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Bellowhead Live at Brighton's Concorde 2

The greatest artists, musicians and performers know how to beg, borrow and steal and make something new from the blend of sources and influences; and (as numerous awards have proved) Bellowhead are up there with the best.

Started by two folk musicians, John Boden and John Spiers, the band are now around the dozen mark, with everything from folk staples like bagpipes and bouzoukis to more unusual instruments like flugelhorn and frying pan pressed into service. It's certainly a squash on Concorde 2's stage tonight, and with the band dancing around and swapping instruments a head-count is impossible.

Together, the gang work hard to blend traditional folk tunes,  funk and jazz arrangements, and a presentation that's part raucous folk club, part music-hall and all topped off with a 60s-style psychedelic delight in performance.
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Alien plant horror musical is blooming marvellous

Brighton Theatre Royal – Little Shop of Horrors

While not by any means a sell-out, it was a hugely enthusiastic crowd that welcomed Little Shop of Horrors to the Theatre Royal on Monday.

The tongue-in-cheek musical based on Roger Corman's classic 1959 B-movie certainly delivered a high quality evening's entertainment, with a stack of class performances from its talented cast.
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Cara Dillon's Traditional Music Makes Modern Masterpiece

It may have her name on the cover, but Cara Dillon's latest album Hill of Thieves brings together some of the greatest folk musicians around and it's a brilliant ensemble piece.

Dillon's husband Sam Lakeman has co-written the album, and brought his brothers Seth and Sean along in supporting roles, with Seth's band member Ben Nicholls playing excellent double bass. Flook's flautist Brian Finnegan and guitarist Ed Boyd appear,  Eamon Murray from hotly-tipped young folksters Beoga brings his bodhran to the sessions and there's All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Champion Zoe Conway as well.

For all the talent, it's a very understated and quiet album. Dillon has taken traditional songs as her starting point, and produced a delicate acoustic album. It lets her voice – soft, breathy, but incredibly powerful – take centrestage.

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Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams - spectacle, South African style

Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams – Battersea Power Station

South Africa’s premier cirque du soleil/cabaret/supper club spectacle has landed in its elaborate mirrored Spiegel tent on waste ground next to Battersea Power Station, promising an evening of great food, jaw-dropping entertainment and a touch of decadence.
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Wizard of Oz brings magic touch for Christmas

Brighton Theatre Royal: The Wizard of Oz
When you decide to put on a stage version of one of cinema’s classic children’s films, you face at least one key dilemma– to be faithful to the original, or to reinterpret it.

Thankfully, Theatre Royal Productions and Family First Entertainment took the sensible route and stuck to the original – and as a result have produced a truly excellent Christmas show that families will love.
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Stickerbomb - Artists and Makers Christmas Gifts Part 1

The graffiti movement is most interesting because it never sits still, with artists and writers on a constant quest to find a new medium to spread their message. And the fastest rising movement of the last few years has been one using stickers.

This is mass-produced graffiti, produced in open editions or in limited, hand-finished sets, and designed for rapid spread around the streets. In the wild, you'll find stickers equally shared between street furniture and nightclubs, mixed up with commercially-produced advertising.

Alongside the taggers and graffiti-style writers in Stickerbomb, there are some stunning contemporary artists.

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The Quay Brothers

The exhibition of work by the Brothers Quay (or Quay Brothers as they are also known) at the University of Brighton gallery - Inventorium: The pharmacist's prescription for lip reading puppets - is truly [literally] amazing. It's a collection of scenes from their animated films shoehorned into boxes, cabinets of curiosity, theatrically lit with big lenses to look through that make the interiors even more Tardis like, and which direct your gaze to pertinent details.
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Round the Horne revival delights classic comedy fans

Theatre Royal, Brighton: Round the Horne – Unseen and Uncut

I remember vividly sitting in front of my parents' old radiogram in the mid to late Sixties, listening with glee to Round the Horne. I was only about 7, so the double entendres and innuendo went straight over my head, but I loved the silly voices, the hilarity and the sense of fun that bounced out of the speakers.
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Steadman et all in cracking form at Chichester

Enjoy - Chichester Festival Theatre

As an actress who has become something of a British institution in film and on TV, it's a real delight to see Alison Steadman at work on stage. Her timing and delivery are an absolute joy, and the dense and witty writing of Alan Bennett are a perfect match for her.

She receives excellent support from acclaimed Shakespearean actor David Troughton and a quality cast, in this sharp and prescient tale of a family awaiting a move from their old 'back to back' house into a new council housing.
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Rothko Exhibition at Tate Modern

A wonderful, life-affirming exhibition! Just let the paintings be, take time and sit, in some cases surrounded by them, and let them work.

Going without preconceptions I found it irrelevant to explore what Rothko's thoughts or intentions were, or his techniques, although the exhibition does go into this if you're interested.

Rothko himself said 'To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. However, you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn't something you command'. And this works as well for the viewer - you really can get drawn into and enter these works. And, I would suggest, this is best done alone, as a personal experience.