the previous work and ideas of Eugene Ionesco. His sub-title for 'Alas Poor Fred' was 'A Dualogue in the Style of Ionesco'. The French-Romanian playwright, Eugene Ionesco, who was 16 years older than Saunders, wrote and produced his second full-length play ('Tueur sans Gages' - 'Killer without a Cause') at the same time as 'Alas Poor Fred'. Ionesco's earlier, one-act, plays were in the 'absurdist' style which inspired Saunders' 'Fred'.
The first of Ionesco's surreal plays, written in 1950, was 'La Cantatrice Chauve' ('The Bald Soprano') which was inspired by Ionesco's experience of the dialogue used in English language courses. Two couples squabble ineffectually using nonsense phrases including the mysteriously disturbing expression 'the bald soprano'. (Sebastian, we recall, appeared as Mr Martin, opposite David Lockwood's Mr Smith, in the Particular Theatre production at the Bikeshed in 2007 - under the alternative title of 'The Bald Prima Donna'.)
'Amédée, ou Comment s'en Débarrasser' ('Amédée, or How to Get Rid of it' - a mysterious dead body that is) was, in 1954, the first of a series of full length plays by Ionesco (the second being 'Tueur sans Gages') which featured the character Bérenger. The last is 'Le Piéton de l'Air' ('A Stroll in the Air') in which Bérenger finds he can walk in the clouds. Often combined with this, is Ionesco's earlier short play 'Délire a Deux' (Frenzy for Two). It is this strange 'dualogue' between embittered lovers, against a background of civil war - and the most likely candidate to be the direct inspiration for Saunders' 'Alas Poor Fred'.

She waits impatiently while He looks up snails in his encyclopaedia
The scene is (retrospectively) familiar. 'Frenzy for Two' opens with a couple cooped up in a small room. This time it's a bedroom rather than a living room. They are lovers, and she repeatedly accuses him of being the 'seducer' who took her away from her husband. For seventeen years they have been virtual prisoners in one room. Outside opposing factions in an unspecified civil war do battle in the streets, making it far too dangerous to step outside. The opening dialogue reflects a rather different dispute. 'She' (played by Charlott Reinhold) endlessly goads 'He' (Sebastian Pope) by asserting that snails and tortoises are the same species. He is clearly frustrated by his own inability to pin down the reverse logic in her arguments, and fruitlessly searches the encyclopaedia for some kind of proof that she is wrong.
The set is beautifully created by director Phillip Wyatt and features lovely touches, which are reminiscent of the period in which Ionesco was writing. A steel framed army bedstead was provided by the Cygnet props department, and the four oppressive overhead lights were - fifties-style aluminium jelly moulds!

Build a barricade!
Safe - for the moment!
Nothing is quite what it seems. As the violence outside intensifies (recorded sound effects supplied by director Sorrel Meechen) the two protagonists reluctantly turn their conversation towards how to keep 'them' out. The 'wardrobe' and the 'table', which are used as a barricade, are actually chests of drawers. The bombs that come through the windows are actually pieces of fruit, the shrapnel kitchen utensils. Sausages salvaged from the bombed flat next door are - a banana!

The argument continues through the heaviest bombing
As the bombardment escalates, the terrified pair dive for cover - under a totally inadequate blanket. The closer confines of their new environment add to the sense of danger - and the ineffectiveness of their attempts to plan for their own survival. Their own personal disagreements get in the way of any effective response, to even the most pressing danger.

The tension is relieved briefly,
a stolen snack at the 'table'

The war, and the argument, are over
- for the moment.

Sebastian Pope gives his familiar precise, and engaging, performance, and  brings great comic pathos to the character of the man so brow-beaten and demeaned by this unloving lover that he loses his ability to solve the basic problems of survival. Perfectly played, his character tries valiantly, but fails, to take control of the situation.
Charlott Reinhold is engagingly charming - delivering her lines with a cherubic half-smile. She also brings a chilling edge to the performance - never letting him have the last word, and pouncing on every counter-argument with fresh blasts of illogic. Charlott, who is a very accomplished accent expert, allowed her own native German accent to show through - confusing the audience about the setting of the action, and the relationship between the two characters. This, together with the date of the play - ten years after the end of the second world war - and the references to bodies hanging in the street following the partisan 'victory', conjures up images of the execution of Benito Mussolini and Clara Petacci by the Italian communists  in German held northern Italy in 1945 - two days before the German surrender.
The connection with the second world war is not coincidental. Sebastian chose this play as relevant to the seventieth anniversary of the Exeter Blitz (4th May 1942). Sebastian claims no family connection with Exeter at the time of the Luftwaffe raids, but Charlott does have a very close and emotive connection with another second world war attrocity, committed by the Royal Air Force. She was born near Dresden, a city subjected to some of the most intense carpet-bombing of the war. Knowing this reveals an extra poignancy in her portrayal of the terror of 'colateral damage'.
An excellent production with great performances by both actors. Phillip Wyatt's set contained the action convincingly, and Cygnet drama student Tessa Carob Cook's control of the special effects back-stage were perfectly timed and added thrills to the dramatic tension. And, on her first outing as sole director, Sorrel Meechan made perfect sense of a piece of nonsense from a time long before she was born.

