A Short History of Drunkenness Talk

Almost every culture on earth has drink, and where there’s drink there’s drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different.

It can be religious, it can beDrunkenness - book cover sexual, it can be the duty of kings or the relief of peasants. It can be an offering to the ancestors, or a way of marking the end of a day’s work. It can send you to sleep, or send you into battle. A Short History of Drunkenness traces humankind’s love affair with booze from our primate ancestors through to Prohibition, answering every possible question along the way: What did people drink? How much? Who did the drinking? Of the many possible reasons, why? On the way, learn about the Neolithic Shamans, who drank to communicate with the spirit world (no pun intended), marvel at how Greeks got giddy and Romans got rat-arsed, and find out how bars in the Wild West were never quite like in the movies. This is a history of the world at its inebriated best.

The author will be talking about his book at 7:30pm in Hungerford Town Hall (Magistrate’s Room)

Tickets £6 (entitles you to purchase the book for £10 on the night)

Call the bookshop 01488 683480 or buy here


Fri 13 – Sun 15 Oct – Hungerford Literary Festival

A weekend of literary events revolving around the theme of Journeys. Martin Bell has almost sold out and Alastair Sawday proving popular, but don’t miss…

Tom Fort on The Village News. The ‘thinking man’s Bill Bryson’ hops on his bicycle to explore the history of the village. “A witty, charming and informative book… full of shrewd insights peppered with nostalgia and humour” – Countryside magazine. Sat 14 Oct 11am, Croft Hall.

Jonathan Dean on I Must Belong Somewhere. The Sunday Times writer tells the stories of his great-grandfather and grandfather, each of whom was forced to flee his country and forge a new life elsewhere. During his journey he is struck by the parallels between past and present. Sat 14 Oct 1:30, Croft Hall.

Jules Mountain on Aftershock: The Quake on Everest, and One Man’s Quest. The incredible and inspirational story of how one man survived cancer, and also the deadliest earthquake in Everest’s history.  Sun 15 Oct 7:30, Town Hall.

Buy Tickets Full Programme

Sat 18 Nov – Classical Young Musicians Concert – Not to be missed to quote The Newbury Weekly News following the last concert, they really are “young, gifted and wow!”

A regular feature in the Arts for Hungerford diary, these concerts always provide a standard of performance that truly belies the players years. These friendly events give young musicians the perfect opportunity to polish pieces in preparation for auditions whilst showing a local audience what can be achieved with talent and a lot of hard work! Players this time include members of The Royal Academy and Royal College of Music’s Junior Departments, Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra and The National Children’s Orchestra. The concert will showcase pieces for flute, oboe, violin, double bass and bassoon; do come along and support  these local musicians.

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Sat 2 Dec – Cloudbusting the music of Kate Bush

Cloudbusting: the music of Kate Bush

Hounds Of Love & the best of Kate Bush

It’s no wonder Kate Bush is consistently ranked as the most influential female singer/songwriter of modern times. Pioneering, challenging, unshackled by convention, Kate occupies a musical genre of her own. Following record-breaking ticket sales for her live concerts of 2014, she became the only female artist in history to score eight simultaneous entries in the UK album charts

There can only be one Kate Bush! But those who missed out on her live shows will love Cloudbusting, the UK’s longest running and most applauded tribute.

Cloudbusting take the concept of the ‘tribute band’ to the next level with richly detailed arrangements and stunning visuals letting Kate fans know from the very first note that her legacy is in safe hands. At no point ever pretending to ‘be’ Kate, vocalist Mandy Watson steps in and out of the emotions of each song, sharing her delight in, and respect for Kate’s music alongside an enchanted audience.

Join Cloudbusting for 2 hours of incredible songs taken from 12 albums and 26 top 40 hits spanning 4 decades, including a complete performance of Kate’s classic album ‘Hounds Of Love’. Whether you sit back and absorb the full audio/visual experience or get up and dance along to your favourite Kate song, this show is for you….


“If you missed out on seeing Kate Bush herself, Cloudbusting are the next best thing.” Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2.

“Absolutely, surreally brilliant.” Mick Wall, Classic Rock Magazine.

“The versions that Cloudbusting are perfomring are the closest by far from any tribute I’ve ever heard” – Del Palmer, Kate’s longtime musical collaborator

“Mandy’s vocals were so good, I could have been listening to Kate herself!” Preston Heyman – Kate Bush Band, Tour of Life 

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The 21 – 30 Sep – Visual Arts Trail

Welcome to our first Visual Arts Trail with over 30 artists showcasing in 16 venues. Take a walk around our marvellous town, discover venues and artists, experience beautiful and thought provoking works, or try your own hand at one of the workshops for adults and children.

