The Witham community arts centre launched an exciting new season (January to April 2019) on Tuesday 11 December, with the support of Comedian Justin Moorhouse.
Following the fundraising campaign to secure its long-term future that saw the public, The Witham is forging ahead with more events in 2019 that demonstrate a response to the audience feedback about what works well at The Witham and what else people would like to see happening there.
As a result, The Witham now has a wider range of events including tribute acts, films selected by the public, accessible screenings and more sing-alongs. However, the programme also continues to deliver cultural and artistic experiences that otherwise would not be available to visitors to Teesdale and the surrounding area.
The Funny Way to Be Comedy line-up includes amazing performers such as Justin Moorhouse, who brings his Northern Joker show on Saturday 26 January. Justin gave a fantastic introduction to the whole comedy programme at The Witham in person at the launch event, which includes An Audience with Cannon and Ball (Friday 12 April) and Strictly Dancing Star Seann Walsh on Wednesday 10 April.
Music highlights include the Lindisfarne Story on Saturday 16th March, the UK’s best David Bowie tribute act, Jean Genie on Saturday 30th March, complete with dazzling flamboyant costumes and stunning effects with live band. A sensational show on tour from Blackpool celebrating the music of Frankie Vali & The Four Seasons, The Jerseys – Oh What a Nite! is on Saturday 13 April,
The film programme has been selected by public poll and includes The Children Act, starring Emma Thompson. Following pubic feedback, Sing-Along films are booked in – The Sound of Music on Thursday 21st February and Mamma Mia 2 on Thursday 18 April – and dressing up is actively encouraged. Relaxed, accessible screenings of classic matinees are a welcome addition for those who don’t like to go out at night and for whom regular cinema conditions are challenging, including those living with dementia. This includes classics such as The Wizard of Oz (Thursday 24th January) and Brief Encounter (Thursday 18 April) on the big screen.
Theatre performances include the award-winning production of The King and I at the London Palladium on the big screen on January 5 at 2pm, the hilarious Dad’s Army Radio Show on Tuesday 26 March and a darkly comic performance of The Death Show on Wednesday 27 February.
The Witham is also hosting a series of fundraising events in the new season that include artist Ann Whitfield’s creative workshop on Saturday 5 January (only 2 places remaining), David Williams’ A Wild Life photography talk on Tuesday 29 January and the St Patrick’s Day Festival on Sunday 17 March. There is also a showcase of local talent event on Sunday Night at The Witham on 14 April – an evening of fun. Laughter, music and verse for all ages hosted by Britain’s Got Talent’s Cal Halbert.
As Sarah Gent, Marketing Manager at The Witham, says, ’We have listened to the feedback of our visitors and local community – we are working to put on more of what you’ve told us you’d like here at The Witham, including tribute bands and a film programme that was selected by the public.
‘However, we aren’t getting rid of what people already enjoy so there will be fantastic folk, a range of exciting theatre performances, comedy with the Funny Way To Be Comedy Club, arts workshop and classical music too. Please do come to see what’s on offer and spread the word – The Witham community arts centre has something for everyone!’