On Saturday 19 December West Hill Hall hosted a funky evening of fun, food, fast music and wild dancing.
As ever, thanks go to Vinod and Meena for organising the event with help of Denise and Adrian Robins, Patrick, (erstwhile of Bright News) James and all the present staff. The food was fantastic, the music was provided by Stash, and talking of wild dancing, here is Vinod Mashru and willing partner demonstrating just how it’s done. Is there no end to this man’s talents?
On Sunday 20 December West Hill Hall hosted a beautiful evening of midwinter candle-lit carols.
Eighty or so people of all ages from the local community, and beyond, ventured through the snow and ice to a warm, cosy and magical-looking Hall decorated with twinkling candles and fairy lights. Everyone, including babies and dogs, gathered around the piano and cello to sing carols such as Little Drummer Boy, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Little Donkey while sharing mulled wine and mince pies.
It is one of the most favourite events that I’ve attended at the Hall. Looking around with the lights twinkling, the rosy-cheeked community gathered around the piano singing their hearts out, and the aroma of mulled wine, I imagined it could have been another era. Totally magical stuff. George Duncan
Vinod and Meena Mashru, owners of the super convenient store that is at the heart of our community, threw a farewell party in August for Dev Nayak, an assistant who has been working at Bright News for 3 years and who has now returned to India. A crowded West Hill Hall marked his popularity. The many assembled residents drank to his health and were served a delicious, healthy buffet of Indian food by Meena and her trusty helpers. Although a sad occasion, there was much laughter and bonhomie as we wished Dev bon voyage back to his wife and two children. These events are central to the community, giving residents the chance to meet new people and catch up with neighbours with whom we don’t always have time to stop and chat. Helping the hosts to lay on this splendid and cosy party were their children, Vishal, Anish and Karishma and Meena’s family and friends. Dev gave a touching speech, saying how much he had enjoyed his time in Brighton. We really enjoyed knowing him.
Please note, we no longer hire the Hall out for wedding related bookings.
James Kendall and Rosie Purser, the Editor and Reality Manager of The Brighton Source, a leading monthly magazine featuring all aspects of life and music in the city, held a civil ceremony and reception at West Hill Hall in August. Rosie and James chose the Hall because the price was reasonable and, after a long search, seemed to be the best and most comfortable option.
By paying the Licence Fee for the Hall to become a venue for civil ceremonies for a year, they wanted to give something back to the community as well as securing a venue for their occasion. The WHCA committee is most grateful and acknowledges this act of public spirit. Work demands limited Rosie and James to only a 3-day honeymoon in Romney Marsh.
The Artichoke Artgroup is running a children’s physical theatre weekly workshop in the West Hill Hall.
Physical space is a workshop that focuses on a return to the basics of theatre, without the use of make up and with neutral costume. It is based on a return to the origin, the empty space, and in evaluating our body as the first tool of creation in empty space.
We explore impulses and directions, physical gestures and their meaning. We develop the use of movement as a synthesis and as means of expression to recreate characters, situations and spaces. The company explores the environment (materials, colours, elements, sounds) and creates narratives through play where the theatrical text is created from the action.
The group is directed by the actress and teacher Florence Leon. James de Malplaquet is the sound design teacher and Solange Leon is the voice teacher.
Here’s what was said about the Artichoke Arts show Show off, first performed at West Hill Hall in July of this year.
“The performances by the children of the Artichoke Arts Group were just inspirational. They delivered their own short plays and mimes, which were dazzlingly complex, fast-paced and breathtakingly executed. The young artists’ energy, creativity and overwhelming sense of fun were evident in everything they did. How this was channelled so successfully into such a professional performance from very young people is a mystery! How do you do it, Artichoke?” Bruce Dickinson, Education Director BIMM – Brighton & Bristol Institutes of Modern Music.
“A terrific night! The kids were brilliant. It was lovely to see such confidence and commitment in them – and their execution of their devised material was amazing! Creative, funny, clever! The grown-up stuff was a gas too! I had a fun time! Bundles of charm in the event! Congratulations for a sterling job.” David Scinto, Writer & Award Winner of the British Independent Film Award & Golden Satellite Award for ‘Sexy Beast’.
For more info please visit www.artichokeartgroup.co.uk
ITCHY SCRATCHY A fundraiser for The Permanent Gallery Saturday 31 October
A musical event to accompany the October exhibition at the Permanent Gallery, Itchy Scratchy, a show which invites photographers to donate a photo as a digital file, which will then be printed and exhibited at the gallery. Itchy Scratchy is a term coined by writer Charlotte Cotton to describe a troubling photo in a photographer’s practice that doesn’t quite fit but precipitates a new way of working. The event at the Hall will be about inviting a group of musicians to respond to this notion in musical terms, either with a piece they wrote which changed their musical direction or to play in public a current unresolved direction. For more info please visit www.permanentgallery.com
CHRIS T-T plus support Saturday 21 November 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Chris T-T is an English songwriter. So far he’s made five albums. His current release is ‘Capital’ which came out in March 2008 on Xtra Mile Recordings. Chris says “It’ll be a solo set on piano, acoustic and maybe electric guitar. I’ll be playing my new record ‘Love Is Not Rescue’ which is much quieter than the last album and has a miserable, personal vibe to it. The West Hill Hall show will be the last night of my UK tour.” www.christt.com
ODDFELLOWS CASINO plus support Saturday 28 November 7.30pm – 10.30pm
“A hidden treasure of the English music scene”, Oddfellows Casino has been quietly releasing albums over the past five years, to great critical acclaim. They hail from the mountains of Sussex and are an ensemble whose music and live performances centre around forgotten corners of England, birds, landscapes, death, hauntings and an old Victorian freak show from which they take their name. At the centre of the group is singer-songwriter David Bramwell (“an English Sufjan Stevens” Plan B) who is also known locally as being the co-author of the Cheeky Guide to Brighton and creator of the Catalyst Club.
Oddfellows Casino have recently completed their third album, Raven’s Empire, produced by award-winning composer and producer Andrew Phillips (Grasscut). Their most ambitious project to date, this album sees the group plunging into darker waters with the music veering from pounding hypnotic orchestral arrangements and plaintive piano tracks to Stooges-style guitars; all held within Oddfellows distinctive English sound. In 2008 they were commissioned by Brighton Live and the Arts Council to perform with the Brighton and Hove Concert band, culminating in a concert at St George’s Church with over 50 musicians on stage. The gig in November at the West Hill may be more stripped down in comparison but promises to be a treat, this is the band’s first performance in over a year, and will be a showcase for lots of new tunes with Bramwell at the piano and a small band comprising of horns, percussion, bass, electronica, harmonium and flute. www.myspace.com/oddfellowscasino