Press Releases week beginning 13 August 2018
New deal for the White Rock Theatre
Hastings Borough Council and HQ Theatres and Hospitality Ltd are pleased to announce they have agreed a five year extension to the contract to manage the White Rock Theatre on Hastings Seafront. Opened in 1927, the venue is Hastings' principal theatre space offering a broad programme of theatre, music, comedy and a popular Christmas pantomime. It hosts the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition and is also home to numerous amateur and community arts events - from The Gang Show to Beatles Day - and a growing participation programme.
The new contract will run from February 2019 to February 2024 and the White Rock Theatre will operate on a much reduced management fee from Hastings Borough Council. HQ Theatres have plans to develop many kinds of programming including touring musicals (the national hit show of Dirty Dancing visits in October for a week), classical and modern music. The Sussex Studio space is being improved to offer better facilities for small-scale theatre and music, and will continue to be available free-of-charge for meetings, rehearsals and community events for local organisations.
Another key growth area is the venue's participation programme. Its popular year-round youth theatre and summer musical project is being extended to include groups for younger children and for adults, so if you love performing, singing or trying something new, get in touch to find out more about the sessions.
Cllr Kim Forward, Hastings Borough Council's lead councillor for regeneration and culture said, "I am very pleased to see the commitment to greater community involvement by HQ and look forward to a programme which will have increased appeal for both residents and visitors and should attract audiences from further afield. HBC's regeneration plan for the Bohemia area gives us a great opportunity to look at the need for both improved, and an increased number of performance spaces to reflect the importance we place on culture and the arts in our town."
Julian Russell, CEO of HQ Theatres and Hospitality said,
We are pleased to be able to confirm the extension to our existing contract and to continue our association with the White Rock Theatre for a further five years.
The White Rock Theatre is a vital cultural asset to the local community so we're delighted about this positive outcome which will meet the needs of all key stakeholders including Hastings Borough council, our loyal audience and the many local organisations and community groups who regularly use the facilities at the theatre."
HQ Theatres and Hospitality is committed to developing the programme of events on offer and we are excited to be extending our Creative Learning, education and community engagement programmes; ensuring widespread participation amongst Hastings residents and young people. We look forward to developing these plans in conjunction with Hastings Borough Council and local organisations.
Autumn cornucopia of delights
September is coming, but the Hastings Borough Council Stade Saturdays programme just keeps going strong. Deputy leader Kim Forward, lead councillor for regeneration and culture said, "This fantastic programme of free family events offers so much for our community. From showcasing young local talent to our famous bonfire night there is plenty to keep autumn Saturdays something to look forward to."
The first weekend in September features Incubate Showcase night, with the best of young local musical talent to launch Coastal Currents 2018. Morag Myerscough's latest work, "Belonging" can be seen from 2-11 September; a bright bold bandstand that will be on the Stade for a variety of community concerts and events.
On 8 September, the Ore Synthesizer club brings their timely geek masterpiece, "The story of Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov" to the Stade with an irresistible mix of synth grooves and sampled cinema, part of the Coastal Currents Festival.
The Seafood and Wine Festival returns from Friday (evening) 14 September for a Super Ska night with the Two Tones and all day Saturday 15 September 11am - 7.30 pm and Sunday 16 September 11am-6 pm with a Jazz breakfast featuring Lianne Carroll at 9am on Sunday 16 September. You can buy a wrist band for Saturday AND Sunday for £2, or £3 on the door; a wristband includes entry to The Super Ska night and the Jazz breakfast are ticketed separately. All tickets and wristbands can be purchased from the Tourist Information Centre on Hastings seafront.
Another Coasters circus offering on Saturday 22 September, with Ramshacklicious presenting The Band at the end of the World. Hilarious steampunk circus with anarchic music and comedy; there are two performances at 4.30 and 7.30.
An evening of groove melody and soul with internationally known kora player and singer Diabel Cissokho will be on Saturday 29 September as part of AfriKàBa Festival and African Night Fever. Life affirming, dynamic and irresistible.
The second week-end in October (6/7) will have an incredible range of classic cars on the Stade, to mark the start of Hastings Week. A further display of classic motorbikes will be on display on Saturday 13 October, followed by the festivities of Hastings bonfire night all evening, which finishes the Stade Saturdays programme with a festive bang (or two)!
Garden Full of Cultural Delights 2018
The garden full of cultural delights community event 2018 was held at St Leonards Gardens on 12 August. The event was organised by a number of community and faith groups and is supported by Hastings Borough Council. Mayor of Hastings Cllr Nigel Sinden and Cllr Kim Forward deputy leader and lead councillor for culture joined the event along with other councillors.
There was a variety of busy food stalls from many nations, along with entertainment provided by Acromax, Celtic Swing, Section 5 drummers, Gizmo Kids and many others, also children's activities and a tombola and raffle during the afternoon. The Mayor, Cllr Sinden, said, "It was great once again to see a variety of faiths and ethnicities of all age groups enjoying the day to its fullest. The list of partners is so long it would be impossible to mention them all, but the event truly embodied "One Hastings, Many Voices" as well as being the usual open and friendly event. Well done to all who had a part in setting the event up."