Designed to showcase high quality art in a variety of mediums including paint, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and photography by national and local artists.

The festival will take place from Thursday 21st September – Saturday 30th September.

Event Diary

Working Artists on the Town Hall steps throughout the festival see ArtsforHungerford.com for information
Fri 22  – Frida – Film on the life of Frida Carlo the painter a great night of entertainment
Sat 23  – Community Mural 10am-3pm Town Hall Steps
Sun 24  – Walking & Drawing Workshop 10.30-12.30 Town Hall. Tickets £10
Mon 25  – Drawing at Barrs Yard.10-1pm.Tickets £10
Wed 27  – Clay Workshop. 10-1pm. 25 The Croft.Tickets £15
Thurs 28 – Gainsborough.A Portrait. Book Talk.7.30pm.Corn Exchange. Tickets £6(includes glass of wine & £5 off book)
Sat 30 – Caricature Drawing. 10-12. High Street.
Portrait Workshop. 10-12.30.URC Church Hall.Tickets £10
Cartoon Workshop. 2-3.30pm. URC Church Hall. Tickets £5

For Workshop Details


For any queries please contact Tony Drewer-Trump on 07590 555 877 or email contact@artsforhungerford.com

Sculpture: Crouching Man by Jane Milne

Sat Sept 16 – Life & Art – 2 Operas in English- “aching cheeks after hilarious and entertaining night…”

Mozart’s The Impresario & Edward Lambert’s The Oval Portrait 

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A professional troupe of 5 young talented singers take part in this double bill of short operas at the Croft Hall, Hungerford.

The manager wrestles with the Arts Council’s funding cuts. Two sopranos battle it out for top billing – and the highest notes. All seems lost until The Impresario comes to the rescue.  Mozart’s sparkling chamber opera is an hilarious take on the dilemmas that face theatre companies when putting on a show. Set in the present day, Mark Burns’ new English version shows us just how much things have not changed in the 230 years since this piece was first performed.

 The Oval Portrait  is a new semi-opera by Edward Lambert based on Edgar Allen Poe’s short story which tells of a visitor at a remote castle who is disturbed by the portrait of a young woman: he learns that as her husband painted her, the picture came alive, while she lived on only in his art… A short story told through the medium of song.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 16.51.25

featuring rising young professional singers

Jennifer Witton & Elizabeth Karani (sopranos), Daniel Joy (tenor),
Samuel Pantcheff & James Schouten (baritones)

Director – Mark Burns
Musical Director – Edward Lambert
Lighting Designer – Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson
produced by
musictroupe.co.uk     theoperabox.co.uk

running time about 1 hour 40 minutes including interval

pre-show meal at 7pm can be ordered online in advance

Sat 23 Sept Jericho Comedy

Alex and the team are returning for a great comedy night

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Jericho Comedy brings you the the best of the Oxford stand-up circuit from inside and outside the University. A variety of comedians and styles to suit all tastes come see why we’ve had sell out shows twice a month in Oxford since September.
Line up to be announced shortly
Why are we called “Jericho Comedy?”. Jericho Comedy started in the Jericho area of Oxford packing out the Jericho Tavern and the Jericho Cafe sometimes with as many as 4  shows in the same evening! It is the creative brain child of Alex Farrow and Harry Househam.
About Alex Farrow, host of Jericho Comedy. Alex is also founder of Stand-up History, which sold out with Arts for Hungerford last year. Alex has been invited to perform comedy everywhere from the National Museum of Scotland, the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Mervyn Stutter’s pick of the Edinburgh Fringe, the Oxford and Cambridge Unions and comedy clubs through out the UK
A recent review of Jericho Comedy: “the recipe for an enjoyable evening” ://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/feature/12281/jericho-comedy#review65651
More info here:

Fri 16 Jun -Little Men

Bar Opens 7.00pm Screening 8.00pm – Croft Hall Hungerford


https://youtu.be/AbtwyKbkRlU Kermode
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer September 2, 2016
As in the films of the French New Wave’s Eric Rohmer, nothing cloying happens here, nothing plainly engineered to elicit emotions. But emotions are elicited – moral and ethical concerns are addressed, examined, defined.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle August 10, 2016
The movie is as interesting as spying on your neighbors during the most interesting 85 minutes of their lives, as well as a sensitive look at what it’s like to be 15 years old and have no control over anything.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4