The OwlGlass series continues with Ken Campbell's 'You See The Thing Is This', which will run from Wednesday 4th July to Saturday 7th July. Watch this space for details - and tickets will be available from the Hour Glass soon.

and now - proper photos - by Dorota Turowska:



Thursday, 3 May 2012

Summer Chamber Music 2012: This Year's Courses Open Letter from Rebecca Willson and Ruth Molins Dates: from Tuesday 28 August to Friday 31 August Places available now - deadline Tuesday 1 August

Ruth Molins

Rebecca Willson

Emma Welton

Dear All,
I am writing to tell you about an exciting new music project this coming summer.
The inspiration came from local parents telling me how they would like there to be a local, non-residential music course for their children.
This is a 4 day chamber music course for strings and flutes, children and adults.
All details are in the attachment.
Please forward to anyone you think might be interested. I look forward to receiving your bookings!
Thank you
Please spread the word and join us on faceook for up to the minute information:
Summer Chamber Music 2012
- 4 days of Chamber Music and Ensemble Skills

What is it and who is it for?

For those of you that don't know, for the past few years I have run chamber music workshops in Exeter. We explore methods of communication through music and skills for working together. The workshops will include working as a whole group and playing in smaller chamber groups and we will have a performance at the end of the 4 days to share what we have been doing. I have a had a number of enquiries about expanding the project and this is it!

The courses are for age 7+ and for players of flute, violins, violas, cellos and double basses.

There will be 3 different groups for string players: grades 1 – 3, grades 4 – 8 and an evening session for adults and one group for flautists grade 4 – 8.

There are also a limited number of discounted places for grade 8 players to assist tutors and play in their own chamber ensemble. Previous teaching experience is not necessary but it could be helpful. Please get in touch if you would like more details about this.

Activities will include:
ñ     Identifying and working on the skills for playing together
ñ     Musical games
ñ     Playing chamber music – small groups/one to a part
ñ     Playing as a whole group
ñ     Singing and Kodaly Musicianship
ñ     A session on overcoming music problems

When and where and how much?
28 - 31th August at St Nicholas Primary School, Exeter, EX1 3EG
Grades 1 – 3:       10am – 1pm  £45   (Deposit £15)
Grades 4 – 8:       10am – 5pm  £95   (Deposit £30)
Adults:              5.30pm – 7pm  £25   (Deposit £10)
There will be a 25% discount for siblings
Deadline for full payment will be 1st August
Please email me on for a booking form

Who are the Tutors?
The tutor team will be led by Rebecca Willson, Emma Welton and Ali Jones. The flute course will be led by Ruth Molins. All tutors have CRBs.

Rebecca Willson has been teaching the violin and viola in Exeter for the past four years since graduating from Dartington College of Arts. She has been a tutor for JUTP Music and Exeter Young Strings as well as running her own chamber ensembles and workshops. Rebecca plays regularly with Obligato String Quartet, Western Swing Band, ”The Zazou Cowboys” and in local pit orchestras. Her interest in contemporary music has led her to setting up Exeter's “Nonclassical @ The Bike Shed”, a platform to promote new music.

Emma Welton moved to Exeter from London in 2009 and has has been teaching the violin privately and running workshops and teaching for Exeter Young Strings and Wren Music. She performs on violin and electric violin and is a member of international contemporary music groups, [rout], Icebreaker and Black Hair. She has an eclectic musical background, having spent some years playing in numerous ceilidh bands, an Indian music band and a jazz quartet (on double bass). She has studied music performance and composition at York, Manchester and Northumbria Universities.

Alison Jones graduated from Nottingham University and moved to London where she spent many years leading workshops in a variety of settings. Since moving to Exeter she has led workshops and taught for Exeter Young Strings, Wren Music, DAISI and Magic Carpet as well as giving violin lessons privately and in local schools. Ali also has experience touring the globe with a number of bands, including international folk band, The Barely Works. She currently plays with the folk band Spin2.

Ruth Molins read Music and English Literature at Cardiff University studying flute with Susan Buckland. Since directing East Devon Youth Flute Choir at the age of 17, she has been actively involved in both teaching and performing. Ruth teaches at a number of local schools and privately. She has enjoyed recent performance collaborations with guitarist Clive Betts as 'The Piazolla Duo', cellist Hilary Boxer and pianist, James Keefe. She also works in pit orchestras in local theatres and plays flute with Exeter Symphony Orchestra.

How do I book a place?

Please complete the booking form and send a cheque deposit to:

Rebecca Willson, 31A Barnfield Road, St Leonards, Exeter, EX1 1RX

If you have any questions, email me on

Please spread the word!
Summer Chamber Music 2012
Booking Form

Name of Applicant:

Age of Applicant: (If under 18)



Experience of Chamber Music:
(if any)

Name of Parent: (if under 18)

Phone Number:

Email Address:

Postal Address:

Any known medical conditions or allergies:

Any other information we should know:

Next of Kin:

Relationship to you:

Phone Number:

Cheque deposit enclosed for: