Out and about with Calder Valley Radio... Upcoming events in our Valley

For those of us in the Valley with a keen interest in the Arts and local creators, today's article will hopefully spark joy. As we're starting to emerge from lockdown, our local community is keen to get back to all things expressive and enjoy some much-anticipated culture (this writer is counting down the hours till she can be back at the theatre and visit Hebden's Little Theatre...) I've been blown away by the way that the creative industries have consistently innovated during this pandemic, finding new ways to bring their work to audiences and maybe even picking up some new fans by the reach of t'internet. I've watched the National Theatre premiere a completely new version of Romeo & Juliet with Sky Arts, Max Richter showcase one of his seminal ballets, Woolf Works, on live stream and watched Nick Cave do a concert in isolation all from the comfort of my own home... (Shameless self-promotion alert: if you're interested in kulcha generally, you should check out the show I co-present with Dave on Monday & Thursday 12pm-2pm, you can read more about us here.) But none of it is quite the same as being out, at live events, so I'm delighted to see that our local calendar is starting to be populated by some fantastic projects and reopenings and I'm here to tell you to save the dates.

First up, we've got a weekend-long micro-exhibition to showcase artworks produced by community groups during lockdown who have participated in the Hebden Bridge Art's Festival's Creative Neighbourhoods Project. Creative Neighbourhoods ran in conjunction with Calderdale Council and allowed small groups of people to express themselves creatively online. These groups have been working with the organisation to reimagine an Arts Festival for 2021. The exhibition entitled 'Unhidden - Creative Neighbourhoods' will feature a diverse range of photography, woodwork, paintings and even audio interviews made by the groups involved. These include the Asylum Seekers & Refugees, based in Halifax, New Mums from Todmorden and Young People from across the Calder Valley - including several high schools. it will be running from 29th-31st May and there's no need to book, you can just go along and see the art made in togetherness, even during the depths of isolation. For more information please visit https://www.hebdenbridgeartsfestival.co.uk/

For our film buffs, the exciting news is that the Hebden Bridge Picture House is reopening on the 28th of June in accordance with government guidelines. The much-celebrated opening, after a false start in the Autumn of last year, comes just two weeks before the grand old building celebrates its 100th birthday (editors note - should we buy it a Colin the Caterpillar cake?) 

Rebekah Fozard, Picture House Manager, is quoted as saying: “We cannot wait to welcome the community back to Hebden Bridge Picture House with an opening programme of Oscar-winning films and a fantastic centenary calendar of events celebrating 100 years of cinema in Hebden Bridge, which will run until June 2022. The decision to remain closed until June when other venues plan to open in May, allows us to finish essential building work inside and out, finalise our (very exciting!) centenary programme and launch our new box office system, which will enable our audience to book tickets and reserve seating in advance online, amongst other customer benefits.”

(c) Sarah Mason Photography

Despite the easing of restrictions, the Picture House will be observing all government rules and regulations when it comes to socially distancing and taking precautions with deep cleaning & sanitising to ensure the safety of staff and patrons and guarantee everyone has an enjoyable experience. Face coverings will be required under the usual circumstances unless exemptions apply. Fozard continues: “After what has been an extremely difficult year, our promise to you is that Hebden Bridge Picture House will be a safe community space to relax, socialise and watch great films in. We’ve missed that experience and we know you have too. Once again, thank you for your patience and continued support.”

The Picture House is opening with a stellar, award-winning line-up including recent Academy Award winners Nomadland (Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actress for Frances McDormand) and The Father (Best Screenplay & Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins.) They'll also be showing Another Round and Minari and continuing with their virtual program Picture House At Home. For more information please visit their website here 

Finally, I want to shout out to our iconic Hebden Bridge Trades Club, who are putting together their post-pandemic line-up. Those of you who are regulars to our website know I favour the club and you can hear me waxing lyrical about it here - but their up-and-coming gigs will breathe life back into our local music scene. Over the next few months, the Trades will be showcasing various artists at socially distanced shows including The Short Causeway, Bambara, Blue Orchids and Squid. They're also 'bringing back jazz' in an exciting collaboration with Alina Bzhezhinska who opens the season. Although uncommon in jazz, Bzhezhinska has a large following - showcasing original work and cover versions that draw on a wide variety of influences, including Dorothy Ashby’s Afro-harping as well as paying homage to funk and hip-hop. For this gig, she'll be supported by bassist Mikele Montolli, drummer Adam Teixeira and Joel Prime on percussion. Due to play on 3rd October - the Alina Hip Harp Quartet will definitely not disappoint and you can book tickets for this gig and all the others by visiting the Trades Club's website: https://thetradesclub.com/

So there you have it Calderdale, the lights have been switched back on, the curtain is rising and we're all ready for our close-up. We'll all have a completely packed diary (or Filofax... Showing our age here) before we know it. See you there! 

Over and out

By Louise Ann Oldroyd 



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