Rotten Tomatoes 71%
Critics Consensus: Little Men takes a compassionate look at the ways in which adult problems impact childhood friendships — and offers another affecting New York drama from director Ira Sachs
When 13-year-old Jake’s (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father’s old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia), a dressmaker from Chile, runs the shop downstairs. Soon, Jake’s parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) — one, a struggling actor, the other, a psychotherapist — ask Leonor to sign a new, steeper lease on her store. For Leonor, the proposed new rent is untenable, and a feud ignites between the adults. At first, Jake and Tony don’t seem to notice; the two boys, so different on the surface, begin to develop a formative kinship as they discover the pleasures of being young in Brooklyn. Jake aspires to be an artist, while Tony wants to be an actor, and they have dreams of going to the same prestigious arts high school together. But the children can’t avoid the problems of their parents forever, and soon enough, the adult conflict intrudes upon the borders of their friendship.

A new pair of best friends have their bond tested by their parents’ battle over a dress shop lease.
Director: Ira Sachs
Writers: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina García | See full cast & crew »

A new pair of best friends have their bond tested by their parents’ battle over a dress shop lease.

TYPE Feature


RELEASE DATES 23/09/2016

BBFCINSIGHT mild bad language, infrequent mild violence

GENRE(S) Drama


CAST INCLUDES Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Alfred Molina, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri

SUMMARY LITTLE MEN is a US coming-of-age drama about the friendship between two boys whose parents are involved in a financial dispute.

CUT All known versions of this work passed uncut.

Parental guidance iconPG
ECI information

Sat 17 Jun – Young Classical Musicians – Programme

We have the final programme for Saturday’s concert a chance to hear some very talented young musicians
Come and support Local, Young Talent

8.00 pm at the Croft Hall – Hungerford, Tickets £10 Pre-show food available

Tickets from Hungerford Bookshop or ArtsforHungerford.com


Conrad Spencer – Bassoon
– Concerto in A minor RV497 – Antonio Vivaldi

Yi-Ann Yeung – Cello

Gavotte No. 2 in D major, Op. 23 – David Popper
and The Swan – Camille Sain

Matthew Prior – French Horn
Concerto No. 2 in Eb major – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Emily Ambrose – Recorder The English Nightingale – Jacob van Eyck
Music for a Bird – Hans Martin Linde
Sonata in F major, movements 1 and 2 – Arcangelo Corelli

Joseph Willis – Trombone

Four Sketches for Trombone, 1. Blues, 3. Pastels – Tony Cliff
Morceau Symphonique – Alexandre Guilmant

Noam Rosenbaum – Flute
– Sonatina – Eldin Burton and Fantasia – Gabriel Faure

Accompanist – Hayley Tull

Sat 17 Jun – Young Classical Musicians

  • Arts for Hungerford will be showcasing some of the best local young musical talent on Saturday 17th June in a Classical Young Musicians Concert. These events are becoming a regular fixture in the Hungerford Arts calendar and always deliver performances of exceptional quality. The concert will feature performances on flute, recorder, cello and bassoon with others to be confirmed. Come along and support these young players as they begin their musical journey.

Fri 30 Jun – Sun 16 Jul –  HADCAF 

The Festival launches on Friday 30 June with the captivating cabaret chanteuse Lili la Scala and ends in party-style on Sunday 16 July with La La Piano Bar, where New York cool club meets Berlin cabaret bar. The programme also features the Wessex Male Choir (who sang to a crowd of 84,000 at Wembley Stadium last year as part of the RBL Poppy Appeal), the acclaimed young Russian pianist Alexander Karpeyev, bluegrass band Francis Pugh and the Whisky Singers, and flute-harp-cello combo Trio Sospiroso. Any Questions? chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby will be broadcast from Hungerford as part of the Festival, while theatrical treats include a tribute to Stan Laurel by theHi-de-Hi actor Jeffrey Holland, and The Watermill Theatre’s touring comedy Nesting.

With lots more music, talks, an exhibition by local artists, workshops, open gardens, guided walks and children’s activities, it’s going to be a busy but brilliant Festival!

HADCAF 2017 runs from 30th June-16th July, and details of all events and tickets are available online at www.hungerfordartsfestival.com

Contact: elizabeth_s_davis@hotmail.com Tel 01488 684038

Sat 16 Sep – Life and Art – A Night of Opera

Life and Art

Following the success of their 2016 production at The Totally Thames Festival, The Opera Box have teamed up with The Music Troupe to bring you The Oval Portrait a new semi-opera by Edward Lambert and a new English translation of Mozart’s The Impresario by Mark Burns. 

Croft Hall Hungerford 8.00 pm Tickets £15 on-line or at the Hungerford Bookshop

Pre-Show food at 7.00pm must be ordered by Thur 14 Sep

To support this production please sponsor via Click Here Continue reading “Sat 16 Sep – Life and Art – A Night of Opera”

Visual Arts Trail – Thu 21 – Sat 30 Sep

In an exciting new venture this Autumn Arts for Hungerford will launch its first Visual Arts Trail focussed around a large arts trail through the town.

Designed to showcase high quality art in a variety of mediums including paint, sculpture, textiles, ceramics and photography by national and local artists, it will be a fantastic opportunity for the public to enjoy a diverse array of art on their doorstep, and also to attract people in to the town.

Art will be displayed in local businesses and public spaces. Business owners have already signed-up to turn their premises into a display space, and organisers will have fun matching the works of art to their destinations. Works of art will be for sale.

As well as a trail, the festival will hold workshops, lectures and an interactive exhibit that adults and children can take part in. There are also plans to link-up with local schools and use the Town Hall to present children’s work, as well as display photographs from the Arts for Hungerford Photography Challenge.

The festival will take place from Thursday 21st September – Saturday 30th September.

Calls for submissions will will be issued on the 25th February

For any queries please contact Tony Drewer-Trump on 07590 555 877 or email contact@artsforhungerford.com

Sculpture: Crouching Man by Jane Milne

Sat 23 Sept – Jericho Comedy – Stand Up

Ales Farrow returns to the Croft with some of the best comedians in Oxford, where they have been selling out twice a month for the last year, a great night of general stand up.

Croft Hall 8.00pm Tickets £10 at ArtsforHungerford.com and at the Hungerford Bookshop

Pre Show Food 7.00pm must be ordered by Thur 21 Sept

13 – 15 Oct – Arts For Hungerford – Literary Festival


Journey far and wide with Hungerford’s Literary Festival

Friday, 13 October to Sunday, 15 October 2017

A4H_LF_Journeys_Luggage_TagThis year’s Hungerford Literary Festival (a collaboration between the bookshop and Arts for Hungerford) runs from 13 to 15 October, and is inspired by the theme of Journeys.

Emma Milne-White who curates the festival and owns The Hungerford Bookshop says: “It’s been great fun developing the theme of ‘Journeys’. At a time when our world seems in such a state of flux it seemed an appropriate choice – and books, as we know, are a great way to discover other lives and experiences and help us understand the world in which we live.”

Martin Bell OBE, one of the outstanding reporters of our time, will open the festival with his latest book War and the Death of News, which draws upon his years as a soldier and journalist, as well as his experiences as an MP and a UNICEF ambassador. We look forward to a compelling talk, as Martin shares his personal account of war, and issues an impassioned plea to put the substance back into our news.

TomFortTom Fort takes us to more tranquil territory on Saturday morning. The travel writer and historian hopped on his bike to discover the essence of village life for The Village News: The Truth Behind England’s Rural Idyll. His journeys span more than six thousand years and, interspersed with historical analysis, we discover Tom’s personal memories of village life.

Children’s writer Debi Evans will be at the bookshop signing copies of Jewel Dog and the Dragons, with her dog that inspired her time-travelling series featuring the loveable Jack Russell, Rolo. Where will his new set of adventures take him?

Also joining the literary festival, will be Sunday Times writer Jonathan Dean as he traces his remarkable family history in I Must Belong Somewhere, which draws parallels between the thirties and present-day refugee crisis. Meanwhile crime novelist and railway historian, Andrew Martin, relives the golden age of sleeper trains by using modern-day equivalents (becoming embroiled in his very own ‘whodunit’ on the way).

In the main event on Saturday evening, Alastair Sawday, founder of the hugely ASawdaysuccessful Sawdays Guides, will talk about his travel experiences and encounters with remarkable, and often eccentric, guests and hotel owners as depicted in his hugely enjoyable memoir Travelling Light. Ticket-holders will be able to book supper beforehand, cooked by The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat, recent winners of Sawdays Local, Seasonal & Organic Produce Award 2017.

The adventure continues on Sunday with a children’s writing workshop led by local writers Nicola Chester and Deborah Patterson. Attending children will be encouraged to hunt down interesting titles in the library to create ‘book spine poetry’ before writing their own adventure story.

JOAN high res jacketSimon Fenwick will be shedding light on Joan Leigh Fermor; an extraordinary woman who travelled widely and lived life at full tilt, no matter what the consequences and, Nick Hunt, who followed in Joan’s famous husband Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps, will return to Hungerford to talk about Where the Wild Winds Are. This book explores Europe’s local winds to discover how they affect landscapes, cultures and people. After his talk, Nick will announce the winner of the adult travel writing competition.

The final stage of the journey features maverick climber Jules Mountain – a cancer survivor who conquered an Everest avalanche. Wanting to prove to himself that his illness was no barrier, the author decided to climb the mountain on what turned out to be the deadliest day in Everest’s history. His inspirational story of survival, resourcefulness and dedication, Aftershock, rounds off the weekend’s journey through time, people and places.

For your passport to these events head to www.ArtsForHungerford.Com to purchase tickets, or buy them from The Hungerford Bookshop (01488 683480).

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Sat 28 Oct – Ultimate Elton and The Rocket Band

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Some tribute artists look like their idol, some sound like their idol. Paul Bacon as Sir Elton John does both! Close your eyes and you won’t believe your ears, open your eyes and you won’t believe them either! You simply won’t nd a closer tribute to Sir Elton John.

Rapidly established as the foremost Elton John tribute act in the UK, ‘Ultimate Elton and The Rocket Band’ present an uncannily accurate reproduction of the classic live shows of one of pop music’s most successful and best-loved artists – performances that also often feature some of Elton’s actual costumes, bought from his ‘Out the Closet’ sales!

With an extraordinary career spanning over 5 decades and with more than 50 ‘Top 40’ hits and over 30 albums to date
– Elton John is the single most successful solo artist ever! – Not too many performers can boast album sales of well over 250 million!
The band is able to draw on this amazing catalogue of hits to create a dynamic and powerful live celebration of Elton’s music. Featuring classics like ‘Candle in the Wind’, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, ‘I’m Still Standing’, ‘The Bitch is
Back’ and ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ – as well as other live favourites, the band creates a truly spectacular and professional show – The challenge is often not what to play, but what to leave out!

Ultimate Elton and The Rocket Band are now much in demand at festivals and theatres throughout the UK and beyond. They are certainly one of the top tribute acts working on the circuit today and this has recently been recognised at the National Tribute Awards 2013, run by the in uential ‘The Agents Association’ of Great Britain, who awarded the band ‘O cial UK No 1’ for performances as the ever popular Elton John Band!

Watch the Video


“I was at the real Elton’s rst rehearsal with Nigel and Dee before his rst gigs back in the 70’s. This band has all the raw energy of that early line up. Quite simply the best Elton tribute you will see or hear anywhere!”
Stuart Epps, Record Producer (www.stuartepps.com)

“Blimey, he’s got it down, band are great too. How are his tantrums?”
Clive Franks, Elton John Record Producer and Elton’s live sound engineer for over 35 years

“Looks great and sounds great…The best tribute that I’ve seen!” Bob Halley, worked with Elton for over 30 years


Croft Hall – Hungerford 8.00pm Tickets £15 at ArtsforHungerford.com or at Hungerford Bookshop

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves: Book Talk by Rachel Malik

Tuesday July 11th, 7.30pm in The Hungerford Bookshop

miss boston

As part of Hungerford Arts Festival Rachel Malik will be talking about her new novel – the start set locally in Sheepdrove Farm and Lambourn) over a glass of fizz in the bookshop.

A story of the land, friendship and of secret lives. When Rene Hargreaves is billeted to Starlight Farm as a Land Girl, far from the city where she grew up, she finds farmer Elsie Boston and her country ways strange at first. Yet over the days and months Rene and Elsie come to understand and depend on each other. Soon they can no longer imagine a life apart.

But a visitor from Rene’s past threatens the life they have built together, a life that has always kept others at a careful distance. Soon they are involved in a war of their own that endangers everything and will finally expose them to the nation’s press and the full force of the law.

Tickets £5 from Hungerford Bookshop (includes a glass of fizz and £3 off the book) – call 01488 683480 – or buy on-line now

A New Map of Love – Abi Oliver talks about her novel

Friday 30th June, 7.30pm at The Hungerford Bookshop

George Baxter has settled for a comfortable life, content as the years unfold predictably — until Win, his wife of twenty-six years, dies.

With his loyal dog Monty by his side, George throws himself into his work as an antiques dealer. His business is at the heart of the village and all sorts pass through the doors, each person in search of their own little piece of history.

When George meets local widow Sylvia Newsome, he imagines a different kind of future. But life has more revelations to offer him. Over the course of an English summer, George uncovers some unexpected mysteries from his past that could shape his tomorrows…

Tickets £5 (includes a glass of wine and £3 off the book on the night) call 01488 683480 – or buy on-line now